I Am Ready for Help. What Now?
Recovery is Within Reach
Deciding to get help is a courageous and powerful choice. Realizing that it’s time for help, puts you in the best position for a successful recovery, as it shows you are ready to stop taking drugs or alcohol.
Full recovery is possible with the right help. Finding the best rehab facility will boost the chances of reaching a healthy and successful outcome.
It is important not to allow the stigma associated with addiction and rehab to put off getting help. Stigma is based on misconceptions, but that is changing rapidly with younger adults who are more open to talking about it.
As treatment becomes a possibility, remember that addiction is a disease of the brain, and isn’t a reflection of someone’s moral character or strength.
Avoiding professional treatment will make a recovery much harder in the long-run. The first step—researching rehab facility options—will aid in the process of moving forward.
The first, difficult step– finding treatment options—can be started in the following ways:
Researching options using a search engine like Google or Bing, not only looking for treatment centers that are local, but also considering a rehab facility that's long-distance if it could be a good fit. Chatting online at some sites or simply giving them a call may be beneficial for acquiring the needed information. If the internet isn't available, the telephone directory may be useful.
Most rehab facility websites have an email address for inquiries. Preparing a draft email with a list of questions to send out, and copying and pasting the email multiple times is an efficient way to contact a number of treatment centers.
Talking with a doctor, healthcare specialist, or a mental health counselor can be of great help, as healthcare professionals have the education, training and experience to guide your search for treatment.
How Does the Facility Involve Family?
Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Family is the most common place for you to find help. But, family members may also play a role in the creation or maintenance of an addiction. Each case may be different, but for the most part, things that happened when growing up can play a large role in addiction. Also, codependent relationships with a family member can hinder rather than help recovery efforts.
Family support is important, but it needs to be healthy, well-informed help. Choose a rehab facility that does assessments on family roles to get the best possible recovery outcomes.
Protecting the Family
Education for the Family
Addiction Can be Overcome Without Family Support
Paying for Rehab
One of the top questions faced by those entering rehab is how to cover the costs. The payment method will depend on whether you have private medical insurance, state-funded health insurance or need to look at payment options outside of insurance.
The costs of treatment will vary depending on the level of care needed. Inpatient treatment programs provide the highest level of care, so they are often the most costly. Outpatient treatment programs are typically less expensive, but may not provide enough support for ongoing recovery.
Private Medical Insurance
If you have private medical insurance, check with the rehab facilities you are considering to see if they accept it. Most treatment centers have staff that do insurance verification to confirm if you have coverage and how much it will cover.
List of common insurances that cover rehab:
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Providence Health Services
State-Funded Medical Insurance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded the health coverage for mental health and substance abuse disorders. What many states did was expand their state-funded health insurance programs so that ACA was available to their residents through state agencies. If you have insurance through a government agency, ask the treatment centers you’re considering for your options. A private treatment facility may refer you to a state-funded option nearby.
Other Payment Options
If you do not have medical insurance, ask if the rehab facility has programs to help people with little or no insurance coverage. Some treatment centers offer payment plans or scholarships.
Treatment Centers aren't all the Same
Different treatment centers offer different levels of care. It’s important to ask the most pressing questions and explore the treatment options provided by the facility. Two of the most important questions that need to be answered are:
Levels of Care
Medical detox: A medically supervised (acute) detox provides around-the-clock supervision and support for those who are experiencing withdrawal or who are highly intoxicated. The person is stabilized through the use of drugs that treat substance use withdrawal. If any issues should happen, the healthcare staff is there and ready to address needs.
Sub-acute detox: A sub-acute medical detox is suitable for those who have low levels of withdrawal symptoms and who are not intoxicated. Medications are given to decrease or prevent withdrawal symptoms, but it is done in a less structured setting compared to an acute detox. During the sub-acute detox, the person can go to other therapeutic services within the rehab facility.
