Substance Abuse Treatment

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorders, your dependence on  drugs and/or alcohol can feel hopeless. When pursuing sobriety, the task can feel daunting and counterproductive as you suffer through detoxification and withdrawal. Substance use affects you both physically and psychologically – in many cases of substance use, there are underlying co-occurring mental health disorders accompanying the use of drugs or alcohol.

The goal in treating substance abuse disorders is helping treat the addiction at hand while also helping the individual learn more about their own condition, their mental health, and to help identify the triggers that may lead them toward abuse. Without the help of a treatment center dedicated to treating the whole person, alcoholism and drug addiction related withdrawal can prevent the necessary steps toward freedom and a happy life. In this article we will begin to address what substance abuse is and how you can find help in taking your first steps toward sobriety.

What is Substance Abuse?

Addiction is almost always a result of some underlying co-occurring mental disorder at hand. Co-occurring disorders are often detrimental to the health of an individual. Substance abuse can be the result of unhealthy coping mechanisms that have developed in order to ease the psychological strain of mental illness. Drug and alcohol dependence can only provide temporary relief from the more complicated underlying mental illness. These substances release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin in the brain which produce the euphoric experience that occurs with abuse. Substance abuse changes the way in which the brain releases these chemicals in the brain. Eventually, if severe abuse is not hindered, the brain can become dependent on drugs and alcohol in order to produce these neurotransmitters.

At our rehabilitation center, there are a few common symptoms we recognize as being associated with substance abuse. These include:

  • Guilt, shame, or depression due to substance dependence
  • Increased substance abuse due to a built up tolerance from prolonged use
  • Painful withdrawal when substance use has stopped
  • Inability to take reign over your addiction
  • Abusing substances in order to feel a sense of normalcy
  • Memory loss or blackouts when using

Substance use disorders can also dramatically affect these areas of your life:

  • Financial security
  • Relationships
  • Marriage
  • Career

If any of the above is true of your experience, understand there is hope for you and there are countless treatment options available for you.

How to Treat Addictions

Treating addictions will look different with each person at our treatment center. Below are a few key principles that we base our health services on:

  • Understanding that addiction is a complex disease involving the brain’s function
  • Not every treatment options is the right option for everyone
  • Treatment must be readily accessible
  • Effective treatment must treat the substance use disorders, mental health, behavioral health
  • Ensuring treatment is properly administered over the correct length of time
  • Medication-assisted treatment, if necessary, along with counseling and behavioral therapies options
  • Progress should be tracked and options should modify as the person’s needs change
  • Mental health should be a primary focus in treatment
  • Medication assisted detoxification is only the beginning to treatment
  • Possibility of relapse should be monitored and tracked
  • Medication management is crucial to a successful MAT program
  • Testing for infectious diseases should be a part of treatment as well as education on how to prevent the spread of disease.

Substance Abuse Treatments

Treatment for substance abuse can be approached in two different ways: inpatient and outpatient care. In some cases, inpatient care is necessary in order to monitor the detox of a patient. Outpatient care offers the client the ability to return home each day and go about their usual daily routine.

Drug Abuse Treatment

There are many options available for treating drug use. A few of the options offered here at Freedom Now involve:

  • Medication-assisted treatment and counseling for opioid drug use
  • Behavioral therapy and counseling
  • Medical assistance, management, and monitoring for treating withdrawal and for tracking progress
  • Psychiatric and physical evaluations for co-occurring mental health issues (i.e. depression or anxiety disorders)
  • Long-term options for medication tapering, group therapy, and relapse prevention
  • Life-skills training


Tailored treatment is an important aspect of recovery from drug abuse. The specific, unique needs of each patient must be met in order to ensure a successful journey toward recovery. Community and family based follow-up care, medical assistance, relapse prevention, and other health services are important support systems while in treatment.

Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Getting help for alcohol addiction begins with you. In order for treatment to begin, you must be honest about your condition and be willing to engage in recovery. If your loved one is struggling with alcoholism, it is important for you to understand alcohol use disorder, be supportive, and intervene. Encouraging substance codependency can be detrimental to their overall health.

Treatment for alcohol abuse typically begins with a monitored detox process. Withdrawal from prolonged, excessive alcohol use can be dangerous to the patient’s health. Medical assistance during detox is a viable aspect in recovery and the beginning of your abstinence journey.

Treating alcohol dependence typically occurs with the following:

  • Medically monitored detox
  • Psychiatric and physical evaluations
  • Behavioral and mental health counseling
  • Long-term rehabilitation options
  • Like-skills training

What is a Rehab Center?

Inpatient Rehab:

In patient drug and alcohol rehabilitation centres provide residential care and treatment within the facility. This means that you stay at the facility for the period of time recommended by an on-site doctor. Inpatient care can aid in treating potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms from long-term drug or alcohol use as well as removing the individual from their triggers.

The biggest benefit to inpatient care is that it provides a home-like feel for those undergoing treatment as well as immersing the person completely in their healing process. Every aspect of their life in the inpatient facility is a part of their recovery. Whether it is daily counseling sessions or free-time in the community, they learn how to curb desire and substance abuse with healthier coping habits.

Outpatient Rehab:

Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab centers provide the necessary treatments without residential care. There are four different outpatient options available at most facilities:

  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
  • Outpatient rehab programs
  • Substance abuse counseling

Each of the options above will require a certain amount of time as your recovery progresses. It is common for many outpatient programs to take up a few hours out of several days out of the week. In some cases, treatment will last for around 6 months or less. In some cases, outpatient care can take place for a year or even longer, depending on the conditions being treated. Counseling and drug-assisted treatment are flexible and allow for many people to continue working or schooling while still receiving help.

Outpatient programs are typically encouraged once inpatient care is no longer needed. Many inpatient facilities offer outpatient rehab as their next step in recovery.

What Do Effective Treatment Options Provide?

Effective rehabilitation programs offer a variety of treatment options for their patients. Each of these options, whether as part of an inpatient program or outpatient program can offer:

  • Medical assistance and detox – whether inpatient hospitalization or partial hospitalization
  • Increased structure and support
  • Aftercare referrals and treatment
  • Physical, emotional, and spiritual treatment
  • Medication management and medication-assisted therapy
  • Intensive outpatient counseling and therapy
  • Step groups and group therapy
  • Individual counseling and mental illness care
  • Unique, specialized programs that can be modified for each patient

Effective inpatient treatment programs can be either long-term or short-term depending on the condition of the substance abuse and how the disorder may affect the mental health of the patient. Most programs can take place over the course of 28 days to 3 to 4 months. These programs are extremely helpful in the midst of severe co-occurring disorders.

Effective outpatient programs are instrumental in maintaining the day to day life of each patient as they receive treatment. This can allow for their families to be more involved in their care, for them to be a part of a recovery community that involves more than just themselves, and can provide additional support and structure in their daily recovery.

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