What is treatment like?

Treatment options include residential treatment at a specialized center where the patient will be supported and supervised by professional staff 24/7 for up to 4 weeks.

Outpatient treatment options include day hospital (spending a full day in a program) while living at home or in an alternative living environment, or intensive outpatient programs which are 3-4 hours a day, either during the day or evening. Treatment programs in any setting involve education sessions, 1:1 and family counseling sessions, group therapy with other patients and introduction to 12-step recovery programs.

Why can’t my loved one just stop using?

About 10 percent of the population, use of alcohol and drugs affects the brain, increasing the desire to use despite destructive health, personal and/or professional consequences. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a symptom of this disease that affects reward, memory and other circuitry in the brain.

Why can’t people use their willpower to just stop on their own?

For someone with addiction, the urge to use alcohol or drugs can be as powerful as the need for air or water. The initial decision to take drugs or drink is mostly voluntary. However, when the disease takes hold, changes in the brain eat away a person’s self-control and ability to make healthy decisions, while sending highly intense urge to take drugs.

How do I know if I or a loved one has an addiction?

An addiction is indicated when someone shows a pattern of continuing to use harmful substances or engage in compulsive behaviors (e.g. gambling, eating or sex) despite adverse consequences (e.g. legal issues, medical, social or job related problems).

How do I know if I or someone I love needs treatment?

Addiction is difficult to accept because it seems sporadic; it’s under control at times. The key indicator is continuing to use despite negative consequences. These can include physical health, as well as problems at work and in family life related to drinking alcohol or using medication excessively. As addiction progresses, the negative incidents become more frequent and more serious.

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