Category: Treatment

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Addiction Treatment
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

People who need help overcoming  drug and alcohol addiction have the option of seeking inpatient or outpatient care. With inpatient care, people who need help with the recovery process move into an inpatient treatment facility for a period of time. Once checked in, they stay and live in the treatment facility, while they recover. Inpatient treatment facilities offer a safe place for people to detox, stabilize and get better while under the constant medical supervision of trained staff.

Outpatient treatment serves almost the same purpose as inpatient, but on a more limited basis. With outpatient treatment, people visit a treatment center for a short amount of time, such as a couple hours or at scheduled intervals like weekly, three times a week or once a month meetings.

Who is a Good Candidate for Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment is best for people who have severe illnesses and diseases. Those who have not been able to withdrawal on their own or even those who have tried in the past may need to receive more intense inpatient care in order to recover. Inpatient care is appropriate for people who have severe addictions and need to detox under medical supervision before they can move forward. With inpatient care, recovering individuals receive constant medical supervision and have medical care available day and night.

Inpatient care is also appropriate for people who need a respite from the stressors and temptations of daily life. If people cannot recover in the midst of the situations they live in, seeking inpatient care can be a good way to launch themselves on the road to recovery before they have to cope with their day-to-day lives. Inpatient therapy is also appropriate for those people who are lacking a good support system at home.

Who is a Good Candidate for Outpatient Treatment?

People who have a condition that is not yet severe may not need such an invasive course of action. Some people may just need the support system that comes with regular meetings in order to get better, instead of actually having to move in to a facility long term. Because outpatient treatment only take a few hours out of a person’s life, they can still continue taking care of their daily commitments while taking the time out of their day to receive the help they need to recover. Outpatient treatment is also best suited to those who have excellent support systems already in place.

How Can People Decide if Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment is Right for Them?

Whether a person will receive inpatient or outpatient care is ultimately up to professionals who are in charge of the addict’s intake evaluation. There are several questions people should ask themselves before they seek treatment, however. First, people should be honest with themselves about the severity of their condition and the amount of help they will likely need in order to recover. If detox supervision is required, they will likely need inpatient care. They should ask themselves if they have a good enough support system at home that they can recover in spite of daily stresses or if they should take some time away to get better.

How Long Do People Stay in Inpatient Treatment?

The amount of time people spend in inpatient treatment depends on how severe their condition is and how long it takes them to be ready to face the outside world again. Inpatient treatment usually lasts between four and six weeks, though it could take several months or even a year. Inpatient treatment is a time for people to work through all of their underlying issues and learn new skills for coping with the outside world. People in inpatient therapy programs usually go through detox, receive individual counseling, and attend support groups during their stay. They become educated about their illness or disease and its effects. While seeking treatment they create a plan for recovery for themselves for their treatment duration and for after they leave treatment. Inpatient therapy is a time for people to rest and recover. It is a time to learn new coping skills and healthier activities that will take the place of their previous addictions once they return to their normal lives.

Addiction Treatment Centers

Are all Addiction Treatment Centers the Same?

When you are ready to choose a rehabilitation facility, you are on the right path to making a permanent recovery. There are many different types of addiction treatment centers that fit various needs and personalities. So, not all addiction treatment centers are the same, and they vary in how well they work for each individual. Here are some of the factors to consider when evaluating a rehabilitation center.

Varying Treatment Methods

The most significant thing that may differ between addiction treatment centers is the types of treatment they offer. Some programs involve counseling to help you identify and conquer your reasons for drug dependence. Others urge patients to take proactive steps to get involved in activities and the community. Some advocate for changes in diet and routine to promote an all-around healthy change. Whatever the program, make sure that it suits your personality. Also, get statistics to see how well the addiction treatment centers do by checking their success rates and relapse rates.

Addiction Treatment Centers that Offer Relapse Services

Inevitably, some treatments may fail. You want to make sure that the program you choose has a system in place for helping patients who experience a relapse. This help may include additional counseling and interventions. Addiction treatment centers that don’t provide relapse services as part of their package may not be the best choice. You want to know that in case you need more treatment, your chosen center will be able to help you build on the work you’ve done so far while continuing your goals of recovery.

Length of Intervention

Addiction treatment centers differ considerably in their period of treatment. Some facilities continue to work with you even through aftercare programs, providing support groups and activities to keep you going strong. Other programs, such as outpatient care, give you the tools you need to conquer your addiction and then urge you to apply them on your own. Which one you choose will depend on your own personality and needs. However, more extended programs are often a better choice since they provide you with continued support and allow you to strengthen your resolve to recover.

Amount of Patient Contact

Some programs work more like support groups that give you a chance to check in periodically and see how you’re doing with your recovery. Other programs are more intensive than those. One of the most intensive programs is a partial hospitalization, where the patient spends a great deal of time in the facility where he or she is monitored. Similarly, a sober living program places a mentor with you at all times to encourage you and make sure that you don’t relapse. If you can afford these inpatient programs and are comfortable giving up significant time to your recovery, inpatient treatment can be some of the most lasting and efficient. Developing a personal relationship with some of your mentors that support you most can be a big help in your recovery.

