Need-to-Know Facts About Naloxone

The Need to Know Facts About Naloxone

America is currently facing one of the biggest crises the medical world has ever seen— the opioid overdose epidemic. So far, drug overdose death rates are steadily increasing, with a total of 52,000 deaths in as recent as 2016. Of those, more than 20,000 were the result of prescription opioid misuse. Today, the Kaiser Family Foundation has determined through polling that 66% (two-thirds) of the American population consider prescription drug abuse a severe problem that requires more attention. With this in mind, it’s of vital importance that we better understand and utilize any medical tools that can help prevent overdose and slow the death count. Thankfully, we have one: naloxone. Here are some need-to-know facts about the life-saving, overdose-reversing drug.

Naloxone Only Works for Opioid Overdoses

2016 prelim drug overdose types

Naloxone is completely safe to use and extremely effective. In fact, this drug is fast-acting and is only active in a person’s system between 30 and 90 minutes. But as effective as it is, naloxone does not counteract overdoses brought on by non-opioid or narcotic drugs. Additionally, it will not reverse the effects of an alcohol overdose. It only works on opioids, and it cannot be taken preemptively (i.e., before opioid drug use has happened).

Naloxone Should Always Be Administered ASAP

The sooner the drug is given at the first signs of an overdose, the better results it’ll yield. Waiting too long to administer naloxone may bring about serious consequences, even if the overdose is reversed. Brain damage is one example; when a person suffers an overdose, he/she experiences oxygen deprivation in the brain because breathing has stopped. Acting quickly is the key to avoiding consequences like this.

Naloxone Can Be Administered in Several Ways

This drug is available in a few different forms. Naloxone can enter the system as a nasal spray, via an auto-injection (similar to an EpiPen), or through an IV. The injection method has three different routes:

  • intramuscular— into the muscle
  • intravenous— into the vein
  • subcutaneous— under the skin

Where to administer naloxone

The nose spray seems the most popular form of naloxone since it’s arguably the most comfortable to use, but the best dosing method depends on the person who administers the drug. If the overdose victim is unconscious, someone else has to apply naloxone. Both the nasal spray and auto-injections can be used by either the victim or a bystander. Additionally, these forms of naloxone are mostly used at home or in public settings. Naturally, only hospitals and medical professionals can administer naloxone using the IV method of injection.

Naloxone Is Not a New Drug

Contrary to popular belief, the idea to market an overdose-reversing drug is not a recent one. Medical researcher Jack Fishman, Ph.D., first created naloxone in 1961. Reportedly, he drew inspiration from oxymorphone, which comes from morphine, to synthesize a drug with similar structural adaptation. When absorbed in the brain, oxymorphone attaches to the same receptors that opioids tend to target. Naloxone was created to do the same thing with less potency than morphine. Essentially, naloxone works by binding to the brain’s receptors before opioids can claim all of them. This slows the effects of opioids and prevents overdoses.

Naloxone is FDA Approved

Fishman’s synthesized drug was approved by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) in 1971, a decade after its introduction into the world of medicine. Today, the FDA continues to promote naloxone as the best method of efficiently preventing opioid overdose, going so far as to call it “the overdose drug.” With so much support from the FDA, naloxone is making headlines as the key to ending the opioid epidemic.

Naloxone is Endorsed by WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has two lists of medicines that get updated every two years. WHO first came up with the Essential Medicines List (EML) and the Essential Medicines List for Children (EMLc) in 1977. These ever-expanding lists only include the safest and most effective medications for adult and child consumption respectively. Everything on these lists is considered by many to be invaluable to the healthcare system. Naloxone is on both lists.

Naloxone Use is Encouraged by SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is always looking for more ways to prevent overdoses and save lives during the opioid crisis. SAMHSA’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit is a digital pamphlet that offers up-to-date information for communities and local governments to use when they develop new practices regarding opioid overdose. The information in this educational toolkit can be applied when training doctors, first responders, and opioid overdose survivors in how to handle an emergency overdose situation.

Since naloxone is the most effective medication for opioid overdose-reversal, information about it has been included in SAMHSA’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit— in fact, naloxone is mentioned 140 times in the 2016 updated version.

Naloxone is Accessible in the Vast Majority of the U.S.

The cost of naloxone kits

Narcan, the most recognizable brand of naloxone, is widely available throughout the country. Within the last decade, this brand-name medication has been made accessible in 46 of the 50 states— including Florida. While sometimes naloxone does need a prescription, it’s mostly available over-the-counter. In fact, Floridians can get naloxone without a prescription at both CVS and Walgreens.

Naloxone Tends to be Expensive

Unfortunately, the high demand for naloxone in recent years has made it somewhat expensive. It costs anywhere from $30 to $90 for a full naloxone kit, depending on the brand. The five companies that compete to produce brand-name naloxone nationwide are:

  • Adapt Pharma
  • Amphastar Pharmaceutical
  • Kaléo, Inc.
  • Mylan
  • Pfizer

Kits from these companies will be the most expensive. However, even the listed prices for generic naloxone are still pretty high. Before the onset of the opioid crisis, generic naloxone cost roughly $1.84 for one dose. Today, the same dosage costs about 17 times that. Thankfully, most insurances cover the cost of naloxone, including both Medicaid and Medicare. Still, coverage will vary depending on the state. Talk to your doctor to find out more.

Naloxone Might Get Cheaper Soon

Although the drug may be expensive now, there’s a strong chance that it will become more affordable and even more accessible in the near future. With the opioid crisis on the rise, more and more people are demanding that the pharmaceutical manufacturers and sellers make naloxone cheaper. The federal government and several state governments have already spent millions to ensure that police officers and first responders always have naloxone on hand for emergency situations. The good news is, the Department of Health and Human Services now has the power to negotiate with Big Pharma to set reasonable prices for naloxone since the opioid crisis has recently been declared a national health emergency by the Trump administration.

TTC Outpatient Services Encourages Naloxone Use to Prevent Overdose Death

At The Treatment Center, we believe it is important to ensure our law enforcement and emergency medical services have ready access to Naloxone during this opioid epidemic. Just last year The Treatment Center gave a $25,000 donation to Palm Beach Fire Rescue for the purposes of providing the much needed drug to their ambulances. Relapsing is unfortunately common during the early stages of recovery, but this overdose-reversing drug may just mean the difference between your next try at sobriety and your last. If you or someone you care about has an opioid addiction, please call us at (844) 211-7944 for more information about outpatient treatment program options. All calls are confidential.

