Medical Drug Detox
The first and most important stage of addiction treatment is medically supervised detox. Medical detox treats physical dependence on drugs and alcohol by managing and reducing physical withdrawal symptoms. This treatment helps patients withdraw more safely and comfortably from substances while facing a reduced risk of withdrawal-related complications.
Drug and alcohol detox usually takes place in an inpatient residential rehab environment where patients can be closely supervised and monitored as they go through withdrawal. Patients with severe substance use disorders can face complications including seizures, heart failure, and dehydration, which is why going through detox in a hospital-like environment is essential for a safe and healthy recovery. For instance, 5% of people who withdraw from alcohol without professional treatment will experience seizures, and the mortality rate among patients with delirium tremens (a severe form of alcohol withdrawal) is between 5% and 25%, reports Alcohol Health and Research World. However, alcohol detox can greatly reduce these risks.
Medical drug detox usually involves the use of FDA-approved medications effective at relieving withdrawal symptoms. Some treatment regimens are designed to completely eliminate or reduce symptoms for specific drug use disorders (such as opioid and alcohol use disorders), while other treatment regimens are used only to reduce certain problematic symptoms. Clinical trials have demonstrated that medications used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are far superior than nonpharmacologic treatments such as counseling in terms of effectiveness. According to the NIDA, treatment with buprenorphine or methadone (medications for OUD) is associated with a 76% reduction in overdose at 3 months and a 59% reduction at 12 months.
30, 60 and 90 - Day Residential Treatment Programs
Most recovery programs at drug rehab centers last 30 days; however, longer program lengths of 60, 90, and 120 days are available for those who need more time to recover from addiction and return to productive functioning in their families, workplaces, and communities. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says most patients need at least 90 days in treatment to experience the best outcome in terms of reducing or stopping drug use. Ninety days allows patients the time needed to fully complete drug or alcohol detox, while also receiving behavioral therapies in group and individual settings that teach them how to effectively manage stress and go about their daily lives without turning to drugs and alcohol.
In many instances, patients start out in a 90-day inpatient residential rehab program, then transition to lower levels of care as they become more confident and motivated about their recovery and ability to stay sober. Those with more severe cases of addiction may spend 90 days or longer at drug rehab, then transition to an outpatient rehab program to receive therapy a few days a week while living at home or in a sober housing community.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Many who suffer from addiction also have other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and schizophrenia. The NIDA reports that about 50% of people with substance use disorders also have a mental illness, and vice versa. A person diagnosed with both a substance use disorder and mental illness is known to have a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders.
Patients with a dual diagnosis need specialized therapy that addresses both disorders — otherwise, those who are treated for one disorder and not the other will face a higher risk of relapse. For instance, a person with alcohol use disorder and depression may start drinking again after leaving rehab if they are only treated for alcohol dependence and don’t know how to cope with or manage symptoms of depression. On the other hand, a person who is only treated for depression and not alcohol use disorder will continue drinking, and may once again develop symptoms of depression due to the way alcohol affects brain function and chemical balance.
A study published in the Journal of Systems and Integrative Neuroscience examined the effects of dual diagnosis treatment in 804 patients with co-occurring alcohol and mental health disorders. By the end of the one-year study period, co-occurring mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and opioid or cocaine abuse decreased by between 66% and 95% at months one, six, and 12. Many drug and alcohol rehab centers offer dual diagnosis treatment in their recovery programs.
Recovery Housing/Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes and recovery housing provide patients with strong 24/7 support environments that are also drug- and alcohol-free. Residents who live at these facilities are able to successfully reduce their drug and alcohol use and return to productive functioning in their jobs, schools, and families.
The aforementioned report from SAMHSA and the U.S. Surgeon General says researchers have thoroughly evaluated the efficacy and outcomes of recovery housing on patients with substance use disorders. They learned that this environment produces an 87% abstinence rate among patients who live there for 2 years, which is between 4 and 5 times greater than outcomes following drug detox and rehab treatment. The report also mentions that those who live in recovery housing have significantly lower rates of substance abuse compared with those who receive typical aftercare services (31.1% vs 64.8%).
Prior to living in recovery housing or sober living communities, many patients receive detox and behavioral health treatment at a residential drug rehab center. After their treatment programs end, these patients can be referred to recovery housing or sober living communities to continue onward with their journeys to achieving long-term abstinence.
Baystate Recovery offers drug detox, alcohol detox, and a wide range of drug and alcohol rehab programs individualized for each patient. Call us today at 800-270-2302 to learn more about our many available treatment programs.