There are two distinct phases to treating people with drug or alcohol addictions. In the first instance, addicts must be assisted to stop drinking or taking addictive drugs. The withdrawal symptoms they experience can make this an excruciating experience for addicts, and most treatment programs will try to help addicts get through by offering medication to ease the pain and distress.
The second phase is relapse prevention, and this is all about helping addicts to remain addiction free. In contrast to the short-term withdrawal phase, relapse prevention is an ongoing process that can take many different formats. A major part of relapse prevention is helping addicts to understand their illness.
There can be very complex reasons why addicts start taking drugs or alcohol to excess. It is often a way to bury something unpleasant. The danger of relapse is high if the addict encounters similar situations in the future and has no weapons in his or her armory to try to fight off the urge to release. Speak to someone at Drug Treatment Centers Orlando if you or someone you love needs help finding treatment centers for their chemical dependence. Call (877) 804-1531 now.
Nearly all addicts and alcoholics have been abusing their chosen substance for a very long time before they seek treatment. They will have developed a tolerance for their chosen substance that has made them take ever more of it to get to the same level of intoxication.
Most addicts will eventually progress to a stage where their only reason for living is to get high again. They will be taking the addictive substance numerous times every day. Alcoholics will be drinking round the clock. Everything else in their lives plays second fiddle to the need to feed their addiction.
When this has gone on for years, all semblance of a normal life will have disappeared. Addicts are not interested in going to the movies, to a theater, or in attending sports events, for example. If they do have to attend some event or social gathering, the only thing they are thinking about is their next hit or drink.
When they successfully complete medical detoxification, there is an enormous gap in their lives that needs to be filled. In reality, addicts have to learn how to live a normal life again. They have to be taught how to live normally, and how to make the right decisions. They must re-learn social skills, and they may have to learn a trade or skill to make themselves employable. Relapse prevention therapies are built to help addicts do all these things.
There are different therapies, many of them delivered by voluntary organizations. Perhaps the two best known organizations are AA and NA. They provide help and support on a semi-formal basis to recovering alcoholics and addicts. Both of these are nationwide, and addicts should be able to find a support group nearby.
Reformed addicts can attend AA or NA meetings whenever they want. They do not have to commit to attending a specific number of sessions at specific intervals. The can continue to attend sessions for years. Other organizations such as SMART provide similar resources. SMART has a strong online presence.
Addicts may also choose to arrange one-to-one counseling or therapy sessions. They may choose to attend cognitive-behavioral therapy or moral reconation therapy.