Accreditation of Addiction Treatment Centers

Facilities differ in their accreditation and licensing. If the program is licensed by a national accreditation facility, you can be sure of the quality and efficacy of the program. However, don’t write off a facility just because it is not accredited. These programs may not have met the requirements only because they take a novel approach to helping patients deal with their addictions. Non-accredited centers certainly should be scrutinized a bit further than accredited ones, but you should consider these programs as well as more traditional rehabilitation centers.


In the end, not all rehab centers are the same. In fact, they differ considerably in what they offer. When considering which rehabilitation center to choose, think about how much support you will want during your recovery. Consider the types of therapies that you think will work best for you. There is no set answer to which center works the best since different types of recovery are best for each individual. However, if the facility has a reasonable rate of success in helping its patients, you can certainly try. The most important thing in choosing any rehabilitation center is to be prepared to work hard to help yourself recover; your center is there to support your own best efforts. With this attitude, you are much more likely to succeed at recovery in any rehabilitation center.

Be Strong by Seeking Addiction Help

Why Seeking Addiction Help is Not a Sign of Weakness

If you are caught in the whirlwind of substance abuse, it can destroy everything in its path. Your career, your relationships, and your health are on the line. Addiction will consume every aspect of your life until there is room for nothing else. If you do not find a way to stop, you are headed for disaster. It’s time to take control and stop your addiction from controlling you. The moment that you choose on seeking addiction help you are showing what a strong person you are. You are proving that you dare to climb the wall of addiction and conquer it before it is too late.

The Risks of Addiction: The Consequences Cannot be Denied

Regardless of what your drug of choice is, from alcohol to prescription medication or illicit drugs, the price of addiction is too high. According to, the consequences of addiction are the most serious problem, more so than the source of your addiction. The more often that you indulge in substance abuse, the drug will begin to change the way that your brain functions until the following happens:

  • Dopamine levels will spike each time you use, making you feel good. You’ll need more to get that feeling again.
  • Your drug will become as important as breathing, drinking water, and eating.
  • You’ll lose the ability to think clearly while under the influence of any drug.
  • You’ll lose control of yourself.
  • The craving for that drug will become so intense that it gets in the way of everything else.

When your addiction becomes the end all, be all in life, it is time to do something about it. You need to be brave and put an end to substance abuse before it hurts you or someone you love.

Addiction Can Ruin Your Health

Not only will addiction wreck your job and your relationships, but it will also destroy your health. At any time that you turn to substance abuse, you are putting toxins in your body that are destructive. Your liver, pancreas, and kidneys are put to the test as they fight to eliminate dangerous substances from your body. Put these vital organs under too much strain for an excessive length of time, and they are likely to fail. You put yourself at higher risk of severe heart conditions and stroke as well. In the worst case scenario, there is always a chance of overdose. As you consume more than your body can take at any one time, the result can be death.

Be Strong by Seeking Addiction Help

Take charge by seeking addiction help before it destroys you. Don’t be one more statistic of a victim who surrendered to substance abuse. Inpatient rehabilitation programs are waiting for you to help you into recovery. You will be able to find a program that is right for you. When you choose inpatient rehabilitation, you will receive the following benefits:

  • You will no longer be able to give in to temptation.
  • A supportive environment will surround you.
  • Trained professionals will assist you through every phase.
  • You are the primary focus in life.
  • You will be given tools to succeed in your fight.
  • You’ll learn how to avoid addiction in the future.

You Are Not Alone

Addiction is a lonely struggle. You’ll feel like you are on your own and no one else understands what you are going through during this difficult time in your life. Turn to the compassionate professionals in an inpatient rehabilitation facility and turn your life around. Break free from the chains of addiction once and for all. You will not believe how empowering it will be the moment you make that choice to control your destiny. Now is the moment to prove that you are stronger than your addiction by seeking addiction help. Don’t hesitate any longer or let addiction consume another minute of your life. Act now and find the rehabilitation program that can give you the answers you’re looking for today. Freedom from addiction can be yours.

Drug Detoxification

The Truth About Drug Detoxification

To this date, over 23 million Americans are suffering from addictions to either drugs or alcohol. These habits come forth for various reasons. Some of the youth get involved with drugs and alcohol due to peer pressure. College students may experiment with stimulants as a way of getting through their multitude of classes and tests. Mentally disabled individuals may use drugs or alcohol as a method of coping with the imbalances. Additionally, a group of people becomes addicted to prescription narcotics through no fault of their own. No matter what the reason for a person’s addiction, drug detoxification is the first step in solving the problem.

