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I Am Ready for Help. What Now?

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:

Finding Help Online or by Phone​

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.

Seeking Personalized help via Email​

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.

Consulting a Healthcare Professional​

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?

Your family is a system made up of closely connected people. Therefore, when one person is ill, it can impact the whole family. Professional help will minimize the effects on all family members and loved ones. The whole family needs treatment to recover, so it’s important to research how each rehab facility treats families.

Family Support

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​

Many families are traumatized, harmed, or seriously disrupted by a loved one with a substance abuse disorder (SUD). Treatment is the time to heal and move forward in healthy ways. Look for a rehab facility that offers counseling for your family. Doing so can help effectively heal all members of you.

Education for the Family

Many people without formal training in addiction treatment have no idea how best to help a loved one struggling with substance abuse. Intense emotions can do more harm than good. Also, your family members may carry many misconceptions about addiction.

Look for a rehab facility that provides education classes on the best ways to help someone with drug addiction. Education for the family on what addiction is all about helps them make supportive decisions going forward, which can help recovery.

Addiction Can be Overcome Without Family Support​

Not everyone has family members nearby. Or maybe family members are not loving and supportive, and they would rather not participate in treatment.

Most treatment centers offer group counseling where you can develop strong social networks for support. Many lifelong friendships are forged in attending groups. Often, a sponsor can become a reliable and supportive friend during and after recovery.

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

United Healthcare

Aetna

Cigna

OptimaHealth

Providence Health Services

MultiPlan

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:

What level of care options are available?

Which level of individualized care is needed?

Levels of Care

Detox (Medical or Sub-acute)

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.

Inpatient Treatment

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 Treatment

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

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.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

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:

Depression​

Substance abuse and depression is the most commonly seen dual diagnosis with rates ranging between 12% and 80%.1 Depression 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.

PTSD

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.

Anxiety

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  ​

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.

Bipolar Disorder  ​

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.

OCD  ​

Approximately 25% of people who seek treatment for substance use disorders also seek treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorders.4 The crippling anxiety, intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors can be strong motivations for OCD sufferers to find relief in substances.

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:

Gender-Specific Treatment

Gender differences affect the causes of SUDs and how SUDs should be treated. One study found that men are about two times more likely to have SUDs, but it’s women who are more susceptible to the negative medical, psychological and social consequences of alcohol and drugs.5 Research has found that gender-specific drug treatment services produce better outcomes.5

Relationship Trauma Repair (RTR)​

Substance abuse can cause trauma in a person’s relationships. Repairing and keeping relationships healthy means learning how to process intense emotions without acting out or using substances. Two ways that RTR helps people cope in healthy ways is to teach them psychodrama and sociometry. Then participants have these tools at their disposal 24/7 to help process their emotions.

Psychodrama is a role-play method that helps people recreate their roles in relationships and also includes role reversal. This helps participants see relationships through their own perspectives and through the eyes of others. Sociometry explores the healing of group dynamics through group therapy.

Codependency​

Addiction greatly impacts all family members. Codependency can develop from this stress. In codependent relationships, family members suppress their own emotions. They also believe they can fix the other family member’s problems. In the process, they neglect their own needs, experience more family dysfunction, and have a poorer quality of life. To break free from these cycles, specialized codependency treatment is needed for the person struggling with addiction as well as for other members of the family.

Postpartum Depression​

New mothers with postpartum depression (PPD) may be at high risk for substance abuse. One study found that almost fifteen percent of new mothers in the age group of 15 to 44 (with children under one year of age) reported binge alcohol use.6 Also, 8.5 percent of the women in the study reported illicit or recreational drug use in the past month.6 Specialized treatment for new mothers with PPD that addresses their unique motherhood issues can help increase positive treatment outcomes.

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

In 2017, more than 70,200 Americans died due to drug overdoses.

Drug overdose deaths rose from about 17,000 people in 1999 to more than 70,000 in 2017.

Drug overdose deaths due to any opioid drug increased from 8,048 in 1999 to 47,600 in 2017.

Reach out for help today. It is possible to live a sober and rewarding life. Most treatment facilities welcome tours of their facilities. Call ahead and make an appointment to meet with the rehab facility’s staff, check out the facility, and let them answer any questions or concerns you may have.