How You Can Afford an Expensive Drug Rehab or Alcohol Treatment Center

Patrick
  • By Patrick
  • Drug and alcohol treatment is expensive. There are addicts and alcoholics out there who want to get help, but ask themselves how they can ever afford it.

    There are basically 3 ways that you can pay for a stay in rehab.

    1) Private insurance
    2) Government funded
    3) Cash

    Let’s take a look at each one.

    Health Insurance

    A certain percentage of people have health insurance, and that might cover all or most of a stay in a treatment center. But even with good health insurance, sometimes people can’t afford rehab, for whatever reasons. Keep in mind that this is becoming more and more of a battle each day, as insurance companies place more and more restrictions on who is covered for rehab, how often they can stay, and so on.

    If you have insurance, call them up a local rehab and see what you can get covered for. Sometimes there will be a copay. In some cases it is very reasonable, in others it will be so high that you are back to the drawing board. You just have to get on the phone and talk to your insurance company and see what the deal is. Because of this, having insurance can be a mixed blessing when it comes to treatment. Sometimes they cover all or most of a stay, but other times it seems like they are too restrictive and limiting. It can be a bit of a crap shoot.

    What if you don’t have insurance? State funding might be the answer

    Rehab no insurance – The next option if you don’t have insurance is to get out the phone book and get on the phone.

    Your first goal is to find and then contact all the treatment centers in your local area. If you can’t find them in the phone book or on the internet, you can start by asking your doctor to recommend one.

    The first treatment center that you call can also point out any others in the area.

    Once you have a list of potential treatment centers, you need to call them up and explain your situation. Tell them you are interested in treatment services but you have no insurance.

    The treatment center will probably ask you if you are on Medicaid or Medicare. If you are then they may or may not accept those. If not, then they might have you call a state funding agency to try to get funded through the state.

    This might sound complicated but it really isn’t. Most States in the U.S. have money set up for a certain number of participants to use for treatment. Some treatment centers accept this form of payment and others do not. So it is simply a matter of seeing if you qualify for the grant money and finding a treatment center that accepts it.

    I know if might sound like a hassle but it’s really not so bad. Get on the phone and talk to the treatment centers and they can walk you through getting funded if you qualify. They want to help you and they want your business.

    The last resort – Paying cash for treatment services

    So what if you don’t have insurance and for some reason, can’t get funded through government money for treatment? Sometimes this is the case, and your only option will be to pay cash. If you want to know how expensive is drug rehab, just ask them what their cash rates are, and be prepared for a scary answer.

    Now usually this appears to be a deal breaker for most people because the cost is usually pretty high–ranging anywhere from around a thousand dollar right on up to over ten thousand. (Keep in mind that a thousand dollars is really a very low amount and could probably only buy you about 3 days in most treatment centers these days).

    So for most people, paying cash sounds prohibitive at first. But people still do it every day, because they are desperate enough and want to change.

    If it comes down to being your only option, be sure to check with treatment centers and see if they will work out a payment plan. Many of them will.

    Paying cash for treatment services is not the end of the world. If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would have paid a small fortune for the treatment I received when I first got clean and sober. Of course, back then I would not have believed it was worth it….it is only in retrospect that I know and understand the true value of my initial stay in treatment. A decent alcohol rehab can help an alcoholic achieve lasting recovery, and that is worth any price of admission that they might want you to pay. Of course there are no guarantees, but that is true of any treatment option.

    Don’t let the high cost of treatment deter you, it’s cheaper than continuing to drink or use drugs!

    Is drug rehab expensive? Sure. But, in spite of the prohibitively high cost of treatment, quitting drugs and alcohol will save you a lot more money in the long run, far more than the initial cost of treatment. This is in addition to the indirect cost savings you will experience based on an improved quality of life and better overall health.

    Think of it this way: maybe your drug or alcohol addiction is only costing you a thousand dollars or so this year, but if you continue to use without arresting your disease, the costs will snowball as you go forward. Health and legal problems will multiply, your tolerance will increase and you’ll have to spend more money to get the same effect. The tendency towards cross-addiction might introduce new substances into your life that will incur more costs for you. And so on. Figuring out how to afford rehab is the best thing you can do, in most cases. Addiction might start out rather cheap but it adds up over time, and also has a tendency to snowball and get worse.

    Low cost drug rehab

    There are some ways that you can go to rehab for cheap, and in some cases people can even attend rehab for free. It all depends on how they are set up and what type of financial situation you are in.

    Obviously, the cost of providing treatment is never going to be “free.” But for example, some long term rehabs are actually set up almost like a homeless shelter, and therefore are funded differently so that the people who go there do not have to pay anything. In some cases, the therapy and the programming at such places is good, other times, not so much. If you can afford to pay for any rehab of your choosing, you will obviously be able to get the type of therapy that you want.

    Many referral services have options where they can direct you to a drug rehab that fits in with your insurance or your financial situation. Some rehab centers take Medicare, others don’t. The same is true of other payment options in some cases. So you have to call around and find out what is available to you, and what the cost will be.

    This can be a quick learning process. Get on the phone and see what is out there. It never hurts to try, even if you don’t think you have a way to pay for treatment services.

    The cost of drug rehab is measured with success

    The lifetime value of a trip to drug rehab is measured in the millions of dollars. In other words, if a relatively young person goes to treatment and they stay clean and sober because of it, then the financial gains from that decision will likely pay them over a million dollars over the course of their lifetime. The cost of using drugs and alcohol is staggering, even when you just consider direct and indirect financial loss. Of course the real cost goes far beyond the monetary value involved, as we all know, but just looking at the dollars that get poured into an addiction, we can see that rehab is a tremendous value.

    One problem is that many people who leave rehab will initially relapse, and this happens very shortly after leaving. Something like 80 percent will relapse within the first year of leaving treatment, and over half will relapse in the first 30 days. Those are rough estimates but they are in line with what the U.S. government data suggests based on huge treatment center follow up surveys with millions of participants. But here is the critical thing: getting clean and sober is a process, one that generally involves a few trips to rehab.

    Most who find stable recovery do so after 3 or 4 trips to drug rehab. This is just the cost of doing business. If it was one trip to rehab and you’re done, that would be great. Everyone wants a magic bullet, a cure. But the fact is that it takes a continuous effort. Many will make it if they keep trying, and don’t give up.

    The cost of inpatient drug rehab compared to other forms of treatment

    Inpatient drug rehab is pretty expensive. But it works a bit better than cheaper forms of treatment. For example, you can save quite a bit of money if you went to outpatient treatment instead, where the client goes home each night but comes back for classes and meetings each day. However, the statistics show that outpatient is not as effective as inpatient, all things considered.

    There are other forms of treatment too, such as counseling or therapy on an individual basis. Again, these are not going to give you the same advantages as inpatient rehab, and they still have significant cost. Best would be to combine such an approach with inpatient treatment.

    You might even look at forms of treatment like drug maintenance, and compare the cost with that. Some people who are addicted to opiates might take Methadone or Suboxone on a long term basis in order to overcome their addiction. In these cases, if they stay on the medication long term, it is actually much cheaper to go to inpatient rehab, because the cost of the maintenance drug adds up quite a bit over time. Staying on a maintenance drug for a few years is not cheap, when you add it all up. Plus, you have to consider other costs, such as the inconvenience of taking and having to get additional medication every day, and so on.

