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Inpatient vs Outpatient

Have you begun to recognise a destructive pattern of behaviour from drinking, medication or drug abuse? If you or a loved one have decided to make a positive change and began the steps to recovery, inpatient and outpatient facilities can help make the journey an easier and more attainable goal. There are many factors that may affect your choice and the decision should be made on an individual base. Cost, time commitment and other considerations should all be weighed when considering a successful recovery program.

Inpatient Treatment Facilities

Inpatient treatment programs are residential facilities that offer a controlled environment, 24 hours medical and emotional support, and the opportunity to make a focused recovery effort. With no access to alcohol and drugs, the chances of recovery are greater. During the inpatient recovery process, the structured daily activities provide a useful pattern of behaviour that may contribute to success upon leaving the facility. The support of family members and others in the residential setting can add to the level of resolve needed for recovery, and while there, an individual gains tools to be used when their stay is over. Inpatient treatment cost is more because of room and board as well as other specialised care and treatment available in the environment. However, some insurance companies do not include inpatient treatment as part of their policy.

Outpatient Treatment Facilities

Some people looking for the right recovery facility consider outpatient treatment because it fits better into maintaining their current responsibilities. Participants can continue to care for their families and work. Counselling can take place at more convenient times including weekends and evenings. The tools and learning can be applied immediately and practised to make immediate positive changes. Outpatient treatment is also a more affordable option that is covered by most insurances. However, participants may have access and exposure to drugs and alcohol and are less likely to focus on recovery. Hopefully, family members can take a greater part in the recovery process by learning about the challenges faced and providing greater support.

Recognizing The Need

Whether you and your loved one decide on the intensive care of an inpatient residential treatment facility or the freedom and flexibility of outpatient services depends greatly on what is best for the individual and the probability of successful treatment and recovery. Some workplaces do offer leave so that the job is waiting for participants when they return. While for some, it is easier to overcome an alcohol or drug dependency in an outpatient treatment program that helps the participant learn how to live in the real world, overcoming daily challenges. The key is finding the right treatment option for participants to successfully lead a productive and happy life. The first step is recognising the need for help.

Common Myths About Treatment Centers

Most of us know someone who has battled addiction. Some have even struggled with addiction themselves. Addiction to anything such as alcohol, tobacco, and drugs takes a major toll, not just on the individual but on the friends, family, and loved ones around them. Addictions are notoriously hard to break which is the reason why so many different types of addiction treatments exist. Unfortunately, with so many treatment options there are going to be some sources of bad information out there. Here are some common Myths about treatment centres.

1. Treatment for addiction takes a single treatment

Many people out there think that a simple pill or a singular stay at a treatment centre will solve the addiction problem. This could not be further from the truth. Similar to treating other diseases, treatment for addiction takes time and patient determination. The truth is, even after treatment most people will relapse once. People with addiction problems will depend on the love and support of those around them just as much as treatment from addiction specialists themselves. Treating an addiction is constant work. While there are some people who can quit on the first attempt, the truth is most people will require multiple treatment attempts or stays at specialised facilities.

2. There is a single treatment for all forms of abuse

This is one of the most common myths. All forms of addiction are different the same way there are different forms of infection out there. Just as they various infections require different antibiotic treatments every addiction problem requires a different treatment as well. Treatments such as Chantix are for nicotine and tobacco addictions. Methadone is for opioid addiction. Disulfiram for alcohol addiction. Do not let anyone tell you that all addictions should be treated the same way. It is important to get specialised care for different addiction treatments to ensure that the treatment has the best shot at success.

3. For treatment to truly be successful, the person should hit "rock bottom" first

Again, this is not true at all. Addiction comes in all shapes and sizes. Some people are addicted to cigarettes and smoke 3 cigarettes a day. Some people smoke 2 packs a day. Some people with drinking problems are wildly successful. Others are on the verge of death. Addiction looks different to everyone just as all treatment plans are different. Addiction in any form is risky and dangerous with severely adverse impacts on the people around them. Anyone with an addiction problem deserves our support and should be treated with the appropriate care to maximise the opportunity for a sustained recovery.

