Bill Martin, Ph.D
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By Rick Wallace, PhD., PsyD.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, substance abuse and addiction are becoming increasingly pervasive in the social culture. In fact, a recent study revealed that there are more than two million Americans struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Unfortunately, the same report revealed that less than three percent of those who are in need of professional treatment will actually get the treatment that they so desperately need. To further exacerbate the issue, many of those who do seek support will not seek help through programs that are capable of providing structure and support at a level that is adequate to achieve the desired results.
There is no shortage of data that suggests that early detection and professional intervention is essential to increasing the chance for a complete recovery; however, there is a need to increase public awareness as far as the importance of choosing the right program is concerned. There are a number of different types of intervention programs that are designed to help people who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction. While outpatient programs can be beneficial in certain situations, residential treatment programs have proven to be highly effective in initiating and facilitating recovery.
There are multitudinous benefits associated with the participation in a residential treatment program. Understanding the benefits and advantages of participating in a residential treatment program can help an individual who is struggling with an addiction, with the help of their family, make an educated decision as to whether participating in a residential treatment program is their best option.
The first stage of overcoming chemical dependency is the detoxification process. Detoxification is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of the toxins that have built up over the course of using their drug of choice. Because the detox process is so arduous from a physical perspective, many experts advocate the use of inpatient support to assist the individual in overcoming the many challenges that are associated with detoxing off of a drug.
A residential treatment center provides a secure and structured environment that is staffed and equipped to effectively engage any medical complications that may arise during detoxification. There is a significant disparity between the success rate of those who attempt to detox at home and those who choose a detox at a residential treatment center. Attempting to detox at home has an immensely low success rate. One reason for this is the withdrawal pains, which are common during the detox process, can be so painful that they will drive individuals to use again just to ease the discomfort associated with the pain. In a residential treatment center, the staff will be able to administer medicines to help with the pain, and the access to the drug of choice will be strictly limited.
Another challenge with home detox is the fact that detoxing can result in some serious medical conditions, including stroke, heart attack, seizures and more. A residential treatment centers will have the staff and equipment necessary to deal with medical emergencies if they should arise during the detox process.
Residential treatment centers provide the opportunity for addicts to leave behind environments that are potentially detrimental to their recovery, which is immensely important when attempting to break the cycle of addiction. Familiar environments will often serve as facilitating mechanisms for the triggers that set off drug abuse, and they are often inhabited by individuals who are influential in pressuring the individual to use explicit drugs.
Whether it is receiving care during the detox process, or supporting a person who is struggling with emotional or psychological issues after he detox, having 24-hour access to a support system increases the chance of long-term success.
There is pragmatic data that reveals that when a person's body is going through physical withdrawal, the chaos is often settled by being in a structured environment that gives a sense of control and predictability to an otherwise chaotic experience. When making a decision as to the type of treatment program to enter, it is important to understand that not all residential treatment centers are created equal. While the success rate for residential treatment centers are higher than outpatient treatment programs, it is extremely important to place a significant amount of emphasis on choosing a program that has developed a reputation for providing a quality experience that produces efficacious results. The advantages listed here provide a lucid impression of why a residential program may be best for most people.
It is a good idea to work with an advocacy group or consulting firm that specializes in helping families find treatment programs that will be suitable for their unique situation. Knowing what is available and how it will impact a specific situation is key to effectively engaging substance abuse and addiction.
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