The Details, Decision, and Impact of John Skipper’s Resignation from ESPN

John Skipper ESPN resignation

John Skipper joined ESPN and Disney (ESPN’s parent company) in 1997, starting out as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine. After several years of establishing himself as one of the most recognizable figures in sports and media, he was promoted to president of ESPN in January of 2012. Recently, Skipper extended his contract with ESPN and was expected to have secured this position through to 2021. However, this didn’t turn out to be the case. A few weeks ago on December 18, 2017, Skipper submitted his resignation in a shocking public announcement that took thousands of people by surprise: he was leaving ESPN to seek addiction treatment.

Skipper’s Statements Regarding his Resignation

After almost six full years as the head of ESPN, Skipper stepped down as president with these parting words to his colleagues and the public:

“I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem. I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always. I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down. As I deal with this issue and what it means to me and my family, I ask for appropriate privacy and a little understanding. To my colleagues at ESPN, it has been a privilege. I take great pride in your accomplishments and have complete confidence in your collective ability to continue ESPN’s success.”

Although Skipper has made it clear that he resigned to focus on addiction recovery, no further details about his condition have been brought to light. However, Skipper did reveal in a mass email to employees that he has “struggled for many years with [his] substance addiction.”

The Response from Colleagues and Friends

George Bodenheimer, the former president of ESPN from 1998 to 2011, is stepping in as the acting chairman for the next 90 days to help Disney chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger find a replacement for Skipper. When asked about Skipper’s decision to step down as president of ESPN, Bodenheimer had this to say:

“I have great respect for John’s leadership, and I applaud the courage he’s demonstrating by addressing his challenge head on. The most important thing right now for John and his family is that he conquers his addiction, and the entire ESPN family is behind him. I’ve stayed in close contact with John, and I believe in the direction he’s taking ESPN. He’s assembled an outstanding leadership team – many of whom I know very well – and I am extremely confident we will work together effectively to move ESPN forward during this transition.”

Similarly, Iger made the following statement:

“I join John Skipper’s many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time. I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family.”

John Skipper statement

Skipper’s Influence and ESPN’s Uncertain Future

In the years leading up to 2012, ESPN was going through something of a rough patch with subscription losses and other revenue concerns. As president, Skipper played a critical role in helping the company move forward and grow. Acquiring certain television rights and drawing up long-term contracts with the MLB, the NBA, the WNBA and other organization were just a few of his accomplishments. Under Skipper’s leadership, ESPN grew into multi-billion dollar universal brand. Still, it wasn’t all smooth sailing with Skipper at the helm.

This past year, operations at ESPN have been hectic. Rights fees have increased, the launch of the ACC Network in 2019 is demanding a lot of attention, and the recent Fox sale to Disney may very well impact ESPN’s content. Additionally, ESPN has faced a lot of criticism that some of its commentary has become “politicized”. With subscriptions once again in decline, the company’s solution was to terminate hundreds of employees— a controversial move that made the news for weeks.

Now, on top of addressing all these issues, facing public backlash, and traversing a rapidly changing market to rebuild profits, the executives at ESPN will have to find someone to fill Skipper’s shoes.

Miller’s Theory and Public Speculation

Skipper’s unexpected resignation has garnered a considerable amount of speculation and gossip. After his resignation, Skipper disclosed that his departure was “mutually agreed [on and deemed] appropriate” by the executives at Disney. Although Skipper has insisted that a substance addiction was his reason for leaving, the lack of information has the public questioning the legitimacy of this claim. Many people have begun to ask questions: If he is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, why didn’t he take a leave of absence to receive treatment instead of resigning? Why would ESPN and Disney let him leave so easily? Many consider these unanswered questions to be proof that there was more to the resignation.

James Andrew Miller, an author and columnist famous for his book Those Guys Have All the Fun, is one of the many who doesn’t believe Skipper’s resignation had anything to do with addiction. Miller’s main argument is that Skipper never exhibited any signs of substance addiction during his time as president of ESPN. He also argues that both Disney and ESPN would be more likely to grant Skipper time for treatment and let him return later instead of letting him go altogether. Many people inside and outside of both companies seem to agree with Miller. It could be that the substance abuse story was formed to cover up a scandal, but without any further information, it’s nothing more than a theory at this point. It is worth considering that many people high power people hide their addictions for a very long time before seeking help. The resourcefulness that is needed to manage addiction and continue to be highly functioning is the same resourcefulness that may let you climb the corporate ladder.

Counterarguments to Consider

John Skipper resignation- espnToday, the topic and treatment of addiction have become a large part of public conversation— mainly because a debate broke out as to whether or not substance abuse disorders should be considered diseases. Most Americans don’t seem to think that addiction is a disease, and society’s stigmatizing treatment of people with substance use disorders makes this clear.

The American government has been pushing the notion that addiction is a disease for some time. Still, even government officials have openly labeled substance users as dropouts, criminals, thugs, and bums. These stereotypes add to the stigma that discourages those who are suffering from getting the help that they so desperately need.

Additionally, numerous studies over the past decade have shown that the stigma against addiction not only prevents people from seeking treatment but also affects everything from self-image to employment. In fact, a study in 2014 revealed that a staggering 64% of the 709 people surveyed firmly believed that employers should deny employment to people with substance abuse disorders.

So, with all this in mind, is it so impossible for Skipper to have left his position because of a substance abuse disorder? Why would someone as esteemed and popular as John Skipper lie about needing substance addiction treatment? Or, if there really is a cover-up at ESPN, why didn’t Skipper use a different, less stigmatized reason for his allegedly forced resignation?

Get Addiction Treatment and Keep Your Job With Help from TTC Outpatient

If you are struggling with a substance addiction and want to receive long-term help without having to leave your job, call The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services. Our team of experienced medical professionals and counselors offer a wide range of programs and services, including partial hospitalization, relapse prevention, and pain management— all of which are tailored to you and your schedule. For more information about the treatments that might be right for you, give us a call at 844-211-7944. All calls are confidential.

Can a Faith-Based Program Help with My Addiction Recovery?

Can a faith based program help with addiction recovery?

According to the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson, one of the major similarities in those with drug and alcohol addictions is their lack of spirituality. Faith-based addiction programs have proven to be extremely useful for the recovery process, as faith plays a big part in those who continue on their path to recovery, and those who are quick to relapse.

At The Outpatient Treatment Center in Lake Worth Florida, we have a wonderful team of pastors and Christian-based staff. We understand that drug and alcohol addiction isn’t only about the substances, but also about the internal wellness of a person. Spirituality can provide patients with a fresh sense of purpose and an internal understanding of themselves. For example, incorporating prayer into one’s daily life can prove to be a healthier way of coping, as opposed to turning to drugs and alcohol. By using options like prayer, or even meditation, these personal choices can help maintain sobriety by reducing stress and anxiety. By the reduction of such things, the chances of relapsing are less.