The Development of an Addiction

Addiction starts with behavior such as ingesting a specific substance. The person who ingests the substance is pleased by the effects that the drug has. For example, a person who drinks alcohol for the first time might like the fact that he or she becomes more relaxed and can handle social situations. An individual who takes a pain pill might be happy that the pain has stopped and life seems tolerable. Someone who uses cocaine might be overjoyed from all the energy and enthusiasm that the effects bring. These pleasurable impacts come from the shifting of chemicals in the brain.

Once a person experiences pleasure from a drug or drink, that person will continue the habit of ingesting such a substance to obtain the desired result. The body eventually becomes accustomed to having the drug in its system. In fact, it becomes so accustomed to the drug that it will stop performing normally without it. The user will need to ingest more of the substance at this point just to maintain normal physical and emotional functions. If the person ceases to use it for a certain amount of time, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include a wide variety of physical, emotional and mental changes that cause this person discomfort and pain.

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are nausea, vomiting, pain in the muscles, involuntary spasms, depression, anxiety, irritability, nightmares, insomnia, and diarrhea. At the point in which the person experiences these withdrawal symptoms, he or she is said to have developed an addiction. In most cases, drug treatment is necessary to end the vicious cycle. Various methods of drug treatments exist, but they all begin with a process known as drug detoxification.

Drug Detoxification Specifics

Drug detoxification is the process in which a person cleanses his or her body of the substance to which he or she has become accustomed. Once the body cleanses itself thoroughly, the body, mind, and spirit of the user will slowly return to original operation. After detoxification, an addicted person can become involved in receiving other methods of treatment such as individualized therapy, group therapy, nutrition enhancement, exercise programs, talk therapy and the like offered in an inpatient program. However, the first step must be thoroughly completed first.

The time it takes for a person to complete drug detoxification depends on several factors such as the type of drug the person was using, the length of time the person was using the drug, and the health and wellness of the party. The estimated time for detoxification from heroin and prescription narcotics is approximately seven days, with the first to third days being the most severe. The estimated detox time for cocaine is around three days. Detox from methamphetamine may take as long as two weeks.

The estimated times stated are just for the detoxification stages of recovery. With certain substances, the addicted party may experience lingering depression, anxiety, and mental cravings for many months or years. For this reason, following up drug detoxification with an effective rehabilitation program is paramount to the person’s full recovery.

Finding a Reliable Drug Detoxification Program

Before a person enters into a drug detox program, he or she has to be fully committed to getting better. The road will not always be smooth and clear, but the result will be beautiful. Because the individual spent so much time using a harmful substance, he or she must go through the process of getting the body and mind back to functioning without it. It may take time, but with the right care facility, the individual can return to a healthy life.

A reputable rehabilitation center will have a clean and serene environment in which the individual will feel safe detoxifying. Another element that a facility like this will have is caring and helpful staff members. During detoxification, it is useful for a person to have someone supportive to befriend. The individual will experience fear and some pain, so having someone there for comfort is a huge benefit.

In searching for a place to detox, the interested party should list establishments that have high success records, glowing testimonials, and quite a bit of tenure. Those three elements will raise the probability of a full recovery.

Effects of Music and Art Therapy

Those Suffering from Illness Benefit From the Effects of Music and Art Therapy

The positive effects of music and art therapy on serious illnesses have been the focus of many recent studies. The results show that music engagement, visual arts, creative movement activities and expressive writing significantly impact mood and provide positive health effects for those who are suffering from chronic illness and mental illness.

While chronic diseases are a nationwide problem, music and art therapy have been studied in cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as psychosocial problems. Some of the positive effects that music and art therapy can have on individuals include:

  • Self-reflection
  • Reduce symptoms
  • Alter thinking patterns
  • Reduced muscle tension
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Enhanced interpersonal relationships
  • Increased motivation
  • Improved self-image
  • Built confidence
  • Increased verbalization
  • Safe emotional release

Music and art therapy through painting, singing, playing instruments, drawing, dance or other creative outlets has dramatically improved the mood of many patients. It’s even been shown to help the elderly as they age and develop different illnesses.

How Psychological Growth and Changes in the Brain Stimulate These Effects

One of the main reasons that therapy improves illness in young and old suffering from different diseases is psychological growth. Multiple studies have shown that while this type of treatment provides better mood, it also improves self-esteem and confidence in patients.

Also, it also helps patients set and meet different goals. For instance, a study at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital with music therapy showed that it helped children focus and return home faster. Music therapy also helps with motor skills, reading and brain functions. Several studies have also demonstrated that autistic children learn to focus their creativity and be more tolerant of change because of music therapy.

Music and visual arts therapy have also been shown to improve schizophrenia and similar mental illnesses as well. They learn a different way to communicate and express emotions. In all studies, music therapy was shown to enhance standard care by giving them an outlet for creativity. They had a more focused mental state and were able to communicate how they felt by playing different musical instruments.

Art therapy has been shown to improve self-expression and emotional growth for many reasons in cases of mental and physical illness. With enhanced self-confidence, patients were able to interact with others positively while also using a creative outlet to express how they felt.

