In decades past, addiction was believed to be a moral failure that could be overcome through sheer willpower. Today, we know that this chronic condition affects every part of someone’s life, including their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. As such, addiction cannot be conquered by simply discontinuing the use of drugs and alcohol; this condition cannot be cured, but can instead be managed through ongoing treatment and effort. Long term drug and alcohol treatment programs provide a solid foundation on which to build one’s recovery.
Long Term Drug and Alcohol Treatment: What to Expect
For best results, long term drug and alcohol treatment is divided into stages. Participants begin by enrolling in a withdrawal management program, often referred to as detox or detoxification. During this phase, withdrawal symptoms such as nausea or anxiety will be managed by clinicians equipped with a vast array of FDA-approved medications. Detoxing alone can be dangerous – those who have misused drugs or alcohol for an extended time or in large amounts may experience serious side effects like seizures without proper oversight. It is highly recommended that individuals seek professional treatment for this delicate stage of their recovery.
Once all traces of drugs and alcohol have left a person’s system, they are able to move on to residential treatment. This level of care consists of participation in group and individual therapies while living in a structured environment. Schedules span the full day, and are packed with enriching, empowering activities that contribute to the creation of healthy habits and a positive self-concept.
While in residential treatment, individuals are able to receive fully customized care tailored to their needs and unique situations. The longer a person spends in this environment, the more likely they are to develop positive coping mechanisms for their lives in “the real world.”
Long term residential treatment stays can range in length from six to twelve months. It is typically recommended for those with severe or long-standing addictions, as well as those whose substance use is influenced by co-occurring mental illnesses or past trauma. These people are at increased risk of relapse than peers whose encounters with addiction are briefer, or those who have a strong support network at home.
While in long term drug and alcohol treatment, a range of different therapeutic modalities may be used. Each person’s care plan should be completely individualized; for example, some people may respond better to traditional talk therapy, while others may require a novel approach.
Perhaps the most famously effective therapeutic method is cognitive behavioral therapy, often abbreviated as CBT. This form of psychotherapy addresses negative patterns of thinking in order to modify behavior. In these sessions, patients will work directly with a licensed mental health counselor who will illuminate inaccurate or negative thinking. This process helps participants to reframe situations, which promotes more adaptive responses to life’s challenges.
Lakeside-Milam also offers rational emotive therapy, or RET. Like CBT, this is a talk therapy approach that identifies self-defeating thoughts and feelings; it differs in that it requires participants to challenge the rationality of these beliefs and replace them with healthier thoughts. RET focuses primarily on the present and helps patients to understand how unhealthy thoughts create emotional distress, which causes unhealthy actions that interfere with one’s main life goals.
No matter which approach is chosen, therapy empowers participants to…
- Learn coping skills to deal with life on life’s terms
- Resolve relationship conflicts
- Practice new, improved communication tactics
- Treat symptoms of mental illness
- Address factors contributing to substance use
- Cope with grief or loss
- Manage cravings and chronic physical symptoms
Licensed, Accredited Professionals
Unfortunately, not all long term drug and alcohol treatment centers are created equal. When selecting a residential program for yourself or a loved one, be sure to pay attention to licenses and accreditations. These serve as indicators of reliable, evidence-based addiction treatment. At Lakeside-Milam, mental health services are performed by therapists with master’s degrees, ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care from experts in the field. Our staff undergo intensive trainings and preparations throughout their employment, ensuring that they are always equipped with industry best practices and groundbreaking research.
Studies have shown time and time again that the longer a person spends in treatment, the more likely they are to maintain their sobriety in the future. For those seeking more information, our friendly staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply dial (866) 614-0762 or contact us online to learn more about our approach to long term treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.