Recovering from an opioid addiction such as heroin or prescription painkillers is a huge undertaking and a monumental task for the addict. As someone who loves and cares for the addict, you need to know what to expect during and after the therapy, so you can help prevent him or her from experiencing a relapse.
Types of Drug Rehab Programs
The first requirement, especially for outpatient drug rehab, is for the addict to want sincerely to recover. In an outpatient program, the patient is free to come and go from the rehab center. There are specific timings for treatment when they are expected to be there, but they still live in the world where they developed an addiction. In inpatient therapy, the patient is removed completely from temptation and distractions.
What is Detoxification?
Detoxification is the first step to recovery from opioid addiction. It is during this time that the substance is eliminated from the body. It is usually accompanied by withdrawal symptoms, which may range from mild tremors and insomnia to severe autonomic hyperactivity and seizures. In severe cases, detox may be treated with medication. If this is the case, the patient would need to spend at least one day in a hospital or detox center where medical supervision is available. Outpatient detox is considered safe for mild to moderate addictions and, according to circumstances, may receive more support from loved ones.
What happens after Detox?
After detox, the patient will undergo several types of educational therapy in order for them to understand the reasons for their addiction and learn how to have a drug-free lifestyle. Loved ones may be able to help the person face the seriousness of the addiction. Most programs focus on the reasons for becoming addicted, the effects it will have on the body, and the consequences it will have on their lives and relationships.
These goals take time to reach. Loved ones should be patient and supportive and not expect quick results. After all, only the addict knows how he or she is feeling and relating to the treatment. Therapy may be individual with a trained addiction counselor or in a group with other people fighting addiction. They learn how to recognize the situations that may trigger the desire for the drug and how to avoid these circumstances. They will have the opportunity to learn how to live life without the drug, which is something they may not have thought possible.
Role of Group Sessions
Group sessions can be a huge benefit when patients see other people going through the same challenges. They may learn the value of seeking support from other people and understand that they are not in this alone.
According to studies, including family members and friends in rehab programs improves the outcome significantly. Family members learn how to understand addiction and the best ways they can help the addict through therapy. In some cases, family members and friends may have enabled the addiction and contributed to the problem.
Maintaining a Drug-Free Life after Detox
Recovering from drug addiction is a lifelong work. After becoming drug-free and learning about addiction and its consequences, the patient is not finished. Aftercare is considered one of the most important parts of addiction rehab and, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is a better chance of total recovery for people who participate in aftercare programs.
If a loved one enters a rehab facility because of an addiction to opioids, there is a lot you can do to support and help the patient on the long road to recovery and a drug-free lifestyle.