How You Can Get Addiction Help

Drug addiction is a powerful disease and it can be incredibly difficult to overcome. Whether you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse, prescription painkillers or street drugs, the addiction is not a sign of weakness and there is help available. Those who have been struggling to get clean and sober for months, or even years, should know that every attempt at quitting makes recovery a little bit more likely.

The first step toward a better life is the same no matter what substances are being abused. Addicts must first admit that they have a problem, then seek the help they need to make a positive change. Several types of treatment are available at Lake Wellness Center. Following is a brief description of what to expect from these treatments. We also offer insight into how to tell if it's time to seek professional help.

Addiction as a Disease

Most medical professionals understand that drug and alcohol addiction is a disease of the brain, not an indication of the addict's personal worth or willpower. That's good news because diseases can be treated. Although there are no known cures for substance abuse disorder, the experts at Lake Wellness Center can help program participants develop strategies for keeping it in remission.

Unfortunately, those who struggle with drugs and alcohol often forget that addiction is classified as a disease. They blame themselves for everything that has gone wrong in their lives, get overwhelmed, and often refuse the help that's offered due to feelings of inadequacy. This is a mistake. Everyone deserves to have access to the addiction treatment they need to improve their chances of success.

Effective Treatment Modalities

The types of addiction therapy available to substance abusers have been changing over recent years as what is known about addiction changes. Today, there are scientifically-proven methods for ensuring clients' safety as they withdraw from substances. These methods increase clients' chances of success as they go through long-term treatment. The professionals at Lake Wellness Center will work with their clients to determine treatment plans that will best meet their unique needs.

Lake Wellness Center offers an intensive outpatient program. Those who have supportive families who want to help them on their journeys to recovery can also participate in weekly family nights. These programs and appointments are available during the day and in the evening to make these outpatient services available to as many people as possible.

Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs generally feature the same treatment modalities as inpatient programs, but they allow participants to head home to their families at night. There are many different levels of outpatient care and these intensive programs can be followed up by ongoing outpatient programs in the long term. In fact, the importance of outpatient aftercare in maximizing clients' potential for success should not be underestimated, whether they are transitioning from inpatient programs or more intensive outpatient treatment.

Outpatient programs can't offer 24-hour monitoring, but they do allow participants a high degree of freedom. This can be a huge advantage for those who have children or family members that need care and those who have work or school responsibilities that cannot be put off to attend an inpatient program. Medical detox is still available to outpatient program participants, although it will not come with the same level of constant monitoring.

Outpatient programs often include a combination of medication therapy, behavioral counseling, group counseling, client education, and long-term follow-up appointments. These long-term follow-up appointments are essential for most addicts when it comes to preventing relapse. Most addiction specialists will suggest that even those who successfully complete long-term residential programs continue to attend follow-up counseling sessions.

Getting Help for Alcohol Abuse

If drug addiction has a negative stigma, the stigma surrounding alcohol addiction is more convoluted. Because consuming alcohol is legal, some readers may believe their excessive drinking is less of a problem than drug abuse. If this is the case, why seek treatment for alcohol abuse? The answer is simple: Getting alcohol addiction help dramatically increases alcoholics' chances of getting sober and staying that way.

Anyone who abuses alcohol can wind up becoming addicted, so there is no reason to be ashamed of asking for help. Those who struggle with severe alcohol addictions should never attempt to quit "cold turkey" without medical supervision. Withdrawal from alcohol can, in extreme cases, cause life-threatening seizures. When alcoholics undergo medically supervised withdrawal, they can get access to the pharmaceutical medications they need to prevent seizures and ensure their safety throughout the detoxification process.

The fact that alcohol is both legal and widely available across Louisiana makes alcohol addiction even more difficult to beat. Whether readers have achieved sobriety already through an intensive outpatient program or they're just now considering getting enrolled, they should note that ongoing, long-term counseling is often required to stay sober after that intensive treatment ends.

Outpatient follow-up programs offer recovering addicts peer support and ongoing help in developing and maintaining healthy coping mechanisms. These tools and skills are essential, especially for those who live in communities where alcohol use and abuse is prevalent.

Things to Keep in Mind

Whether you are looking for help for drug addiction or alcohol abuse, there are some things you need to keep in mind throughout recovery if you want to maximize the chances of success. First, realize that every recovering addict's needs are a little bit different and you should make sure that treatment coordinators are aware of their unique situations. Developing a program that feels right can substantially increase participants' chances of success.

We've already established that addiction is a disease of the brain, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean it only affects cognitive functioning. Ongoing substance abuse can have a negative effect on everything from users' relationships and careers to their physical health and psychological well-being. Successfully removing drugs or alcohol from the equation is only the beginning and those committed to living their best lives often need other forms of counseling.

No matter what treatment has been chosen for a program participant, personal commitment and follow-through hold the key to ongoing success. Getting clean and sober and staying that way isn't easy, nor is it usually a quick process. Every recovering addict will face difficult choices and only an unwavering commitment to staying sober will make those choices easier further down the line.

Recognizing Signs of Addiction

Given that the first step toward recovery is always for the person struggling with addictive substances to admit that he or she has a problem, the importance of recognizing signs and symptoms of addiction cannot be understated. Although symptoms vary based on what substances are being abused, there are some common signs you can keep an eye out for if you want to help addicted loved ones, or even yourself. Unfortunately, it can actually be more difficult for addicts to see that they are struggling than it is for those around them, but knowing what to look for helps.

Personal Symptoms of Addiction

If you are concerned about your own drug or alcohol use, you should pay attention to what happens when you stop using your substances of choice, regardless of whether they are illicit, legal or prescribed. If you begin to experience withdrawal symptoms you should seek help immediately, as continuing to use will only make the detoxification process more difficult. Similarly, those who find that they need to use continuously larger amounts of substances to get the same effects are developing a tolerance, which is a sign of addiction.

Many addicts continue to use even after they notice these and other negative effects of their drug or alcohol abuse. This isn't a sign of poor willpower or a lack of self-respect. It's part of how addiction changes the brain to suit its own purposes, harming the addict and his or her loved ones in the process.

Symptoms of Addiction Recognizable in Others

It's common for the loved ones of someone who is struggling with addiction to notice that something is wrong before he or she realizes the extent of the problem. Those who are interested in helping their loved ones get the professional treatment they need should keep an eye out for externally-recognizable addiction symptoms like rapidly shifting moods and declining physical appearance.

These more noticeable symptoms are often accompanied by declining health, neglected family obligations and lost interest in hobbies. As the addiction takes hold, it becomes more difficult to help addicts recognize the extent of their problems. Make sure to broach the subject carefully, respectfully, and compassionately.

The Next Step: Contact Lake Wellness Center now

You should now have the information you need to make an informed decision about whether you or a loved one have a problem that requires professional help and what kind of program to look into. Whether you are looking for help for a loved one or yourself, the next step is the same. It's time to seek professional treatment, starting with a substance abuse evaluation to assess the extent of the addiction and its effects on the person's life and come up with a treatment plan that will fit his or her needs.

Lake Wellness Center has seven outpatient facilities in Louisiana. Contact us today.

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