How is our Faith-Based Program Unique?

Our patients partake in a 12-step program that helps them to experience a rejuvenating connection to the mind, body, and spirit. There are different activities that we use to elevate our patients to their best sense of self. One of our activities is life skill training. It can be difficult to readjust to life after treatment, we know that it can be daunting to step out into the world. Our experienced therapists understand what skills may be necessary and which may need to be fostered. Life skills cover topics such as time management, listening, budgeting, planning, career development, anger control, meditation, and how to manage emotions and healthy relationships.

Our Mindfulness programs also help dealing with some of those tense emotions. The idea behind this type of therapy is to teach our patients how to be mindful of their feelings, without judging them. This allows each person to observe their emotions, rather than act on them, allowing each patient to practice control. Living in the present can be extremely healing for those who are victims of addiction. By practicing mindfulness, stress levels, memory, mood, and thought patterns can all be improved, which then too strengthens the road to recovery.

A few alternative activities in our faith-based addiction program are pastoral counseling, meditation, bible study, worship services, our 12-step meetings, and peer recovery support groups. At The Outpatient Treatment Center, we understand how intense something as recovery can be and we also know that faith and spirituality can provide a significant difference in how that recovery process plays out. If you’re a victim of substance abuse, our therapists and pastors can help get you back on track and into a more fulfilling life.

The Four Stages of Recovery and the Supplementary Stages of Trust

Stages of Recovery

Sending a loved one away for addiction treatment can be a big adjustment for everyone. While your loved one may have been the one struggling with the addiction, you and your family have had to live with all the consequences. There’s probably been a lot of arguing, crying, and emotional turmoil. Even now, you might have trouble trusting your loved one. While this skepticism isn’t ideal, it’s normal during the early stages of the recovery. In fact, there are four stages of trust after addiction treatment that all loved ones go through when someone they know enters addiction treatment. Below, you will find summaries of all four stages of both addiction recovery and rebuilding trust, as well as how they relate to one another.

The Four Stages of Recovery and Trust

Stage One

Stage One for Your Loved One: Treatment Initiation

Stage 1 - Paranoia and Treatment InitiationThe first stage of addiction recovery for your loved one is defined by his or her decision to seek professional help. It doesn’t matter if you coerced your loved one into it or not. Either way, stage one of addiction recovery begins as soon as your loved one sets foot into rehab.

Stage One for You: Paranoia

The first stage of rebuilding trust during the early stages of addiction recovery is riddled with “what ifs.” Some of the most paranoid thoughts for people with loved ones in rehab include:

•    What if (s)he is skipping meetings?

•    What if the recovery program isn’t working?

•    What if (s)he is still using drugs or drinking in secret?

These kinds of thoughts are always invasive and never helpful, especially when it comes to a loved one’s addiction recovery. Being paranoid about your loved one’s time in rehab won’t do anything to help anyone— all it will do is hurt your mental health.

If you’re stuck in stage one at any point during your loved one’s recovery, consider getting professional help for yourself. Most rehabs provide family care and counseling. You may also benefit from talking to your own therapist or finding a support group of your own. Take the time to work on yourself while your loved one works on getting sober.

Stage Two

Stage Two for Your Loved One: Early Abstinence

Stage Two - Suspicion and Early AbstinenceThe second stage of addiction recovery for your loved one is characterized by a newly-developed commitment to sobriety. Early abstinence is usually the hardest stage in the addiction recovery process since that’s when your loved one experiences detox, withdrawal, and maybe even physical cravings. This stage can be extraordinarily complicated if your loved one has developed a psychological dependence on their substance of choice. Still, this part of addiction recovery is essential. Once detox is complete, this stage of recovery continues with your loved one learning the coping skills needed to stay sober after leaving rehab.

Stage Two for You: Suspicion

The second stage of rebuilding trust during the early stages of addiction recovery is filled with worry, doubt, and suspicion. During this stage, you might feel hesitant to start trusting your loved one again just because you have no idea what kind of progress has been made in rehab so far.

If you feel that getting past your suspicions has become a challenge, you should talk to your loved one in recovery, if possible. Ask how the meetings are going. Ask about the coping skills (s)he has learned so far. Keep the lines of communication with your loved one open and continue making an effort to heal yourself, too.

Stage Three

Stage Three for Your Loved One: Maintaining Abstinence

Stage 3 - Cautious Optimism and Maintaining Abstinence

The third stage of addiction recovery for your loved one typically begins after the first 90 days of sobriety. This stage sometimes marks the transition from residential rehab to scheduled outpatient rehab for patients who want to continue counseling even after returning home. The primary focus of maintaining abstinence is relapse prevention. So, during this stage of addiction recovery, your loved one will be using abstinence strategies and coping mechanism to handle everything from stress to triggers.

Stage Three for You: Cautious Optimism

The third stage of rebuilding trust during the early stages of addiction recovery is when your loved one’s improvement becomes more evident, but you may not be ready to offer your full trust yet. You may be wondering just how long this will last, especially if this is not your loved one’s first attempt to get sober. Still, your loved one is starting to look, feel and even act healthier.

If you’re unsure of how to feel after your loved one’s transition into outpatient treatment following the first 90 days sober, try to focus on yourself a little more. You have your own recovery to work on, too. Plus, now that you’re past the point of worrying about your loved one, you can focus on other things. Taking up a new hobby or spending more time with friends and family can help ease the tension during this stage.

Stage Four

Stage Four for Your Loved One: Advanced Recovery

Stage 4 - Certainty and Advanced Recovery

The fourth and final stage of addiction recovery for your loved one begins after two years of sobriety. During advanced recovery, your loved one will be able to take what they’ve learned from treatment and utilize it to build a happier, healthier life after substance addiction.

Advanced recovery requires a commitment to maintaining abstinence. Your loved one’s commitment will likely result in some significant lifestyle changes, like healthier eating and sleeping habits, more exercise and relationships with supportive people. These changes, coupled with continued abstinence and relapse prevention, will keep your loved one sober in the years to come.

Stage Four for You: Certainty

The fourth stage of rebuilding trust is the one you’ve been waiting for. At this point, you should be able to move forward with confidence as you continue to help your loved one. You’ll know, with certainty, that your loved one has the right tools, resources, and support to stay sober.

It’s important to remember, however, that relapse is common in addiction recovery. So, no matter how far your loved one has come, you should always be aware of the warning signs. If a relapse does happen, you’ll know what to do and how to handle the recovery process— for both your loved one and yourself.

