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Whether you use drugs occasionally or you are deep into addiction, treatment is the best choice to clean up and get your life back. Drug and Alcohol Rehabs offer many people a chance to start again without the use of drugs or alcohol. The real struggle is figuring out why you turned to substance abuse in the first place. Treatment Programs give you time in a proper environment and setting to detox safely and learn to live sober. Drug Rehabilitation Programs come in many varieties so there is one out there that will address your specific needs.

How do I choose which rehab to go to?

This is a difficult question to answer on your own. With so many different types of programs, how do you know if you’re making the right choice? You need someone who is familiar with the different types of programs such as outpatient treatment, residential programs, short-term rehab etc... This is why Drug-Abuse.org provides counselors by phone to discuss your needs and find the appropriate treatment program to attend. It's a free and completely confidential service we offer to you that can make the difference in attending the right program. Different types of programs have different methods and success rates, as well as costs. Our counselors are familiar with the 1000's of programs available and are a great resource to help you find the right choice for you.

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Yes, you can afford to go to treatment. If you have a HMO or PPO insurance plan, many of them will partially, or in some cases completely, cover your rehab costs. There is a wide range of treatment programs that range from free and low cost to private and residential rehabs. Whatever your financial situation is, there is a treatment program out there you can afford. Drug-Abuse.org provides information on over 12,000 Drug Rehab programs to help you find whatever treatment plan suits your needs.

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How To Help Someone Who May Be Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol

Drug and alcohol abuse is now considered to be a pandemic all over the world, and more specifically in the United States. Ranging from the abuse of such seeming innocent substances as alcohol and marijuana to the misuse of prescription pills and street drugs like heroin and cocaine, addiction costs individuals and families substantially, and costs the entire nation.

However, it isn't too surprising that substance abuse is linked to its cost. This is particularly the case if you consider all the personal, criminal, legal, and health issues that follow in its wake. If you suspect that someone you love and care about is abusing drugs and alcohol, it is imperative that you reach out to them. However, this might be easier said than done.

In many cases, family members and close friends ignore the situation hoping that the addict will eventually come to their senses and seek treatment. However, addiction hardly ever goes away on its own. Denial, on the other hand, may prevent the concerned party from understanding the full extent of their issues and the consequences tied to substance abuse.

For instance, heavy drinkers tend to be less able to make decisive and conscious choices about their habits. The only recourse open would be the involvement and intervention of employers, friends, colleagues, and family members.

Still, as you consider whether someone you care about is addicted to alcohol and drugs, it is vital that you take the necessary precautions and handle the situation well. Even before you talk to them about seeking treatment, you should first consider the problem.

In most cases, confronting an addict in ways that could cause an argument may escalate the problem further. This is because most people who abuse drugs tend to get angered easily, which is why it is vital that you approach the situation carefully.

Use the guide below to help you handle suspected or confirmed drug and alcohol abuse:

Understanding Substance Addiction

Scientific research has improved general knowledge about how drugs and alcohol work on the brain. It has also helped many people understand that addiction can now be successfully treated so that those affected stop abusing harmful substances and instead opt to lead more productive lifestyles.

If you suspect that your friend or loved one is addicted, you should keep in mind that you won't be able to fix the issue on your own. However, there are certain steps that you can and should take to address the problem.

Substance Abuse Effects

Drugs and alcohol work by stimulating different parts of the body - including certain core areas of the brain. However, since there are so many different classifications and types of substances commonly abused, the effects from such abuse often vary.

The most common ones may include paranoia, mood changes, tremors, dizziness, high blood pressure, and increased heart rate. When taken in high doses, these substances increase the risk for dangerous and even fatal effects, including the potential for coma, respiratory failure, stroke, and heart attack.

Over the long haul, drug and alcohol abuse often leads to a plethora of physical and mental effects that may require active treatment to overcome. These effects may include:

Substance Abuse, Dependence, And Addiction

In many cases, drug and alcohol use begin as a route towards recreation and relaxation. However, the addictive nature of these substances often means that such use plummet from a perceived outlet for fun to a constant need and want to remain intoxicated. Since this compulsion tends to be uncontrollable, most users eventually discover that the habit interferes with their everyday life.

While drug and alcohol abuse comes with different side effects - ranging from physical effects such as dehydration and nausea to work-related consequences like reduced productivity and lack of interest - among the greatest risks of such abuse is dependence.

Therefore, what your friend or loved one may have started as an occasional hit on their marijuana bong or a dose of cocaine will most likely spiral into drug dependence. Eventually, this would be followed by full-blown substance addiction. After addiction has taken hold, the only way out may be through comprehensive treatment through detoxification and rehabilitation.

In most cases, even when the effects of the substance abuse start damaging the affected individual's relationships with colleagues, family members, and friends - while wrecking havoc to their bodies and mental health - the constant need for the drug/alcohol often overcomes rational thinking.

