How to Treat Substance Abuse

The use of drugs or alcohol in a manner that negatively affects the quality of life for that person can be classed as substance abuse. Substance abuse can lead to a whole host of problems – not just health issues. The financial pressures of maintaining a drug habit can lead people to participate in criminal activity and ignore their social and work commitments. Treatment to try and put an end to substance abuse is vital for offering support to people who are looking for a way out.

The methods used to treat alcohol and drug abuse aren’t that different, and this explains why many rehabilitation centres treat ‘substance abuse’ rather that just drug or alcohol addiction. Other centres may specialize in one area, but whether this provides the patient with any significant benefits has not been proven.

For any case of substance abuse, one of the key parts of rehabilitation involves identifying why the patient has turned to drugs or alcohol. Once this has been pinpointed, a therapist or counselor will help the patient to explore more constructive ways of coping with their feelings, empowering them to take control of their addiction. Such sessions may be attended by recovered addicts throughout their life to help prevent relapse.

The first stage in recovery is a detox however. While in the case of both drug abuse and alcohol dependency the goal is to rid the body of the toxic chemical, how this actually happens may be quite different. For addicts of certain drugs sudden withdrawal can be fatal. Instead, under medical guidance, a substitute drug may be administered in a decreasing dosage to safely detox the body over a period that may take many months. While alcohol withdrawal may also provide unwanted side-effects these are usually more manageable and the process is often complete within a week.

While substance abuse treatment is generally similar, different rehabilitation centres place emphasis on different aspects of treatment. If you are able to find the centre that best caters to your individual needs then you’ll be in a good position to quit any drug or alcohol.

Find out more about substance abuse treatment

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