1. Go Online- The Internet can be a very valuable resource for anyone who knows how to use a computer and search the web. There are many websites that are designed for substance abuse treatment programs, and these offer information about the program as well as general substance abuse, addiction, and treatment information and statistics.
2. Use The Phone- Create a list of substance abuse treatment programs in your area and then call each program. Ask about the treatment methods and techniques that are offered by a program and get information about the cost and typical length of stay.
3. Visit Your Physician- Visit your physician and discuss your possible need for substance abuse or addiction treatment. Most physicians can refer you to an appropriate treatment facility where you can get the help that you want and need. Doctors generally view substance abuse and addiction from a clinical standpoint, and generally do not look down on the patient because of these issues but try to assist instead.
4. Talk To Family And Friends- Your family and friends may be a terrific resource and source of support if you need help with substance abuse or addiction in any form. Involving friends and family members will ensure that you have all the support you need, and many of these individuals may know of treatment options that you are unaware of.
5. Examine Your Health Insurance Coverage And Contact The Insurer- If you have health insurance coverage and you need help with this type of problem examine your coverage. Many insurances will cover some or all of any substance abuse treatment needed. If this is the case then contact your insurer to get a referral in your specific case.
1. Dual Diagnosis Substance Abuse Treatment Programs- A dual diagnosis treatment program can benefit anyone who may have both substance abuse issues and mental illness disorders. A dual diagnosis may be difficult for programs not specifically designed to meet these needs, because careful evaluation needs to determine which symptoms are caused by the mental illness and treat this issue as well as the substance abuse and addiction factors.
2. Teenage Substance Abuse Treatment Programs- The causes of addiction and substance abuse in teenagers and adolescents may be far different from the causes that adults have, even when the same substance is being abused. Adolescent oriented programs use specialized methods to address the causes that result in teen addiction.
3. High End Luxury Substance Abuse Treatment Programs- High end luxury programs offer comfortable settings and a very limited number of patients. This ensures that more effective methods can be offered even though these methods carry a higher cost in some cases, while other luxury rehabs may offer the same typical programs but have a very luxurious setting and many personal comforts.
4. Christian Substance Abuse Treatment Programs- Christian substance abuse treatment programs use christian principles and beliefs, and often include spiritual counseling in many cases. Spiritual voids can be a big cause of substance abuse, and a program that includes many faiths may not be comfortable for those who have strong Christian beliefs and principles.
5. Single Sex Substance Abuse Treatment Programs- Some treatment programs are designed to treat only men or only women. A significant amount of research shows that women typically have different causative factors then men do when it comes to addiction. A single sex program concentrates on the addiction causes and treatments for one of the sexes and may be more effective in some cases.
A recent case in Muncie , Indiana, raises some very interesting questions about how the substance abuse of a parent affects a minor child and has many wondering what can be done in these situations. Sabrina A. Howard is a 40 year old woman with a 16 year old son named Charles. Family members of Sabrina admit that the mother is a heroin addict who still uses regularly. These same family members blame Sabrina for the death of Charles for a number of reasons, and police agree. Charles committed suicide after taking drugs that his mother left unsecured, and had previously been recommended for hospitalization by a physician because he was suicidal due to the effects of his mother’s long term substance abuse issues. Charles passed away after taking illegal prescription medications that his mother had.
When Sabrina realized that her stash of drugs was missing she confronted the 16 year old boy. Sabrina says that Charles denied taking the drugs but she suspected at the time that he did, because he was very groggy and seemed like he was drugged. The drugs that went missing included 36 Lortabs and also 30 Xanax, and the police affidavit states “Sabrina even told Charles that what he consumed could kill him.” The document also states that the officers noticed what they believed were fresh needle marks on her left wrist and hand area and that relatives related to officers that Sabrina was still using drugs. Even though Sabrina suspected that her son took a fatal dose of prescription drugs she did not seek medical assistance for the boy until more than 8 hours later, when Charles was gray and was no longer breathing. Relatives believe that Charles could no longer cope with the fear and distress of the substance abuse problem that Sabrina had and was terrified of finding his mom dead of an overdose so he took his own life. Whether or not the law can make the creative charges stick remains to be seen. What is clear is that Sabrina’s drug use cost her son his life, and her failure to provide proper care or to get medical attention when she suspected her son was using dangerous drugs should be a criminal matter.
1. Arrange An Intervention- Sometimes an intervention may help the addict see just how the substance abuse affects friends and family members. Setting up an intervention may be the step that causes the addict to realize that help is needed, and this step may lead to inpatient substance abuse treatment and recovery.
2. Learn About Addiction- Before you can help someone with an addiction you must know and understand this problem clearly. Get educated about what causes an addiction and the most effective treatments in each case. This will allow you to determine which treatments will work best and which treatments are not very effective.
3. Provide Support- An individual who has an addiction needs support to overcome this problem. Be available and provide any support that is needed by the addict. Take the time to discuss any problems that the individual may have and find ways that you can provide much needed support, so that the addict is less likely to fall back into their old habits.
4. Be Realistic About A Relapse- Be realistic about what to expect from substance abuse treatment. A relapse is common and occurs in a large percentage of the cases. Two steps forward and one step back is common with substance abuse treatment programs.
5. Don’t Give Up- Don’t give up on your loved on, no matter how many times they relapse. Beating an addiction can be very difficult but it is possible when loved ones never give up. Keep trying to reach your loved one and encourage treatment at every opportunity.
