Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse

While there are various different paths towards recovery, there are certain fundamentals common among all of them. These are treatment modules that every recovery center will provide in each and every one of its programs.

If you or a loved one are going to receive treatment for drug abuse, you can expect the following.

Detox

When you are physically dependent on a substance, stopping cold turkey will lead to severe withdrawals. These withdrawals make it incredibly difficult to stick to the recovery process. In many cases, they can be dangerous and even fatal. For this reason, most drug rehab must begin with detox.

Drug detox refers to the controlled process in which an individual is withdrawn from the substance on which they’ve become dependent. At Gooden Center, detox is prescribed and monitored by medical professionals. The nature of your detox will depend on the substance. Some substances can be stopped cold turkey, while others require a tapering process using safe alternatives to the drug.

Physical dependence on a substance precludes the possibility of effective drug rehab. As long as your body is withdrawing from the substance, it will be difficult to stay clean and focus on the treatment process.

Dual Diagnosis

From the very beginning of the process, psychiatrists at Gooden Center will evaluate whether you may require a dual diagnosis. In many cases, substance abuse is caused by or leads to another mental illness. For example, people suffering with OCD may use drugs to try and quiet their obsessive thoughts. Alternatively, someone who has become accustomed to using drugs when they feel down will ultimately struggle to effectively cope with difficult emotions and this may trigger depression or anxiety.

Treatment of drug abuse will not be effective if co-occurring mental illnesses are not also treated. Aspects of the treatments will overlap, but specific mental illnesses need particular treatments. Furthermore, with the help of a dual diagnosis, therapists and doctors will better know how to approach an individual’s treatment.

Group Sessions

Addiction treatment differs from treatment of other mental illnesses in that group sessions are given far more prominence. Community is understood to be very important in treatment of drug abuse for a number of reasons. Addiction tends to lead to unintentional selfishness. When looking for one’s next fix, it is difficult to take others into account. Groups help substance users become more socially aware once again.

Group sessions also give individuals an opportunity to share their own stories and what they’re struggling with. Since everyone in the group has gone through similar hardships, while doing things they regret, this is a safe space in which no one has room to judge.

In addition, addicts can use group sessions to learn how others have managed to cope without substances. They can share their own techniques and ideas. They can learn to lean on others for support in trying times.

Individual Therapy

Group sessions are excellent for confronting one’s addiction on a general level. However, individual therapy is incredibly important to help you deal with your specific personal concerns. In individual therapy, you will discuss your background and history and identify your coping mechanisms. This will help you see which mechanisms have worked and which have become dysfunctional.

Individual therapy is also necessary when treating most mental illnesses. By working through your issues with a therapist, you are better able to notice your unhealthy patterns. With therapies such as CBT, you learn practical skills to challenge thoughts that tend to lead you in a negative direction.

Psychiatric Medication

Substance users who have a co-occurring disorder will likely be prescribed psychiatric medication to relieve its symptoms. These are generally non-addictive medications that affect the chemicals in your brain, addressing imbalances and providing increased stability. Anti-anxiety and sleeping medications such as Xanax and Stilnox, which have the potential for abuse, will not be prescribed.

Alternative Therapies

You will also have the opportunity to work with alternative therapies, including mindfulness-based techniques. Mindfulness in particular is important when treating addiction, as the approach of taking each moment on its own has helped millions get through the most trying times.

These techniques also give you more options when one or another coping skill is not appropriate to the situation.

Holistic Health

Treatment for drug abuse should take the person as a whole into account. Addiction has both physical and mental aspects, and the healthier a person is in general, the more likely they are to stay clean. Thus, your nutrition and fitness are very important. Similarly, keeping your mind active and developing hobbies or passions helps you sustain a more rounded, fulfilling life free from substances.

Maintenance

No one’s treatment is ever complete at the end of a program. On the contrary, without continued treatment and maintenance, relapse becomes more and more likely. Treatment for drug abuse goes on after leaving rehab, and beyond aftercare and sober living. Attending groups and being part of a recovery community are ideal safeguards to keep you on track in a fulfilling life free of drugs.

References:

1. Ziedonis, D. and Brady, K. (1997). DUAL DIAGNOSIS IN PRIMARY CARE. Medical Clinics of North America, 81(4), pp.1017-1036.

2. Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2017). Group Therapy for Substance Use Disorders: A Survey of Clinician Practices. Journal of groups in addiction & recovery, 12(4), 243–259. doi:10.1080/1556035X.2017.1348280

3. Blobaum P. M. (2013). Mapping the literature of addictions treatment. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 101(2), 101–109. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.101.2.005

4. Lichtigfeld, F. J., & Gillman, M. A. (1998). Antidepressants are not drugs of abuse or dependence. Postgraduate medical journal, 74(875), 529–532. doi:10.1136/pgmj.74.875.529

5. Fluyau, D., Revadigar, N., & Manobianco, B. E. (2018). Challenges of the pharmacological management of benzodiazepine withdrawal, dependence, and discontinuation. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 8(5), 147–168. doi:10.1177/2045125317753340

6. Young, M. E., DeLorenzi, L. d. and Cunningham, L. (2011), Using Meditation in Addiction Counseling. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 32: 58-71. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1874.2011.tb00207.x

Written by
Brandon Brewer
COO of Gooden Center and treatment industry expert The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse