While TV and film usually portray ‘treatment’ for substance use as a residential rehab facility, this represents only one form of addiction treatment. At its core, addiction treatment must help individuals to stop using substances, sustain their abstinence, and to have a productive family, work and social life.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse identifies a number of key principles that should form the basis of any treatment program. These are as follows:
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. No single treatment is right for everyone.
- People need to have quick access to treatment.
- Effective treatment addresses all of the patient’s needs, not just his or her drug use.
- Staying in treatment long enough is critical.
- Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.
- Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.
- Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.
- Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment.
- Treatment doesn’t need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.
- Treatment programs should test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as teach them about steps they can take to reduce their risk of these illnesses.
While there may be no ‘perfect’ treatment available and you may experience waiting lists or financial constraints, there are still a number of steps to consider when first looking into getting your teen help. It can be overwhelming and it’s difficult to know where to start. The following resources will help.