In cases of chemical dependency and substance abuse, musical and art therapy has also shown to have positive effects on patients. In one study, pottery classes were used to improve psychological well-being. They were able to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety while boosting self-esteem.

Different Programs for Children, Adults, and Elderly Provide Similar Results

Several programs at colleges, rehabilitation facilities, and hospitals have shown how music and art therapy positively affects patients. Most institutions implement art and music programs as a series of classes or group activities. For example in drug rehabilitation facilities, art therapy is used as a way to decrease feelings of anxiety while also improving relationships with other patients.

In children’s hospitals, a combination of art and music classes has improved the symptoms of depression and even alleviated symptoms from more severe mental and physical illnesses. In cases of ADHD, post-traumatic disorder, autism, bipolar disease and schizophrenia, children were able to use painting as a way to alleviate their symptoms and continuously build confidence in their abilities.

For senior citizens, music and art therapy have also been implemented in nursing homes and hospitals through classes and daily group activities. Some work in groups to create different projects while others work on solo projects. In one study, elderly patients chose an instrument to learn. The results revealed that they had improved mood including positive feelings about their illness while also focusing less on symptoms of serious diseases.

Through art classes, patients can visually communicate what they may be feeling inside or explain parts of themselves that they previously did not want to share. They can work with their own emotions and continuously work on a goal to produce a final project. In the end, they create something that represents their self-expression while also working through difficulties of mental and physical illness.

How to Apply Music and Art Therapy to Cope with Daily Life

Whether you enjoy playing an instrument or love the feel of a paintbrush in your hand, there are so many different ways to create and express yourself through music and art therapy. It gives the brain a chance to grow while also focusing on something else for a while that doesn’t involve the daily stresses of life. As you learn to play a new song or mix different colors on canvas, emotions and thoughts become fluid, and it takes your mind away.

Music and art therapy has been proven beneficial for many people, not just those who are sick or dealing with a severe mental illness. Many people today suffer from some form of anxiety or depression. As visual arts or performing arts allow for psychological growth, changes occur in the brain and provide a new way to view different aspects of life. In some cases, it can even give answers to life’s most terrible problems.

There are many ways to find music and art activities even if you have never attempted any before. You can look at one of the top 50 art blogs for inspiration, visit sites like or look at some beginner to advanced level musical instruction video channels on YouTube. For some, it’s just a matter of picking up an instrument that they have always wanted to try to learn something different.

Community centers and groups also provide art and music classes. For example, your local church may have a choir group, or you can volunteer at a children’s hospital art program to learn and help others with artistic expression. Dancing classes are also available in public, and private gyms, schools, church groups and social meet up events.

How Music and Art Therapy Has Affected Those in Everyday Life

For those that are suffering from such conditions as manic depression, personality disorder, and diabetes, every day is a struggle. These individuals can find motivation through developing their artistic and musical abilities. Going to art classes or playing the piano is two examples of great activities.

Through these activities, individuals acquire a determined drive to teach themselves and others something and show a creative. Some individuals may find their love of music and art growing to a point where they begin teaching music or giving art classes to others in the community. It is inspiring to see those who were once victims of their suffering blossom and paint these incredible portraits and landscapes or write their very own song. It is a miracle to see someone who was once afflicted by mental illnesses and diabetes, turn into someone who has helped themselves and others express different emotions and creativity that many never thought possible.

Volunteering at a children’s hospital where patients are going through a variety of troubles, many can see another side to music and art therapy. Children show a remarkable perseverance no matter what the circumstances when they are given something to occupy their attention that is so consuming and goal-oriented. Whether it was one little boy learning how to play guitar for the first time or a little girl developing a love for watercolor, you could see the happiness enveloping their faces as they worked tirelessly to improve their skills.

Addiction treatment is another area where music and art therapy are added to treatment programs. A patient of a rehab, who is struggling to put back the pieces of their life together, may be able to get out their frustrations and pain in the song that they write or the painting that they paint. Music and art therapy become a health method of releasing stress and frustrations creatively and expressively.

There are so many ways to improve your life and the lives of others with music and art. By picking up a paintbrush or sitting down at a piano, you open up a new sense of the world and pluck at your creative conscious to develop something beautiful.

Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

What are the Dangers of Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey?

Quitting drugs cold turkey is often more difficult than it sounds, and this is especially true when an individual who is trying to stop does not want to go into a rehabilitation center. It is understandable why drug rehabilitation may seem unappealing. As Americans, people are taught to be very independent. They feel that they can do everything by themselves all the time. 28.6 percent of all people believe that they can handle a drug problem without the need for treatment. However, this logic that is learned culturally can be very harmful when it is applied to quitting drugs. The main reason is that there are many dangers people could experience when they attempt quitting drugs cold turkey.

