As drug overdose deaths soar in the United States, resources for treating addiction are expanding like never before. Many people struggling with addiction wonder about what drug addiction programs might be best for them.

Who's Ideal for Residential Treatment Programs?

People who battle drug addiction often have flawed coping skills for dealing with emotional deficiencies that ultimately arise from unmet needs dating back to childhood or adolescence. Comorbid mental health issues are common among people with drug problems. People with long-term addiction problems often deal with co-occurring mental health issues and behavioral control problems. In such cases, short-term addiction remedies are prone to yielding short-term success stories.

Although not everyone facing addiction will fit this general mold, those who do are proven to have higher long-term success rates if they commit to residential treatment programs.

Residential treatment programs last anywhere from 3 to 12 months. They typically require patients to leave behind work, family life, and other obligations. Some addiction treatment facilities allow patients to find jobs while enrolled, giving residents the chance to save money, build healthy social relationships, and improve their occupational skill sets.

These programs also offer evidence-based treatments such as medically-supervised detox, medication-assisted treatment, and intensive counseling sessions. Medically-supervised detox helps recovering addicts detox from drugs by managing their withdrawal symptoms with various medications. Medical technicians, nurses, and physicians monitor patients' vital signs and mental health to prevent health complications potentially associated with severe withdrawal.

"Medication-assisted treatment pairs the use of medications ... with other treatment components like behavioral therapy and counseling," says AION Health. Drugs like buprenorphine (Suboxone) and naltrexone (Vivitrol) are ideal for patients with severe opioid addictions and allow their brains to heal from addiction without overwhelming them with cravings or post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Residential programs are best for people with:

● Co-occurring mental disorders.
● Long-term addiction problems.
● Poor social support structures.
● Needs for special accommodations.
● Histories of domestic abuse, criminal justice involvement, and trauma.

How About Outpatient Programs?

Outpatient programs are significantly less intensive than their residential counterparts. They don't require people to give up their current obligations, making them ideal for people with family, work, and community obligations. These programs ask patients to attend various sessions several days per week, including group therapy, counseling sessions, relapse prevention education, and 12-step program meetings.

Outpatient addiction treatment programs typically offer flexible schedules, giving members control over their lives. They also provide linkage to necessary resources like subsidized housing and off-campus 12-step meetings.

Choosing the Right Option

People who haven't tried to get clean before should consider outpatient addiction programs at first. If they don't offer enough structure or help, long-term residential treatment may be ideal.

Many programs employ experienced intake and evaluation professionals who recommend programs that might be best for them. No two recovering addicts will follow the same path to salvation. Ultimately, recovering addicts should be allowed to decide what's best for them.

Overcoming addiction is difficult. With help from evidence-based addiction treatment programs, the chance of long-term recovery improves drastically.

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