Medications for Addiction

Most of the addiction treatment plans that are effective today use various types of drugs to prevent relapses and manage withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, drug and alcohol addiction relapses occur because the addicts find it hard to cope with the associated withdrawal symptoms. When administered properly, some drugs can have similar effects as the addictive drugs on the addict’s body, thus preventing him or her from relapsing. Such medications are administered as a part of outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation program. Throughout this article, the use of various addiction medications will be discussed.

Detox and Associated Withdrawal Symptoms

The first step of addiction treatment is aimed at removing the addictive drug from the body of the addict, often referred to as the detox phase. The period taken to detoxify the body will vary from one addict to another and is accompanied by various withdrawal symptoms, such as:

To prevent such symptoms, different medications may be prescribed. Some of the commonly used medications in this stage include:

Antidepressants: Various antidepressants, including Prozac and Zoloft, may be used at this stage to stimulate the production of happiness-inducing brain chemicals, hence prevent depression.

Benzodiazepines: These are administered to combat anxiety and irritation, usually experienced by heroin and cocaine addicts during the detoxification phase.

Clonidine: This medication is used to prevent such symptoms as anxiety, muscle aches, sweating and cramps.

Medications for Alcohol Addicts

Regular abuse of alcohol can lead to prolonged withdrawal symptoms, lasting months, as the addict tries to quit the habit. This prolonged occurrence is known as the post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). With proper maintenance therapy, alcohol addicts will not only ease PAWS, but also reduce craving for alcohol. In this regard, some of the medications commonly used include:

Acamprosate (Campral): Campral is administered to ease the physical and emotional distress associated with alcohol addiction.

Naltrexone (Vivitrol): This medication is used to curb the craving for alcohol in addicts and may lead to side effects like headaches and nausea.

Disulfiram (Antabuse): When administered to the addicts, it causes them to vomit and experience nausea whenever they take alcohol. This discourages the addicts from taking alcohol.

Medications Commonly Used For Opiate and Heroin Addictions

Most of the medications used to treat various opiate addictions ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce craving. The withdraw symptoms associated with this form of addiction may last for months or even years. Some of the medications used to ease PAWS, in this regard, include:

Buprenorphine (Suboxone): Functions by binding to similar brain receptors as the addictive opiates would and without getting the user high. This suppresses craving for the addictive drug and suppresses withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone: These work in a similar manner to Buprenorphine and may be used for moderate to severe opium addictions.

Naltrexone: This medication reduces the urge to take the addictive drug in addicts.

Medical Detox and Rehabilitation

While some people prefer detoxifying themselves, this can be difficult and dangerous as compared to detoxification under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner. As such, opting for medical detox ensures that you get detoxified and rehabilitated in a comfortable and safe environment. Supervised detox has a horde of benefits to offer, including the ability to negate health complications as well as a professional tracking of the addict’s temperature, heart rate, and fluid levels as well as breathing rate.

Monitoring such aspects allows the medical practitioner to adjust the medication as well as other aspects of the rehabilitation process for a more effective and comfortable experience. Additionally, medical detoxification and rehabilitation ensures that the treatment program is designed to suit the needs of every patient. The detox phase is normally offered as a part of inpatient rehab, which commonly takes between 30 and 90 days. With the right treatment centre, you will have access to the right medication, therapies and activities to help you recover from your addiction.

Drug and Alcohol Detox

Physical withdrawal symptoms can vary widely depending on a number of factors including:

Users detoxing from Benzodiazepines and opiates can often experience anxiety, feelings of panic, tremors, difficulty concentrating, headache, insomnia, sweating, nausea, dizziness, flu-like aches and pains, heart palpitations, and hypertension. With benzodiazepine withdrawal, there is a risk of seizures. Medical supervision is highly recommended when detoxing from prolonged benzodiazepine use.

