When drugs and/or alcohol take over a person’s life to the point where they are suffering physical, emotional or financial hardships yet they continue to use despite these negative consequences they have an addiction problem. Addiction treatment is necessary when the individual has attempted to end their substance use on their own with little to no real success. Entering a drug rehab program will help the individual get help to control their drug taking behavior and learn to live a sober, happy and successful life. There are several addiction treatment options available for drug and alcohol addiction. Some of these options include self-help groups (AA/NA), counseling (individual/group) and drug rehabilitation programs (inpatient/outpatient). Each of these differs in their approach to treating addiction problems, the programs level of intensity and duration of time.
• Self-help groups such as AA or NA typically approach drug addiction as a disease one has to accept and learn to live with one day at a time. They are a place where ex-drug users and current drug users looking to end their addiction problem gather together in hopes of helping one another. While they may have a leader to provide some direction to the meeting, there is usually no treatment professional present. A number of people find these types of meetings re-stimulating because those attending are bringing up past drug using stories and reliving their experiences.
• Counseling, whether individual or group can be a beneficial way of working through many drug addiction issues. While individual or private counseling sessions are going to provide the most one-on-one care, many people choose group counseling because it is more cost effective. It is not unusual for a person to enter a group counseling session and feel overwhelmed by the others present and choose not to share anything about themself. While just sitting in the room and listening to others as well as the counselor can have its benefits, it is not going to yield the best long-term outcome of lasting sobriety and learning valuable interpersonal skills.
• Drug rehab programs provide the addicted person with the environment and education they need to stop using drugs or alcohol. Outpatient programs are much less intensive than inpatient ones but do offer some structure for the recovering individual. They are expected to attend on specific days and times giving them a sense of purpose and accountability. When compared to self-help groups this is a step up in intensity because there is no mandate that the addicted person attend meetings (unless ordered to by the justice system) and no one will follow up with them whether they went to their meeting or not. Inpatient programs are the most intensive level of addiction treatment and provide their clients with the greatest chance of achieving lasting sobriety. While it can seem daunting to enroll in a program that lasts close to a month or longer, doing so can mean the difference between breaking the cycle of addiction and experiencing another relapse. Inpatient programs operate in a variety of different environments and for various lengths of time.