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How to Choose Treatment for Alcohol and Substance Abuse -From Lake Zurich, Palatine and Richmond

Sep 1, 2008
Alcoholics and drug abusers have the option of being treated in various formats. Their choices range from inpatient treatment in the hospital to outpatient treatment in the therapists office or clinic.

Substance abuse treatment centers offer different programs and techniques depending on their philosophy of recovery. Also, they can be customized to an individual patients needs in order to increase the chances of achieving the positive outcome of the patient staying clean and sober.

Outpatient treatment occurring in the doctors office can be an effective solution for the alcoholic or addict with a more recent history of addiction. However, treatment programs that are shorter than 90 days have a higher risk of not achieving the positive longer term result sought.

Hospital-based inpatient programs which last 90 days or more are considered a more effective option. However, those programs lasting at least 12 months have the highest chance of resulting in long term sobriety because the patients physical addiction is treated as well as his or her psychiatric needs.

Many of the briefer treatments can only provide detoxification and do not teach addicts the all-important skills necessary to remain free from alcohol or drugs in everyday life. Unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to the toxic pressures and stimuli that can cause them to abuse mind-altering substances once again.

Treatment programs that are longer-term add to the addicts chances of success because of the additional treatment customization and powerful repetition of therapeutic concepts that take place. The best alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs provide diverse
interventions that are customized to the addicts individual requirements.

However, the foundation is usually based on the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narconon 12-step programs; they emphasize the addicts spiritual needs in preparing them for alcohol and drug-free everyday life. Behavioral therapies are also included which teach the alcoholic or drug abuser proven coping skills that are required to resist temptation.

Medications which reduce physical symptoms of withdrawal and counseling and psychotherapy used to treat any possible symptoms of mental illness are usually part of a complete program of interventions.

These four methods are successful because of the powerful synergy they generate. Alcohol and drug treatment centers that provide this four-pronged approach focus on the unique needs of each patient.

This comprehensive approach also addresses their psychiatric needs, whether they be symptoms of depression, anxiety or any other psychological disorder. Substance abuse patients, through these interventions, are likely to acquire the new coping skills that they will need in order to live their alcohol and drug-free lives effectively and successfully.

These programs also provide continuing aftercare for the patient once he is released from treatment.

Sobriety skills are not learned in a day so patients are better served by programs of 90 to 360 day durations in order to receive the powerful repetition and reinforcement required to make sobriety skills their own. This enhances the odds that alcohol and drug abuse patients will have remained in treatment long enough to have sufficiently integrated their skills to remain sober after treatment.

Longer treatment provides the time needed for the patient to thoroughly integrate their new coping skills and to resolve any past issues which may have been crucial in engendering the abusive behavior.

Shorter-term treatment does offer sufficient time to eliminate the addictive substance from the body but is usually not sufficient for the patient to master the skills required to function drug and alcohol-free in everyday life.

Longer-term alcohol and drug abuse programs provide the best chances of a patient living a sober life. The needs of the alcoholic and drug addict are unique and being aware of the options available for treatment will make selecting an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program easier and more successful.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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