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Addiction Treatment Process & Recovery

Stages of the Addiction Treatment Process

The path to a happy and healthy life, free from addiction to drugs or alcohol, is not an overnight process. It requires, time, dedication, and commitment to sobriety. But the reward of a clean and sober recovery is what truly makes life worth living.

Some steps of the treatment process may vary slightly, depending upon many factors such as the type of drugs being used, the individual’s needs, length of addiction, as well as the services offered at that particular rehab center.

However, most centers follow similar steps which have been found to be the most effective at maintaining long-term sobriety.

If you have any questions about how the rehabilitation process works or how to find the best treatment center that meets your needs, then call us at (877) 257-7997 . Our trained recovery experts are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year to give you a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation.

If it is more convenient, you can also send us an email directly at and one of our trained counselors will get back to you right away!



What is it? How does it work? How will it help your loved one?

It’s no secret that drug addiction can destroy a person’s life, as the path of addiction is cruel and lonely. Substance abuse can also ruin previously healthy and happy relationships an addicted person had with family members and friends. As much as addiction can seriously affect the person mentally and physically, it can also be devastating to their loved ones as well. So where do you turn if you are dealing with an addicted individual in your family? How can you convince them to quit using and get them the help they need to live a sober life? Maybe it’s time that you consider holding an intervention to free your loved one from the chains of addiction.

What is an intervention?

An intervention is a meeting that is held with an addicted person’s closest family and friends. The meeting itself is led by an intervention specialist, someone who knows how to keep the meeting progressive, is prepared to deal with the person’s anger or frustration, and can assist the members of the group with speaking clearly and purposefully. Interventions are generally a surprise to the addicted individual. Typically they show up at the meeting location, not expecting that so many of the people they love, and have probably hurt with their addiction, will be there. Each family member or friend will take turns telling the individual how they have been affected by his or her drug use, and will end by asking them to get the help that they need in a rehab facility. The specialist will help start the process of enrolling the person in treatment once they’ve agreed.

The process of acceptance

In the best scenarios, an addicted person will only need to go through one intervention before accepting treatment. Most of the time the intense presence and pleading of loved ones will be enough to convince him or her to quit their addiction. Typically an addicted person will act angry and hostile at the beginning of an intervention, mostly because of shame and guilt. Once he or she sees how loved they are, deeper emotions are brought to the surface which enables the intervention to continue moving forward to a positive place. If you can get the person to remember the life they used to have and love, they will often make the decision to enter treatment.

What happens next?

After a successful intervention, the addicted person is typically sent to a rehab facility right away. It’s best not to give an individual too much time to think about their decision, as they might change their mind once the emotion wears off. The intervention specialist has usually already set up transportation to the rehab facility where the staff is waiting for the addicted individual to be admitted.

Choosing a rehab facility

There are plenty of rehab facilities throughout the country to choose from. It’s usually best to send the addicted individual a fair distance away from their family, friends, and all of the things that cause them to use drugs. Sometimes people are sent several states away to enter treatment. Where an person goes and for how long will all depend on the established payment options, the severity of their addiction, and what the doctors and psychiatrists feel is best for the patient.

The Intake Process

What is the rehabilitation intake process?

Once you have decided to enter into a rehabilitation program, getting started is as easy as making a phone call. When you call the treatment facility you have chosen, one of the intake staff members will ask you questions regarding the nature of your addiction.

They will need to know important information about the type of substance(s) being used and the amount and frequency of use, as well as other critical information about your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It can be difficult to discuss the details of addiction, but it is important to be open and honest so that you will receive the best care.

Going to rehab doesn’t mean you are weak; it means you are strong enough to let go addiction.

The intake specialist will also be able to answer any questions you have, help you determine whether you will need to undergo detox, and whether inpatient or outpatient treatment would suit your needs better.

What happens when you arrive?

At this point, the intake specialist will arrange for you to come in to the facility to complete the rest of the intake process in person. Each facility is a little different depending on whether it is an inpatient or outpatient, but the process is generally the same.

When you arrive you will be expected to provide your medical history and fill out necessary paper work. This is similar to arranging a doctor’s appointment. Just like with before, being honest and providing as much information about your health and your addiction will help the staff address all of your needs and make your treatment as comfortable and as successful as possible. They will also be able to discuss with you the many financial options available to help cover the cost of treatment.

You may also want to prepare yourself for a drug test. This allows the medical staff to determine if drugs are present in your system, in which case they might arrange for you to undergo detox they might arrange for you to undergo detox as the first step in your treatment process.

Designing a Treatment Plan

If you do not need to go to detox, you will meet next with one of the addiction counselors as the final step of the intake process. The counselor will speak with you and perform an evaluation in order to get a better sense of your addition. He or she will also gather information about other aspects of your life including any mental, emotional, financial, legal, or professional issues that you may be facing.

During the evaluation, they will also likely determine if there are any dual diagnosis conditions, also known as co-occurring disorders, which will need to be addressed. With the information gathered from the assessment, the counselor can work with you to formulate your custom treatment plan. Treatment plans are much more likely to be completed and produce a lasting recovery if they are tailored to the individual circumstances of each patient.

Detox Treatments Options

Outpatient detox lets the recovering individual continue with his or her daily life. The individual receives medication to ease his or her withdrawal symptoms and returns to the center for routine check-ups. With certain drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines, and marijuana, there are no physical dependence issues. This means detox won’t require any medication. Whatever side effects that a patient feels such as, fatigue, insomnia, diarrhea, etc. these will go away after a few days or weeks.

