Deciding if you need help for your substance use can be overwhelming. The fear, shame and anxiety you may feel surrounding your struggles with alcohol or other drugs is challenging—we understand.
We admit, there are many unknowns that are both in and out of your control. The good news? When in treatment, you’re in a safe, judgment-free space. If the consequences of drinking or using keep piling up, and the weight of that burden seems too much to bear, there’s a path forward for you.
Whether you checked yes to just a few of the signs and symptoms or to many of them, it’s always best to get an assessment by a licensed professional. An addiction specialist or mental health professional can help you navigate life in treatment so that it doesn’t become overwhelming, including time off from work, time away from home and expenses.
Another important factor that treatment professionals can help you with is determining if you’ll need to detox and whether inpatient or outpatient treatment services are best for your individual needs. The recommendation for inpatient or outpatient treatment will be based on various factors, including:
Know what type of treatment your insurance covers, how much of the cost it’ll cover and how much of the cost will be your responsibility Only consider a reputable treatment provider in a facility that is licensed and credentialed Find a provider that will support loved ones who are impacted by your addiction, if needed
Recognizing that you may need treatment for your substance use is a great first step towards hope, healing and long-term sobriety. As you’re researching, treatment options, it’s important to:
Detox, short for detoxification, is the process of flushing the chemicals from your body while managing withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing is both physically and psychologically uncomfortable, but is a critical first step in accomplishing your sobriety and life goals.
While we understand the fear and shame you may feel regarding your substance use disorder, detoxing can be dangerous. It’s important to ensure trained medical professionals are involved in monitoring you during this process. Additionally, medical professionals can administer medications to make detoxing more comfortable and reduce cravings.
Determining if detox is right for you depends on a number of factors:
What are you detoxing from? The detox symptoms you experience—and the severity of them—will depend on the substances you’re addicted to. For instance, alcohol withdrawal can range from headache and nausea to seizures. Detoxing from opioids, like heroin, can feel like a severe case of the flu, sometimes referred to as dope sick.
What’s the duration and extent of your drug use? Longer durations of us and heavy use can have negatively impact your physical health in many ways, which will need to be monitored for your safety.
What’s your physical condition? Whether your physical condition has been compromised by your addiction or the result of something unrelated, it’s still important that you’re monitored while detoxing.
All of the above factors are taken into consideration when estimating how long the detox process will take. When entering detox, a medical team will monitor you to ensure you’re medically stable and prepared to enter into other aspects of your recovery journey, such as group and individual counseling. To help you fully participate in your treatment program, your medical team will continue monitoring you for withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Many popular movies have portrayed treatment as a set-in-stone 28-day model. However, effective, modern day treatment should be determined by your unique situation and clinical milestones. The same treatment doesn’t work for everyone, and the best results occur when it’s tailored to your individual needs. As you progress through treatment, that original plan should be reassessed and adjusted.
Recovery is complex for everyone. Some people enter treatment and realize there are even more complexities to their substance use disorder than they initially thought. If needed, your drug and alcohol treatment team may recommend more time to address:
However, if you progress through treatment quickly, your treatment team may transfer to a less intense level of care.
Treatment will differ depending on the level of care you enter into. Regardless of whether a residential—also known as inpatient treatment—or outpatient rehab program is recommended for you, your core treatment activities will include:
You may also participate in wellness activities and spiritual care as well as mental health therapy.