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Everyone suffers when there’s an addict in the family, and if you are relative of an addict, you’re probably confused, and scared of doing the wrong thing. But when you don’t know how to help, you most likely take a codependent role, mostly trying very hard to keep your addicted love one alive, out of jail, and emotionally appeased. Unfortunately, you probably do all the wrong things.

Treatment for addicts is more effective when it is comprehensive and individually designed because every addict is different. Yet, when a loved one brings up anything about a drug rehabilitation center, an addict is initially good at resisting treatment. This is because no one wants to start the process of detoxification and recovery. It’s scary but necessary to break the addiction and return to a normal life.

What Is Involved In Detoxification?

Detoxification can take several different forms, depending on the type of addiction, the level of addiction, and the patient’s particular program. Because drug addiction withdrawal is difficult, medical support is frequently required. Although some drug users may initiate detox themselves – a process known as “cold turkey” — it’s dangerous, and this process should always be completed with assistance.

Many detox programs use substances called agonists and antagonists to block the action of drugs in the nervous system. As a result, even if the patient abuses a drug while in detoxification, the drugs will have no effect. The use of these substances are typically combined with some form of counseling or therapy to bring about behavioral changes.

The use of residential detoxification should be considered if:

  • The risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures or extreme agitation is high
  • The home environment is inadequate to support the detoxification and rehabilitation process, or other drug users are present

Residential or inpatient detoxification can be medically or non-medically assisted, depending on the addicts situation. Reasons for a medical residential detox program would be necessary is there’s a history of severe withdrawal symptoms, or co-existing medical problems. Non-medical detoxification is appropriate for those who do not have a severe addiction problem. In such cases, medications are unnecessary, and the individual can work through the withdrawal with counseling and support.

The Process Of Recovery Programs

Once detoxification has been completed, the process of recovery can begin. The first step is for the patient to gain a clearer understanding of his or her addiction. Many treatment programs view addiction as a complex disease that damages the individual, not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. Because the disease impacts all three areas, recovery efforts must also go beyond the physical and address emotional and spiritual needs.

Therapy involves the examination of one’s behavior. It takes hard work to change behaviors associated with drug abuse by talking about them. Most therapists believe that drug abuse disorders are difficult to treat because they often require structure and a multiple treatment approach to be successful. Experts say therapy that combines a variety of approaches is more effective than a single approach.

Combining treatments is more effective because different treatments address different aspects of the addiction. Any behavior or set of circumstances can increase the chances of a person taking drugs. When all is said and done a person still has choices to make. Loved ones should offer support because a positive family environment can help make the transition to a healthier lifestyle.

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Posted by Virginia K. Stockstill

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