Why Detox Isn’t Enough: Getting Help For Addiction

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People who have completed a detox program may be tempted not to pursue addiction treatment because they feel better after having dealt with withdrawal symptoms. But drug and alcohol detox alone is often not enough for long-term recovery.

Why Detox Isn’t Enough: Getting Help For Addiction

Withdrawal from alcohol or drugs like heroin is a major hurdle to cross, especially if you have a severe substance use disorder (SUD).

Withdrawal symptoms can be very intense, uncomfortable, and even life-threatening, and people may believe that they will do anything to avoid going through withdrawal again, including staying sober.

However, the relief felt following the detox process is often not enough to support addiction recovery.

Treatment plans that include therapy, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), dual diagnosis care, and other support are also often required to address the root cause of the addiction.

Detox Treats Dependence

Detoxification is often an important first step in addressing alcohol and drug addiction. Detox programs can help people get through uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

The use of medications for opioid and opiate withdrawal, like buprenorphine and methadone, may continue beyond the detox program through MAT to help people deal with drug cravings.

Detox services and medications address dependence on drugs or alcohol, but they alone can not treat addiction.

The Difference Between Addiction And Dependence

Addiction and dependence are words related to substance use disorders that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing.

Dependence refers to your body’s need for drugs or alcohol because it has grown accustomed to and adjusted to the substance’s presence in your system.

Addiction is typically signified by drastic changes in behavior related to obtaining, using, and recovering from the use of substances, such as not being able to stop using a substance.

Addiction and dependence are closely related and often hard to tell apart, especially as an SUD progresses.

This is why comprehensive treatment that involves individual and group therapy and other evidence-based treatment approaches is often required.

Comprehensive Treatment Gets At The Roots Of Addiction

Addiction is a complicated mental health disorder, but with comprehensive treatment, long-term recovery becomes much more likely.

A full-service addiction treatment center will offer evidence-based treatment approaches like behavioral therapy, MAT, and others to address addiction and its roots.

Chronic stress, childhood trauma, and co-occurring mental health disorders are just a few factors that can contribute to an SUD.

Addiction And Trauma

Recent studies have linked trauma and addiction. Trauma can result from experiencing or witnessing an emotionally charged event like a car accident, an abusive relationship, or a natural disaster.

Childhood trauma can also be a predictor of mental health and substance abuse issues either as an adolescent or later in life.

Childhood trauma includes:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • bullying
  • intimate partner violence
  • medical trauma
  • living with a parent with mental illness

Trauma during childhood can be difficult to identify, even for the people who have experienced it, because they may have suppressed it as an intelligent survival instinct.

Addiction And Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders can sometimes result in substance abuse, especially if undiagnosed.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), about one-third of people with mental health conditions also experience alcohol and drug abuse.

Additionally, about half of all people who have a severe mental illness also have an SUD.

Trauma and emotional wounds can lead to mental health disorders in addition to substance abuse, making the two conditions hard to separate.

What Makes Up Comprehensive Addiction Treatment?

Comprehensive addiction treatment programs address all of a person’s individual needs during the recovery process, which may start with detoxification.

It includes evidence-based treatment services, or those that have been proven through scientific research to be effective, as well as holistic services, aftercare, and other recovery support.

Treatments for addiction include:

These treatments may be provided at various levels of care, including residential, inpatient, and outpatient programs.

We’ll take a closer look at a few of the more common evidence-based treatment approaches that rehab centers use below.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy is a key component of substance abuse treatment. There are several evidence-based modalities that can be used. Below are some of the most common.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy has been used to treat substance abuse effectively for several decades, making it a reliable mainstay of therapeutic treatment.

CBT is based on three principles:

  • substance abuse is based, at least in part, on unhelpful ways of thinking
  • substance abuse is based, at least in part, on unhelpful behaviors
  • people facing drug and alcohol addiction can learn ways to maintain sobriety and better ways of coping with any underlying mental health problems

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical behavior therapy is based on CBT in that it is a form of talk therapy with the same goals as CBT.

The word “dialectical” refers to combining two ideas that are opposed, or acceptance and the need for change, making DBT ideal for many people facing drug and alcohol addiction.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is both a setting and a therapeutic modality. Unlike individual therapy, group therapy allows people to face their substance use and underlying issues together.

This modality is commonly used at all levels of care and allows people to develop recovery skills, practice relapse prevention strategies, learn interpersonal skills, and build support systems.

Family Therapy

Family therapy is often an integral part of addiction treatment because it addresses issues within a client’s family.

These issues may include those that have created tensions in the family since a client has started substance abuse or they may include family issues that created emotional wounds or trauma.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

A dual diagnosis, sometimes called co-occurring disorders, is when a person has both a substance use disorder and another mental health disorder, such as depression.

Dual diagnosis treatment commonly includes a lot of group therapy or other modalities that involve social support and interaction, such as a therapeutic community.

Holistic Treatment And Experiential Therapies

Holistic forms of addiction treatment and therapy are not necessarily evidence-based, but people have used them to recover from substance abuse or maintain their sobriety.

Holistic treatment and experiential therapies include:

  • yoga
  • mindfulness practices
  • meditation
  • acupuncture
  • adventure therapy
  • narrative therapy
  • animal-assisted treatment

“Holistic” may also refer to addressing the whole person and can include faith-based programs as well.

Find Addiction Treatment Today

If you are looking for addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, call Detox Rehabs today for more information about the recovery process and how to get started.

For 24/7 Treatment Help Call:
(888) 859-4403

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