    What we think drug rehab costs: time, money, and social stigma

    Many people who think of drug rehab consider several different costs, not just the financial end of it. They might be leery of going to rehab because of all of the costs involved, with money just people one aspect of this. For example, consider these other “costs”:

    Time – being in drug rehab takes time away from “your life.” This is often a part of denial, as the person who is arguing this is generally living a messed up life of addiction anyway, and they are not doing anything super productive with their time anyway. Yet they argue that going to rehab for a few weeks or even longer is “ridiculous” in that it would tie them up for too long. In other words, the time investment for going to rehab is too high a cost for that person. For someone with a real problem, this is just a rationalization (as is any excuse to avoid rehab, actually).

    Social stigma – many people are leery of going to rehab because of the “cost” in social stigma. This exists largely in their own minds, but they are afraid of incurring a stigma based on their drug addiction or alcoholism. They think that others will see them in treatment, or know that they went to treatment, and will then judge them for that. They believe that others will find out that they are an addict or alcoholic and think less of them for it. If they go to rehab, then they think they are exposing themselves to the world and inviting this stigma in. Thus, stigma is a “cost” in the mind of the addict who is afraid to be exposed.

    Are there free drug rehabs out there?

    There are some situations where rehab could be free, or entirely “covered” for some people, but of course, everything has a cost. It is just a matter of whether or not you are paying for that cost out of your own pocket or not. It is worth it to make the call to find out if you qualify for rehab based on your insurance or your financial situation. In some cases, there are funding agencies at the state level that can cover the cost of certain treatments for people who do not have any insurance or money to cover it otherwise. This varies from state to state and can also vary depending on your situation. Therefore, the best solution is to call and find out what your options are. It never hurts to try!

    Frequently asked questions

    What can I expect at drug rehab?

    You can expect that a typical detox will run a few days, generally between 3 and 5 days for most addicts or alcoholics. Then you can expect a residential treatment portion that might run anywhere from about a week or so right on up to 28 days. Anything longer than that is generally considered to be long term rehab. You can expect therapists and counselors to work with you one on one, but maybe only for a few hours each week. You can expect lots of group therapy and lots of group meetings. Most should assume that a rehab will be 12 step based, and have either AA or NA meetings every single day. This is typical but variations are out there of course.

    You should not feel threatened by rehab, or by being in treatment. It is generally very easy to be there and not intimidating at all.

    How can you legally force a family member into rehab?

    This varies by state if you are in the US. In some states, you can never legally force a person into rehab, period. For example, in Michigan, you cannot force anyone into treatment for substance abuse. This is different than mental health, where you actually can commit someone if they are a threat to themselves or to others.

    On the other hand, in Florida for example, you actually can force a person into treatment for addiction reasons. So it varies depending on where you live. If you want to know more, I would suggest that you call up local rehab centers.

    How can I find the right drug rehab center?

    The whole point is that you really can’t pin it down and say “This is the only rehab that will work for me” or “this is the best treatment center and if you would have went here instead of somewhere else you would still be sober today.” It does not work like that and ultimately it does not matter so much where you go, only that you do go and seek help. It is the willingness that will make or break your recovery, not the rehab you choose.

    Just pick one and go. Seriously.

    How long will a person have to stay in a rehabilitation center?

    Most will stay for a few days of detox and a few weeks of residential. This will vary depending on where you go and also how you are being funded. Payment matters. If a person has been to rehab several times and they continue to relapse, then they might need to stay in a long term facility. Long term generally is anything longer than 28 days, and can be up to a few years in length. I personally had great success when I finally went to a long term rehab. It worked for me.

    Will a drug treatment facility prescribe me medication?

    At the most, a drug treatment center will generally send you out the door with some “holdover prescriptions” so that you can go see your real doctor and get the meds from them. The problem is that any doctor who works in a rehab has a constant influx of new clients, and they cannot keep any of them and follow them long term because they have so many new ones to replace those who leave. They cannot “accumulate” new permanent clients. So generally you need to go see a doctor outside of a rehab in order to be put on a permanent prescription.

    How do you go about choosing a drug or alcohol center for a loved one?

    The best way to do this is to simply get on the phone and start calling up places. There is not much point in doing hard research about which one is the best “fit” for the person because ultimately it comes down to their level of willingness anyway. Rehabs pretty much all do the same thing: they detox the person, protect them in a safe environment, and attempt to educate the person about how to avoid relapse. There are no magic secrets. If you think you can find a magic rehab that will somehow be the secret cure for all addictions, you will be disappointed. It doesn’t work that way. Just pick one and go.

    what percentage of addicts are cured by rehab services or treatment?

    Very few actually, but that does not mean that you should not try. The fact is that a typical drug rehab center will have like 30 clients or so at a given time, and they are constantly getting new people in, and maybe 5 percent or so will still be clean and sober without a single relapse a year from now. Maybe only 1 or 2 percent will be clean and sober after 5 years. Probably less than 1 percent will be sober after a decade.

    But it is still worth it! Lots of people go to rehab, and many are not there for the right reasons. Most people have to go to treatment a few times before they make it work. So don’t give up hope.

    How is counseling done as part of a rehab program?

    Generally a person in rehab will get paired up with a therapist or counselor one on one, and see them for maybe a few hours each week. That counselor can help set up an aftercare plan, and possibly start getting the person some help on specific issues that might have fueled their addiction. But really if a person needs therapy in the long run, they will need to find a therapist after leaving rehab as well.

    How much does drug or alcohol treatment usually cost?

    Most treatment centers have a cost for caring for each client that is around a thousand dollars per day. Remember that you have to factor in quite a bit of overhead that is very similar to the overhead in a hospital. You have housing and food costs. You have medical costs with nurses and doctors on staff. Then you also have a therapy staff. So it all adds up to quite a bit, and a rough estimate is about a thousand bucks per day. If you go to a non profit treatment center, typical costs will probably run around half of that if you are looking at a cash basis.

    However, most people don’t pay cash. Most do not even have insurance. Most are state funded or have government insurance of some kind, and thus they do not pay high rates.

    How can you cope when someone is away at treatment?

    Best advice is to get to an Al-anon meeting. Find one in your area and go to it and share openly and honestly with the people there. Stay afterward and talk with the people who run the meeting. Explain to them your situation and what you are going through and ask for their advice and support. This is the best way to deal with things when you have a loved one in treatment.

    Also, participate in any family programs that the rehab might offer. Call them up and see if they have one. Most do.

    Is it OK to be in a relationship with someone when you enter into treatment?

    Relationships in early recovery are dangerous ground, because they often lead to relapse if the relationship is brand new. If you have an existing relationship then that is not as much concern. If you happen to be in early recovery and you find yourself in a new relationship with someone else who is in early recovery, then that is where the real danger is at. In most cases, the relationship falls apart after a while, and one or both of the people relapse. In fact, I would say that at least 95 percent of the time, both parties will relapse in such a situation. I have seen it over and over again. Very typical.

    How does a court ordered treatment program work?

    A judge basically says that someone can either go to jail, or they can go to treatment instead. Many times this will be a long term treatment or a halfway house situation. If the person defaults on their treatment, then they might have a warrant issued for arrest. However, the judge gives this option for treatment as an alternative to jail. It cannot really be mandated, there is almost always a choice.

    How does treatment aftercare work?

