Prescription drugs can provide powerful relief to people struggling with a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, mental illness or physical dysfunction. Unfortunately, these drugs can also provide powerful effects in people who don’t really need the drugs for any sort of medical problem at all. This unauthorized use of prescriptions is on the rise, with the National Institute on Drug Abuse reporting that 16 million Americans 12 and older had taken a prescription medication for non-medical purposes in 2009. This is an alarming statistic, as it seems to indicate that addictions to prescription drugs might also be on the rise. People who take these medications without a medical need for them may be overwhelmed with the symptoms the drugs bring about, and they might swiftly move from use to abuse to addiction. It is a serious problem, and it can be devastating for those impacted. People who are addicted might lose their jobs, their homes and their family connections.
Women might be falling victim to prescription drug addiction at alarmingly high rates, since they tend to visit the doctor regularly, and they might be given prescription medications at the end of each visit. Be it an opiate issue such as Vicodin addiction and OxyContin addiction, or a dependence on stimulants such as Adderall addiction, the need for prescription drug addiction rehab for women is greater than ever. In a structured drug rehab program, women can get the help they’ll need to leave their addictions behind for good.
What Is the Best Rehab for Prescription Drug Addiction?
It’s difficult to determine the “best” treatment program for addictions like this, as addiction is an incredibly personal issue. As a result, the best type of rehab for prescription drug addiction might vary from person to person. In general, according to an article in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, drug abuse treatment programs typically provide supportive therapy in groups, as well as information designed to help people avoid relapse to drug use. Most programs also provide some form of monitoring, so they can quickly determine if people have started taking drugs again. Outside of this very basic framework, there are a myriad of options when it comes to addiction care.
Some addicts might benefit from a very structured, disciplined, rule-intensive environment. These people might enjoy knowing that the rules are clear, and that everyone is expected to behave in a certain way. Addictions can inject chaos and uncertainty into an addict’s life, so enrolling in a structured program like this might help some addicts to feel as though some semblance of control is returning to life once more. However, some addicts might find these programs to be stifling, as they don’t allow for personal creativity or expression.
Addicts who balk at rule-based programs might get better results in an environment that lets the addict pursue whatever paths that recovery leads her to take. Programs like this might allow the person to design her own treatment program, adding on options that might seem beneficial and removing other treatments that don’t seem to be providing the same level of benefit. These programs might allow some addicts to take control of their own lives, and this might be something they desperately need to learn how to do, since they may have lost these habits during the course of their addictions. It’s important to remember that the very definition of addiction includes a lack of control. As an article in the journal Addiction puts it, those who have addictions are powerless to control their behavior. In order to heal, people need to take that power back. These less structured environments may provide addicts with that opportunity.
While programs can vary widely, effective drug rehab programs are likely to have some elements in common, including:
- Medical staff on the premises
- Treatments based on scientifically proven concepts
- A holistic approach to the problem of addiction, attempting to help the whole person to heal, instead of treating the addiction like an isolated event
- Teaching and guidance that will help someone stay sober in the real world, not only in the artificial environment of recovery institutions
The Orchid invokes all of the approaches listed above. The facility, which has become world-renowned because of its emphasis on treating women using the most advanced counseling techniques, has become synonymous with gender-specific drug addiction rehab in a nurturing, yet medically advanced, environment.
The Principals Behind Addiction to Prescription Drugs
While the environment and the underlying feeling produced by a facility are important deciding factors for many women who are seeking addiction care, medical and scientific rigor is also important in determining the best type of rehab for prescription drug addiction. The field of rehab is relatively unstructured, with people free to open rehabilitation facilities based on nothing more than their own theories of addiction and recovery. As a letter in the journal Addiction puts it, “What is actually being done in most addiction treatment programs? The truth is that no one really knows, including the administrators and supervisors of those programs.” Programs might not disclose their success rates, citing patient privacy, but this can make it difficult to see if the treatments work. Similarly, facilities might use blurred language to describe what it is they do, leaving prospective patients wondering what it is they will pay for. It can be difficult to make an informed choice in this environment.
