Substance abuse is seen by most physicians and mental health professionals as a long-term illness and so many substance abuse treatment services are designed to try and find the best way to help someone cope. The people that are considered to have substance use disorder are those who can not stop and whose use is compulsive. A person’s genetics, mental health, and stress levels all have a role in determining if a person has substance use disorder. Substance abuse actually changes the brain, and these changes remain in effect for a long time.|
There are different types of substance abuse treatment services. Most often an individual is placed with a treatment team, which is trained to help people deal with their specific addiction. These teams often include doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors.
When a patient first comes in for treatment, they will have a clinical assessment done. This assessment helps professionals decide what treatment team and approach will be best for each individual. The assessment will include many questions about the length, amount, and frequency of abuse, how it is affecting life, medical history, medications that have been prescribed, mental health, previous treatment attempts, and many other things. It is important that the answers are honest so that the best treatment is given.
Withdrawal is often the first step in treatment. Many people need medically monitored withdrawal because dangerous situations can occur. Others will only need social detoxification. In this situation the person is monitored closely by nurses and counselors. They do not necessarily need medical help during this time, but support.
After withdrawal further treatment still needs to be done. There are five common types of treatment: residential programs, partial hospitalization or day treatment, outpatient programs, inpatient programs, and methadone treatments.
Residential programs have a community treatment approach. This is best for people who do not have stability in other parts of their lives such as a steady job, a place to live, or family support. It is also a good treatment option for people who have tried other options and failed to stay drug free or sober.
In partial hospitalization or day treatment, the patient goes to treatment classes and check ups during the day, but goes home at night. The treatment can be anywhere from 4-8 hours per day and can last up to three months. It is a good option for people who have a good supportive home environment.
Outpatient programs have treatment during evenings and weekends so that patients can continue working or going to school. Patients often live at home.
Inpatient treatments are done through hospitals or clinics. Most often only people with other mental problems, serious medical problems or adolescents need inpatient substance abuse treatment.
Metadone treatments are medication assisted treatments for people who abuse opioid drugs such as heroin. Counseling and other treatments are given with the medication as well.