    If you leave rehab after 28 days or less then the odds that you will relapse are actually very high. Treatment centers want to do whatever they can to help you maintain sobriety, so they give you an aftercare program to try to help you to stay clean.

    Aftercare generally consists of either outpatient treatment, counseling, or 12 step meetings. Or it might be a combination of several forms of ongoing treatment.

    Statistically, those who follow through with aftercare do much better in terms of sobriety than those who do not. If you ignore your aftercare then your odds of “making it” slip to near zero percent.

    Can someone have a successful career as a drug rehab counselor without ever having been an addict?

    Yes, they can. Many will tell you that anyone who works in a rehab or as an addiction counselor HAS to be in recovery, but this is not true. Some of the best help I ever got in recovery was from a therapist who was not an addict or an alcoholic. In general, it helps to have someone you can relate to, yes. But in the real world, there are some very helpful people who are not in recovery. Don’t limit yourself by prejudice.

    How do you get someone into treatment if they don’t want the help?

    Your options are limited if this is the case. In some states you can force them into treatment if they are out of control with drugs and alcohol, but in most states you cannot. You might try a formal intervention and try to organize it yourself or pay someone to help intervene. These are generally not successful though. Another option is to call up a treatment center, see what your options are, and then go from there. Consider attending Al-anon as well.

    How can I help someone in outpatient treatment?

    If someone you know or love is in outpatient treamtent then be supportive of that and do not use drugs or alcohol around them. You might also push them to seek inpatient help if they happen to relapse.

    How do I persuade or convince a person to undergo addiction treatment?

    You can try 2 different levels of persuasion: a formal intervention and an informal one. The informal approach is to simply talk with them. You might call up a local addiction center first and see what the options are. What is the person’s funding source? Do they have insurance? Medicaid? Medicare? Find out first, make calls, get knowledge. Then when you talk with the person, you have some solutions available. You can say “look, I called up this place, they will take you and it costs this much.” Or you can tell them “they accept Medicaid and it will likely be covered in full, you just gotta make the phone call.” And so on. Find out what needs to happen in advance for the person to get help.

    If the person is not receptive to this then you might organize a more formal intervention. Get friends, family, and even their employer involved. Not necessarily a great approach, but if you are desperate enough, and if they are dangerous enough, then it might be worth a shot. Formal interventions usually fail, so don’t get your hopes up too high. But it might be a step in the right direction anyway.

    How do I find the perfect addiction treatment center for my boyfriend who’s a drug addict?

    The only perfect treatment center out there is the one that actually works for a person, and guess what? That is a matter of willingness and surrender. There are no magic tricks when it comes to treatment and therapy. People either make it, or they don’t, and it is not because you found the perfect rehab. It is more about their surrender. Are the really ready to stop? For real? For good? Are they at their bottom? If the answer is no, then you might just wait until you push for them to get help, because it is likely not going to work yet.

    What are the medications, pills, or drugs that are being used for addiction treatment?

    Sometimes they prescribe Campral for alcohol addictions, and Suboxone or Methadone for opiate or heroin addiction. There are also many other pills that are undergoing trials to see if they help to control cravings for other drugs, such as meth and cocaine. For example, they are experimenting with Modafinil (Provigil) as a means of treating cravings in meth and cocaine addicts.

    How can a person who has low income find a good addiction treatment program?

    Get on the phone. That is the quick answer. Get on the phone, get out the phone book, get on the internet, and get out pen and paper. Start with local rehabs and treatment centers. Call them up, tell them what you have (money, insurance, medicaid, medicare, no insurance at all, whatever) and that you need help for addiction.

    Then, start getting leads. Can you help me? No? Who could possibly? Are there agencies that might fund me? What can I do next? How can I get the help I need?

    And on and on and on. Stay on the phone and keep pushing until you have exhausted all possibilities.

    If you are in the US, you will find help, almost regardless of your funding situation. Persistence is key. And, be nice. Be desperate. Keep asking questions.

    What do atheists do about the higher power step in addiction treatment?

    They are generally told to “be more open minded,” when you get right down to it. The AA literature basically pushes the athiest towards agnosticism. So the angle is to just pry in there and get the person to have a tiny shred of possible belief in anything other than themselves. From there, they say, “willingness can always make that belief grow over time.”

    If you are an athiest you have a choice: you can decide to try to “believe,” or you can believe in yourself, and you can create your own recovery by your own force of will. Yes, it can be done. You have to push yourself, you have to push for personal growth, and you have to help others in recovery. But it can be done. Many of the “sheep” in 12 step programs will tell you that such a path is impossible. Don’t listen to them. They are speaking from a place of fear, not from a place of knowledge.

    There is room in recovery for an atheist. What you have to ask yourself is, can I be in recovery and still be comfortable in my own skin, regardless of what all of these other people believe? Can I just be myself, and recover?

    Why is methadone used for addiction treatment when it happens to be an opiate just like heroin?

    This is the idea of drug replacement therapy, and it does work for some. In other cases, using methadone to treat opiate addiction is just another form of abuse and self deception for the addict. For example, say that a person has chronic pain issues that are extremely severe. They have found that they cannot make it in life without some form of opiate. There is just too much pain. In such a case, methadone might make a lot of sense. For most people, though, methadone becomes a crutch that just keeps them stuck in addiction. They would be better off with total abstinence.

    What is your opinion of treating addiction with religious support groups?

    Whatever works, works. If you go to a religious support group and it keeps you clean and sober and on a path of personal growth, then that is extremely valuable and you should keep pursuing that strategy.

    The problem comes in when a person is forced into a religious solution for addiction. When that happens, everyone loses. But if it works for you, then that is great.

    Anyone heard of treating heroin addiction and depression with marijuana?

    Sure. Getting a prescription for marijuana is more and more common these days, and I expect that trend will continue. Why?

    Because marijuana is actually darn good medicine. It works very well at certain things, and it works in some cases where other medications fail.

    BUT….

    I don’t think it is a good solution for most people. In fact, I think it is a terrible solution for anyone with a history of abuse or addiction to any substance.

    In other words, if you want to be on marijuana, then you probably should NOT be. Those who don’t really know much about it can probably benefit from it the most if they have real medical necessity, without an addiction aspect to their use.

    Marijuana can still be used to self medicate your mood. So it will always be a dangerous drug for some people.

    Is detoxification necessary in treating alcohol addiction?

    Yes, it is. Everyone who is quitting alcohol has to detox from the drug. That simply means that the alcohol is going to leave their body, and so they may or may not have withdrawal symptoms when this happens. Depending on a LOT of different factors, these detox symptoms could be very minor (needing no medical attention), or they could be extremely severe to the point that the person will die if they stop drinking, even WITH medical supervision. Yes, alcohol withdrawal can be fatal.

    So the rule of thumb is, go to rehab and seek detox if you are quitting alcohol. It is difficult to predict how bad your withdrawal will be.

    If you have ever been through detox before, keep in mind that every time you detox after that, your symptoms will always get worse. They never get better. That is part of the progression of the disease.

    What are the usual drugs and medications that can treat heroin or opiate addiction?

    If you go into a detox center to get off of heroin or opiates they will likely treat your withdrawal with a synthetic opiate called Suboxone or Subutex. But some places use a “cocktail” of other drugs instead that is much cheaper and usually involves tranquilizers and addictive pills.

    They might also give you medications to help with the symptoms of opiate withdrawal, such as the stomach cramps or the anxiety.

