The Value of Quality Treatment When Struggling with Addiction

therapist with male patient

By Bobby Shriver

Close to 47 million Americans are struggling with addiction, and yet only a handful get the quality drug and alcohol treatment they so desperately need. There’s no doubt that treatment is important and necessary in today’s world, but what constitutes quality treatment? And what needs to be offered for you to achieve long-term substance abuse recovery and a full life?

Overcoming Societal Stigma

Persistent and pervasive societal stigmas toward addiction exist today, shares Johns Hopkins Medicine, and these are often rooted in the belief that addiction is a personal choice based on both moral failing and lack of willpower. Even some healthcare professionals can have bias towards addicted individuals and may fail to provide evidence-based care as a result, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 

When you think of someone who’s addicted to drugs, it’s easy to conjure up a mental picture of a nameless, scary figure lurking in a dark alley. But what if that person was your son or daughter? So often, those who struggle with substance addictions are people in our own community. Unfortunately, our society’s stigma surrounding addiction can keep everyday people from seeking addiction treatment when they need it most. 

By choosing to overcome the stigma that so often holds people back, we can help our loved ones (and ourselves) understand the importance of professional help in substance abuse recovery.

By choosing to overcome the stigma that so often holds people back, we can help our loved ones (and ourselves) understand the importance of professional help in substance abuse recovery.

How can we break the stigma? Start by encouraging open and honest conversations about addiction and the value of addiction treatment. Next, learn the facts. This will help us to know the truth about what addiction does to our brains, so we can reject any inaccurate biases.

With the right understanding, we’re able to show more empathy toward those who are struggling. It will also help us to encourage them to get the holistic addiction treatment they need to heal.

Quality Rehab Programs Equal Successful Outcomes

Treatment centers with specialties that focus on addiction counseling, medication-assisted treatment, psychiatry, and even spirituality can help you uncover and address any wide-ranging needs that could aid in your recovery. Some additional evidence-based addiction interventions to consider include:

  • Medical Detox On-Site – Having this in-house is closely linked to having experienced and qualified staff on-site. It also ensures that you will begin your treatment clear-minded, comfortable, and focused on self-discovery.
  • Nutritional Support – As they say, you are what you eat! Healthy eating directly correlates to a positive recovery process. Treatment centers that prioritize nutrition will help you establish a healthy lifestyle for long-term wellness.
  • Personalized Addiction Care – Everyone’s circumstances are unique; the one-size-fits-all approach to treatment neglects to consider your individual strengths, weaknesses, and medical history. For example, co-occurring disorders like depression and bipolar disorder may need to be addressed. Quality rehab programs will tailor their treatment in ways that will benefit you most.
  • Post-Treatment –The center you choose should offer a plan of action to follow up on you after completing your program. It should include ways to manage recovery-related stress and tips on how to avoid toxic people and situations. Also, many treatment centers offer alumni support groups and meetings to build a community of recovery that you can attend for addiction recovery support and motivation.
  • Involving the Family – Since household environments often play a part in addiction, choose a place that offers you a chance to reconnect with your family and get practical tips for post-treatment success while in treatment.
The Meadows Texas entryway

When looking for a treatment center, also look for counselors with graduate degrees that incorporate license and board certifications. That’s a pretty good indicator you’re dealing with a proven addiction treatment center.

Additionally, these centers will have clinical supervision and team meetings twice a week or more for those in their outpatient-recovery programs — and even more for residential and inpatient programs. While addiction treatment may be overwhelming, competent, licensed staff will give you the reassurance that they’re here to help you heal, seek clarity, and find your road to substance abuse recovery.

Trying to Quit on Your Own

No one ever intends to become addicted. There’s always some reason you begin using drugs or alcohol: stress, anxiety, depression. Nearly everyone with addiction believes — in the beginning anyway — that they can stop using any time they want, and most will try at one time or another. As most addiction specialists will tell you, nearly all these attempts will end in failure.

Studies by NIDA show that long-term drug addiction results in changes in brain functions that persist long after you begin using. Quitting “cold turkey” can not only be difficult, but dangerous and even fatal. There’s no way to judge how you’re going to react to abruptly quitting drugs; stopping suddenly can bring on seizures, convulsions, and result in your nervous system shutting down. 

The best and safest way to recovery is through proper medical supervision combined with a long-term addiction treatment plan. Remember, your body is stressed enough because of prolonged drug use. It needs to be rehydrated and properly nourished to regain its health. For this reason, it’s better and safer to opt for a long-term treatment program. It won’t happen overnight; there are never any shortcuts to recovery, but with a high-quality treatment center, you will have a qualified team behind you to achieve success.  

Spotting Substandard Addiction Treatment 

While the signs of high-quality care are more obvious, less-than-standard drug and alcohol treatment can be subtler, but potentially more disastrous. If correctly conducted, addiction treatment can transform lives and have a huge impact on the greater community. It can literally mean the difference between life and death, or productivity and despair.

If correctly conducted, addiction treatment can transform lives and have a huge impact on the greater community. It can literally mean the difference between life and death, or productivity and despair.

When researching various centers, recommends watching out for some of the following signs to help make a more informed decision:

  • Accreditation or Certification – Good centers will be registered and licensed by the state they operate in. Accreditation by the Joint Commission or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities is also a good indicator that you’ve found a quality center.
  • Vague, Generic Websites or Advertisements – These websites are run by companies employing “patient brokers,” people who connect you to whichever center is paying them — not necessarily one that is suited for your clinical needs.
  • Free Travel Offers – This incentive is illegal in many states. If someone is offering to pay for your travel to the addiction center, make sure they’re an employee.

The lesson here is that not every center is a good fit for everyone. If you have the time, try and schedule a tour, and do your due diligence online. Look at the various centers’ websites and social media presence, read their reviews, find people who have enrolled in a treatment program and ask what their experience was like. Above all, remember to check to see if its programs are fully accredited and offer what you need.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

At this point, you may understand the importance of professional help when it comes to addiction treatment. But when you start exploring treatment centers, it may be difficult to know what type of treatment you or your loved one needs. 

For substance abuse treatment, you’re primarily looking at inpatient versus outpatient treatment options, and the route you choose will depend on the severity of your addiction, as well as other situational circumstances. Inpatient (also known as residential) treatment involves staying at a residential facility and receiving 24-hour treatment and support.

Often people will choose inpatient treatment as the first step toward recovery. Residential rehab center benefits include having a safe place to detox from your substance, accessing more intensive treatment programs, and focusing on getting sober somewhere away from the temptations and distractions at home. 

Considered a step down from residential treatment, an outpatient treatment option allows you or your loved one to access quality rehab programs while still maintaining greater levels of freedom and connection to your regular life. Once you’ve begun your recovery journey after residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs can help you build the resilience you need to stay the course.

Often requiring multiple hours of individual and group therapy each week for a set period of time, outpatient treatment can help you learn valuable relapse prevention techniques that can keep you sober as you adjust to the rigors of life at home. Any holistic addiction treatment center will also provide aftercare and alumni programs once you’ve completed outpatient treatment, so you can have ongoing recovery support. 

Final Thoughts on Effective Addiction Therapy

With each passing year, more and more addiction treatment centers are opening up. With so many options, it’s not surprising that choosing the right place may be the most difficult decision of your life. Educating yourself before venturing forth will pay huge dividends in the long run in the form of a positive recovery and a life spent clean and sober. 

The Meadows Texas meets all the criteria recommended for a quality addiction treatment program and has been bringing hope and recovery to those who have walked through our doors for many years now. We would be privileged to help you or your loved one who is suffering. Reach out today to learn more and take that first step toward transformation.