Drug Treatment: How To Find Help
An Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment Center
When looking for a drug treatment center for drug detox or help with a drug problem, first decide on the level of treatment you need. Going into a hospital or facility is both expensive and traumatic for most people; it only begins the process of recovery. These days, more alcohol withdrawal timeline treatment is being done on an outpatient basis, and this makes a lot of sense because treatment of addiction is a long-term process.
Don’t go blindly to any one place for help. Your personal physician is a great place to start and can help you decide whether you need to be admitted to the hospital. Physicians have good contacts in their community and know who to go to and places to avoid. Their experience with therapists and their knowledge of psychiatrists in the area can make a difference in your decision. Avoiding hospitalization is not always the correct path, but doing so will save thousands of dollars and avoid having to miss work or other obligations.
Your Family Doctor Treats Addiction Too
Family docs are great, my wife is one. They have a happy natures and are willing to go out of their way to help their patients. There are now a variety of addiction treatments available in a physician’s office for the treatment of addiction.
We now have both pills and injections to treat alcoholism that can be given in the clinic. Some patients can receive medications at home to wean them from alcohol. We have buprenorphine for narcotic addiction. Some patients actually do quite well seeing their Family Doctor for very brief therapy sessions without the need of further counseling or treatment.
State Treatment Centers
Before contacting you personal doctor, or if you don’t have a Family Physician, call you State Mental Health Authority. They can be found in the phone book or online in a directory under “Mental Health, or Department of Human Services, or Office of Addictions, or Health and Family Services.” After finding out what is available in your area, discuss it with you own physician.
People would be amazed at the amount of help their individual States can provide. They usually have separate treatment tracts for addiction, mental health (depression, schizophrenia, bipolar illnesses), and mental retardation. The State offices will connect patients with local services, and the local offices will often do free screenings. They often work on sliding scales and are far less expensive than private services. It has been my experience that one can get good treatment in this manner if they show they are willing to attend all appointments.
The biggest downside to Local Mental Health Departments is they can take up to several months to get an appointment with their regular psychiatrist (and not just an emergency screener). When finances are a factor, I will usually see a patient the first few visits while working to get them in to the local Mental Health Departments.
Private Treatment Centers
Private Treatment Centers are usually expensive, and they have the perception of more privacy than State Facilities. These facilities are usually well advertised and easy to find. The services provided have nicer surroundings and the patients who go there usually have insurance or are working.
The main advantages of private treatment centers include their expanded services and improved level of training of staff. There may be more aftercare groups and more convenient hours. I’ve always heard that talent goes where there is money, and this is no different. It is not always the case, but more often than not, it is.
Free Treatment (or almost free)
If you addiction is alcohol, go to Alcoholics Anonymous. AA has a long history and works as well, or better than anything out there. It is readily available an usually even small towns have several meetings per day. Did I mention they were free? I only tell patients two things: 1. Try out two or three different AA groups because each group is very different from the next. 2. Get a sponsor with at least 5 years sobriety, preferably 10 years sobriety. In my experience, alcoholics with under 5 years sobriety usually don’t have the calmness, clarity, and experience to help newer members as sponsors.
If you addiction is other drugs, Narcotics Anonymous can be found the same as AA. I have found the quality of NA meetings not to be as good as AA meetings, so finding good sponsors is even more important. Consider avoiding meetings where there are few individuals with less than a year sobriety.
For those not interested in 12 step programs, I should note that being involved with you local Church and receiving pastoral counseling works for quite a few people. For those not religiously inclined there is Ration Recovery.
There are many places to find treatment for addiction: from you Family Physician, to State Mental Health Agencies. There are expensive private facilities and free meetings around town. The key is to remember that addiction is a chronic illness. It will require ongoing treatment. One hospitalization or meeting will not fix addiction. Make sure you review you options with your Family Physician because they can treat addiction and help you make the best decision for you situation.
An Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment Center When looking for a drug treatment center for drug detox or help with a drug problem, first decide on the level of treatment you need. Going into a hospital or facility is both expensive and traumatic for most people; it only begins the process of recovery. These days, more…