Effective Treatments for Alcohol and Substance Abuse

The first step to recovery for any disease or condition is acknowledging that there is a problem. Alcohol and substance abuse treatments will work only when the patient realizes that they have a problem that needs to improve. When an individual can recognize the harmful impact of substance abuse on their lives, they can choose from a variety of treatment options.

Alcohol and substance abuse treatments will depend on a host of factors such as the kind of addictive disorder, severity, duration of the condition, the effects on the patient, among other factors. It is also necessary to treat any physical problem that may have been triggered because of alcohol or substance abuse.

For instance, liver diseases are quite common in people with alcohol abuse problems, while respiratory problems are prevalent in those who have been addicted to cigarettes.

The different stages of alcohol and substance abuse treatments are as follows:

1. Detoxification
It is usually the very first step in any substance abuse treatment. This stage involves cleansing the body of the substance that has been the cause of abuse and limiting withdrawal reactions. The clinic is going to use medicines for reducing such withdrawal symptoms.

2. Counseling and behavioral therapy
This alcohol and substance abuse treatment method can be either in the form of a group session or a one-on-one session. It is the natural step after detoxification, and the kind of session depends on the individual’s needs.

The number of sessions is more when the treatment starts, and they keep reducing as the symptoms get better. It may involve a variety of therapies like:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy that enables you to understand and alert your thinking about substance abuse.
  • Multidimensional family therapy for helping the family learn how to handle a teenager or adolescent with a substance abuse problem.
  • Motivational interviewing that will increase a patient’s willingness to make changes to his behavior
  • Encouraging the patient to abstain from abuse through positive reinforcement.
  • Rehabilitation programs are highly-effective long-term programs for treating substance abuse. They focus on helping the patient remain drug-free and resume his functions and social responsibilities. These rehab programs are provided by fully-licensed residential establishments that can offer safe housing, 24-hour care program, and supply whatever medical assistance is required.

3. Self-help groups
Group therapy helps people with substance abuse problems feel less isolated. For instance, they can meet others having the same problem, reducing the feeling of separation. The Narcotics Anonymous or NA and Alcoholics Anonymous or AA are examples of such facilities. For people suffering from other kinds of addiction, there are some self-help groups inside their communities. You can take the help of your doctor to get enrolled in these groups or find them through an online search.

4. Medications
Medicines may have to be given to treat a person with substance and alcohol abuse related problems. Such medications are usually used during the detoxification stage for managing withdrawal symptoms. The medications differ according to the kind of substance abuse. Long-term medicine use can lessen cravings, and stop relapses. However, medicines are never a stand-alone treatment, and they must be accompanied by other methods like psychotherapy.