Substance use care and support are provided 24/7 to people who live in the facility during this phase of treatment. A team of mental health and addiction treatment professionals, along with medical staff, work together to supply a range of treatment services. Stays can range from a few weeks to 30, 60 or 90 days or sometimes longer.
Residential rehab has many advantages, including the removal of temptations and distractions. It also provides freedom from drug friends and drinking buddies. In addition, inpatient rehab provides a personalized diet to heal the body and assist in recovery.
Outpatient programs (OPs) are best suited for people with mild to moderate substance abuse and who have stable living environments. Most OPs provide –six to nine hours a week of treatment care. Treatment services are provided in a wide variety of settings, such as clinics or treatment centers.
Outpatient programs have many advantages, including giving people in treatment the free time to meet work, school, or family obligations. OPs also give a higher level of privacy since there is no need to explain a long absence to friends, coworkers or family members that would come with inpatient rehab.
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are good choices for people who have moderate to high substance abuse issues and co-existing conditions. People attend the program for more than nine hours a week in an organized outpatient rehab facility. After a treatment session, they return home for the evening.
Medications used to treat cravings and urges for drugs or alcohol can be a key part of treatment. Some need additional help to stay away from alcohol or drugs (such as prescription painkillers) because their brains are “rewired” by substance abuse. These brain changes cause powerful cravings. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses medications that help dampen the cravings and raise the odds for a more successful recovery.
An example of MAT is administering methadone or buprenorphine for heroin or prescription opioid addiction recovery. Another example is MAT for alcohol in the forms of medications that discourage drinking or drugs that help relieve cravings.
MAT can be administered in an inpatient, outpatient, or intensive outpatient setting.
The Presence of a Co-occurring Disorder
A co-occurring disorder, also known as dual diagnosis, is when a person has a substance abuse problem along with a mental health disorder. If this is the case, be sure to ask the rehab facility if they treat dual diagnosis. Some mental health disorders commonly seen with substance abuse disorders include:
Substance abuse and depression is the most commonly seen dual diagnosis with rates ranging between 12% and 80%.1Depression could be the reason the person started using drugs or alcohol. If feelings of sadness and hopelessness became too overwhelming, the relief provided by self-medicating could be one of the root causes for a substance abuse disorder. Conversely, substance abuse can be the cause of the depression.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition where a person experienced a traumatic event and then relive the episode over and over. Nightmares, flashbacks, extreme startle responses, and high anxiety are all characteristics of PTSD. The severity of these symptoms may drive a person to do drugs or drink alcohol as a form of self-medication.
Many people treat their anxiety symptoms by taking drugs or alcohol. While self-medication may start out seemingly well, if done for long periods of time, an addiction can develop that worsens the anxiety and the person’s life overall. At times, substance abuse can be the cause of the anxiety.
Eating disorders (ED) and substance use disorders commonly co-exist, especially in people who also have PTSD.2 It is estimated that 50% of women with ED abuse substances.2 Many people with ED use substances such as cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, and nicotine to suppress their appetites. Drugs or alcohol can also be used to increase metabolism or to cause vomiting. People with ED may also self-medicate to relieve negative moods and anxiety symptoms.
People with bipolar disorder may self-medicate with stimulants to alleviate the depression that comes along with the “down” phases of the disorder. Studies have found that people with bipolar disorder also take stimulants during the “up” phases to start or prolong the times they feel elated and energetic.3 This continuous use of stimulants can lead to a substance abuse disorder.
Special Programs that set Facilities Apart
Many rehab facilities have specialized programs that set them apart from the rest. These special programs can make a significant difference in the recovery outcome if patients fit the criteria. Some examples of special programs include:
You Are Not Alone: Resources for Overcoming Addiction
Don’t feel like you are alone in your struggle to overcome addiction. Many people are going through the same struggles. The key is to reach out for help before more damage is done. Overdose death is a real possibility if you continue to abuse substances7