To Go or Not To Go?
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
A quick summary of treatment centers and what you can expect.
Should I go to Detox?
In-patient detox units and treatment centers can play vital roles in the lives of many addicts and alcoholics.
Severe cases of alcohol or drug abuse may call for medical supervision and possible pharmacological intervention within a specialized detoxification facility. This 3-5 day initial cleansing stage is quite often necessary before any subsequent therapeutic processes can effectively begin.
What about Treatment?
21 - 28 (up to 90) day in-patient treatment centers can also be especially beneficial in the journey to a new life. The environment is a safe, nurturing space, free of alcohol and drugs, where the central focus is getting sober and learning ways to remain sober. Taking a temporary retreat from the turmoil and stresses of daily life to take care of the mind, body, and spirit is an invaluable gift to oneself.
One size does not fit everyone, though, so it is important that options be considered in the light of careful, individual evaluation. Some find that intensive Out-patient programs meet their needs better.
In addition, some progress has been made in the area of medication-assisted therapy (MAT). For some that is an appropriate strategy, at least in the shorter term. From a harm-reduction perspective, MAT is a worthy approach. It does reduce mortality. When long term outcomes are considered, however, that picture is not quite as inspiring. For one thing, medication-assisted therapies do not exist for all drugs of abuse. Neither do they catalyze the personality transformations that lead to enduring and satisfying sobriety. I speak to this from first-hand experience, as well as the experiences of others close to me. I strive to avoid dogma on this subject, though, and I try to meet people where they are.
Okay, I'm done with treatment. Now what?
It is vital to underscore the fact that the process of addiction recovery is not like going to a drive-through.
Without a sound aftercare plan, most addicts are doomed. My personal experience has clearly shown me what studies abundantly confirm, that intensive post-treatment center recovery work is absolutely essential if one is to succeed. Taking the journey of recovery is much akin to taking a new life path; one’s orientation and motivation will change. It calls for hard work but it is completely worth it.