The Dangers of Relapse When Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

Relapse is a grave danger for drug addicts who have recently decided on quitting drugs cold turkey. The threat of relapse is particularly real in the case of people who are addicted to heroin or crack. According to research conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service, over 90 percent of heroin users experience a relapse. At the same time, there is an 84 percent relapse rate for crack abusers. The agency estimates that the total relapse rate is about 69 percent for all narcotics taken together including legal pills that are often abused.

Without the help of a drug rehabilitation center to support and motivate them, drug-dependent people tend to go back to their old ways. The main reason is that they often think that they can effectively avoid everything and everyone who has a bad influence on their behavior when many individuals decided on quitting cold turkey. Unfortunately, this type of avoidance is unrealistic. What is worse is that these people frequently have difficulties reconciling their daily routine with the new lack of drugs. Relapsing is particularly dangerous because the overdose risk is much higher for people who have recently withdrawn.

The National Institute of Health even says that the risk of an overdose increases during these situations. An addicted person develops a low tolerance for drugs after they have not used them for a while. The individual may try hard to do as much of the same substance as they did in the past not knowing that their body cannot handle that amount anymore.

The Dangers of Withdrawal

The most prominent danger that is associated with quitting drugs cold turkey is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be very severe for an individual who uses opioids such as heroin and other kinds of pain medications. It is admirable for them to try quitting drugs cold turkey, but doing so can often be life-threatening.

Withdrawal can be highly dangerous for a drug user who is trying to quit their addiction on a cold turkey basis. Early signs of withdrawal often include sweating, muscle aches, agitation, and anxiety. However, these withdrawal symptoms that many people consider mild may lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Complications that may arise from these symptoms include breathing stomach contents into the lungs and severe dehydration.

A Way to Avoid the Dangers

To avoid the dangers that are associated with quitting cold turkey, people should enroll themselves in an inpatient rehabilitation program to ensure their safe passage into sobriety. Doing so also allows them to recover from their addiction in an environment that is far from any possible relapse temptations.

When an individual has completed rehabilitation, these facilities also provide them with various aftercare programs. These programs will help ensure that the client makes the transition from the rehabilitation center to their home environment successfully.

Work as a Therapy

Inpatient drug treatment offers clients several benefits. One of these advantages is that it operates on a therapeutic community model of rehabilitation. Under this model, the entire community is as much of a participant in the recovery and treatment as the medical professionals.

The community of addicts share, work, and live together while learning sobriety and recovery within a structured environment. Work as a form of therapy is mandatory. Through their participation in the community’s structure, a resident learns to work and deal with others. It also teaches them discipline towards recovery.

It also confers the life skills that they need to obtain a much better reintegration into their home environment once they are released. A lot of long-term drug addicts often suffer from distrust and an inability to function under authority. Another benefit of inpatient rehabilitation is that this very long period of work training helps addicts resocialize to be employable and productive members of society.

A Time of Healing

One of the main benefits of an inpatient drug rehabilitation program is merely the period of enforced sobriety. Time is often enough for people to grow accustomed to being sober really. It also allows them to enjoy the real and honest relationships of life that are entirely free from chemical abuse.

It is also time enough for them to reap the benefits of the therapy offered and learn how to work with others. The time that is set aside for healing also helps them to gain readiness for much better participation in society once they return.

Aside from that, inpatient rehabilitation philosophies state that the thorough resocialization of an addict is the only way to obtain lasting and real change. As such, all areas of their life need to be reassessed and replaced with new sets of skills in every aspect of everyday life. This replacement often does not happen quickly. It is only through many months of hard work and therapy participation that an addict can genuinely change whatever exists in themselves that causes their devastating drug abuse.

The Bottom Line

An inpatient rehabilitation program is rarely the primary therapeutic environment that many drug addicts consider for their recovery. Also, only a number of therapies can match the time commitment and disruption required. However, the best way for an individual who has a long-lasting and severe drug addiction to obtain enduring recovery is through a program that provides them with an extended period of sobriety. Also, they get a resocialization of expectations and learn that honest and real emotional relationships offer greater rewards than the usual high.

Holistic or Drug-Based Rehab

Which is Best for You, Holistic or Drug-Based Rehab?

When deciding to enroll in a treatment program for addiction, how do you know which type is best for you? Should you choose holistic or drug-based rehab? There are a number of approaches to treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. To better understand these, the first step is to define some of the basic terms.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. 


Describes treatment wherein the patient stays at the hospital or facility. Length of time can vary anywhere from days to months.


Describes treatment wherein the patient visits a hospital or facility without being admitted overnight. The number of visits will vary.


To remove toxins or poison from; specifically, medical treatment of an alcoholic or drug addict involving abstinence and reduction of cravings and withdrawal symptoms to remove the addictive substances from the bloodstream. Detox addresses the physiological aspects of addiction.


To restore to health after illness, injury, etc.; the process of restoring to better health and a better life by training and therapy after detoxification. Rehab would ideally address the full range of factors that cause and contribute to addiction, and contain steps to prevent relapse.


Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account personal, mental, familial, social, environmental, and spiritual factors – rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease or condition.


In the fields of detox and rehab, “drug-based” can mean two things:

a.The use of prescription medications to aid in the detox or rehab process.

b.A focus on the specific characteristics of the drug (or drugs) being abused, in contrast to the full range of factors that cause and contribute to addiction.

Drug-Based Detox

Drug-based detox refers to the use of medication to ease withdrawal symptoms. Certain addictive substances cause severe physical reactions in the addict who stops using. Most notably, these drugs include opiates (morphine, heroin, prescription painkillers), alcohol, as well as benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs). That is not to say that any drug – even caffeine and nicotine – do not carry physical withdrawal symptoms, but certain drugs are known for the acute nature of withdrawal.

Types of Withdrawal

A heroin user going through withdrawal (without medication) is expected to experience such symptoms as insomnia, muscle/joint pain, chills, sweats, fever, nausea, vomiting, intense cravings, depression, and anxiety.

Alcohol withdrawal without medical aid can be life-threatening – involving seizures, hallucination, and temporary psychosis. Delirium Tremens (DTs or “trembling delirium”) is a term used to describe the most severe phase of alcohol withdrawal.

Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium) are central nervous system depressants. Dependence and addiction are quite common, and when people stop their use abruptly, they can experience benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome – symptoms of which include insomnia, panic attack, anxiety (worse than what the prescription was intended for), nausea, dry wretches, heart palpitations, and flu-like symptoms. Life-threatening seizures and psychotic reactions are also reasons medical attention is essential.

Use of Medication in Detox

The safety of withdrawal and the comfort of the addict or alcoholic are of primary concern in medical detox.

There is, however, another side of drug-based detox. an excellent example of this is the outpatient methadone clinic. Such clinics provide methadone as a replacement for heroin. Methadone is itself a highly addictive opiate in the same class as morphine (Schedule II). The advantage is that it is taken orally and not injected intravenously and thus the risk of infection and spread of disease is reduced. HIV/AIDS is a risk for drug users due to needle sharing and sexual transmission. Methadone is a controlled substance but still has a high potential for abuse. This type of treatment for drug addiction does not accomplish detoxification nor does it bring about rehabilitation.

Another point to consider in detox is whether the facility prescribes other drugs such as antidepressants to the recovering addict or alcoholic. Prescribing drugs can result in dependency (either physical or psychological) on yet another medication. Addicts and alcoholics often have – to one degree or another – an “addictive personality” or are prone to addictive behavior, thus using the “crutch” of another drug on a long-term basis is a risky proposition. Any psychotropic medication produces side-effects, some very severe, thus use should be avoided.

Ideally, any medications are used only to ease withdrawal and guarantee safety. After detox is accomplished, any drugs used can be tapered off.

Holistic Detox

Holistic detox refers to a drug-free approach. This is not to be confused with “cold turkey” which people will often attempt without professional help. Holistic methods are those who seek to help the addict or alcoholic in the withdrawal process through natural means. These can include such techniques as massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, and remedies to ease anxiety and induce sleep. The use of nutrition and vitamin and mineral replenishment is also integral to holistic detox. A calm and peaceful environment where someone can eat and sleep is often precisely what a drug addict or alcoholic needs while going through a detox process.

Withdrawal from cocaine addiction, for example, can often be accomplished through holistic detox. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings, disturbed sleep, agitation, anxiety, and severe depression. Quitting cocaine can also induce suicidal ideation. Thus professional supervision is essential. Despite its apparent addictive properties and notoriety, cocaine produces more psychological than physiological addiction – therefore a holistic approach may be made depending on the individual’s circumstances.

Combined Methodologies, Holistic and Drug-Based Rehab

A mixed holistic and drug-based rehab would be the ultimate solution in the field of detox. Most addicts are polydrug users meaning they use multiple substances and are often addicted to more than one drug simultaneously, such as a combination of alcohol and cocaine. Thus the use of combined methodologies would be an efficient way to address the complex problems relating to addiction.

Drug-Based Rehabilitation

Drug-based rehab could include one or more of the following systems to address underlying reasons a person started using and what motivated their continued drug or alcohol abuse:

  • Individual or group therapy, including the techniques of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
  • Conscious Decision Making, which seeks to help users isolate the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs and prevent or avoid them.
  • Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), a system developed to enhance moral reasoning and better decision making. The term “reconation” refers to the process of making conscious decisions.
  • Multidimensional family therapy, designed for use with adolescents with drug problems and their families in dealing with the many influences upon a young person’s life.
  • Motivational interviewing utilizes the willingness of an addict or alcoholic to engage in treatment.
  • Motivational incentives, using positive reinforcement to promote abstinence.