TTC Outpatient Services Can Help You and Your Loved One Through the Four Stages of Recovery— and Trust

When your loved one decided to seek out professional help for his or her addiction, you each began a journey comprised of four unique but related stages of recovery. Working through these steps might feel challenging, but in the end, it’s more than worth it. Remember, recovery is a lifelong promise that requires work, commitment, and trust. If you or someone you know has a loved one who is working to maintain sobriety after addiction treatment, please contact The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services at (844) 211-7944. Our team of healthcare professionals can help you and your loved one stay on track for happier, healthier and addiction-free lives.

The Ironic Truths That Could Trigger a Relapse During Christmas

Ironic Truths

Christmas has been and probably always will be the most widely-anticipated event of the year. However, even the most wonderful time of the year comes with its drawbacks— and its ironies. No matter what stage of treatment they’re at, the people in addiction recovery face certain aspects of the holiday season that pose problems and risks of relapse. Here are just a few of the many contradictions surrounding Christmas that contribute to relapse rates over the holiday season:

Christmas is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

…But it’s Also the Most Stressful

Stress and anxiety are two of the most harmful triggers in addiction recovery, and both reach an all-time high during the holiday season. For a season that’s supposed to represent peace and joy, Christmas is absolutely riddled with busy schedules, endless to-do lists, family conflicts, financial pressures and mass feeling of overwhelming exhaustion.

These pressures are enough of a challenge for people going about their everyday lives; a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that, during Christmastime, almost half of the U.S. population cope with stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors like overeating and binge drinking. For people recovering from substance addiction, this level of stress is more than enough to trigger a relapse.

Christmas Symbolizes Unity and Joy

…But it Also Breeds Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness

Holiday Unity - Ironic TruthsBy now, it’s widely known that depressive feelings surge during the holiday season; probably as much as stress does. While it is true that Christmas is a time for families to gather from far and near to spend time together, ironically enough, this could be a factor in the annual rise of depression and feelings of isolation. After all, no one is exempt from some family drama. Being around family doesn’t always bring about happy feelings or memories. Additionally, people struggling to stay sober may find themselves in awkward situations that could easily trigger a relapse. Such circumstances could include coming into contact with family members who don’t support them or make them feel guilty or ashamed of their struggles. Without guidance from their support group, people in recovery are at increased risk of depression, feelings of isolation or exclusion, and subsequent relapse.

Christmas Embodies Hope for the Future

…But Haunts Us with the Past

The ghost of Christmas past doesn’t make an exception for anyone. Reflecting on the past has always been a favorite family pastime, but for those in addiction recovery, this can be harmful. Memories linked to past substance use are one of the most potent relapse triggers. It doesn’t matter if those memories are associated with feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, guilt or shame. As long as those memories revolve around addiction, looking back on them might be enough to trigger unwanted cravings.

Christmas Can Incite Spikes in Substance Abuse

…But a Decrease in the Number of Addiction Treatment Admissions

Ironic Truths - Substance abuse at holidaysOne of the biggest reasons why Christmas is such a trigger-ridden holiday is because overindulgence is not only expected but encouraged during celebrations. People will eat more, drink more, and indulge more in poor habits that could eventually prove detrimental to their health. In fact, recorded instances of alcohol consumption increase drastically in December and also in the week leading up to the New Year.

This seasonal spike in alcohol consumption, in turn, contributes to the recorded increase in drunk driving incidents during the holidays. And yet, despite the significant increase in substance abuse in general, most people suffering from addiction refuse to seek help during the holidays. The same can be said for the people in recovery who are on the brink of relapse. Instead, the number of admissions into rehab facilities seem to only increase after the start of the New Year.

Christmas Inspires Us to Make Resolutions for the New Year

…But We Almost Never Follow Through on Them

Making resolutions for the New Year following Christmas is something that everyone does. Unfortunately, even the mildest resolutions don’t always come to fruition. Despite the many serious consequences, sometimes those who have not yet sought addiction treatment will put it off so that they can “still enjoy” the holiday festivities instead of focusing on rehab.

So, a lot of the time, the people who promise themselves and others that they’ll enter rehab for addiction treatment after January 1st are just making empty excuses for one last binge. The people who are serious about changing their lives don’t hang their willpower on a flimsy resolution; instead, they take action as soon as possible, even if it means Christmas falls by the wayside.

Avoid Relapsing During Christmas with Help from TTC Outpatient Services

People struggling with addiction struggle more around Christmas. With so many triggers at play, it’s not hard to imagine why. Thankfully, outpatient services can help them stay on the right track to avoid triggers and relapse. Whether you are in recovery already or thinking about entering rehab for the first time, the TTC Outpatient Services are always open 24/7 every day to help those in need— even on Christmas. For more information, please call (844)211-7944. All calls are confidential.

The Opioid Crisis: What Defines a Substance Abuse Epidemic

The Opioid Crisis

Illicit drug abuse has been a widespread problem in the United States for decades, but the misuse of prescription opioids is a more recent development that poses just as serious a public health problem. While most people with prescriptions take their medications responsibly, the results from a National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that an estimated 54 million people have intentionally used medications for non-medical reasons at least once. This makes up about 20% of Americans aged 12 and older. The problem has remained prevalent for years and, according to various professionals in the field of addiction recovery, has become an epidemic.

The Unofficial Definition of a Substance Abuse Epidemic

Definition of EpidemicAn epidemic is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as something that “[affects or tends] to affect a disproportionally large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.” Similarly, the Oxford dictionary defines an epidemic as “a sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon.

In terms health and medicine, an epidemic typically refers to an outbreak of some sort of contagion or disease. These kinds of epidemics really only refers to infectious agents. However, non-infectious diseases like diabetes and obesity can also be described as epidemics since they persist in “epidemic proportions” in the United States. The same can unfortunately be said about drug abuse— especially opioids. The epidemic of opioid drug abuse, both prescription and illicit, has been dubbed The National Opioid Crisis.

The National Opioid Crisis

Opioid crisis statsBack in the late 1990s when opioid medications were still growing in popularity, many pharmaceutical companies had the medical community convinced that opioids did not have any addictive properties. This misguidance led more and more healthcare providers to prescribe opioid pain relievers— and at greater rates. The truth about the addictive nature of opioids didn’t become clear until after the widespread non-medical misuse of these medications began. Today, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies alike are slowly becoming more hesitant to prescribe opioid medications if alternatives are available. So far, the severity of the opioid crisis can be described by the following statistics:

  • as much as 29% of patients who are prescribed opioids misuse them
  • 8% to 12% of these patients go on to develop an opioid use disorder
  • 4% to 6% of people who abuse opioids abuse heroin
  • 80% of heroin users abused prescription opioids first

The issues surrounding opioid abuse have led to some devastating consequences. In fact, the sharp increase in overdose rates as a result of widespread opiate abuse has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States today.