    Some people use Suboxone on a long term basis as drug maintenance therapy. They take this “partial opiate” every day so that they do not return to heroin or other opiates.

    It works for some people.

    What is it like in detox at rehab?

    Generally you get a bed, and you get meals, and most rehabs slap a nicotine patch on you and yank your cigarettes. They typically use medications to help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms. Most rehabs let you sleep as much as you want for the first 3 to 5 days or so. Most rehabs also let you attend the groups and lectures and stuff if you are well enough.

    They have nurses and some of the rehabs even have doctors on staff who can see you. Usually you get a therapist assigned to you while you are in detox. Most people agree that it is very easy to be in detox. It’s not hard. They try to keep you comfortable.

    What are typical rehab rules like?

    Pretty much what you would expect: no violence, no drugs or alcohol, no fighting, no hitting, no running in the halls, be respectful. No sex, no flirting. Attend groups, pay attention, participate. Be nice, be respectful. Most also say “no music, no radio, no MP3 players, no video games,” etc. It is all just a distraction. Most do not allow caffeine either.

    How can i use medicine to treat my addiction to tramadol?

    If you are looking for medication to treat your addiction then you might have an even deeper problem than physical dependence. You could potentially switch to another medicine such as Suboxone, but a better option might be to try to avoid any opiate medications and deal with your addiction (if you have one). Tramadol is more addictive than most doctors realize, and I have known addicts who preferred Ultram over other opiates. It is synthetic, but it is still an opiate.

    You might tell your doctor that:

    1) Tramadol is addictive.
    2) You are addicted to it.
    3) You want a non addictive medication to treat your pain.

    Wondering what resources people use when seeking drug or alcohol treatment for addiction and alcoholism?

    The phone is your friend. Pick it up and call the closest drug rehab center. Start asking questions.

    You could easily start with AA or NA meetings instead but I feel going to rehab is a smarter choice for most people. This is because rehab will ALSO direct you toward 12 step programs as well. But you will also get additional therapy and help from the counseling and group thearpy in rehab, plus there may be other resources there as well.

    Start with rehab. Inpatient. Try to get into one of those, then your options will open up quite a bit from there. There are many forms of aftercare.

    What would be a good reason for an individual to refuse undergoing an alcohol treatment program?

    There are not many good reasons, if any. The fact is that if there are people directing you to go into treatment, they are right and you are wrong. This is almost always the case.

    Denial is being stuck in the idea that you don’t have a problem, and that everyone else (who all think you need to get help) are wrong, they are all stupid, they are all against you, and that you are actually fine, and that you do not really need any help.

    Seriously, do you really think “everyone else” is wrong and you are right? If multiple people think you need help, then you need help. Stop fighting it and go along for the ride. Treatment is short. Life is long. Just do it, see what happens. You have nothing to lose, and you might learn something about yourself.

    Why do drug and alcohol treatment programs cost so much?

    Overhead. Set up your own rehab and see what it costs to operate it. Think about it: you are paying to house and feed a bunch of patients. This has huge overhead costs just like in a hospital. Then, you have to pay a medical staff for your detox unit. Nurses, doctors, etc. Then you have therapy staff, counselors, etc. A thousand bucks per day per client is not outrageous any more.

    What are the benefits of going for treatment at a residential alcohol treatment center?

    There are tons of benefits. The biggest one is that if you actually stay clean and sober, then your whole life changes for the better and you get a fresh start on life. In order to make that happen, you get the protection of a safe environment during rehab and having a drug and alcohol free safe haven. But you also get the support of your peers and the constant groups and therapy. You will probably also be introduced to 12 step meetings.

    If you don’t really want to be sober, then none of these are really benefits. But for anyone who is serious about recovery, rehab is a great place to start their journey.

    What are the best alcohol treatment options and how are they different?

    There are maybe 4 approaches are so that you might take to getting sober.

    1) Go straight to AA. Go to meetings every single day. Get a sponsor. Work the steps. Etc.

    2) Go to detox and short term rehab. Most will leave here and go to AA. Etc.

    3) Go to counseling or therapy. Work one on one with a therapist. This is for self motivated people. Harder to do.

    4) Go to your doctor and ask for help. Maybe he can give you some pills like Campral. I don’t know if this could work by itself.

    Last option is to just do it yourself through self improvement and personal growth. Most are too lazy to take such an approach and make it work. They prefer a replacement strategy like daily AA meetings.

    What is the Holistic Approach to Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment and Recovery?

    “Holistic” just means “whole body” approach. So you treat the entire addiction, not just the spiritual malady (like AA treats). You have the physical aspect, so you might exercise for that. You have the emotional aspect, so you might work on personal growth and development in order to deal with emotional aspects of your recovery. There is the spiritual component that you might actively work on. You might work on relationships, education, etc.

    Look at your whole life and say “what area do I need to most grow in?” Then, work on that for a while.

    Then look at a new area of your life. This is continuous, holistic growth.

    Is there an alcohol treatment that teaches moderation?

    There are alcohol programs that attempt to teach moderation. One guy who teaches it has an average of 2 glasses of wine per MONTH. To me that is just nuts. Why bother? If you are a real alcoholic, doing this will just drive you crazy.

    There is another moderation program and the guy who founded it ended up relapsing quite badly at one point.

    I think the preliminary research shows that moderation is not the best choice for most addicts and alcoholics. It is probably a terrible idea.

    More proof: If moderation works for you, why are you here reading this? Go moderate!

    I want to speak to someone regarding alcohol addiction treatment. What can I do?

    Get on the phone! Plain and simple. Grab a phone and get busy. You are already on the internet, so you can find the numbers. You just need a phone, and you can learn everything you need to know.

    Start locally. Find rehabs and addiction treatment centers. Call them up. Ask questions. Take notes. Ask for alternate solutions. If they can’t help you, ask them who can.

    Be relentless. Use the phone. Be nice. You will get the information you need. Be persistent.

    Does anyone have any information on a long term alcohol treatment center?

    Yes. Long term treatment works great if the person is highly motivated to change their life. If they are not, then the success rates are actually pretty close to short term treatments. If the long term rehab is set up similar to a short term center, then the cost will be beyond outrageous. Way too expensive for most folks. But some are set up more for homeless folks, or they are set up as halfway houses. Then there are also some that are self sufficient, and are supported by the alcoholics that live there.

    If you want to know more, I would start by calling local facilities, and asking them if they have info about long term places. Some of them will, some won’t.

    Does my friend need alcoholism addiction treatment?

    That sort of depends. If their life is spiraling out of control, then they definitely need help. If they are suffering consequences due to their drinking, and the consequences are getting worse over time, then they definitely need help.

    But say that they have a consequence, and then after that, they change their drinking habits. Then they get better. In this case, maybe not. But watch the long term trend. Maybe they will eventually return to drinking, and be as bad as ever. In that case, they need help.

    Watch what happens in the long run. Watch for the trend. Watch for their pattern. Can they stop when they have too? Do they always screw up eventually? You can’t know for sure by just watching a week or two. Watch the long term trends.

    Is there a facility that offers both alcohol and drug treatment?

    Most, if not all rehabs, treat alcohol and drug addiction the same.

    Why?

    Because alcohol is a drug.

    Some people do not understand this. They think that alcohol is seperate somehow, and then over here, there are all these illegal drugs that are somehow worse than alcohol.

