From a medical viewpoint, drug dependency is a self-feeding illness. It creates within the user a series of mental, emotional and physical changes that promote a continuous desire to pursue additional substance consumption. Breaking the cycle typically requires patient enrollment in a long-term drug rehabilitation program.
Triggers That Can Promote Drug Addiction
Although compulsive behavior is typically cited as the primary root of drug addiction, individual recovery is often hindered by additional psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Furthermore, poor life-choices do not always relate to critical stress situations, family background or even an individual’s subconscious decision-making process.
Some drug problems spring forth due to thoughtless reaction to peer pressure and an individual’s desire to be one with the “in” crowd. Substance addiction can also be related to physical illness and the need for temporary use of prescription drugs. Other dependency factors include (1):
• Availability of addictive substances
• Broken relationships and other social problems
• Exposure to opportunity
• Family attitudes and beliefs
• Inherited traits
• Issues with self-esteem.
Psychological Dependence – Only One Aspect of Drug Addiction
Society sometimes defines drug abuse as the purposeful consumption of drugs with or without regard to any need for specific medical treatment (2). The abuser is assumed to be obsessed with personal satisfaction rather than a healing process. From the moral viewpoint, such behavior is selfish and controllable. The user is held fully accountable for every drug related decision and action.
From the viewpoint of a psychological dependence, recovery from drug addiction demands that the user come to terms with the root cause of the dependency. The patient must break his or her associations with those elements of the past that have produced the current situation. Long-term drug rehabilitation programs often focus on moving the patient into a controlled residential setting that is free of the stresses associated with past behavioral decisions, including settings that:
• Put an end to unsavory relationships
• Establish new patient tromping grounds
• Teaching the patient to avoid places and people that trigger addictive behavior
• Engage the patient in freeform discussion
• Evoke a sense of honesty and commitment to change
• AND so much more.
However, addressing the issues of psychological dependence only deal with one aspect of drug addiction. Illness does not fully remove the moral issue. Many long-term drug rehabilitation solutions provide a holistic approach to long-term substance abuse treatment (3). Such programs typically incorporate traditional modalities of treatment with methods that include spiritual growth, vocational training and various other methods designed to help an individual patient better express his or her personal thoughts and feelings.
Purpose of Long-Term Drug Rehab Treatment Programs
The typical rehab program strives to liberate users, affected family members and the user’s friends from the repercussions associated with drug abuse. Helping the affected individual break free of the physical, psychological and social consequences of addiction plays the primary role. Further benefits of long-term drug rehabilitation include:
• The user learns to manage and balance matters of financial importance
• The user may avoid certain legal complications
• Relationships are healed or improved
• Long-term life-style stability becomes a reality.
There is no self-cure for people who abuse drugs. Short-term abstinence merely promotes long-term frustration. Drug addiction is a chronic condition that demands a personalized treatment program with a focus on self-monitoring, lifetime support groups and a patient’s personal decision to participate in the process.
Long-Term Rehab Solutions That Work
Estimates from studies performed during 2009 indicate that drug abuse during the year resulted in 2.1 million emergency room situations (4). Twenty-three percent of the cases involved the use of illicit drugs alone. Nearly twenty-seven percent of the emergency room visits involved alcohol mixed with pharmaceuticals or illicit drugs. Three point nine percent of the cases included a combined use of alcohol, illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals.
At the time the study, cocaine was the primary cause of drug related ER visits. Marijuana came in at a close second and alcohol marked the third most used addictive substance for the year and for drug related ER situations. Stimulants and other illicit drugs dragged the bottom of the cause and effect bucket. Each new instance promotes greater importance to the need for quality long-term rehab solutions that work.
The following example program types layout the principles behind reliable long-term drug rehabilitation solutions:
Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison
Authorities enroll participants in a 15 to 24 month intensive residential drug treatment program. The programs practice traditional therapeutic community philosophy and structure. The focus is on recovery-based self-help through a combination of group and individual counseling sessions. Communal living teaches each patient about positive, personal and social behavioral values. These residential drug treatment programs are designed to aid non-violent drug-addicted repeat felony offenders.
Inpatient Rehabilitation Services
Inpatient rehab treatment centers provide individuals with a residential environment that is custom-focused on extensive physical, emotional and social needs that cannot be duplicated in an outpatient program format. Patients who attend inpatient rehab programs can require access to emergency medical attention.
Specialized Inpatient Rehab Centers
Some inpatient rehab centers are designed to meet special physical needs as well as drug abuse recovery needs. Special needs clinics often deal with patients who suffer from medically induced drug addictions. The full range of special services may include physical strength training, mental and physical training for the use of prosthetics and other assertive devices, and any drug specific requirements.
Holistic Long-Term Rehabilitation in Detail
Long-term substance abuse treatment often includes a combination of inpatient and outpatient applications. Traditional modalities include detox, counseling and multiple forms of therapy. Holistic applications move a step further and introduce activity-based therapy such as movement therapy, artistic therapies, cultural awareness therapy and therapy that focuses on spiritual growth and the associated developmental process.
The overall focus seeks to increase a patient’s sense of self as in:
• And Self-identity.
Knowing When Someone Needs Help
Until critical stages begin to hit, drug abuse can remain an invisible illness. Protecting home and family demands that husbands, wives, parents and children learn how to spot the symptoms and behavior patterns associated with drug dependence. Every reader should take account of the following list of substance abuse symptoms:
• Avoiding once favored physical or mental activities
• Continuing use of drugs in spite of increasing harmful effects
• Explosive outbreaks of violence
• Functional issues directly related to the need for drugs
• Hostility toward anyone seeking to confront the issue
• Lack of the ability to stop or reduce the intake of addictive substances
• Lack of personal hygiene and little concern for physical appearance
• Missed workdays or missed school attendance in an increasing pattern of occurrence
• Poor eating habits
• Secretive behavior patterns.
Healing begins with a decision to seek help. Knowing the symptoms helps promote early detection and easier acceptance of the need for treatment. Family can help get it started, but in the end any long-term drug rehab program requires patient commitment and the rehab processing skills of trained professionals.