Opioid Overdose in Recent Years

As the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., drugs overdose has claimed the lives of more than half a million people between 2000 and today, with more than 6 out of every 10 of those deaths involving opioid drugs.

Prescription vs heroin deaths in 2015

Prescription overdoses have made up a large number of the opioid overdose deaths over the last couple decades. In fact, the number of deaths that resulted from overdosing on opioid drugs like hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone has quadrupled since 1999. In 2015, a total of 20,101 overdose deaths were caused by prescription pain relievers. By comparison, heroin overdoses resulted in 12,990 deaths that same year. Now, an estimated 91 people die from an opioid overdoses every day.

The Scope of the Opioid Substance Abuse Epidemic

Young Adults

The misuse of prescription drugs seems to be the highest among young adults between 18 and 25 years old. There has also been some reported non-medical misusage among adolescents between 12 and 17.

Young adults who misuse opioid prescription drugs are also statistically more likely to use other types of drugs. In fact, several studies have shown that prescription drug abuse among U.S. adolescents, young adults, and college students has a link to higher rates of:

Men versus Women

In most age groups, males are statistically more likely than females to abuse prescription drugs. The only exception to this is in the 12 to 17 age group, where adolescent girls outnumber boys in the misuse of prescriptions including but not limited to pain relievers, sedatives, and stimulants. This may have some influence over the fact that, in adulthood, women are more likely than men to develop a substance use disorder or an addiction to prescription drugs— although men abuse prescriptions more often than women do. Additionally, while it is true that more men die of prescription opioid overdose than women do, the rate of overdose among women is continually growing at a much more rapid rate than among men. In short, men tend to abuse prescription drugs more than women do, but women are more susceptible to addiction and overdose than men are.

The Middle-aged and Elderly

More than 80% of patients between the ages of 57 and 85 years old use at least one prescription medication every day. Half of this margin takes more than five medications on a daily basis. This puts the middle-aged and elderly age groups at a higher risk of health issues resulting from unintentional prescription abuse (i.e. accidentally taking medication in high doses or more often than what was prescribed). This is especially true of opioid medications. Certain factors can make prescription opioid medication misuse much more dangerous for older adults than for younger ones, including:

  • the statistical likelihood of co-occurring chronic illnesses in older adults
  • age-related changes in metabolism that may affect how a drug is received
  • the significantly higher potential of prescription drug use among older adults

The Economic Toll of the Opioid Substance Abuse Epidemic

The misuse of prescription opioids—along with the abuse of illicit opioids like heroin—has become as much of an economic dilemma as it is a public health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that the total financial impact of prescription opioid abuse alone costs the United States more than $78.5 billion a year. This includes the costs of drug production and distribution, healthcare, addiction treatment, and criminal justice fees.

Government Preventative Measures So Far

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already set a plan in motion in their fight against the growing opioid epidemic. So far, HHS has been focusing on five major concerns:

  • educating the public about the opioid epidemic
  • supporting for research into addiction and pain management
  • endorsing the distribution and use of overdose-reversing drugs
  • improving public access to addiction treatment and recovery services
  • promoting non-opioid medications and practices for pain management

On section of the HHS, called the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has become America’s leading medical research agency in its efforts to help dissolve the opioid crisis. In recent years, many pharmaceutical companies and academic research facilities have partnered with NIH to develop better ways to improve pain management, treat opioid misuse disorders, and even prevent the misuse of opioid prescriptions in the first place.

Help End the Opioid Crisis with TTC Outpatient Services

With so much going into the fight against the opioid crisis, we can only hope that it will end soon. Until then, the Outpatient Services center is here to support you. Our team of qualified medical professionals and counselors will make your comfort and care a priority during your addiction treatment. If you or someone you know has developed an addiction to opioid prescription medication or illicit drugs, please call us at (844) 211-7944. All calls are confidential.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse
https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/how-can-prescription-drug-misuse-be-prevented
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis

Common Misconceptions: Debunked Myths About Addiction

Debunked myths about addiction

Myths and misinformation surround addiction probably more than anything else. Since the topic of substance abuse varies so much in the public’s opinion of it, it can be dangerous when those opinions are formed based on false information.

The Dangers of Addiction Myths

Spotting the difference between truth and myth when it comes to substance addiction is incredibly important. If you don’t know the truth from the myths, learning and spreading accurate information about addiction will be next to impossible. Myths will always exist, but treating them as a reality can have serious consequences, especially when it comes to substance addiction. Some of these consequences include:

  • Increased drug and alcohol abuse across all demographics
  • Damaged relationships due to misconceptions about substance abuse
  • Higher risk of dangerous withdrawals, overdose, or death among addicts

Gathering and sharing information about addiction from highly reputable sources is one of the easiest ways you can keep yourself, the people you care about, and anyone struggling with addiction safe. Some of the most common (and now debunked) myths about addiction can be found below.

MYTH: Only Illicit Drugs are Unsafe

Only Illicit Drugs are UnsafePeople tend to think that only the “hard” drugs are the ones that are dangerous. Illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine are especially infamous for being potent and highly addictive. While this is true, any substance that has the potential for addiction can be dangerous. Even abusing substances that carry a very low risk of addiction development, like marijuana, can be enough to incite a battle with addiction and dependence.

MYTH: Alcohol Isn’t as Dangerous as Drugs

You might be under the impression that alcohol isn’t a serious or potentially deadly substance. This is probably due to the fact that, unlike most other regularly-abused substances, alcohol is legal— socially acceptable, even. The positive light cast on alcohol, which is often shown as a party-starter in movies and television, leads people to falsely assume that abusing it “isn’t as bad.” However, this could not be further from the truth.

There are some shocking statistics surrounding the abuse of alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has determined that:

  • 88,000 Americans die from issues related to alcohol abuse every year
  • more than 10,000 people die in drunk driving accidents every year
  • Drinking alcohol interferes with normal adolescent physical development (i.e. alcohol abuse can stunt the growth and development of young users)

Alcohol has just as much potential to ruin people’s lives as any other addictive substance— and it’s widely available for consumers aged 21 and above.

MYTH: It’s Impossible to Become Addicted to Prescribed Medication

Prescription Drugs aren't addictiveThis is one myth that, unfortunately, is not true. You stand just as much of a chance getting addicted to prescription medication as you do to any other substance. Many prescribed medications on the market today have as high a potential for abuse and addiction as illicit substances. In fact, prescription medications are often used to create other drugs. For example, opiates are a major ingredient in heroin and stimulants can be used in cocaine.