    No. Alcohol is a drug. Period. It is just another drug. And by most measures, alcohol is a very dangerous and harsh chemical. It just happens to be legal in most places.

    But it is just another drug. Alcohol is a drug. It is the same as cocaine, or marijuana, or heroin, or LSD, or methadone, and so on. They are all drugs. Alcohol included. They all medicate your mood.

    Thus, they are treated the same by most rehabs. Because they are the same, when it comes to addiction and recovery. No difference.

    After three day treatment for alcohol, does the person sleep all the time?

    Yes, this is not unusual. Alcohol withdrawal involves fatigue. Do not be surprised if the person is very, very tired. They need sleep. Best is to get them to a real drug rehab where they can have medcial supervision. But yes, expect them to sleep more than usual if they are going through alcohol detox. Fatigue is quite common for this.

    Can smoking lead one to become an alcohol dependent and lead to the necessity of addiction treatment?

    There are some studies out there that link smoking with alcohol dependence. But it becomes a chicken or egg problem. People who are alcoholic tend to be smokers. So the data gets a bit fuzzy. If I were smoking cigarettes, and I was worried that this might lead to alcohol addiction, I tell you what I would do–I would quit them both and take up running. Seriously. I almost had to die before I figured that one out. Today I exercise, rather than drinking and smoking heavily. Lot better this way, let me tell you!

    Do I still have to continue with treatment (drug & alcohol) if I get off probation?

    I am not sure how the law reads in your specific case, but if I were you, I would continue with treatment or you are just going to end up in legal trouble again some day. Statistically, this is a near certainty. Better to take care of your addiction now, rather than after a lifetime of jails and institutions. “See the light now.” Follow through with your treatment and find a new life in recovery.

    How do you commit someone for alcohol and drug treatment?

    The process is very similar to committing for mental health reasons, though realize that this is not possible in every state. Most states do not allow it for substance abuse reasons, in fact. Best is probably to call up local rehabs and see if they know how to get the process started.

    What type of discharge do i get if I was diagnosed as a level 2 alcohol dependent and refused treatment?

    You will probably be discharged as “ASA” or “against staff advice.” If you were in detox at the time then it would more than likely be “AMA” or “against medical advice.”

    Can you have your husband court ordered to alcohol treatment?

    Probably not. For the most part, no one can really be forced into treatment from a legal standpoint, but they can be given the choice as an alternative to jail time in some cases. So if he wants to avoid jail then that might be his only option.

    What is the percentage of success across the board in drug and alcohol long term treatment facilities?

    Probably a safe figure is around 5 percent success. Any rehab that claims higher than 20 percent is lying through their teeth for the most part, or they are badly manipulating the figures. Which is not hard to do, by the way.

    So here is the deal: if you take 100 people who enter into rehabs around the world, and then check with those same 100 people a year from now, how many will have been clean and sober for the entire 1 year, with no relapses or slips at all? About 5 percent.

    Now here is the scary part. Take 100 people who make it to 1 year clean, and check back with them at the 5 year mark, and see how many have a perfect track record. Again, it will be about 5 percent. Scary stuff.

    But this stuff is tough to measure accurately, and these percentages are just ballpark figures. But don’t believe anyone who claims higher than a 20 percent success rate.

    Does anyone know of a drug and alcohol treatment method other than one that uses 12-step recovery as it’s base?

    Sure there are alternatives out there. Just not many of them.

    For example, Narcanon is one such alternative. There are Christian treatment centers too that are not 12 step based, but are religious based instead.

    Aren’t alcohol treatment programs just grand schemes to rip off people and take their money?

    If you look at the success rates of rehabs and then consider what they cost per day, per client, this is a very valid conclusion. Most people do not stay clean and sober for long. The amount of repeat business at a rehab is staggering. So, yeah, it is a reasonable question. Seriously.

    But the reason that rehab is not a rip off is because of the pay off. When it works, it is a miracle. It is so valuable that you could never put a price on it. To transform a life, even just one addict, is a massive miracle. Think about how many years of their life this affects, think about the relationships that this affects, think about the example they are now setting, the people that they can now help in recovery, and so on.

    The value of one recovering addict or alcoholic is nearly infinite. The cost of rehab is paltry compared to the benefit if they actually string together a decade or two of sobriety.

    So no, it is not a rip off scheme. It is a miracle scheme. It just works for very few. But it is enough to make it worthwhile.

    I will never give up trying to help.

    Is outpatient drug rehab or alcohol treatment as effective as inpatient?

    In a word, NO it is not. Inpatient treatment is always a little better choice. Though the cost difference can be quite considerable. An extension of that is the idea that long term rehab is a better choice than short term. More rehab is better than less. Not always true, but in general, the data seems to convey this is the case.

    Should I go to long term drug rehab treatment?

    In a word, YES. If you are thinking about it, you should attend long term. Why? Because it is awesome. It is a great opportunity. If you can get into long term treatment, take it and run with it. If you are willing to go, then go, and create a new life for yourself. That is what long term rehab is: creating a new life.

    It works, if you want it bad enough. So if you want it, then go for it. Go to long term. It is SO worth it.

    What is the difference between drug abuse treatment and drug addiction rehab?

    Generally, just the intensity of the treatment. If you are abusing drugs and are not really addicted, then you don’t need long term rehab. For that matter you probably don’t even need detox or inpatient rehab. Maybe you just need to talk with a counselor or a therapist a couple times.

    But if you are addicted then you need serious help. My opinion is that your best option is to go to inpatient rehab.

    What are the three key factors in the treatment of drug abuse?

    Probably the 3 key factors are detox, education, and aftercare. So in other words, the first factor is that you need to get detoxed and get all of the chemicals out of your body. The second element is that you need to learn how to deal with life without relapsing on drugs and self medicating with them every time you have a problem.

    Are there any free long term drug rehabs out there?

    Yes there are. But you might have to look long, hard, and deep in order to find them. You might also have to jump through some hoops in order to qualify for them.

    Basically, there are some long term rehabs that are set up to take homeless people. So you might have to prove that you are homeless in order to get into one of them.

    There are also some halfway houses or Oxford houses that are self sufficient and self sustaining, so you could join one and then get a job in order to pay your rent there. Not a bad deal if you really want to stay clean and sober.

    Isn’t forcing someone into rehabilitation just an opportunity for them to meet new drug connections and drug suppliers?

    I won’t say it never happens. But ultimately, most people who go into rehab find good rather than bad opportunities. This can be a big problem with adolscent treatment, however, in that many times the kids will just get together and start using drugs together. With adults, the problem is not as big a threat.

    That is why they tend to push adolscents into family based recovery programs rather than peer based solution. If you get them to do therapy with their peers, then kids will just start talking about drugs and end up forming “bad” connections, as suggested.

    Where is the best drug treatment center located?

    Probably very close to you. Call up local rehabs and see if they will take you and what you need to do in order to get in. If you can get to rehab, ANY rehab, then this is better than holding out for the “perfect” rehab. In reality there is no such thing. You are better off to just get yourself to treatment. “Luxury” rehabs do not do any better than those that are set up to help the homeless.

    It is all about your willingness. Just go. Anywhere. Find a rehab and just go.

    Why are most drug abuse treatment programs unsuccessful?

    The problem is not that we have poor treatment methods. The problem is that people who are not fully surrendered to their disease are attempting to get clean and sober for the wrong reasons.

    IF you hit bottom, and IF you are willing to do ANYTHING to get clean and sober, then it matters not where you attend rehab. The key is willingness, not treatment method.

