The most difficult step when it comes to overcoming substance use is admitting that it is happening. If an individual is using substances whether it is alcohol or drugs, he or she will likely be unable or unmotivated to address the issue unless that person is aware that the behaviour is problematic. After reaching that level of awareness, the next step would be to determine the level of addiction in order to be able to form a general idea of what treatment option may be needed.
There are many different types of substance use treatments and what is important to remember is that there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment option or formula. How appropriate a treatment option is, would likely depend on the type and level of addiction, the availability of social supports in the individual’s life, and most importantly, the person’s motivation to change.
If individuals determine that professional help is needed they may look further into the two general categories of treatment options which are medications and psychosocial treatments.
• eliminating cravings for alcohol or other drugs
• helping individuals cope with withdrawal symptoms during detoxification (the cleansing of the body of the substance(s))
• blocking the effects of substances and reducing their pleasurable effects
• treating other underlying conditions some of which may be depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD
• Psychotherapy (including Family Therapy) – This may involve learning some coping strategies as well as helping family members learn about ways to effectively support their loved one.
• Pre-rehabilitative care – When medical services such as psychiatric support or medical detox are needed, especially if the addiction is very serious. This type of treatment is often obtained prior to any community-based programs.
• In-patient treatment – Typically done in a rehabilitative facility where an individual may reside for at least one month and learn more about their behaviour patters as well as new skills.
• Post-rehabilitative care – Involves help in a community-based facility or program and is typically used after an individual has been in a rehabilitative program. Here individuals can obtain ongoing education.
• Out-patient rehabilitation – This form of treatment can sometimes be optional, but it typically provides clients with access to various medical and mental health services to help prevent a relapse.
If you or someone you know is having problems with addiction or if you are having concerns about treatments available and how to access them, you can contact me here.