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Knowing What You’ll Need

People have no idea just what to expect when they go into treatment at a residential drug treatment facility. How can someone spend 90 days or longer focusing on nothing but drug rehabilitation? In reality, a treatment plan addresses multiple aspects of a person’s life.

Assessment. When you contact a facility about getting treatment, the first step you undergo is an alcohol and drug assessment. A substance abuse counselor asks you questions not just about your drug use but about all aspects of your life. Whom do you live with? How do you support yourself? What demographic groups do you fit into? Do the people around you use drugs or alcohol? Do you demonstrate risk-taking behaviors? Not only are all these aspects important, but they must be re-evaluated about every 90 days.

Mental Health Services. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) tells us that about half of all people suffering from a mental health issue also are experiencing substance abuse problems. Sometimes a person uses drugs to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of his emotional problems, and sometimes a person’s drug use will trigger mental health instability. An important component of treatment is management of your mental health needs.

Family Services. Many people who go into treatment want to go it alone, without dragging their loved ones into it. However, the family is already involved: Because drug abuse is a family issue. Your family members need to learn that you have actually developed a relationship with your drug of choice that’s as important to you as any real relationship. Your family also needs to recognize behaviors they may need to curtail, such as codependency and enabling. You, on the other hand, need to relearn your place in the family and develop responsibilities within the family unit.

Education. Learning about drugs and how they affect the body is an important part of treatment. You need to be educated about what your drug of choice can do to your body. You need to learn what your triggers are and how to deal with cravings and urges. Your family also needs to understand the effects of drugs and the reasons for your addiction and behaviors.

Medical Services. There are two categories of medical services that require monitoring while you’re in treatment. The first kind relates to any physical damage you’ve done to yourself from drug use. If you’ve been abusing cold pills, for example, you may need to have your liver monitored. If you’ve been injecting drugs, you may be at risk for hepatitis or HIV. It’s also important to pay attention to your general health needs. While you’re going through the stress of stopping your drug use including any withdrawal symptoms, your immune system may become weakened. You may become more prone to sore throats or experience some insomnia. What if you need to have a tooth pulled or some kind of minor surgery? If you’ve been addicted to pain medication, how will you handle your postop recovery? Managing your biomedical health is a huge part of your addiction treatment.

Legal. Do you have legal charges pending? Are you in danger of losing custody of a child? Are you on the brink of divorce? Your counselor can help you process how each of these areas affect your life and steer your toward legal help.

Ancillary Services. For many people, it’s a matter of transportation, child care, financial help, or even vocational services. The staff at a residential drug treatment facility know how to steer you in the right direction. No matter what unusual situation you may be up against, it’s likely your counselor has come across it before.

Are you looking for help for yourself or for a loved one? These are the life areas that need to be managed right now. Put yourself in the hands of a competent counselor to get the help you need. 

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