While some of these facilities might well be effective, it’s worth remembering that addiction is a physical and psychological problem as well as a spiritual one. There are physiological and psychological principles that apply to addiction and treatment, and that are capable of making it more effective and comfortable. Many of those treatments have been researched and proven effective. For example, many addiction treatment programs use cognitive behavioral therapy, a technique in which patients learn how to use the power of their minds to control their cravings.
- Allow addicts to spot their relapse triggers
- Provide addicts with methods they can use to avoid triggers
- Give addicts tools they can use to deal with a trigger
- Allow confidence levels to rise, as addicts begin to gain mastery of these tools
This form of treatment has been studied repeatedly, and it’s been proven effective. For example, a study in the journal CNS Spectrums found that this form of therapy was quite helpful for people who had both mental illnesses and addictions, especially when the technique was augmented with mindfulness-based techniques. Studies like this can help prove the validity of treatment options, and help addicts feel sure that the treatments they’re getting are based on hard scientific facts. Facilities that cannot provide studies that back up the care they provide may not be giving an ideal form of care for people who need to recover from an addiction.
The best type of rehab for prescription drug abuse and addiction is one that addresses as many elements of drug addiction as possible. Becoming an addict was an individual endeavor, shaped by the addict’s multifaceted interaction of:
Getting clean and sober should be just as encompassing. The physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual parts of the addict may all need varying degrees of attention to heal properly. A rehab that recognizes the many areas of possible treatment is more likely to provide a healing experience than one that does not.
Preparing for Life After Rehab
The best kind of rehab is one that prepares the addict for the real world of work, family and society, not the artificial world of the “recovery community.” The goal of rehab is to reenter life with more health, vitality, serenity and the ability to be productive and engaged. Rehabs that seek to park addicts in a tight-knit 12-step community for life may not be the best choice for prescription drug treatment. People seeking care can ask about aftercare programs, including services that might help them to find a job, complete an education or become better parents. Programs that can help addicts to handle these steps and reintegrate with their former lives might be the best choices.
One shortcut to determining the best type of rehab for prescription drug addiction is to discover if the rehab has experience with people who have similar addictions and similar backgrounds. Addiction experts call this attribute “affiliation,” and it’s an important part of the rehab puzzle as people who feel connected to others in the program are more likely to stay involved than do those who do not feel affiliated. Finding a good fit might also have other benefits. For example, a study in the journal Qualitative Health Research found that people in recovery need to develop a “sense of belonging,” and this can only come about when people feel as though they are part of a community of others who understand them.
It is often helpful to be near recovering addicts who share similar experiences and issues. Addiction experts sometimes suggest that lesbian women look for programs made specifically for gay women, for example. Similarly, some women choose programs based on the age of the residents the program typically accepts. Teens enter teen programs while elders enter elder programs. The idea here is that a rehab designed for a specific group is more likely to have an understanding of whatever issues the addict is bringing into rehab, and as a result, effective treatment programs can be designed. The staff will also have experience working with people in this group, and will know what techniques do and do not work. This might also translate into more effective care. Additionally, it’s more likely that addicts will be able to share and bond with the other rehab attendees if the group has attributes in common.
This is a concept we agree with at The Orchid. We provide drug addiction treatment designed specifically for women. By only admitting women into the program, The Orchid is creating a safe place for healing and addressing the issues that impact women the most. All staff members are also women, and they receive intensive training in the methods and communication styles that tend to benefit women recovering from addiction. Staff is happy to share information on the treatments used, and the scientific studies that have been conducted on those various methods of treatment. Staff is also happy to share stories of others who have benefited from the care they have received at The Orchid. For more information about how this Florida drug rehab facility helps rebuild lives and families, contact The Orchid today.