Suboxone, methadone, or subutex are used to make the process of detoxifying from codeine, heroin, OxyContin, and other opiates easier. One of the concerns in using outpatient treatment is that patients often become addicted to their treatment medications. Patients looking to get clean from heroin or pain pills often get hooked on methadone. People who use outpatient care for alcoholism are often prescribed benzodiazepines and they may subsequently get addicted to the drug. Some outpatient detox programs require the patient to visit the center or clinic on a daily basis to prevent the patient from abusing the detox medication.

For more severe cases, medically-supervised detox is recommended. Patients have two options, either inpatient-hospital detox or intravenous (IV) detox at a rehab center. Inpatient-hospital detox is the less effective option of the two as their treatment options aren’t as specialized when compared to rehab centers. Recovering patients have experienced poor service and an inattentive hospital staff. Hospitals typically use oral medications and house their detox patients in psychiatric wings of the building. The detox treatment takes longer and may be quite painful.

An IV detox at a rehab center starts the detox process by carefully screening the patient’s physical and mental health. By studying their drug history, an IV bag is carefully prepared with all the necessary medications necessary to guarantee a safe and comfortable detox experience. With around-the-clock supervision, the physician can closely monitor the patient and make any changes to the medication very quickly. When the patient’s condition changes, the doctor can adjust the detox medication as needed.

After a successful detox process, patients are advised to enroll in an outpatient rehab program at the very least. Any form of rehab treatment will teach the patient about making positive lifestyle changes to quit using drugs.


The Rehabilitation Process

Individual Therapy

Cognitive behavior therapy is usually preformed during individual therapy sessions and is intended to help patients identify the underlying issues which lead to the use of drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.  Therapists will also guide the patients toward finding new patterns of behaviors, such as new hobbies or interests, which they can focus on during difficult times that would have previously lead them to use.

Indivation therapy also helps identify the people, places, and situations which often act as a trigger for drug and alcohol use. It teaches methods for avoiding these triggers after rehabilitation.  This is one of the best methods for preventing future temptations that could lead to relapse.  Other important skills are taught during individual therapy including stress management, financial planning, and parenting skills.

Any co-occuring disorders, such as depression, anxiety or bi-polar disorder are also typically addressed during individual behavioral therapy sessions. Patients are taught how to better understand and express their emotions and thoughts in a more positive and productive manner.

Group Therapy

Another important form of therapy widely used during the rehabilition process is group therapy.  Meeting in groups of other addicted individuals going through similar struggles helps people know that they are not alone.  It promotes social interactions that can be supportive and encouraging for everyone involved as well as providing an opportunity to learn valuable lessons from people who have already been through the process. The support of fellow recovering patients is an essential aspect of the rehabilitation and recovery process.

Family Therapy

In addition to support from other people in recovery, support from family members is also vital to building a healthier lifestyle. With this in mind, most addiction treatment facilities provide family therapy sessions to help heal families which have been damaged or torn apart by addiction. It is important to remember that not just the addicted person is affected by addiction. Often, their loved ones have many issues such as pain or distrust that need to be worked through as well. Repairing these relationships can put a person back on the right path while also building up a support structure for her or him to rely on after the rehabilitation process has finished.


Aftercare Support & Recovery

Aftercare Support consists of four components: relapse prevention, family counseling, support groups and 12-step meetings, and transitional networks.

Relapse Prevention

With relapse prevention, the recovering patient first learns to identify the triggers which stimulate drug use. From emotional mood swings to environmental and social pressures, the individual learns not to get overwhelmed by his or her emotions and to logically handle whatever situation or problem he or she faces. Second, the patient learns to cope with stressors and cravings. Sometimes the cravings are purely psychological, caused by accumulated stress from everyday life. Coping mechanisms are developed to reduce this stress and give the patient the ability to defuse high-risk situations which may trigger a sudden relapse. The third preventative measure is to train the recovering individual to think about the consequences of using drugs or alcohol again. This trains the patient to think of risk versus reward in a new light, where the reward of getting high and feeling good no longer outweighs the negative side effects of addiction. The final technique is addressing lapses in abstinence to prevent them from becoming relapses. A temporary lapse in judgment happens to everyone, but the important thing is that it doesn’t happen again. A lapse must be handled with extreme care so the patient doesn’t relapse again.

Family Counseling

Family counseling is the next pillar. Whether the individual was the breadwinner in the family, a student, or a spouse, the immediate family must work with the recovering patient to reintegrate him or her back into the fold. Through one-on-one meetings as well as group counseling, the patient will eventually feel at home again. This step sometimes involves repairing broken relationships which the addiction caused.

12-Step Groups

Support Groups are the next key component. Having a safe place to talk and share your inner struggles with people that understand is a very valuable resource for the recovering individual. Sponsors in these groups can act as mentors which continue to motivate you through your darkest days. By hearing other people share their struggles, you can develop new coping mechanisms and build stronger relationships with other recovering individuals who truly understand you. By being in tune with your true self, all other aspects of your life will improve as well. Access to 12-step programs also allows you the opportunity to attend other aftercare events as well. You can listen to motivational speakers or attend fun events which these programs hold. These groups also publish large amounts of literature on how to maintain lifelong sobriety.

Transitional Networks

The final ingredient in aftercare support is the transitional network. The change from rehab patient to recovering individual is not easy to deal with. It comes as a shock to many people and some need more help than others when they leave the rehab center. If you find that your surroundings have too many discrations and temptations to use, these networks can be therapeutic escapes. If you are looking for a place to stay, our networks can help you find affordable living arrangements. Maybe you need emergency advice or want to get away from everything just as you did in rehab. Our network is here to offer you the help you need. Along with our alumni network and residential staff, our network can help you with anything else you need to get back on your feet, even helping you secure employment. Remember, our network is your network.

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