In recent weeks there have been a number of deaths related to Methadone that was obtained illegally, and two of these deaths occurred in Maryland. Unfortunately the people who died were all smaller children. Individuals who buy illegal street drugs are not as concerned with the way these drugs are stored as they are with obtaining the drug in the first place. A 5 year old girl died after drinking liquid methadone from an open cup placed in the refrigerator. In a different case a 5 year boy was discovered unconscious after he got into liquid methadone that was not properly stored. The father of the boy admitted that the drug was purchased on the street, and the 5 year old later died at the hospital from an opiate overdose. These are just 2 of the cases that have been in the news recently which spotlight the danger that substance abuse can pose to children in the household.
Methadone is a very powerful opiate narcotic and the drug is used to help treat heroine addiction in some individuals. This drug is so powerful that younger children who consume even a small amount often die, and in some cases the most aggressive medical treatment methods may not be able to save the child. Most methadone clinics that supply the drug to heroine addicts watch the client take the drug. In rare cases if the staff of a clinic feels a client is trustworthy then methadone may provided for the client to take home. Often these drugs end up on the street and may find their way into the hands of small children.
The studies and statistics show that individuals being treated for substance abuse or addiction have a relapse rate comparable to many chronic conditions. This makes the choice of treatment program even more important. Individual counseling is required to root out the specific causes of the substance abuse or other addiction so these can finally be resolved. More than 1 million people are admitted to a substance abuse and addiction treatment facility each year, and many of these individuals will need further rounds of treatment after a relapse due to ineffective treatment methods.
Statistics show a surprising trend for substance abuse and addiction. These include the following facts and figures:
Close to 9% of the American population over the age of 12 have used some form of street drug more than once.
More than 40% of substance abuse treatment admissions are for alcohol abuse.
1 in 5 treatment facility admissions is due to opiate abuse or addiction. This includes heroin use, and this percentage may be higher in certain areas.
Approximately 1 in 6 admissions to a substance abuse treatment facility nationwide is due to marijuana use.
Men tend to have a higher relapse rate than women, and experts believe that this is due to the fact that women will generally engage in group counseling and individual sessions.
Addiction can be properly managed with the right treatment methods, so that the substance or activity that is the basis of the addiction no longer affects your life in the same destructive way.
Addiction is just like any other chronic disease or medical condition, and both groups tend to relapse and fall back into old habits that can have medical consequences. Individuals who have asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure often relapse and do not take the medications needed to control their disease even though they no this has harmful health consequences. The same is true for substance abuse and addiction. You know the substance or behavior is very harmful but you continue anyway. When relapse rates for each condition are studied the comparison is very telling. Addiction is just one of many chronic conditions that may not be properly managed by the patient, and this can result in serious health problems or even death.
Approximately 50%-60% of addicts will relapse during the 1st year.
An average of 40% of type 1 diabetes patients do not follow their treatment plan as directed, and this can lead to a serious medical crisis.
An average of 60% of high blood pressure patients fail to take the prescribed medications for this condition. These patients know that high blood pressure can cause a stroke, other medical problems, or even death if not managed properly.
Roughly 60% of patients with asthma will not take the prescribed medications or will ignore needed lifestyle changes to control this disease.
Continuing treatment after release from a residential program will significantly decrease the risk of a relapse and improve the chances for a permanent recovery.
1. Does Alcohol Or Drugs Interfere With Daily Activities? If substance abuse interferes with your daily life then this is a sign that substance abuse treatment is needed. As the alcohol or drug use continues it gets harder to function normally each day and your substance abuse will start to intrude on your daily life and activities.
2. Does Substance Abuse Interfere With Your Employment? If your drinking or drug use interferes with your job then this is a sign that substance abuse treatment is required. Alcohol use may cause you to be chronically late because you stayed up late the night before, or you may be suspected of drinking or using drugs on the job and this may put your employment in jeopardy.
3. Do You Drink In Secret Or Hide Drug Use? One sign of addiction is hiding your use of substances. Many people drink in a social setting. If you find yourself drinking in private or hiding the amount of alcohol or drugs consumed then this is a sign that you need substance abuse treatment.
4. Is Your Substance Abuse Causing Financial Difficulties? If your drinking or drug use causes financial difficulties then this signals that there is a problem. Substance abuse can be a very expensive habit and you may start neglecting bills and other expenses to afford the alcohol or drugs you want.
5. Is Your Substance Abuse Causing Medical Problems? If you start developing medical problems due to your addiction then substance abuse treatment should be sought immediately. Alcohol can destroy the liver and other organs, and this is also true with many drugs of abuse as well.
A new dual vaccine is in the works that could protect individuals against both HIV and heroin addiction with a single shot. Heroin users often use syringes and inject the drug into the bloodstream. This has caused the rate of HIV among heroin users to skyrocket and places everyone in this community at risk of the virus. Dr. Gary R. Matyas has received a grant to develop a dual vaccine that can fight both heroin and HIV, and he will receive $1 million a year for 5 years to reach this vaccine goal. Dr. Matyas is employed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the yearly million dollar grant is provided because he won the 2012 Avante Garde Award For Medications Development.
The promise of a dual vaccine that fights heroin addiction and HIV infection both has tremendous implications. According to Dr. Matyas “Heroin use is strongly associated with a high risk of HIV infection and represents an increasingly important worldwide health problem. The possibility of creating a combination heroin-HIV vaccine provides an important opportunity to address both a unique treatment for heroin abuse as well as continuing the quest to develop an effective preventive HIV vaccine.” Dr. Nora D. Volkow, who is the Director of the NIDA, stated “This highly innovative dual-vaccine model would simultaneously address the intertwined epidemics of heroin abuse and HIV. This is precisely the type of ground-breaking research NIDA’s Avant-Garde program was designed to support. The implications for public health are enormous.”