Holistic Rehabilitation

While a holistic approach could utilize any of the above systems, it seeks to expand the range of methodologies used in rehab. The basic theory of the holistic approach is that there is not one set system for rehabilitation. Each individual is different and thus different techniques can be employed. A holistic center could use a core program while simultaneously offering options that a patient can utilize to address their specific problems. Some of the methodologies that could be employed in a holistic approach include:

  • Massage – to ease physical and mental stress.
  • Physical Therapy – to recover from illness or injury associated with addiction.
  • Sleep Remedies – Use of calcium, magnesium, herbs, and other supplements to induce rest and sleep.
  • Nutrition – Addicts are often malnourished, and a comprehensive nutritional regimen can have very therapeutic effects.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – A full range of supplements can be used to replenish deficiencies that are the result of long-term drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Fitness; Yoga – A regimen involving exercise or yoga is beneficial for motivation and physical health.
  • Martial Arts – The disciplines of martial arts are useful not only for fitness but to help an individual’s focus and spiritual values.
  • Spirituality – A wide range of spiritual paths can be taken to help a person in their journey of self-discovery.
  • Faith-Based Programs – The full array of faith-based programs can be employed to assist a person to use their faith or religion in their personal recovery process.
  • Educational and Vocational Programs – Dealing with addiction often means addressing such things as literacy, ability to communicate, how to get a job or pursue a career, and many other practicalities.

Complete Rehabilitation, Holistic or Drug-Based Rehab

While no one can guarantee that someone will never again abuse drugs or alcohol (that is ultimately up to the individual) complete rehabilitation would ideally employ many of the methods listed above. That is why we don’t always know whether to choose holistic or drug-based rehab. Drug addiction is one of the most serious problems in society today. It is linked intrinsically to such things as massive governmental spending, global crime, and an incalculable toll upon human lives.

While the problem is global, it can be broken down into the individual and his or her individual situation. Complete rehabilitation means helping one person at a time to deal effectively with the many aspects of addiction. When one individual conquers their addictions, we are one step closer to tackling the overall pandemic. Whether holistic or drug-based rehab, or a combination of the two, the goal is the same.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

drug and alcohol rehab

How to get a Job After Successfully Completing Drug Rehabilitation

Transition from Rehab

Once a person has completed drug or alcohol rehab, he or she will normally get back home and go through a readjustment phase. They are now back in their old environment but they are totally different as a person. Factually, the individual is much more “himself” or “herself” as they see the world through eyes unclouded by drugs. With the new sober view, there are specific obstacles to be aware of. One must understand that as they are now clean and clear-eyed, they may not entirely like what they see. The former addict is wise not to visit old drug-user friends or hang out on the corner and run into their old dealer. They are often jobless. So one must make new friends (sober ones), find new places, and get a new job. It can be more than a little overwhelming.

Importance of Aftercare

All these are good reasons for comprehensive aftercare and relapse prevention. The final steps of drug rehab SHOULD be preparation for this transitional period; going over the individual’s potential upsets and how to deal with them; setting a course of action and staying focused; vocational connections or training; and even relocation as the situation dictates. All this comes under the heading of aftercare and includes a support network that is essentially available round the clock.

Importance of Work

The importance of work and having stable employment is often downplayed and overlooked. One’s personal morale is primarily dependent upon one’s contribution to society. The fundamental way one goes about this is through work and producing a viable product or service and being reasonably compensated for it. It is how a society is built. The “value” of leisure time and idle hours is highly overrated. Some of your most miserable people are the ones who don’t work. The young person working his or her way through college is likely to get far more out of it than one whose parents pay for everything. It is thus an excellent – even vital – step for a graduate of rehab to get a good job.

A Good Job

Usually, a person doesn’t want “any old job.” True, they’ve got to pay the bills, but they would much rather do something they have a passion for and enjoy doing. They’d like a career. The job market today can be a bit rough. Many factors come into play: experience, education, training, skills, employment record, language, “who you know,” personal goals and aspirations, etc. The city or town you live in will have its own job climate. The economy has been rough on Detroit for example. For a former addict or alcoholic, the odds can be even more stacked against them, particularly if their employment record was affected by their drug or alcohol problem. If they have a criminal record of any kind (even possession is a black mark) it could look dismal indeed to get a decent job with room for advancement. Therefore, it is vital to have an exact plan. Here is a basic outline for such a plan:

The Plan

1. Either yourself or with your aftercare counselor, go over your resources for employment. List out your family, friends (not the drug-user ones), contacts, and any other ideas you have for employment. Even a former employer who may be impressed with your newfound sobriety could be a resource.

2. In conjunction with this list, write down your experience, education, training, and skills.

3. Write down your personal goals and aspirations. What do you WANT to do? More specifically, what do you want to PRODUCE? Examples: An artist produces works of art that enhance people’s lives. A mechanic produces vehicles that run well. A store clerk produces happy customers who walk out with a purchase. What you want to do or produce is individual to you. There can be more than one thing.

