Anyone that’s ever suffered from substance abuse or knows someone that did can attest to the devastation it causes. Whether in terms of lost careers or ruined relationships, battling substance abuse is never easy. Getting into a drug treatment program is one of the most crucial steps to beating the habit. However, even the best substance abuse programs can only do so much. Without an individual’s determination and willpower, all such efforts will fall flat.
Enrolling in a drug addiction program should not just be about getting “clean.” After all, several studies have indicated that more than 75% of drug addicts tend to relapse within a year of going through an addiction program. As such, getting “clean” shouldn’t be the sole focus of a substance abuse program; it should include a strong basis for life after leaving the rehabilitation center.
Gauging the Effectiveness of a Drug Addiction Treatment Program
To beat any habit, there has to be willingness and determination to overcome it. Such determination must, of course, be backed by a clear, actionable plan that is simple enough to follow consistently. This is something to always remember when dealing with substance abuse addicts. Simply draining the substance from the body’s system isn’t enough; overcoming substance abuse requires more than that.
A solid plan for tackling episodes of possible relapse has to be in place.
Typically, the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of a drug addiction program is judged based on the following criteria:
i)How well the individual can reintegrate into society
ii) How well the individual becomes a positive influence on family and loved ones.
iii) Whether or not the individual had regained their former self before the drug addiction kicked in.
All these criteria are, of course, in addition to the complete cessation of substance abuse and relapsing.
This means that simply beating the habit cannot be considered a success. For example, if a drug addict somehow responds to the drug addiction program, they may feel low if there are no other avenues through which they can find meaning. A drug addict that stops using a controlled substance but is withdrawn and subdued all the time will likely relapse in the future. An effective drug program should help them regain a normal life and sustain this new trend.
A good way for a drug rehabilitation program to have a long-term positive impact on a former addict is to improve their general quality of life. Simply weaning their physiology of the need for a drug is half the battle.
Long-term management is also a key part of an effective drug addiction program. This is to reduce the possibility of relapsing. A former addict relapsing is not always indicative of the ineffectiveness of a substance abuse program. Rather, it could mean the individual lost the will to fight for their continued sobriety. Drug addiction is a vice that must be fought all the way through. It’s a continuous process. An effective drug addiction program will usually have a plan for periodic evaluation to see how the former addict is coping with life outside a rehabilitation facility. One of the major reasons for relapsing is that former addicts may feel that they don’t need the moral support and counseling offered as part of those post-rehab visits. Such individuals may stop attending such evaluations altogether. A former drug addict is like a kid that’s just learned to walk; they still need the occasional handholding and guidance, without which they will likely stumble. In the case of such individuals, relapsing is not a reflection of the effectiveness of the drug addiction program. Rather, it simply means that their post-rehab regimen may need some adjustment.
Common Methods of Substance Abuse Programs
The two most commonly used methods of getting rid of substance abuse are behavioral therapy and prescription drugs, with iterations of the two also commonly employed.
Among the drugs used, Modafinil is one of them. This drug, in addition to managing conditions like narcolepsy and sleep apnea, is also used to help drugs beat the habit. It’s been particularly useful for cocaine addicts. Methadone is another one prescribed for those battling opioid addictions like heroin.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (CBT) are the most common types of psychotherapy. They help the addict to find effective coping mechanisms to ensure long-term sobriety. Many rehabilitation centers prefer to use a combination of psychotherapy and medications in their treatment plans.
All in all, the effectiveness of a drug addiction program has a lot to do with how the (former) addict manages to live after exiting the safety of a rehabilitation facility.