What is the best treatment for substance abuse? Let’s take a look at some of the options out there, and what ultimately works the best for most people in overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.
First, there are several different types of treatments that you might use in order to overcome substance abuse problems. These might include:
* Outpatient treatment.
* Inpatient residential treatment.
* Long term treatment.
* AA meetings or 12 step programs.
* Drug therapy treatments.
And so on. When you are considering the different types of treatments available, you might wonder: “which is the right treatment for me?” or “Which treatment would be the best fit, given my situation and my history?”
These are excellent questions, and if you are asking them of yourself, then it is a very positive sign in terms of your overall recovery. People who are not going to stay clean and sober anyway would never think to ask these types of questions at all.
The simple answer is that the best treatment for addiction or alcoholism problems is the treatment that works best for the individual. So how do we put that into practical terms?
I would recommend that anyone who is willing to get help, check into short term residential treatment. Does this mean that it is the best solution for everyone? No, of course not. But it does mean that it offers the best approach in almost every case for getting a person to the right level of care that they need. How is this the case?
What happens in most short term treatment episodes is that the addict or alcoholic will be admitted into detox, and then transfer into a short term residential stay. There they will pair up with a therapist and get one on one assistance. It is then that the customization of treatment can really come into place, because the therapist can help determine what level of care is really needed for the individual:
Do they need to attend 12 step meetings?
Do they need to live in long term rehab, due to a long history of chronic relapse?
Do they need to have counseling sessions every week in order to work through various psychological issues that might be holding them back in their recovery?
And so on. So the “best treatment” is not always going to be the same thing for every person, and it might take a bit of time and effort on everyone’s part before the best course of action is even discovered.
Ultimately, the best course of action results in long term personal growth for the individual. This should always be the long term goal of any treatment, such that the person has a natural method of relapse prevention in place as they progress in their recovery. Most short term relapse prevention tactics don’t really work, as just about anyone who has relapsed can tell you. What works is positive, continuous growth. When you can empower the individual and help them to succeed and grow on their own, then you give them the ability to overcome their addiction in the long run.
Maybe an addict is addicted to heroin and has been to treatment at least 3 or more times, but continues to relapse. Should they try drug maintenance therapy at this point? Possibly. A therapist will help with that decision, along with a doctor. Such questions can best be handled when the addict is already in treatment and receiving substance abuse services.
So perhaps the best solution is to “start somewhere” and just get them into rehab of some sort. Then, explore your options and see what is the best fit for the individual.
Not everyone follows the same path in recovery.