What should I do if my child or loved one is severely addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Drug addiction is defined as: uncontrollable, compulsive drug seeking and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences.
Drug craving and the other compulsive behaviors are the essence of addiction. They are extremely difficult to control, much more difficult than any physical dependence. They are the principal target symptoms for most drug treatment programs. For an addict, there is no motivation more powerful than drug craving. Virtually nothing seems to outweigh drug craving as a motivator. People have committed all kinds of crimes and even abandoned their children just to get drugs.
If the definition and information above fits the circumstances of your child or loved ones drug use the solution is a LONG TERM RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAM (at least 90 days or longer).
Goals and treatment approach of Long Term Residential Addiction Treatment Programs:
Focusing on addiction as compulsive, uncontrollable drug use should help clarify everyone's perception of the nature of addiction and of potentially addicting drugs. For the addict and the treatment professional, this more accurate definition forces the focus of treatment away from simply managing physical withdrawal symptoms and toward dealing with the more meaningful, and powerful, concept of uncontrollable drug seeking use. The task of treatment is to regain control over drug craving, seeking and use.
Drug rehabilitation for individuals should incorporate the principle that unwanted behavior can be changed by clear demonstration of the desired behavior and consistent reward of incremental steps toward achieving it. Therapeutic activities include fulfilling specific assignments, rehearsing desired behaviors, and recording and reviewing progress, with praise and privileges given for meeting assigned goals. Urine samples are collected periodically to monitor drug use. The therapy aims to equip the patient to gain these types of control:
Stimulus Control helps patients avoid situations associated with drug use and learn to spend more time in activities incompatible with drug use.
Urge Control helps patients recognize and change thoughts, feelings, and plans that lead to drug use.
In addition to stopping drug use, the goal of treatment is to return the individual to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. Measures of effectiveness typically include levels of criminal behavior, family functioning, employability, health, ability to efficiently resolve daily problems of life, correct recognition of the real source of a problem, increased responsibility for actions, and the ability to accomplished desired goals across all compartments of their life.
According to research studies, this therapy helps patients become drug free and increases their ability to remain drug free after treatment ends.
How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?
Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various speeds, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate lengths of treatment. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited or no effectiveness, and treatments lasting significantly longer often are indicated. For the severe addiction case, research indicates that a minimum of 90 days of treatment for residential is predictive of positive outcomes for adults in treatment.
If you have a child or loved one with a severe drug addiction problem, you are not alone. Call 1-855-DRUG-REHAB (1-855-378-4734). We will help you find a solution.