Frequently Asked Questions About Finding Help for Drug Abuse

How do I know if I need help?

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell if you’re addicted to a substance, and you may be wondering if you need professional help. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines the signs of a substance use order. You might be addicted and need help if 1:

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  • You often take the substance in larger amounts or for longer durations than originally intended.
  • You have consistently failed to quit taking the substance or cut back.
  • You spend an inordinate amount of time getting the drug, using it, and recovering from its adverse effects.
  • You have a strong craving or urge to use the substance.
  • You fail to fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home because of the substance use.
  • You consistently use the substance regardless of negative consequences or problems worsened or caused by use.
  • You abandon work, pleasurable, or social activities in favor of substance use.
  • Use of the drug in a dangerous situation, such as driving a car.
  • You continue using even when physical or psychological problems result from use.
  • You have become tolerant to the substance. (You need to take higher doses in order to achieve the desired effect and/or you experience less of a “buzz” or “high” when taking the same amount.
  • You have withdrawal symptoms when not using.


How do I help a loved one suffering from an addiction?

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s drug use, you should try talking to her first. How you approach your loved one is extremely important, because if you are confrontational, it may cause her to become defensive and less receptive to treatment.

Instead, try approaching the situation from a caring and compassionate perspective, avoiding blame. Those suffering from an addiction already experience a lot of shame and guilt associated with their substance use. Chances are, you will receive a more positive response if you take a collaborative and empathetic approach towards getting help.

Once she acknowledged the addiction and is willing to seek treatment, you can move forward quickly to get her into a program. Ideally, you’ll want to have a place in mind for her to go. You can call 1-888-744-0069 to find out what recovery programs are available.


What should I look for in a treatment center?

When considering various rehab centers, you should do your research on the services that each one provides. Below are the qualities that the best drug abuse treatment facilities will possess:

  • Qualifications: It’s pertinent that the addiction treatment center you choose requires all staff members to be certified mental health professionals with relevant education.
  • Psychiatric and medical care: Addiction often co-occurs with mental or physical health issues and it’s imperative that you receive integrated treatment to fully address the scope of the problem.
  • Family involvement: You will want to ask the treatment center you’re looking into if they offer family therapy and counseling in order to strengthen family relationships and improve communication. Fostering a healthy family dynamic is a key element in sustaining recovery from addiction.
  • Individualized treatment plans: Quality treatment facilities will do an intake evaluation in order to diagnose any underlying psychiatric problems. This will allow them to customize a treatment plan catered specifically to your needs.
  • Location: You will want to decide if you want to travel far away for your rehab or if you’d like to remain close to home so your friends and family can visit.

To fully do your research, don’t stop at the above. Ask the center more detailed questions about their care. You will want a program that 2:

  • Has quality therapeutic relationships: This means that the members of the treatment team can form a trusting and beneficial relationship with you as the patient. This is vital to achieving long-term recovery.
  • Produces a high level of client engagement: A treatment center that makes engaging a client a priority is more likely to retain patients in a recovery program and thus, increase positive outcomes. Client engagement, which often utilizes Motivational Interviewing, includes goal-setting and developing a long-term plan.
  • Constantly evaluates the treatment plan: It’s important that a recovery center make any necessary changes to a patient’s treatment plan, based on the level of success each intervention has.
  • Establishes an aftercare plan: A quality rehab’s treatment team will actively create a discharge plan, which may include family members, sober peers, or other long-term support.


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What types of recovery programs are available to me?

There are various types of addiction treatment programs available. One option is not better than others; it all depends on your own addiction, mental health issues, and needs.

Inpatient treatment programs require that you live at the facility while receiving treatment (typically including intake, detox, therapy, counseling, and medical maintenance). For extra amenities, you may wish to look into one of the following types of centers:

  • Luxury: This option has everything that traditional rehabs do but with added amenities and services that more closely resemble a resort or vacation spot.
  • Executive: This option caters to business professionals who can’t take the time off work to attend treatment. These centers generally provide private phones, conference rooms, and Internet connection.

Outpatient treatment programsallow you to live at home while receiving treatment when it works with your schedule. It can include any number of options such as individual therapy, group therapy, or family therapy.

  • Individual therapy: A therapist will explore the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors connected to your drug use. This is especially important if there is a co-occurring mental health issues (dual-diagnosis).
  • Group counseling: Some people feel more comfortable in a group setting where a therapist facilitates a session centered around sharing experiences related to addiction and utilizing coping skills.
  • 12-Step programs: Fellowships like Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous provide their members with a supportive environment and utilize a sponsorship system for ongoing support.


What happens at rehab?