Detoxing from stimulants, such as cocaine, usually, includes a “crash” period. They will often sleep for days, experience anxiety, depression and an increase in appetite. This is followed by a period of weeks during which symptoms of detox include fatigue, insomnia, short-term memory, tension and depression. Continued cravings and depression should be addressed during the recovery process.

Alcohol detox remains one of the most medically dangerous processes. The most extreme symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually occur within the first few days, with the worst of the physical symptoms being finished within the first week. The most concerning symptom occurs in a small percentage of patience and is referred to as delirium tremors (or DTs), which is a state that can often include seizures, hallucinations, delirium, fever and severe agitation. DTs can be fatal and immediate medical treatment should be sought if such a state is suspected. More common symptoms of alcohol detox include headache, insomnia, vomiting, nausea, irritability, anxiety, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, flu-like symptoms including aches and “clammy” feeling, lack of appetite, shakiness, dizziness, increased heart rate and sweating, pale skin, nightmares, tremors, irritability, depression and dehydration.

It’s important to remember that detox, though an unpleasant experience, is a temporary state and that withdrawal symptoms are not permanent. With the proper support, anyone can move through the detox process and into recovery.

Faith Based Treatment Centres

Addiction counselling and treatment that is faith-based can provide a more comprehensive set of tools for truly transforming an individual. Traditional counselling and treatment tend to address symptoms of addiction, rather than pinpointing the real causes of the pain, anger, and grief that manifests in addictive patterns.

Most people who struggle with all types of addiction make a personal choice to go down a certain path, but rarely do they choose a life of despair and dependence. Christian and faith-based treatments focus on the transformative power and reliance on a loving God, and His desire for all people to be healthy, productive, and ultimately happy.

Faith-based addiction treatment is not centred on accountability to other people, or on a multi-step program. These can be very helpful in stages of detox and behaviour modification, but cannot fill a void that drugs and alcohol once occupied. They certainly cannot address the bitterness of a broken soul. Faith-based programs welcome all people who are seeking help, regardless of their spiritual backgrounds and maturity levels. Well-rounded Christian addiction treatment is comprehensive for mind, body, and soul.

"...I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'" - Hebrews 13: 5-6, ESV

Coping with triggers

A trigger can be the cause of what reminds you of something, often followed by a strong emotional reaction to a situation. Spotting someone taking a drug and that makes you have a craving for it, or meeting with someone that sets you off - meaning anything that makes you want to use again. It can be a difficult ordeal avoiding triggers after treatment, but there are numerous things you may do to lower the temptation rate. The most powerful thing you can do for yourself is planning ahead to know how to take care of yourself and loved ones when experiencing a trigger. Many things can help you calm down triggers. If one of the listed suggestions does not apply to you try the subsequent one until you achieve your goal. Start by knowing what helps you.

Remember to breathe: Taking a slow and profound breath from inside your stomach reminds your body and mind to feel safer and calm down.

Separate yourself from the trigger: If it is a person, avoid eye or physical contact. If it is a situation, check in with yourself, how are you feeling? If the trigger remains a threat to you or keeps reminding you of something unwanted, move away from it.

Think about your options: The toughest thing that arises from triggers is that it provokes us into an involuntary action, like lashing out in the case of fear or feeling pain. At times we can forget about the choices we have, remind yourself of the many options available during these situations. Some of the options are exercise, art, talking, watching a movie, taking a bath, resting, playing with friends or pets. Keep assuring yourself of the choices you can make during these situations. You are stronger than you think!

How is your body: If you need some sleep, or if you have not eaten anything, or are in pain, paying attention to those fundamental needs can make you feel better. It is a good idea to stay way from caffeine or sugar when you are very upset. This action reduces the chances of your body getting hyper or agitated.

Even with all the effort and planning, there are many chances for a relapse to take place. If you relapsed, do not consider that as the end of everything – but as the beginning of an opportunity to respect and understand better the process of recovery, and to go after recovery with intense focus. Relapse can be a humbling occurrence, but it never means failure.

No matter what you're going through, there is an addiction treatment solution that's right for you.

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