The prescription medications that seem to have the highest rates of addiction include:

Self-medicating with these drugs— or taking more than your doctor’s prescribed dosage— is one strong indication that you may be developing an addiction.

MYTH: Addicts Have Control Over Their Substance Abuse

So many people struggling with addiction will make the same, unrealistic claim: “I can stop whenever I want.” This can make others believe that any addict has the ability to make the conscious choice to stop using. But this isn’t the case.

This myth goes against the very definition of what addiction is. Substance addiction changes the way the brain functions, making it nearly impossible for the addict to stop using without help. This is called dependence.

When someone becomes dependent on a substance during addiction, that substance cements itself as a necessary part of the brain’s functioning; so, attempting to quit would send the addict into a frenzy of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Loved ones who don’t realize this might make harmful ultimatums like “if you really loved me, you’d stop” or “it’s me or the drugs,” which will only make matters worse.

MYTH: Addicts Will Only Recover If They’re Strong Enough to Do It Alone

People have a tendency to equate addiction with both physical and moral weakness. This perpetuates the belief that if you’re strong, you won’t let addiction get the better of you. This particular myth has a partial connection to the false idea that addicts have control over their addictions: “if they’re strong, they’ll quit.” Part of what makes this myth so dangerous is that it also gives a false promise to future addicts when it comes to initial substance abuse: “If you’re strong enough, you won’t get addicted in the first place.”

The reality is that addiction is not about strength or weakness. Addiction is a disease. And disease cannot be treated without help.

MYTH: Once an Addict, Always an Addict

Some myths about addiction don’t always agree with one another. One of the most popular misconceptions about addiction is that once you become an addict, you’ll be an addict for the rest of your life. While it is true that addiction has no true cure, it is possible for addicts who seek treatment to get sober and stay sober. After all, addiction is a disease; if you work with professionals and find the best ways to manage your symptoms, you can live a healthy, addiction-free life.

MYTH: Rehab Never Works

This myth most likely came about for two different reasons. First, many people don’t seem to recognize— or at least fully understand— what rehab is meant to do. Those who don’t have any firsthand experience with addiction often falsely label rehab as some sort of quick, ultimate solution for addiction treatment. This is often illustrated in movies and television where an addicted character is “cured” after a few short weeks of rehab. The fact of the matter is, rehab is not a cure. Rather, it’s a long-term treatment plan that helps people in recovery with symptom management.

Second, this myth may potentially stem from an exaggerated truth: there are some rehabs that use ineffective methods of addiction treatment. However, this is not an accurate reflection of all rehabs— just because one rehab center failed does not mean they all fail. In fact, the best and most successful addiction treatment facilities are the ones that offer:

TRUTH: The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services Can Help

There is one universal truth about addiction that professionals and addiction survivors everywhere can agree on: the most effective treatments for substance addiction are the ones that cater to the individual needs of a patient in recovery. Without individualized care, addicts struggling to get sober alone can suffer through extreme cravings, withdrawal, or worse.

At The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services, we strive to meet the needs of all our patients. With a wide variety of programs to choose from and flexible scheduling at your disposal, you can get sober your own way on your own time, with help. For more information about what our Outpatient Services have to offer, please call us at (844) 211-7944. And remember, all calls are confidential. We’re here to help.

The Benefits of Holistics in Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Benefits of Holsitics for Addiction Recovery

The hardest part of the addiction recovery process is getting started. So many substance abusers struggling with addiction don’t come forward for help out of fear of withdrawal symptoms. Thankfully, the majority of rehabilitation centers all over the U.S. has addressed this issue by introducing certain holistic therapies into their recovery plans.

What Exactly Are Holistics?

Holistics, also called alternative treatment, are designed to ease these withdrawal symptoms of patients in addiction recovery. These types of rehab programs utilize an integrated model of treatment to address the physical, mental, and spiritual harm caused by substance abuse and addiction. Unlike most other rehab programs, holistics are based in both medicine and in the holism mentality that healing should not be segmented into parts. Part of what makes holistics in addiction recovery so popular is that it focuses on healing the whole person— not just the addiction.

The Debate of Holistics in Addiction Treatment

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has determined that today, more than one-third of adults in the U.S. utilize holistic medicine one way or another. They also claim that this trend only seems to increase with each passing year. However, just because something is popular does not mean it is effective. In terms of holistics in addiction treatment, there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not they actually assist in the addiction recovery process.

Holistics aid in a recovery patient's satisfaction and motivationThe biggest argument against holistics in addiction treatment is that there is no research to suggest its effectiveness. Nay-sayers believe that there is no solid correlation between holistics and the progression of addiction healing. This, however, is only half-true. There is an abundance of research from the journal Psychiatric Services and other similar scientific sources indicating that holistics aid in a recovering patient’s satisfaction and motivation— both of which contribute heavily to achieving long-term sobriety at the end of treatment.

It’s also important to note that holistics are very rarely used independently of other models in addiction recovery. In fact, almost all forms of holistic therapy— like yoga, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage— are meant to supplement more traditional therapies like individual counseling and medical detox.

The Benefits of Holistics in Addiction Treatment and Recovery

A Wide Variety of Treatment Options

Anyone familiar with addiction treatment and recovery already knows that the ‘one size fits all’ approach never works. Each patient suffers from addiction in different ways, so their treatments should be personalized to their specific needs for a successful recovery. Implementing holistic treatment is one of the biggest benefits of individualized care because patients in recovery are not limited by the types of therapies they can receive for substance abuse recovery.

Some of the more popular examples of holistic treatment techniques include:

These treatment options are designed to collectively treat the mind, body, and spirit. By utilizing these forms of therapy with other more traditional addiction treatments, patients can restore all areas of their health beyond gaining sobriety.

Holistics Can Be Offered in Both Inpatient and Outpatient Addiction Treatment

One of the biggest benefits of holistics in addiction treatment is its flexibility. Everything from acupuncture to relaxation therapy can be offered in both an inpatient and outpatient setting, so there is no limit to what patients can include in their treatment plans.

Treatment for the Patient, Not the Symptoms

Any person struggling with addiction amounts to more than a group of symptoms. So, the best treatment plans should cater to the patients’ welfare throughout the treatment process. There are countless physical, psychological, social and emotional factors that feed substance abuse and addiction; and since the purpose of holistics is to heal the whole individual, it addresses all of these areas by delving past the physical symptoms.

As a result, patients in recovery stand a better chance of identifying any underlying emotional and physiological components of their addiction during non-holistic treatments like individual counseling. Additionally, patients who use holistic treatments also stand a better chance of staying sober once rehabilitation is over since holistics teach basic coping skills that help manage stress and cravings.

