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Does The Day Treatment Program Really Work?

Aug 19, 2008
In recent times, the day treatment program has become really popular for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. People who have become weary of severe and intense addiction treatment methods that they were forced to use even if they did not deserve it are now leaning highly on the day programs. These methods are convenient for the persons undergoing treatment, in that they do not want the persons to be isolated in the treatment centers, away from their friends and families. But they will have to visit the treatment center on a daily basis.

Usually, centers that provide a day program will have people visit them for three to four hours a day, almost all days of the week. Some centers allow for the weekends to be free, but most centers will use them too. In that way, the treatment program is extensive. There are a lot of hours spent at the treatment center per week. However, the hours are flexible. Generally they are arranged in the early mornings or the late evenings, but people can ask for timings that are suitable for their purposes. This allows them to keep up with their other kinds of social obligations such as keeping up with a job or continuing a study course even as they are undergoing treatment for their dependency.

In fact this is the point that is making the day treatment program really popular. The earlier methods of addiction recovery were quite restrictive, because they isolated people and in fact brought a big pause in their lives. Day treatment, however, allows people to carry on with their tasks and that is what makes a very big difference.

When you are considering a day treatment program to come out of your dependency, it is important to know what kinds of people it will benefit. People who are with mild to moderate levels of addiction will be clearly benefited with this program. These are the people who can easily give up their addictions with the right kind of approach. The day programs put them on a routine to do that. Even people who are into severe addictions but have undergone a treatment procedure such as detox can take up the day treatment program as a means of aftercare. A day program will work quite well in maintaining their recovery process both through medication and counseling.

However, people who have coexisting conditions such as a health complication or a mental illness must not use a day treatment program. All said and done, the day treatment program is an outpatient process. There is no constant medical monitoring, which is quite important for people who have these coexisting conditions. Only the constant medical care and attention will be able to bring them out through the subtle complications that are caused when addiction treatment procedures are implemented in people who have such dual problems.

At the same time, people who are in very intense substance addiction must not rely on day treatment programs and the programs will themselves not enroll such people. The reason here is that these people will not be able to bear the abstinence and will definitely stray. Also, their bodies will contain a very high proportion of the substance and it will become very necessary to cleanse their bodies with a detoxification process if further health complications in them are to be avoided and if they have to be brought more speedily into recovery.

Let us now see what the main components of a day treatment program are:-

1. Maintenance medication: This is a very important element. People are provided some kind of medication so that their urges for the addictive substance are allayed. For example, if a person is addicted to alcohol, they might be given Antabuse which helps the people in staying away from the substance. This is also important for people who have been with difficult detox programs and are now looking upon the day program as a means of aftercare.

2. Counseling: The counseling approach is mainly to bring people out of their addictive tendencies by getting into root causes of their problems, such as probing into whether they have an emotional issue that might be keeping them with their addictions. Sometimes, psychiatrists will help patients who have complicated and multilayered emotional problems.

3. Education: Education is implemented in a group format. The patients are made to understand the repercussions of the kind of addiction they are in and what they can do in order to pull themselves out of it. Here various therapies will also be explained to the patients which they can use when they have an uncontrollable urge for the substance.
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