    With a limited amount of funding, which drug abuse system would you consider the best?

    If you have limited funding, then just go to 12 step meetings and immerse yourself fully in them. Alternatively, you can do the same thing with a local church. With no funding, the key is that you go for full immersion. Don’t just hit a meeting. Go to 3 or 4 meetings every single day. Get a sponsor. Call them every day. Get involved. Get seriously involved. This is the key to success in recovery when you have limited resources. Do the free stuff (12 step meetings) and do them to the maximum.

    But also call up local rehabs and see if you qualify for funding. You might be surprised.

    What is better when it comes to drug abuse? Drug prevention (programs like DARE) or drug treatment (rehab)?

    Most of the world has realized that it is really, super super difficult to fix a drug addict. Treatment is so rarely successful. So that is what spurred the growth of programs like DARE and other prevention programs. But then again, DARE was basically a failure and the numbers leveled off or even got worse during that time. I myself was in DARE in Michigan schools and we made fun of it, thought it was stupid, and my friends and I had never done drugs at that point! Then later we experimented, and some of us became addicted….so there you go. It did not really discourage experimentation, at least for my peer group.

    No, the drug problem is a tough one, and I don’t think there is a perfect solution. A mix of prevention and rehabilitation will probably always be necessary.

    My daughter needs treatment for drug abuse asap. She wants to go. How do i get this ball rolling?

    I hate to repeat myself, but GET ON THE PHONE. That is your starting point. Call up local treatment centers. Ask questions. That is how you get the ball rolling. If no one can help you, then ask each person who can. Eventually you will find the help and resources that you need.

    Wondering what resources people use when seeking drug or alcohol treatment for addiction and alcoholism?

    Many people start with 12 step programs such as AA and NA. The other natural starting point is at an inpatient rehab center. One other starting point for resources would be in counseling or therapy. Any of these natural starting points might help to diagnose your further, and suggest different treatment options. So you might see a therapist and they might encourage inpatient. Or you might go to rehab and they might encourage 12 step meetings. And so on. There are many paths in recovery. Use them all. Pick any and just start.

    Do you think private treatment centers for alcohol and drug abuse are necessary?

    Probably not. But ultimately, if privacy is what it takes for someone to get the help that they need, then that is always their option to pay for it, and I applaud them for taking action. Some people have a high profile and so they feel they need the privacy. Good for them if they just ask for help and seek treatment. Private treatment is better than no treatment at all.

    Can someone please recommend a good substance abuse treatment center?

    I recommend that you look close by your house. Start local and see what is available. Don’t judge them, just go to one. Call them up and do what it takes to get in some where. You have nothing to lose by just taking action and getting in to a rehab, and you have MUCH to lose if you delay this action and quibble over which rehab is the “right” one.

    Which treatment would be most appropriate for a person with a long history of serious drug abuse?

    The longer their history, the most they need long term rehab. The shorter they have been abusing drugs and alcohol, the less intensive treatment they need. For example, a person who just started abusing drugs a few months ago might do well to just go to counseling or therapy. But someone who has been a hard core addict or alcoholic for decades will probably need inpatient rehab with serious aftercare and probably a lifetime of support and 12 step meetings, etc.

    Why do substance abuse treatment programs include the use of drugs and medications?

    For safety. Alcohol in particular is extremely dangerous to detox from, even WITH the use of medication. Some heavy opiate users are in danger as well (particularly heavy methadone addiction). Some Benzo’s can be lethal or dangerous to detox from without meds. And the list goes on. Medication is NECESSARY for detox in many cases.

    Is there non-religious, non-12 step drug treatment available?

    Yes, there is. But you might have to design it yourself. Or you could just go see a therapist or a counselor and start working with them on personal growth. If they are open to the idea then you have a good solution. Remember that the problem is not stopping the drugs, it is staying stopped. If you can detox or get over the physical aspect yourself, then you might just need help with your ongoing abstinence. Most will push you towards the “traditional” solutions, but some will be open to a “personal growth based recovery.” Find the right people who can help you, or design your own recovery program.

    What prescription drug is effective in treatment of Meth withdrawal?

    Pretty much nothing, though there are some experiments going on and some drug trials for possible anti-craving medications for meth.

    As far as withdrawal, physical symptoms for meth detox are NOT dangerous. Therefore, most rehabs do not treat it with detox, but instead they will send a meth addict straight into residential groups and therapy.

    So there are no prescriptions that really are necessary for meth withdrawal. Residential treatment and 12 step meetings are the traditional recovery methods.

    Do you feel that the government provides enough resources for the treatment of drug addiction?

    Yes and no. I worked at a rehab for many years where over half of the clients were goverment funded by state money. Because I witnessed such an atrocious success rate among these clients, I sort of formed a poor opinion of the system. But it is better than nothing, and I got sober that way myself. So I can’t knock it too hard.

    But I can easily see how the government will not dump tons of money into the problem. Addicts who help themselves are pretty rare. From what I can tell, the vast majority of addicts are trapped in a revolving door when it comes to rehabs. Using tax dollars for this “broken system” is probably….a poor choice.

    My mission in life is to discover and find a better way. That is why I write here on this website.

    Are there any drug rehabilitation centers for cocaine abuse?

    Yes there are. However, most are not that specific, and probably none of them are actually. A drug is a drug. Cocaine is just another drug. Therefore almost all rehabs treat drugs and alcohol as one big group, and declare the the recovery principles are always going to be the same, and that a drug is a drug.

    If you think you need treatment specifically for cocaine, you are probably mistaken. Any drug rehab or treatment program will suffice as good as any other. Drugs are drugs.

    Can you kick a heroin addiction on your own without withdrawals or going to treatment?

    Yes you can, but it is very difficult and uncomfortable. Therefore, it makes sense to seek treatment.

    Also, most people who get clean from heroin eventually relapse, and have to start the process over again. This is especially true if they have not gone to treatment and found any additional support for their recovery. In other words, going to treatment will help to insure that you actually remain clean.

    What exactly is Ibogaine, and how successful is it for the treatment of opiate addiction?

    Ibogaine is a drug that can be used to try to treat other addictions. It is itself a potential drug of abuse and so it is very controversial. I would avoid it at all costs.

    Have you ever been on suboxone for opiate addiction? Your experience?

    I have not but I worked in a rehab where hundreds were treated with Suboxone and many also went on it long term as drug therapy. What was shocking to me was how nearly everyone who went on Suboxone for maintenance ended up relapsing on heroin and coming back to the detox center eventually for more rehab. That is what was shocking.

    The problem is not that Suboxone does not work, or that it doesn’t help. No, the problem is that the type of addict who WANTS Suboxone is the type of person who has NOT FULLY SURRENDERED yet. Think about that. Think about it very carefully, because I watched it happen over and over again, for 5 years straight, with hundreds of addicts.

    What are the long term effects of opiate addiction on the receptors in the brain?

    Your brain is always producing small amounts of opiates for your brain that tell your body to “feel good.” This is just your baseline level of daily opiates that make you feel normal every day.

    When you take an opiate drug and put it into your body, it floods your brain receptors and the body says “oh, I guess I don’t have to make any of my own opiates today!” So it stops production.

    Then if you stop taking the drug, the brain takes a while before it realizes that it needs to resume opiate production. Hence, withdrawal symptoms.

