A Guide to Substance Abuse Treatment

If you are considering addiction rehabilitation treatment for yourself or a loved one, you probably have a lot of questions about the recovery process.  You may have tried stopping on your own before, and that may have worked, for a time.  But in time and for a variety of reasons, you found yourself using again.  Maybe you have even been to 12-Step or other recovery community support meetings.  Those groups may have given you the clarity and strength to stop using for a time, but again, you fell back into active addiction.  As you are considering taking the step toward a more intensive recovery program, you may be wondering, How is this going to be different from all the other times I have tried to quit?

Types of Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance Abuse treatment is a complex process, with many different elements and different levels of intensity and support.  The key to a successful recovery program is finding the right level of care to meet your needs, establishing a treatment plan that addressees your unique challenges and strengths, and gaining a realistic understanding of how addiction, as well as recovery from addiction, works.  An assessment from an addiction specialist can help determine what level of care is right for you.  The levels of care for substance abuse disorders can vary from individual counseling in an outpatient setting (like a counselor’s office), to an intensive outpatient program that combines educational and therapy services several times a week, to a residential program that provides therapeutic & educational services in a restricted environment to ensure abstinence is maintained for the duration of treatment.  Often times, a continuum of care begins in a residential setting, then transitions to intensive outpatient care, and continues with individual counseling to provide the framework needed for lasting sobriety.

Individualized Care

Individualized treatment planning is a vital component to an effective recovery program.  Every addiction is unique.  There are no one-size-fits-all approaches to addiction recovery.  Your life circumstances, your strengths and challenges, your preferences are all unique and intrinsically intertwined with your addiction, and therefore, your recovery process.  Upon entering residential treatment, an addiction specialist should involve you in the process of developing a treatment plan that will identify and address all of these things, using therapeutic approaches that meet you where you are at and build a bridge for you to cross into a life of fulfilling sobriety.

The Nature of Addiction

Effective treatment of addiction includes education about the nature of addiction and ways in which addiction may be managed.  Addiction is a disease, much like diabetes or asthma.  Neurobiological research has shown that addiction is a disease of the brain which impacts the pleasure pathways in the medial forebrain bundle, specifically the nuerotransmitter dopamine.  The dysregulation of neurotransmitters in this part of the brain, which leads to addiction, can arise from genetic predisposition and/or changes caused by substance use.  Addiction is not merely a matter of poor character or lack of will-power.  Just like the medical conditions of diabetes and asthma must be managed with lifestyle choices, so too does addiction recovery require attention to a number of lifestyle factors.  With sustained abstinence, the parts of the brain impacted by addiction can become more regulated.

Lasting Recovery

Achieving lasting recovery is possible.  It is happening every day in the lives of millions of people around the world.  But it is an ongoing process and a road that is sure to have bumps along the way.  It is not realistic to expect a cure from any treatment approach.  Just as there is no cure for diabetes or asthma, there is no cure for addiction.  However, effective addiction treatment can offer the education, skills development, and self-awareness that is needed to maintain sobriety.

Ripple Recovery Ranch is committed to helping people who are struggling with drug & alcohol addiction find their way to lasting recovery using evidence-based treatment approaches and holistic lifestyle practices that empower lasting change.  We can help you or your loved one determine what level of care is best suited to your unique needs.  Call 800-214-4038 to speak with a recovery adviser today.