Holistics Offer Empowerment to Patients in Recovery

benefits of holistic treatmentThe idea that we are each responsible for our own destiny is one that’s existed for millennia. In terms of addiction recovery, patients are responsible for the decision to change their lives and get sober. It’s not always easy since positive changes can’t be forced, but this is why the holistic approach is so empowering for patients in addiction recovery. Working with staff and counselors to heal the whole self enables patients to take charge and set a course towards sobriety and a fresh new life. After all, rehab should not be about professionals telling you how to live your life— it should be about receiving help in the healing process, gaining knowledge about yourself, and learning new skills to put to use in sobriety.

Traditional Therapies are Still the Foundation of Addiction Treatment

Usually, holistics are used alongside other, more conventional therapies. This is probably the most important thing to remember about the utilization of holistics in addiction recovery. As mentioned previously, holistics in addiction treatment are designed to help the non-holistic side of the treatment plan identify the factors that contribute to an individual patient’s addiction. These aspects include:

  • Environmental, familial and/or social influences
  • Physical symptoms and side effects of the substance addiction
  • Physical and psychological symptoms and side effects of withdrawal
  • Signs of impaired emotional health that may have led to substance abuse
  • Any other unhealthy habits that might result in a neurochemical imbalance

Some centers will claim that holistics are the best method of treating addiction and can guarantee a long-lasting recovery on their own. Still, the vast majority of certified medical professionals will agree that holistic therapies are best used in combination with other evidence-based treatment models. Holistics may be effective, but they yield the best results when used alongside counseling, coping skills development training, and relapse prevention planning.

Separately, holistic and non-holistic models might not be successful. Together, both forms of addiction therapy can set any patient on the right path.

Holistics in The Treatment Center Outpatient Services

If you are having trouble quitting drugs or alcohol even though you have the drive to do it, you may be struggling with an addiction. At the Treatment Center’s Outpatient Center, our staff of seasoned medical and healthcare professionals can help you build an individualized treatment plan to start you on your road to recovery. If you are interested in the holistic model of treatment or would like more information about it, please call us at (844)211-7944. All calls are confidential.

Can I Still Hang Out With My ‘Old Friends’ During Recovery?

Can I hang out with my old friends after rehab?

The changes that come with life after rehabilitation are often the hardest to face and the hardest to adapt to for recovering addicts. The shift from a drug-fueled life to one focused on sobriety can seem stark and even a little sad— especially for those who found great pleasure in the world of drugs.

Recovery targets and addresses these kinds of feelings to help you move on, but it’s not always easy. If you’ve spent months or even years using drugs, spending time with other drug users, and enjoying locations frequently preferred in the drug community, recovery will be an uphill battle. Plus, being aware that you need to make a change and actually making that change are two very different things. And it can be especially challenging when you have to sacrifice things like time with your friends in order to make that change possible. Now, it’s good to still remain in contact with friends during and after recovery, but spending time with the people who enabled you during your life of addiction should involve extreme caution.

Rehabilitation and “The Reset Button”

Rehabilitation is designed to be a fresh start, providing a separation between one stage of your life and the next. In rehabilitation, you have the chance to focus on yourself and your well-being for a few weeks. This process is critical to breaking the cycle of addiction and introducing you to a new way of life without the toxic habits that contributed to your addiction. It’s like pressing a reset button.

The rehabilitative reset button offers both physical and psychological healing. In addition to learning how to abstain from drugs, you and your fellow patients will also learn how to cope with cravings, how to resist temptation, and how to better cope with the kinds of ideas, stressors, and feelings that led to drug abuse in the first place.

Still, resetting your life isn’t the same as resetting a phone or a computer. Rehabilitation doesn’t erase your memories or wipe out your emotions. Whatever trauma you may have of your addiction is something that you’ll have to learn how to cope with. This includes cutting ties in your social circle where you need to. Remember, when you leave to start your new substance-free lifestyle, you’ll still be the same person, and the feelings and memories of your addiction will still be fresh in your mind— but you’ll be sober.

Adapting to Daily Life after Addiction

Those who reenter society after only a few weeks in rehab tend to struggle, especially if they reunite with old friends right away. A premature return to daily life – and older ways of life – can be a fast path to relapse. This is why it’s important for you to build new, sober relationships instead of sticking to the ones you’ve built with other users. By focusing on others who are similarly committed to sobriety, you’ll stay determined to meet your goals.

Friends and Relationships

When you return from rehab, the first thing you’ll want to do is reconnect with friends and family. It’s natural to want to catch up on what you missed, rekindle close relationships, and spend time with your loved ones, but it’s always a good idea to exercise some caution. While your family will likely continue to be a good support system, the friends you made through the course of your addiction will not. The friends that did not make the choice to get clean – like you did – may not be as supportive or as understanding of your commitment to your new lifestyle.

In fact, it’s entirely likely that the friends you had in connection to drug abuse may not have been real friends. You’re likely to find out for sure during your recovery. It may be difficult at first to distinguish drug-fueled connections from true, deep bonds. But, throughout recovery, the real friends will remain by your side. If anyone in your social circle does not support your decision to lead a sober life, then they simply should not be part of it.

Setting Boundaries

How to meet with old friends in recoveryWhile it’s important to build a strong support system with individuals who can support you through sobriety, you do not necessarily have to cut out the rest of your social circle for good. It’s entirely possible that some friends who still actively use substances may actually support your decision to get sober. Still, reconnecting with those friends immediately after leaving rehabilitation isn’t the best idea. The good news is, though, that once you’re several months out and have a handle on your sobriety, it might be okay to allow those old friends back into your life again.

If you decide to do this, it’s important to maintain complete control over the situation. Make sure you meet at a neutral location (preferably during the day) where there is no risk of running into triggers. Let your friends know in advance that substance use is off the table, and ask that they respect your sobriety by not imbibing in front of you. Substance abuse shouldn’t even be a topic of conversation around you, so make it clear that you are not going to entertain even the slightest mention. This policy needs to be zero tolerance; make it clear that any casual mention or presence of substances is a deal breaker. Your commitment to change should be respected. If it’s not, then your friends shouldn’t be a part of your sober life.

The Importance of Aftercare during Addiction Recovery

Adjusting to life after rehabilitation can be a challenge. Not only are you faced with setting boundaries with your old friends, but you’re also switching mental gears from “rehab mode” to “life mode” to establish a new, natural daily rhythm. It can be a sharp shift, which is why utilizing aftercare is such an important part of life after rehab.

Aftercare, or the intensive outpatient services that are available beyond rehab, is a key component of staying committed to recovery. Sessions with counselors and other recovering addicts will serve as a reminder of all your hard work so far. This will help you stay committed to your overall mission of recovery, giving you even more of the support you need to stay strong against temptation.