    If you take heavy opiates for decades, your body may get to a point where it will never fully resume “normal” opiate production. Thus, some people need drug replacement therapy in order to feel normal.

    Can long term opiate abuse cause you to have seizures?

    Not really, but if you are addicted to heavy amounts of methadone, and you stop it cold turkey, it could kill you.

    Generally, cold turkey detox from other opiates, including heroin, is not dangerous.

    What is the best course of action to embrace drug addiction recovery and be successful and sober?

    Start on a path of personal growth. Seek holistic health in your recovery. These are the 2 most important principles.

    But even more important is that you need to make a promise to yourself, every day, that you will not use drugs or alcohol no matter what. That is the number one priority. Everything else (including spirituality) is second to that.

    Are there low costs (or no cost) long term residential treatment centers for drug and alcohol addictions?

    Yes there are. Call up treatment centers and ask them if there are any Oxford houses or halfway houses in your area. This is probably the best way to get started on finding the help that you need. Most long term rehabs that are cheap or free rely on people paying rent to them, otherwise they are not sustainable. Long term treatment that is covered by insurance is outrageously expensive. So the alternative is a rehab that is self sufficient, with each client paying their cost of treatment through regular work.

    How long does it take to become physically dependent on Suboxone?

    Generally a few days or a week or two is fine if you are tapering off the drug, but longer than a month on a steady dose could lead to physical dependence.

    If you are detoxing from other opiates then you should really have a doctor help you with the Suboxone taper. It is an expensive medication so most people will want to taper off of it and be totally clean.

    How long is the average short term inpatient drug rehab stay?

    The standard for inpatient treatment used to be 28 days. This is changing over time to shorter stays, however.

    Why?

    Less money. There is less money and health care costs continue to rise. So no one can afford 28 days any more. And that goes for insurance companies too. They will no longer pay for 28 days, in most cases.

    So a typical stay is usually around 10 days. Some are as short as 5 days of residential treatment. And some people will get 2 weeks.

    It just all depends on the funding source, and what they are willing to pay for. The answer lately is “not as much as they used to.”

    Do you know anyone who went into a rehab (drug) and “got it” the first time?

    Yes, I do. A small percentage of folks go to rehab the first time and they never use a drug or alcohol ever again.

    But that is not the norm. The norm is 3 trips to rehab before it “sticks.”

    But that is OK. Recovery is a process. Let it unfold. It takes time to heal. It takes time to learn how serious you have to attack the problem in order to be succesful.

    It takes what it takes. If that means 10 trips to rehab, so be it. In the end, recovery is worth it. Keep trying.

    What can I do to help my mom recover from Heroin addiction?

    Urge her to go to inpatient rehab and detox. That is the best choice for her, by far. There are other solutions, such as going to NA, or getting on Methadone, but none of the options are as good as inpatient rehab.

    Have you known someone who has kicked long term perscription drugs abuse without rehab?

    Yes. But there is no shame in going in to rehab if you are hooked on prescription medicine. There is a stigma attached to addiction but you should never let this stop you from getting help. I have worked at a rehab for 5 years and I have seen doctors, lawyers, judges, professors, bums, prostitues, chefs, and everything in between. All walks of life come to rehab. Do not be afraid to check in and get help. You will not be judged harshly. The people there will accept you for who you are and do everything they can to help you.

    Is there a way to detox from long term use of pain medication without going inpatient?

    Yes, you can detox at home from painkillers, but it might be too uncomfortable for you to do so successfully. If that is the case then you should really seek inpatient detox help. Otherwise you might get away with sleeping through much of your withdrawal. You can alternate IBU and TYL every 4 hours for pain. You can also mix in 50mg of Benadryl every 4 hours for anxiety as well. Of course, check with your doctor before you try any of that. But it can be done. I would plan on drinking lots of water, sipping juice, and sleeping as much as possible. Plan on 3 to 5 days for detox.

    Are you ever happy again after opiate or heroin addiction?

    Yes, it is very possible. When you are still on drugs, it seems like you could never be happy again, because you have come to associate your happiness so closely with being high. But eventually you will find happiness again in your life without having to self medicate. THIS IS POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE. I never used to believe that. But it is true. Anyone can be drug free and happy, if they give it a chance. Of course, it does take time. You have to give yourself time to get detoxed and to start healing. It does not happen overnight.

    Why do people move from extreme drug abuse to fanatical religion? I’m looking for a psychological pattern.

    There is the idea that successful drug treatment is always going to be a replacement strategy. You are replacing one obsession with another. Chemical addiction is replaced with meeting attendance and social recovery connections. Or whatever. There is some weight to that theory.

    Think about this: say you quit using drugs and you hit 12 step meetings every day. Suddenly, you stop going to meetings. You relapse. Where you really in recovery?

    No, you were addicted to meetings! You were completely dependent on them. You stopped going, and then you relapsed.

    Some would say “that proves meetings are important.” No, that proves that meetings were your replacement strategy. You replaced one addiction with another. You switched dependencies.

    The basic idea is that some people are just wired that way. They have to have an obsession in their life.

    Can you give me some advice about my crack addicted sister?

    Urge her to go to rehab, or to an NA meeting. Unless she seems quite willing to change though I would push her to go to rehab first, rather than to NA. Ultimately they will push her at rehab to attend NA.

    If she will not listen then I would take care not to enable her in any way. Never give her money for any reason, not even for food. Offer to help her with rehab and with nothing else.

    I am being treated with suboxone for opiate addiction. What to do with the anxiety?

    Well I would suggest a couple of things. One is that you should exercise every single day if you can. This can help to burn off excess nervous energy, and it might also help you get much better sleep at night. Second, I would suggest that you eliminate caffeine or coffee if you drink it. Yeah you will go through a slight withdrawal but it is a pathetic little detox really, no biggie. Third I would say that you might look into Vistaril, AKA Hydroxyzine, AKA Atarax. It is an anxiety medication that is not addictive. Ask your doctor about it.

    Do most people drink alone untill they get a buzz? Or is that on the verge of a drinking problem?

    No, most normal people do not drink to get a buzz when they are alone. That is definitely a sign that you are self medicating, and might have a problem. I would seek out an online test, or go to an AA meeting and share that you think you might have a problem. They can help diagnose you.

    What’s the difference between “problem drinking” and alcohol dependence?

    The old saying is that “if you give the person alcohol and they get into trouble, then that is problem drinking. But if you take away the alcohol and they get into trouble, then that is alcohol addiction.”

    So yeah, see what happens when you force abstinence. Does the person go nuts, act out, find other substances, sneak booze? If so, then that signals dependence more than a mere drinking problem.

    What are the telltale signs that a person should seek addiction counseling?

    Anyone who is experimenting or even lightly abusing drugs could probably benefit from addiction counseling. This is a very light form of treatment, usually just an hour or two each week or even less. And if there is a more serious problem developing, then the counselor can advise the person to seek additional help or treatment services.

    So really ANY signs of a problem with drugs or alcohol can easily warrant counseling. It is no big deal. Urge the person to do it.

    Ultram/Tramadol is it being under estimated when it comes to abuse?

    YES it is. Most doctors do not realize that Ultram is addictive. It is a borderline drug that is said to be “possibly habit forming but not addictive.” Bull freaking crap. That stuff is addictive and I have met dozens of people who came to drug rehab to get detox from Ultram. That was their ONLY drug of choice, that was all they abused, and they were seriously addicted to it. Not just one person, but dozens. All of them were addicted to it, and had real withdrawals from it, and serious cravings. It was ruining their lives, so they all sought help.

