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Overview of Addiction
Treatment Programs

If you or someone you know has decided to treat an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the next step is to choose a treatment program. There are several treatment centers that utilize different methods to aid the addict in the recovery process, but whichever one you choose will depend on the nature and the severity of the addiction.

Treatment Centers

Outpatient Clinics

Outpatient clinics are intended to assist alcoholic or drug addicts in their rehabilitation; however, they provide more leeway than their residential counterpart. Not everyone goes through a detoxification process in these clinics. This is because patients who are seen at outpatient facilities generally do not have a very severe addiction problem. In order to help prevent relapse, outpatient clinics can sometimes prescribe medication that will help your body adapt more easily.

The most popular aspect of outpatient care is the fact that the patient does not need to take leave from work, family, or school in order to receive addiction treatments. However, the patient does not receive the same monitoring and care that is provided at residential addiction treatment programs.

Residential Treatment Centers

Unlike outpatient clinics, residential treatment centers offer a more specialized, personal approach to drug or alcohol addiction treatment. These centers are usually made up of individuals who all share an addiction to a common substance, whether it is alcohol, drugs, or prescription drugs. This helps to maintain the community based institution that these centers are known for. Patients, often referred to as residents, receive 24 hour care and monitoring at the hands of licensed professionals who have the patient's best interests at heart. The residents in the treatment program can also be involved in communal, supervised, extracurricular activities as well as group counseling and therapy.

Residential treatment centers are intended for those with considerably more severe addictions. They are ideal for patients who need temporary isolation from the outside world in order to begin their gradual rehabilitation.

Detox Programs

Before rehabilitation and treatment can begin, the body must first learn how to be independent of the substances that it has become accustomed to. Contrary to popular belief, detox is not solely a mental process. It is a physical and mental process that can lead to health problems or even death when it is not monitored and regulated by medical personnel. It is important to remember that entering a detox center is only the first step to treatment for addiction.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

When a person is addicted to alcohol, the body ceases to provide the nervous system with GABA, an essential neurotransmitter that controls excitability. This is because the body has been relying on the alcohol to serve this purpose. When detox begins and the body is denied the control factor (alcohol), the patient can fall into a severe medical or psychological condition, possibly causing harm to himself. It is imperative that the process be monitored by professionals, for they may be able to administer medication to lessen the detox symptoms. Medications that are sometimes administered include benzodiazepines, carbamazepine, and sympatholytics.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug addiction treatment can be used for cocaine addiction treatment or any other street or prescription drug. While different addiction treatment services will have different methods of carrying out the detoxification process, most begin with evaluation and move into stabilization. When the patient is evaluated, the bloodstream is tested to determine what chemicals the body has become dependent on. Then during stabilization, the patient is denied all drugs. Because detoxification symptoms can be severe, medication is often administered at this time to lessen the effects.




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