As such, NIDA reports that addiction and dependence are recurring and persistent conditions that often require ongoing treatment and management. This means that addicts are never truly cured of their addiction. Rather, they learn new methods they can use to manage the condition, keep away from drugs and alcohol, and lead healthy and productive lives.

Many addicts often find that they are unable to stop using the drugs and alcohol of choice on their own. This is because repeated substance use tends to change the brain - including those parts that improve self-control.

These changes are visible in brain imaging studies among those who are addicted. Such changes may also explain why so many people have a difficult time trying to quit their habit - even when they feel they are ready.

As such, you may want to intervene or take active steps to help your loved ones, family, friends, and colleagues who might be addicted so that they can seek medical assistance and treatment for the condition.

Overdosing On Drugs And Alcohol

A crucial factor to keep in mind while deliberating whether to intervene revolves around drug and alcohol overdose. Most people struggling with substance addiction experience a buildup of tolerance to the substance of choice.

After continued, long-term use, their bodies become less stimulated by the substance. As a result, they may start using higher doses to experience the same desirable effects. Although they might not feel as intoxicated as they used to, the damaging properties of the substance will still harm their physical and mental health.

At some point, they may use a level of the drugs that their bodies cannot tolerate. This often leads to drug and alcohol overdose. However, overdose might still occur after using a drug once.

The signs and symptoms of overdose often include:

In case you see any of these signs and symptoms, or if you suspect that anyone might be suffering an overdose, the best thing you can do to help is to seek emergency medical attention as soon as possible. This might make a world of difference between life and death.

Signs And Symptoms Of A Substance Abuse Problem

To help someone you suspect is an addict, the first step you should take is to find out how to spot the addiction. In many cases, addicts tend to show signs and symptoms of their drug and alcohol abuse in most aspects of their daily lives.

Substance abuse also affects people from every socio-economic stats and walk of life. Whatever the reasons behind the abuse, the result often leads to tolerance and dependency. Eventually, these give way to addiction even before the victim realizes that their pattern of abuse has taken hold.

Once tolerance turns into an addiction, it may be difficult for the addict to stop their habits and patterns of abuse. This is why outside help is often required to address the problem and help the victims break free from their addiction.

When you suspect that a loved one may have a problem, the wise thing to do would be to seek help as soon as possible. Use the following signs and symptoms as your measuring stick:

1. Physical Symptoms

Most of the noticeable symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse are those affecting the inner workings of the body. For instance, your tolerance to a particular drug will occur after you abuse the drug for long enough. At this point, you may require increasing strengths and quantities to achieve the desired effects.

However, trying to generate a more intense high by taking more alcohol or higher doses tends to be dangerous and may easily give way to an adverse overdose, or even to death.

Some of the physical signs displayed by true drug addicts and alcoholics, to this end, tend to include:

2. Psychological Symptoms

When an addict has an emotional or psychological craving for alcohol or drugs, the following symptoms may become manifest:

3. Behavioral Symptoms

Frequent drug and alcohol abuse may also negative affect the victim's habits and behavior as they become more dependent on the substance they most frequently abuse.

In itself, the substance of choice may also alter the ability of the brain to form coherent thoughts and focus. This will, of course, depend on the drug the victim tends to prefer and use regularly.

To this end, the following changes in behavior may indicate that the person in question has a problem with drug and substance abuse. You should learn to recognize the following symptoms and signs of abuse:

Questions To Ask

As you contemplate whether your loved one or family is an addict, you should first seek to answer the following questions:

If your answer to some or all these questions is yes, then it is highly likely that your loved one or friend might have a substance abuse problem. In some cases, this problem may be referred to as a full-blown addiction, and it affects people from every age group, social classification, and background.

Getting Help

In case someone close to you asks for your help, they would have taken the important first step towards recovery. If they are resistant to help, however, you can still find ways to convince them to undergo medical observation and receive a doctor's evaluation.

Luckily, you always have the option of taking the steps to find the right health professional or physician and provide your addicted friend or family with the information. Alternatively, consider calling the experts in advance to ask whether they would be comfortable talking to your loved one.

If this proves impossible to do, ask for referrals to other doctors - one with more expertise and specialization in drug and substance abuse and addiction. Luckily, there are thousands (about 3500 board-certified physicians with a specialization in addiction

While talking to your loved one or friend, you should emphasize to them that it takes such great courage for them to seek your help especially given the topic of discussion. You should also explain that a great deal of responsibility, hard work, resilience, and self-control is required for full-recovery and easier reintegration into society.

Luckily, scientific evidence points to the fact that certain certified treatment options work and people continue recovering from an abyss of hopelessness into an empowering array of daily routines and positive habits.

Treatment may also enable you to counteract the potently powerful disruptive effects of drugs and alcohol - particularly on behavior and the brain. With time, the addict will recover from their addictions and regain full control over their decisions, lifestyle, health, relationships, and life itself.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment plans are designed to help victims detoxify their bodies and brains in a safe, non-judgmental environment while assisting them through every stage of recovery.