    YES, it is addictive. Be careful. Don’t believe the doctors and everything they tell you. Many of them are uneducated about addiction.

    How can I help a friend that has a drug addiction and mental health problems?

    First, I would determine which is the bigger threat. In some cases, it is actually the mental health that is a bigger problem, NOT the addiction. You gotta watch for that.

    Then, all you can really do is urge them to get help. If you want, you can try to do some homework for them, make some calls, see what their options are. Figure out what insurance they have and what their funding source would be for treatment services. Get on the phone. But ultimately it is going to be up to the individual to agree to get help.

    If they are a threat to themselves or others you might be able to force them to get help. Call up local mental hospitals and drug rehabs and see what your options are if this is the case, as the laws for such vary by state.

    Finally, you may have to stop enabling the person if they will not respond to your urges. Go to Al-anon, find out how to behave around them, how to stop enabling them.

    Is there a way to pay more money for alcoholism rehab to help guarantee success?

    No, there is not.

    This runs counter to most of our experience in life. Usually, we CAN solve problems by simply throwing more money at them. This is not the case with addiction and alcoholism.

    In fact, if you take 2 people and send one of them to a rehab that costs $2,000 dollars per DAY, and send the other one to a free rehab that is set up for homeless people, guess what the outcome will be?

    It will be about the same. Or rather, their success will be based on whether or not each addict had hit bottom or not first. It has nothing to do with the quality of the food or how nice the furnishings are or even what the quality of the therapists are at a given rehab. None of that stuff matters.

    No, if the guy going to the cheap and free rehab is actually ready to get sober, and the guy going to the $2,000 per day rehab is NOT ready to get sober, then guess what? The free rehab will work great and the expensive rehab will fail miserably and be a big waste of money.

    It is all about willingness. You cannot buy willingness. You cannot pay your way to success in recovery. You cannot throw money at this problem. It does not work. Don’t waste your effort. Wait for true surrender, for the willingness to appear. Then it does not matter where they go to rehab.

    Long term opiate addiction – how to taper down, or suggest a way to explain to the doctor that I want off the meds?

    I would definitely start with your doctor. Talk with him openly and honestly, let him know you are addicted, and that you need help, and that you want off the meds.

    If this fails (and it might) then you might need to change doctors. This is not so uncommon. Many doctors are clueless about addiction.

    A well informed and skilled doctor might end up switching you to Suboxone, then tapering you off of that. But each situation is unique, and there might be other options that are better suited for you. If you need to, seek out an inpatient detox in order to get off the medication. There is no shame in doing so.

    What should I do to help myself in my addiction recovery?

    You should dedicate your life to personal growth. How can you improve as a person today? What goal can you reach? How can you be more helpful, more useful to others, more healthy? If you have not asked yourself these questions in a while, you should ask them right now. Then take action, and work towards improvement.

    Later on you can evaulate again. What growth have you made? Where are you still lacking? What areas of your life need improvement?

    Dedicate yourself to personal growth. Claiming self acceptance will not help you to become a better person, nor will it help you to protect yourself from relapse. You prevent relapse through continuous growth.

    Therefore, dedicate your life to personal growth, and this will strengthen your recovery by leaps and bounds.

    How does one help someone conquer inhalant addiction?

    Basically all you can do is to urge them to get help, or at least switch to a safer drug. Inhalants can be fairly dangerous compared to most other drugs. Also, most people abusing inhalants are children, so you might be able to force them to get help due to their young age. Get someone involved who can force them to get help if they are under age.

    Which addiction recovery program will be the best choice for overcoming alcoholism?

    Most would answer this and say that Alcoholics Anonymous is the best choice, but really, that is just the most popular answer, not necessarily the most effective treatment. As a support system, AA is pretty hard to beat. They have free meetings everywhere. On the other hand, their success rates are as bad as any other recovery program you might care to try. None of them are outstanding. None of them offer hope above the others. There are no magic bullets.

    That said, you need to find what works for YOU. Start with AA if that is easy. Go to rehab. Try long term rehab. See a counselor. Get a sponsor. Try everything. Try all sorts of solutions. Go to church. Create your own recovery program. Create your own success. Don’t depend on programs if that turns you off. Focus on personal growth.

    Can drug or alcohol treatments help cure addiction and alcoholism?

    Yes and no. There is no “cure” in the traditional sense of the word. But rehab can certainly be a strong starting point for anyone who is seeking to overcome addiction, and I highly recommend it as a natural starting point for the journey.

    For someone who is trapped in addiction and cannot break out, rehab can act like a “cure.” For example, I checked into rehab over 10 years ago and went through detox and residential. I have not had a drink or a drug since. So you might not call that a “cure” but you would have to agree that I got a heck of a deal by going to rehab. I got over 10 years of quality years back in my life. Even if I died tomorrow I got a phenomenal deal. I was the walking dead and had no care for my own welfare, I existed only to drink and to drug and to self medicate.

    So it might not be a cure but it is definitely worth it for some. I highly recommend it.

    What can you tell someone who refuses to go to drug rehab and get help?

    Tell them you will never help them again in any way, other than to help them get professional help for their problem. Tell them that you are done enabling them. Tell them that you will only participate in helping them if they do it on your terms, and agree to treatment. Then, follow through perfectly on what you said, and what you told them. Never deviate from your promise. Only help them with getting clean and sober. Period.

    How much does it cost to get treatment for opiate addiction?

    It can be completely free if you just quit cold turkey or ween yourself off and then go to NA meetings every day. Or it can cost over sixty thousand dollars if you go to certain rehab centers that serve really, really good food. And of course there is just about everything in between. Most rehabs will run between $300 and $1,000 per day. NA meetings are free but they “pass a hat” around, which you can ignore if you choose. Suboxone is generally 7 bucks per pill at cost, and most people take 3 per day. So figure just over $600/month for drug maintenance therapy. Methadone is cheaper but far more destructive and addictive.

    There are all sorts of options. But achieving recovery is priceless. I know that sounds cliche but it is true as well. You cannot put a price on sobriety. It is SO precious. So valuable.

    What can you do when leaving an addiction treatment center to help avoid relapse?

    Follow through with aftercare. Do what they tell you to do. If they suggest counseling, go to counseling. If they suggest 12 step meetings, go to meetings.

    Any solution that they offer you, dive into full force. Hold nothing back. Don’t just “sort of” take their suggestions. Take them and run with them. Go all out. Go crazy with it. Go overboard with your recovery efforts. Your life depends on it, so why wouldn’t you? You are fighting for you life here.

    How can I make sure I am successful in alcoholism recovery?

    There is only one way to insure your continous success, and that is by continuous self improvement. That is the only way to insure recovery.

    Why?

    Because successful recovery IS continuous self improvement. It is continuous self growth.

    If you stop growing in your recovery then you will eventually relapse, or come very close to it. The only solution for this is to push yourself to change, to grow, to improve in your life.

    This is why lazy people tend to relapse. It is easier. Picking the drug back up is always the easy way out. It is the cowardly route.

    Success in recovery takes guts. You have to keep reinventing yourself. That is the challenge for long term recovery. You have to push yourself. Reinvent yourself. Continuous growth.

    It’s hard.

    It’s also worth it.

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