4. Keep all the above in mind and write a resume. A resume is defined as “a brief account of one’s professional or work experience and qualifications, often submitted with an employment application.” If you are not familiar with resume writing you should get help. There is a certain “language” used in a resume. You can look online for advice and also visit a State employment office that will often have a course on how to put one together.

Best Drug RehabilitationA resume should not be too wordy. Employers and HR (Human Resources) people look at a LOT of resumes and don’t have time read a long dissertation. One page is often enough. Resumes often use certain key phrases like “team player” or “detail-oriented” so you should get familiar with these. That said, you also want, to be honest and not appear “rote” or insincere. You can make your resume stand out in various ways such as printing it on attractive letterhead.

Another note on resumes is that they should put emphasis on your skills and positive attributes. If you are applying for different types of jobs, you may have to produce different versions of your resume. For a construction job, it would accent your skills or experience in that trade. If it’s a sales job, focus would be on your customer relations and closing expertise. You also want to include references – people who can be contacted that will give a positive recommendation. You aftercare counselor should be able to help with that as well.

5. It is not necessary to mention your past addiction in your resume. However, do not lie or be dishonest. Employers do background checks, and they may discount your application once they know your background. Because of this fact, you may want to state up front that you did rehab and are clean. If they are considerate, they will appreciate your honesty and forthright attitude. You will also not then worry that they’ll “find out” about your past. You can mention that you are more than willing to do periodic drug tests.

6. If you have a criminal record, you’d handle it similarly to the above. If you lie, they’ll find out and won’t hire you. You can state that your offense was connected to your drug problem which you have beaten – or whatever the facts are. There are also networks that help those with records find jobs. One is America in Recovery. Another is National HIRE Network.

7. Network with friends and acquaintances. Call people up. Even if they don’t have anything, they may know someone who does and can put in a good word for you. You can show up at church, baby showers, weddings, etc. and talk to people. Even if you’ve never met them, people are usually in a good frame of mind at such functions and will be receptive. Many people get jobs just by knowing someone. You can also attend a job fair.

8. Go online. You can use Craigslist, other websites, and social media. A word of warning: A LOT of people use Craigslist and certain types of jobs get HUNDREDS of applications and resumes. It’s not that you can’t get a job through that site, but the traffic is VERY HIGH. Be aware of scams – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can look up other sites that specialize in certain fields, or just Google “jobs” in your city and start sending your resume. One advantage to going online is that you can send as many copies of your resume as you want. You are not likely to find large corporations advertising on a site like Craigslist. If you’d like to work at a specific company, go to their website, click on the jobs section and follow the instructions.

9. You can go directly to businesses and ask if they’re hiring, or just ask for an application, fill it out and attach your resume. Normally they’ll take it and say they’ll call you if they want to interview you. You want to be well-groomed, clean, and of good appearance. When you do get an interview, show up on time or early. This is called “pounding the pavement” – applying and going for interviews. It can be a bit exhausting and nerve-wracking. Just keep working at it. It is said that you must work to get work. This is a true statement.

10. Keep in mind that just because a company is not advertising doesn’t mean they are not hiring. It can’t hurt to apply. Take sales jobs as one example – there are ALWAYS sales jobs. They often pay by commission so many people gravitate away from them. Others have a knack for it and stay in sales. You can always try your hand at sales and see whether or not it’s for you. There are also books about how to sell that can help you.

11. Consider vocational training and furthering your education. If you don’t have a high-school diploma, you can do some study and pass your GED. Your aftercare team should help you with that. For training in specific skills, you can focus on what you want to do, or find out what trades are needed in your area and get trained in one of them.

You can also find out about internships (paid or unpaid). This may or may not be a good option for you. It can get you in the front door, provide useful experience, and pave the way to getting hired for real.

12. If you are particularly ambitious, you can always start your own business. This is called entrepreneurship and can be an adventurous undertaking. It involves skills not typically taught in schools. You may want to venture into it.

13. STAY POSITIVE. Many employers don’t even know exactly what they’re looking for. A positive and sincere attitude could make you stand out. For your own sake, don’t get discouraged. The job search can be a trying experience. Consider it another part of life training.

14. Lastly, there is another way to approach a job or career search that could open a new vista for you. Going back to point number 3 above, there is a specific question you can ask. That question is:

“What would you do if money were no object?” or… 

“If money, time, and even talent were no object or concern, what would you do?”

By “object” is meant a goal or purpose. Just ask yourself the question and do that thing. It’s that simple.

Now, you may have to get a day job to pay the bills, and it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t strive to do a good job no matter what you did – but it does mean simply that you’d end up doing what you want to do. You can extrapolate a lot from the answer. You may have to go back to school; practice hard; put in the requisite blood, sweat, and tears – but when you are doing what you’re passionate about, things tend to get easier. If you manage to become expert at it, then with some ingenuity you should be able to get paid well for doing it.

15. Don’t give up! Good luck!

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