You may be considering entering an inpatient treatment program but feel unsure what to expect when you go. The treatment process is outlined below:

  • Intake evaluation: This assessment occurs upon entering the program. A therapist will evaluate your mental health status and any physical issues you may have. This is done in order to create an individualized treatment program for you.
  • Detoxification: Depending on the substance to which you’re addicted, the facility can provide you with medically managed detoxification and comfort care.
  • Medication: If you’re addicted to opioids or alcohol, then the treatment team may prescribe you with medication to help alleviate cravings and prevent relapse while receiving treatment (e.g., methadone for opiates or acamprosate for alcohol).
  • Therapy and counseling: Therapy and group counseling will aid you in developing healthy coping strategies along with social skills necessary to utilize on your road to recovery.
  • Family Involvement: Some treatment centers offer family therapy and counseling in order to improve the addict’s support system.


How much does treatment cost?

resort near beach front
The cost of addiction treatment can vary depending on a number of different factors:

  • Length of treatment: The longer the inpatient stay, the more expensive the program will be. For instance, a 30-day treatment program will cost less than a 60- or 90-day program.
  • Location of treatment: If the rehab center is located in a beautiful or desirable location (e.g., next to the beach), then it may be somewhat more costly.
  • Type of treatment: Inpatient rehabs cost more than outpatient because of room and board costs associated with living at the treatment facility.
  • Insurance coverage: If you have insurance, call 1-888-744-0069 to find out if your provider covers addiction treatment. If not, contact SAMHSA to learn about financing options.

In general, inpatient treatment tends to cost $200 to $900 per day, with lower cost per day associated with longer program duration. Outpatient tends to cost $100 to $500 per treatment session, so the cost will vary by frequency and duration of treatment. While this may seem like an intimidating consideration, don't forget that your recovery is worth a lot more than the cost of a program, and getting help is always worth it.


How can I pay for treatment?

No matter the cost, nothing is more important than your health and happiness. If you don’t have insurance and are looking for ways to pay for your recovery, there are many different options available:

  • Payment plan/sliding scale: Many rehab centers will work with you personally to look at your current financial situation and determine 1) an appropriate cost and 2) a payment plan you can manage.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like GoFundMe an IndieGoGo provide you with a platform in order to raise money for your recovery program.
  • Health insurance exchange: The Affordable Care Act allows you to compare prices of affordable insurance plans through your state health insurance marketplace.
  • Healthcare credit card: These credit cards tend to have lower interest rates than other types and are designed specifically for those in need of healthcare services.
  • Medicaid and Medicare: Medicaid and Medicare have expanded their addiction treatment coverage. If you have either of these programs, contact your provider to ask about your coverage.


What happens after treatment?

When the end of your recovery program nears, your treatment team will devise a plan for you to follow once your stay is complete. Attending continued care will decrease the risk of relapse and allow you to continue developing positive coping skills you learned in treatment.

Examples of aftercare include:

  • 12-Step programs like NA and AA.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Group counseling.
  • Alternative approaches like SMART Recovery and Secular Organizations for Sobriety.


How do I prevent relapse?

As stated above, aftercare is extremely important for a recovering addict to prevent relapse. It’s easy to fall back into your old habits once you leave rehab if you don’t continue to attend treatment.

Rehab is intended to lay the foundation you need in order to maintain a healthy and sober life down the line. You learn positive coping and social skills throughout your recovery program, but it’s vital that you follow your aftercare plan very carefully, as your follow-up treatment will help you to continue honing your skills.

A few other tips to help prevent relapse include the following:

  • Find a group of sober friends: This can be achieved by attending 12-step meetings, support groups, or alternative approach meetings.
  • Change your phone number: This will help you sever connections with those who tempt you to use and establish new healthy connections and supports.
  • Focus on proper nutrition and exercise: Being in good physical health can help you to feel good about yourself and improve mental health, which will help you to fight cravings and avoid relapse.
  • Keep yourself busy: Try new things and discover new hobbies, which will help you avoid being idle or bored, which can be a trigger for falling back into old habits.
  • Utilize meditation: Mindfulness can be beneficial for anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression and can even help to manage everyday stress and unwanted negative emotions, which are all triggers for relapse.


Where can I get help for drug abuse?

If you want to find help for your addiction to drugs or alcohol, call our helpline at 1-888-744-0069 to speak to a treatment support specialist about different recovery options.


References:

  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Print.
  2. Meichenbaum, Donald, Ph.D. "Treatment of Clients With Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders: How to Achieve Lasting Changes." U.S. Journal Training Addiction and Behavioral Health Conference. Clearwater, Florida. Lecture.
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