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Finding the Right Program for Substance Abuse

The biggest myth about drug and alcohol rehabilitation is that treatment doesn’t work. Believing that may be one reason that finding the right treatment program seems so hard.

Another myth told is that substance abuse is just a matter of choice. The truth is that drug addiction and alcohol addiction are long-lasting diseases. They can be treated as successfully as many other long-lasting diseases like high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes.

How do you know if you need treatment?

You may have had a choice when you first started using drugs or alcohol. But, after a while, these drugs actually change the structure and functioning of your brain. Once you are addicted, the urge to use the substance you are addicted to becomes so powerful that you may continue using it without thinking about what could happen.

You need to ask for help if you continue to use drugs or alcohol even after developing problems with your health, your job or education, or your relationships. Another warning sign is your need for more drugs or alcohol to get the same pleasant feeling as when you first started using them.

Finding the right treatment program

Treatment isn’t the same for everyone. Your program choice may be affected by:

  • Your age and sex

  • The drug or drugs you’re abusing

  • Your medical history, including mental health problems

  • The cost of treatment

  • Your insurance coverage

  • Your social support

Where to go for help

The first step is admitting that you have a problem and that you need help. The next is accepting that treatment takes time. Short-term, one-time treatments hardly ever work. The best treatment programs offer many services over a period of time. Studies show that anything less than 90 days is not long enough.

Here are resources that you can use to take the next steps:

If you feel powerless over drugs or alcohol, remember that you are fighting a disease and you need help. Treatment does work, but it is a lifelong process. Finding the right treatment program can help you start to address your needs and to aim at the medical, emotional, and social parts of your addiction.