Drug Abuse Treatment
Looking for an effective addiction treatment program is like finding quality education for your kids. You go through a long list of options you can find on the Internet, review recommendations from friends, check whether the system will work for you, assess if the program specifically addresses your problem…the list goes on. To put it more bluntly, it entails a lengthy research unless you just want to waste money paying for a program that wouldn’t keep you sober long enough.
In the recent years, we have seen a lot of substance abuse treatment centers opening here and there. All of them promise to help addicts get their lives back using this and that programs. The question is: are any of those programs the right one for you?
If you will take an addiction treatment facility’s claim at face value it won’t be any easier for you to pick the right substance abuse treatment program.
A New York Times feature cited a 2012 study conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University which concluded that “the vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.”
The CASA Columbia report has exposed the sad truth that most of those providing addiction treatment are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based services.
So how do you make sure then that you’re not wasting time and money for an addiction treatment?
Anne M. Fletcher, a science writer and author of “Inside Rehab” and “Sober for Good,” offers the following guidelines:
1. Get an independent assessment of the need for treatment and kind of treatment needed from an expert who is not connected with the rehab center you are considering.
2. Check the credentials of the treatment program’s personnel.
3. Don’t choose a program just because it’s popular.
4. Meet with the therapist who will treat you and ask about your treatment plan.
5. Find out if you will receive therapy for any underlying condition, like depression or a social problem that could get in the way of your recovery.
6. Look for programs that use research-based approaches.
Addiction is a treatable disease. However, the road to recovery is not always an easy path to tread, especially if without the support of family and people who can understand what you’re going through. But thanks to the influence of new media, recovering addicts can turn to the Internet to connect with and learn from other people going through similar situation.
Below are some blogs and websites where you can leave comments and share ideas on the different aspects of addiction recovery.
12 Steps Ahead – a user-friendly blog for recovering individuals who want to share their experience, strength and hope with others. It features recovery-based news, events, and videos. It provides access to real stories, daily reflections, and topics about sobriety, addiction treatment, substance abuse, and more. It also encourages you to submit recovery experience and thoughts.
The 12-Step Buddhist – this website is run by Darren Littlejohn, a recovering addict and practitioner of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. It features how-to articles, podcast, discussion and commentary pages, videoblog, photoblog, book reviews, and retreat programs.
My Route to Help – a website that offers information on addiction, encouragement to people who want to get sober, advice on harm reduction, and other self-help services. You can read stories of people who have once been overpowered by substance abuse and eventually able to overcome their addiction. It also gives you an opportunity to share your own experience, as well as learn from other people’s struggles.
Pressing The Issue – this blog is created to help people dealing with substance abuse. It tackles different addiction treatments and gives information on various drugs and their effects. Aside from addiction and recovery articles, you can also check recommended books that can help you further understand the nature of substance abuse.
Awakened Recoveries – a website founded by Gregg D. — a recovered alcoholic, writer, poet, gifted speaker, and university instructor. It provides comprehensive details on the 12-step recovery program, as well as video posts on practicing the principles of 12 steps and the phases of addiction recovery.
The Ohio State University has expanded its commitment to help addiction recovering students through its newly established program, the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC).
OSU CRC is made possible in collaboration with Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS) and University Residences and Dining Services. Its goal is to provide encouragement and engagement to students who are in the addiction recovery process.
“We want this to be, as much as possible, a very healthy community of mutual support,” Curtis Haywood, a licensed professional clinical counselor for CCS, told The Lantern. “We don’t want to exclude any student that’s serious about recovery. If they’re serious about recovery, we want to be there with open arms welcoming them into this program.”
Although the program is still in its early stages, OSU plans to launch CRC at the start of the Fall 2013 semester and the recovery house in the Fall 2014 semester.
The program is modeled after a Texas Tech University recovery program. In addition to a recovery house, OSU’s recovery program components include academic advising, individual counseling, life skills workshops, community service opportunities, and family weekend — among others.
While OSU had offered services for those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, the CRC is its first comprehensive recovery program to date.
Other universities that have adopted a program like CRC include the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Michigan.
Children who are living with an addicted parent, sibling or relative are at greater risk of experiencing a range of problems, including emotional disturbances, behavioral issues, poor educational performance, and susceptibility to substance abuse later in their life.
The Intervention Organization noted that there are more than 8 million children in the United States who live with at least one parent struggling with alcohol or drug dependency. One in four children below the age of 18 is living in a home where alcohol abuse is a fact of daily life.