According to SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), about 23.5 million Americans aged above 12 years needed this kind of treatment in 2009. The number has gone up since then, showing that addicts can benefit greatly from detoxification and rehabilitation programs.

In many cases, a variety of treatment methodologies are available. When you get your friend or family member admitted to a rehabilitation facility, therefore, the doctors will devise an appropriate treatment plan for them. NIDA reports that it is vital that this happens because everyone is unique, meaning that no finite treatment works universally.

For instance, the treatment plan may depend on the addict's history of drug and alcohol abuse, their mental and physical health, as well as their personal traits. This plan may also change over the course of treatment according to the progress made.


In most cases, treatment starts with diagnosis, which depends on more than simply determining the physical manifestations of the addiction. Rather, the medical teams will use different behavioral and physical criteria to find out if the suspected substance abuser is actually addicted. The criteria might include:

However, you don't have to meet every one of the above points to be classified as an addict. This is because some substances may not create withdrawal symptoms or physical tolerance.

Similarly, some addicts do experience a compulsive need to drink alcohol or use drugs while experiencing all the effects of addiction but are still able to maintain their social and employment obligations.

1. Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient treatment is designed to allow the addict to focus fully on recovery. Joining such a facility, therefore, may greatly increase the opportunities for the successful completion of the prescribed treatment program.

Inpatient facilities work best for addicts who lack a strong enough support system back at home, as well as those with co-occurring mental health issues - such as anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and depression, among others.

In terms of cost, these programs range from $200 to $900 per day. In many cases, long-term programs may carry lower costs per day because this may alleviate the financial stress that comes with most treatments.

The cost, however, will still vary from one inpatient center to the next. This variation tends to depend on the luxury levels, the level of care required, the location, as well as the duration of the program.

Inpatient treatment is beneficial because it often comes with a mixture of group and individual therapies to help addicts recover and fight their substance abuse situation. Other educational and motivational opportunities may also be provided. Where necessary, doctors provide medication - especially for addicts in need of help with the withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification stage.

Long-Term Treatment

On the other hand, you might have to sign up your addict friend or family for long term residential treatment. For instance, those who are addicted to inhalants may not be ready until they complete a minimum of 30 days of pure medical detoxification. As a result, a minimum of 90 days is required for full treatment.

Treatment Lengths

Some addicts may attend standard treatment programs and fail to recover - with most relapsing after they leave the facility. In such a case, therapeutic communities may come in handy.

Most of these treatment centers require the patients to stay for 6 to 12 months depending on the severity of the addiction. The centers focus on helping patients re-socialize, such as by teaching them how to maintain personal accountability as well as enabling them to spark and develop socially productive lifestyles.

2. Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient addiction treatment is designed to guide the victims through every stage of recovery. However, some patients may opt for this mode of treatment after undergoing inpatient rehabilitation. This is because it often works well in the later stages of substance abuse recovery.

According to NIDA, drug treatment programs lasting less than 90 days are deemed to be less effective. For methadone addicts, for instance, the minimum recommended period is 12 months of medical treatment and rehabilitation - although most patients benefit from undergoing treatment for longer.

As a direct result, many addicts opt for short-term inpatient rehabilitation before transitioning to long term outpatient rehabilitation. This mostly happens because the latter option tends to be less expensive - even though it still lacks in the around-the-clock psychological and medical care recovering addicts often require.

The cost of most outpatient programs ranges from $100 to $500 for every treatment session. This cost is dependent on the frequency and duration of the sessions. Longer treatment plans, like in inpatient rehabilitation, usually carry lower costs per session.

Treatment Preferences

After leaving the treatment facility, many addicts report that they would be more likely than to not to consider what the program offers - such as the quality of accommodations, recreational activities, food, and amenities - more heavily the second time than they did when they entered treatment.

Therapies Used

In the drug and alcohol abuse rehab programs listed above, a wide variety of treatment therapies are used. These may include but are not limited to:

As mentioned above, these services are more effective when used in combination with other rehabilitation and treatment programs that help the addict manage every aspect of their lives. They might, therefore, include:

If your friend, colleague, family member, or acquaintance considers treatment, they might be hindered once they start feeling afraid of what other people may think about them.

In such a case, the best advice you can give them is that people tend to be compassionate when this happens - especially when they see that the addict is making every effort to recover from the problem.

You can also reassure them that the law protects the privacy of individuals seeking any sort of medical or drug treatment. As such, the health care professionals they will work with are not allowed to share their information with other parties without the addict's express permissions.

If they have a job, they may be able to get a doctor's note explaining that they are undergoing treatment for a certain medication condition - the nature of which may be concealed.

Overall, the treatment approaches used need to be tailored to the specific patterns of abuse, as well as a host of other accompanying social, psychiatric, and medical problems. As long as this happens, it is highly likely that the affected party will eventually recover from their drug and alcohol addiction, abuse, dependence, and tolerance. The secret lies in starting early enough so that they recover before the substance abuse takes a toll on their lives, health, relationships, and future.

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