What is Addiction Treatment
As more and more people fall victim to addiction every year, it becomes clearly evident that America has a drug problem.
Many people, including government at the local and federal level, would like to turn a blind eye to the situation and addiction treatment in general. Here at SALS, we know the truth and strive to improve our community in spite of it.
For years SALS has been helping recovering addicts overcome the grips of addiction. Our substance abuse treatment approaches are formed through years of experience. Beyond that, many of it’s employees are former addicts.
I ran out of reasons to use and it was at the point that i realized that I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. My journey led me to treatment and eventually to SALS House. SALS offered a safe, sober and drug-free environment that allowed me to heal, regain a sense of self-esteem, and a fellowship with my peers. I am truly blessed to have found SALS.
Doctor and mental health care provider
Understand the Meaning of Addiction
Addiction is not exactly what most people believe it to be. The difference between physical dependency and addiction is often blurred.
Being that most street drugs form actual addictions, they make it tough to distinguish. Let's try another way.
The growing pharmaceutical problem is a perfect example.
Two patients can have the same affliction, say a pretty severe back injury, and receive the same treatment, including medications.
Almost all of today’s pain meds are opiate derivatives of some kind, and all can cause dependency.
What happens to the patient can be an entirely different experience though.
While both can suffer from the physical dependencies that form from taking these types of drugs, one may become an addict.
The physical dependencies cause things like nausea, vomiting and irritability, not a lot different than quitting caffeine for instance. This effect is know as withdrawals. Certain drugs make these effects far worse than others of course. They are not psychological symptoms however.
For some though, the mind gets hooked as well. They need that drug to feel “right”. They crave it and acquire it at nearly any cost. Oxycontin, vicodin, and percocet are a few great examples.
This is addiction.
They need that drug, but no longer for the pain it was prescribed to alleviate. They need it psychologically to feel "right". Often the addict will steal meds from family members so please, keep tabs on your pills.
This is what drives ordinary, honest individuals to become something we can barely recognize anymore.
A glimmer of what they once were.
How to Identify a Drug Problem
The first thing that we have to understand is that very rarely will the addict come forth and admit their problem. They will shelter themselves away from others and attempt to hide their addiction.
Beyond that, the warning signs aren’t the same for every drug available to people today. What is a tell tale sign for drug use of one type, may be unseen for another substance.
Take for instance an alcoholic, signs being slurred speech, loss of balance and motor skills, and over time yellowing of the eyes.
Contrast that with cocaine, which puts a person's mind into hyper speed, seemingly capable of anything and talking a mile a minute. Some have even tried to fly with devastating consequences.
If those were the signs you were looking for, the drunk wouldn’t fit the mold.
This can lead to difficulty when attempting to identify a drug problem with a loved one.
What Are the Treatment Options
One of the options is what many unfortunate people have to attempt. Going it alone.
This is a daunting journey that few ever walk away from clean. The stories of that reality are too far and few between.
Fortunately, there are incredible options available with a systematic approach to recovery.
Programs built by people that have marched the journey to sobriety themselves.
SALS is just that type of rehab facility.
I have lived across from Sals House on Branting Street for over 4 years. I have had the pleasure of meeting staff as well residents since I moved here. Everyone I have met has been a great neighbor and am proud of the work being done by Sals Houses. They are providing a very valuable service not only to my community but for all Milwaukee residents.
neighbor of SALS Branting Recovery House
The Journey to Sobriety
The treatment process is a three phase program. The focus goes beyond addiction treatment and focuses also on recovery after achieving a sober state.
The first step is to get the patient clean and free from drugs. This step is know as detoxification.
The Detox Phase
In the detoxification portion of the addiction treatment process, the body itself is remedied. While some drugs render a shorter detox phase, others can take weeks or more.
Essentially it is 24 hour care, with a medical professional present full time. Depending on the drug that the patient is using, the physical process of weening the body from dependency can be rather daunting.
In the case of opiates, the process is painful for the afflicted and drug treatment may be necessary to combat the effects of withdrawals.
Once the body is no longer physically dependent, we can focus on what triggered the addiction.
Breaking Addiction at the Root
It would be impossible to break the trend of addiction without first understanding the cause that led to this path.
This is where counseling comes into play. At SALS, we understand that no two people are alike, both in background and personality. We take a no judgement approach and truly get to know the patient.
Together, we come to know the triggers that set the patient down destructive road.
Only then can we establish solutions and long terms goals that will guide the patient through to sobriety.
Due to the differing nature of addiction, a variety of methods can be used. Some can be more personal, and others dynamic and group oriented. The scenario depends on the patient, and our years of understanding addictive personalities.
Ultimately, there is a goal and it is very clear. The path chosen to reach that point only really matters in the mind of the patient. If it works for them, it is the right plan of action.
This brings us to the final leg, and perhaps most arduous part of the journey.
Recovering and Staying Clean Long Term
Aftercare in the recovery process is crucial.
Freshly sober, you now have to jump into the world and combat the daily pressures you just learned of, that will confront you daily.
The pressure will be constant without a complete overhaul in your former lifestyle. This will likely include the circle of people you regularly interacted with.
The most successful option is to utilize a recovery house and training program.
Just knowing the reasons behind your addiction isn’t enough to avoid relapse.
Living in a setting of people in similar positions promotes a team atmosphere. And what team is complete without a coach.
Many other facilities have managers that are more like hotel managers. They don’t share a vested interest in your road to recovery.
Utilizing recovery housing and coaches that know the path greatly increases your chances of staying sober long term.