Get Help with The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services

Addiction recovery is a long and challenging road, but the journey can be that much harder if you’re blocked by people who don’t support your sobriety. With support from true friends and the new ones you make along the way, you won’t have to walk this path alone. If you are struggling with addiction and looking to get sober, the hard-working team at The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services is here to help. As a full-service rehabilitation center, we will offer the support you need to get sober and stay sober.

Please contact us at (844) 211-7944 to learn more! All consultations are confidential.

What Does Rehab Mean?

What does rehab actually mean?

Everyone knows what “rehab” means—or at least they think they do. The fact is that there is no standardized definition of rehab, giving treatment facilities a lot of leeway to refer to themselves with the term.

Not all rehabs are created equal, but most facilities at least make an effort to adhere to the principles of effective addiction treatment that are laid out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. With that in mind, every unique person looking for a rehab facility to help them get sober may find that different models and programs better meet their addiction recovery needs.

Here, we’re going to explore various programs, different treatment strategies, and the best practices for a rehab that have proven to be effective in providing patients access to lifelong recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, explore the treatment options at Outpatient Services. Call us at (844) 665-6834 for more information about how we can put you on the road to recovery.

Is Rehab a Place, a Process, or Both?

Rehab, specifically drug rehab, describes the process of recovery from one of a group of disorders characterized as substance abuse disorders. This includes dependence or addiction to legal (but controlled) substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs. Rehab is also loosely used to describe the facility at which this recovery process takes place (i.e. “going to rehab”).

Although all rehabs share the same ultimate goal of helping their patients recover from addiction, there is a lot of variation in the methods they use to make this happen. Here are the different types of rehab facilities and programs that are made widely available to addicts looking to get sober.

Long-term Residential Facilities

A long-term residential treatment facility is one that cares for patients around-the-clock for a period of 6 months for a year; perhaps longer, depending on the patient’s needs. Many of these facilities use a model called a Therapeutic Community (TC), a treatment process that, according to NIDA, “acknowledges the chronic, relapsing nature of substance use disorders.” By giving addicts in recovery a place to live and socialize with others in the same boat, TCs are widely considered an excellent option to receive long-term treatment.

Unfortunately, these kinds of rehab communities exist on an idealized plane. It’s very rare for anyone to be able to take 6 months off of a solid work or school schedule to focus on recovery, let alone a year. This is why other options like short-term residential centers and outpatient facilities exist.

Inpatient Residential Facilities

Most of the time, when you hear that someone is “going to rehab”, this usually refers to short-term residential treatment. Short-term residential treatment centers focus on intensive treatment in a shorter, more realistic amount of time for busy Americans suffering from addiction. Although most short-term residential treatment plans span an average of 30 days, patients usually have the freedom to adjust the length of their stay as needed for their individual recoveries. In addition, these facilities generally oversee medical detox followed by a continuum of services aimed at helping addicts recover for the long-term.

In 2001, a study was carried out attempting to measure the efficacy of short-term residential treatment programs in comparison to long-term residential programs. The results showed better results in longer stays, with the caveat that these addicts generally didn’t receive positive results from outpatient treatment and usually had co-occurring disorders (i.e. two addictions at the same time or an addiction coinciding with a mental illness).

Detox Facilities

These rehab facilities only treat patients during medical detox, treating the process as the end goal of recovery. This is method of single-step rehab is severely flawed because, as NIDA has stated, detox should only be treated as the first step in the process of addiction treatment. If it’s not, then addicts trying to get sober are much more likely to relapse when they don’t receive the necessary continuum of post-detox care. All in all, stand-alone detox centers are only truly useful in addiction recovery when used in conjunction with other programs and services for a more rounded treatment plan.

Therapy and Counseling

Many addicts choose, either after detox or after some level of inpatient or outpatient treatment, to continue to receive counseling or therapeutic services after, which can still be considered a type of rehab. Because of the wide variation of these programs, there’s no way to judge them on any sort of merits. If an addict responds well to one-on-one psychiatric treatment or family therapy, they will likely succeed, but if an addict isn’t invested, there is little support for them outside of group meetings or therapy sessions.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs involve some level of on-site treatment with the aspect of residency. That is, patients, come to the facility for detox and other services, but don’t stay there 24 hours a day. First, there is a lot of variability in programs that refer to themselves as outpatient rehabs. If the services offered are insufficient, a facility’s results are likely to be insufficient, but if an outpatient center offers comprehensive treatment, or better yet, is used as part of a continuum of care after inpatient treatment is complete, outpatient rehab facilities can be a great, more affordable solution for patients committed to their own recovery.

Rehab in Correctional Facilities

Rehab programs have been made so widely available that some even exist in the most unexpected places— like prisons. Today, most correctional facilities have addiction recovery programs set in place for drug users who are serving sentences. Generally speaking, incarcerated drug addicts can undergo rehab in the form of 12-step programs, full addiction treatment schedules, or other any other options available in the facility.

A common misconception about rehab programs in prison is that they are less effective. In fact, many skeptics have challenged what is referred to as “involuntary rehab”, claiming that addicts who are forced get sober likely won’t if it’s not their choice to do so. One study published in a journal of psychiatry, however, compared the results of voluntary and involuntary addiction treatment and found that both were equally effective. Even if this were not the case, involuntary rehab in a correctional facility is far less common than most people think. Most of the time, inmates actually do comply with the ruling by the state to receive addiction treatment during their sentences.

Rehab in Hospitals

Rehab, what does it mean?People who are hospitalized for suicidal behavior, overdose or other risk behavior aren’t always considered as people “in rehab” but many hospitals have dedicated facilities committed to addiction treatment. This is looked at as a good option for addicts that have already received services for their addiction in a hospital setting and want to continue with a consistent degree of care.

Rehab in Correctional Facilities

When drug offenders are incarcerated, they are generally put through some type of rehab programs, ranging from as simple as 12-step programs to full addiction treatment schedules, depending on the facility in question. Many skeptics have challenged what is referred to as “involuntary rehab”, claiming that addicts who don’t buy in won’t recover as effectively.

One study published in a journal of psychiatry, however, compared the results of voluntary and involuntary treatment and found that this inequality did not exist. When inmates are compelled by the state to receive addiction treatment, they generally showed compliance and had comparable rates of recovery to voluntary programs where addicts were free to drop out of treatment.

Get Sober with Help from the Outpatient Services of The Treatment Center

As you can see, the term “rehab” encompasses a wide variety of treatment programs today. Different facilities provide different results for different addicts, so feel free to explore your options. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, explore the treatment options at Outpatient Services. Call us at (844) 665-6834 for more information about how we can put you on the road to recovery.