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Treatment Basics

UNDERSTANDING THE STAGES OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG TREATMENT

Drug Rehab Program - Sunshine Coast Health CentreAlcohol and drug treatment is not a one-shot deal. It is a process, not an event. To reflect this “process”, treatment for addiction is offered in stages (or levels of care) consistent with a client’s physical condition as well as his/her ability and motivation to live clean and sober. Since a client’s needs change as he/she progresses from active addiction to addiction recovery, one stage of treatment is not better than the other.

Optimally, alcohol and drug treatment increases in intensity (amount of supervision, amount of therapy, clinical staff level of expertise) until a client stabilizes then begins to drop in intensity as the risk of relapse decreases. However, for a variety of reasons, actual drug treatment follows many paths that are as varied as the clients themselves.

For more information on the stages of drug treatment read the article Understanding the Stages and Settings of Alcohol and Drug Treatment.

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GETTING VALUE FOR YOUR DRUG TREATMENT DOLLAR

Finding the right alcohol and drug treatment program is no easy task. Some of the reasons for this include:

  1. the wide variety of programs available
  2. “closed-door” practices of the drug treatment industry (client confidentiality, competition, etc.)
  3. the wide variety of program costs – no or low cost (government programs, charities and non-profits) to private fee-for-service

For the general public, comparison shopping can seem next to impossible.  However, with some basic knowledge and the right questions, individuals and impacted family members can often get the help they need at a price they are willing to pay.
To help you make an informed decision read the article Getting Value for Your Drug Treatment Dollar.

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HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT ALCOHOL AND DRUG TREATMENT CENTER

At our alcohol and drug treatment center, if there is one thing that callers have in common is that they need help now. While approaching an emergency with a sense of urgency is necessary, it can leave families vulnerable to deciding on a treatment center before getting all the facts. Therefore, your first choice may not be the right choice.

Chances are you will not find a treatment center that is a perfect fit but if you do your homework and follow some of the suggestions provided in How to Find the Right Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center, you will greatly improve your odds of finding the right fit.

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10 QUESTIONS TO ASK AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAM

Now that you have read “How to Find the Right Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center,” you should have a basic understanding on how to spot some of the tell-tale signs of a quality alcohol and drug treatment program. First, however, you are encouraged to read 10 Questions to ask an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program before you pick up the phone and start dialing.

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COMPARING SUCCESS RATES OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG TREATMENT CENTERS

If you spend enough time listening to the radio, reading the news, or surfing the web, you have probably come across companies who claim they can help you overcome or cure your addiction. Some claim this is possible through a pill, while other offer a cure through therapy. Still others claim phenomenal success rates of 80 percent or higher. How much of it is true?

Whether it’s pills or talk therapy, Sunshine Coast Health Center can help those who are comparing success rates of drug treatment programs. For more information read the article Comparing Success Rates of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers.

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THE MYTHS OF DRUG ADDICTION AND TREATMENT

We live in an increasingly sophisticated age of technology. Every day brings news of a new medical breakthrough. Cell phones, satellite communications, and the Internet have made our world smaller. In spite of these changes, however, many of us are stuck in the way we think about people with behavioural disorders, including drug addiction.  

Some of the more common “myths” we have about addiction include:

  1. We Choose to be Addicted – while it is true that people are rarely forced to use drugs or alcohol against their will, changes in the brain that occur from compulsive alcohol or drug use are better explanation for the compulsive and uncontrollable use that characterizes addiction.
  2. Drug Addiction is a Sign of Weakness – willpower alone is no match for the changes in the brain that influences a person’s behaviour. The drug becomes the single most powerful motivator in a drug abuser’s existence.
  3. Addiction Treatment Only Works When you Want it to Work – studies have shown that those who enter drug treatment benefit from the experience, regardless of whether they were pressured to enter treatment.
  4. Treatment is a Waste if it doesn’t Work the First Time – addiction is a chronic condition for which there is no known cure. Like other chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, repeated treatments are often necessary before long-term recovery is maintained.
  5. There is a Cure for Drug Addiction – people with addictions have different problems caused by their addiction and respond differently to similar forms of treatment. Therefore, individuals need to be assessed and provided an array of treatments and services tailored to their unique needs. Furthermore, no treatment approach has been able to demonstrate effectiveness for clients who have returned to moderate alcohol or drug consumption over the long term.

For more information see the online video Myths of Addiction produced by Twin Cities Public Television.

Source: Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., Former Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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MORE DRUG TREATMENT BASICS

For more drug treatment basics, refer to the Drug Information section.

ONLINE RESOURCES

Refer to these online resources for more information on drug treatment basics:

Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide (July 2000) is a popular publication that provides basic information on drug treatment. Its intent is to share research and foster more widespread use of scientifically based treatment components. Sections include overarching principles that characterize effective treatment, answers to frequently raised questions, and types of treatment with examples. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), NIH Publication 00-4180.

Seeking Substance Abuse Treatment (2006) is a set of questions designed to inform you on your treatment options. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).

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