As much as an addicted parent needs treatment, children of addictions also need professional help in order to cope with the trauma of growing up in families affected by alcohol or drug abuse.
Health professionals, school teachers and guidance counselors, community-based program personnel, and social workers are just some of the adults that can provide children of addictions the help and encouragement they need.
If you want to help children who live in alcohol or drug-dependent families, check out the organizations listed below for more guided assistance.
The National Association for Children of Alcoholics
This non-profit organization have affiliate groups throughout the U.S., as well as in Great Britain, Germany, and Canada. They work to raise public awareness by creating videos, booklets, posters and other educational materials for intervention and children support. One of its affiliates in the United States is the Betty Ford Center Children’s Program, which offers education, support, and hope to 7-12-year-olds impacted by a loved one’s addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. For more information about the work they do, you can visit www.nacoa.org
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
Since 1944, this non-profit organization has raised public awareness about addiction throughout the United States and increasingly across the global community. In the U.S. alone, it currently has over 100 affiliates that serving individuals, families, workplaces, schools, health providers, and psychological therapeutic community, among others. In addition to delivering media campaigns, NCADD is also committed to provide intervention services, drinking driver programs, recovery support, and school and community-based prevention. For additional details about NCADD, visit www.ncadd.org
In our old posts, we have briefly discussed what drug and alcohol detoxification is about and why the process is necessary in treating addiction problems. Detox centers offer a wide range of services, one of them is inpatient drug detox which takes place under the supervision of medical professionals.
While there are numerous information available for people who want to know how drug detox works, little is shared about what patients can expect during an inpatient drug detoxification program. As result, people who want to seek treatment for their substance abuse problems are often overwhelmed by fear and skepticism.
If you are considering to enrol a loved one in an inpatient drug detox program, here are a few things you should know:
Administered Drug Testing: When a drug addict enters a detox program, s/he will be subjected to a drug test to determine the specific substances present in the patient’s system. Drug testing is used to ensure safe detoxification and address withdrawal symptoms, as well as medical concerns, adequately.
Managed Withdrawal Symptoms: Heroin, morphine, or narcotic prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin may not produce life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, but they can become so agonizing. A detox center will use pain management techniques or non-addictive medications to treat any aches or muscle problems. Fluids will often be administered to prevent dehydration, and in some cases, nutritional supplements are recommended to help alleviate other withdrawal symptoms.
Counseling Services: Anxiety or depression can occur during a drug withdrawal process and this is where counseling really helps. Addiction counseling gives patients an opportunity to talk about their feelings. It wouldn’t be easy at first and most patients would barely talk during the first session. But a seasoned addiction counselor will be able to encourage patients to voice out their thoughts in the succeeding sessions. Counseling helps patients achieve peace of mind.
Increased Mental Clarity and Body Strength: As the detox program progresses, the patient will find his/her symptoms reducing and begin to experience mental clarity as cravings for drugs dissipate. Their short-term memory problems improve and their body begins to repair itself. Bone pains subside, blood pressure stabilizes, sleep becomes more restful, and skin regains its natural healthy glow.
Talking about prescription drug abuse to children ages 5 to 8 years old isn’t easy for most parents. There’s the thought that they might not be able to understand yet the nature of the abuse, plus finding the right words to properly explain the topic can potentially leave some questions unanswered.
However, just because children between kindergarten and grade three are still very young doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to know the dangers of misusing and abusing prescription medicines. After all, communication remains an important component for children to make well-informed decisions about substance abuse.
Keep in mind that 5 to 8-year-olds already have an increased interest in the world beyond home. They are beginning to see ads about prescription and OTC drugs on television and may hear people talking about them.
To help you make the first move, here are some guidelines from a document released by Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy:
- Explain that prescription and OTC medicines are drugs that can be taken when a person is sick or has an injury, and when they are taken properly, they can be very helpful. Explain that they can be harmful when misused.
- Use “teachable moments” while watching television or when taking medications to talk about how these drugs can be harmful or dangerous.
- Reinforce that your children should only take medicine that’s given to them by you or someone to whom you’ve given permission such as a grandparent, babysitter, doctor or school nurse.
- Explain what alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs are.
- Help children learn that it isn’t always necessary to take medicine when they don’t feel good. If they have a headache, for example, eating something or lying down for a while might make them feel better.
- Praise your children for taking good care of their bodies and avoiding things that might be harmful.
- If your children take medicine during the school day, make sure they know that the nurse or other school official will give it to them, and that he or she has your permission to do so.
- Continue to keep medications, vitamins and other similar products out of reach.