What Actually Happens in Treatment?
Although treatment programs differ, the basic ingredients of treatment are similar. Most programs include many or all elements presented below.
Upon admission, a clinical assessment will be completed regarding the individual’s treatment needs. This assessment will be the starting point in the development of an effective treatment plan.
Detox and Medical Care
After the patient has completed their clinical assessment, they will likely be required to go through a safe, medical detox. This process cleanses the body of the toxins left by their addictive substance. Our medical staff uses the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) placement criteria to determine the appropriate treatment modality. As the body adjusts to the lack of drugs or alcohol, the individual is likely to experience some pain and a wide array of emotions.
Due to the sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms associated with many addictive substances, it is important that the patient be placed under constant supervision in the event that serious physical symptoms manifest, including seizures. Our clinical team provides a safe and comfortable detox process, as well as emotional support. This process is likely to last a week or more. During this time, patients are also screened and treated for pre-existing medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and women’s health issues.
During this phase the patient might still be dealing with post-acute withdrawal symptoms but should start to get more engaged in their prescribed treatment modalities. This phase may last two to three weeks. Although your loved one may be making progress it has not even been one month since they entered treatment. The longer one stays in treatment the higher their chances are of changing addictive behaviors and maintaining abstinence.
It is common that substance abusers also suffer from emotion problems like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Young adults may also suffer from behavioral problems, conduct disorders, or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders. By treating both the physical and emotional disorders, the patient will have a much higher likelihood of maintaining lasting recovery. The Watershed is a Dual Diagnosis equipped facility.
Many programs use medications to help in the treatment process. Although no medications cure dependence on drugs or alcohol, some do help people stay abstinent and can be lifesaving. Mental health care often includes the use of medications, such as antidepressants.
The patient’s treatment team, along with the patient, develops a treatment plan based on the initial assessment. A treatment plan is a guide to recovery that includes goals and treatment activities designed to help him or her meet those goals, ways to tell whether a goal has been met, and a timeframe for meeting goals. The treatment plan helps both the person in treatment and treatment program staff stay focused and on track and can be adjusted to cater to changing needs.
At first, individual counseling generally focuses on motivating the person to stop using drugs or alcohol. Treatment then shifts to helping the person stay drug and alcohol free. The counselor attempts to help the person:
- See the problem and become motivated to change
- Change his or her behavior
- Repair damaged relationships with family and friends
- Build new friendships with people who do not use alcohol or drugs
- Create a recovery lifestyle.
Group members support and try to help one another cope with life without using drugs or alcohol. They share their experiences, talk about their feelings and problems, and find out that others have similar problems.
People learn about the symptoms and the effects of alcohol and drug use on their brains and bodies. Education groups use lectures or activities to help people learn about their illness and how to manage it.
This education can help you understand the disease and its causes, effects, and treatment. Programs provide this education in many ways: lectures, discussions, activities, group meetings, and counseling for families or couples. Family counseling is especially critical in treatment for adolescents. Parents need to be involved in treatment planning and follow-up care decisions for the adolescent. Family members also need to participate as fully as possible in the family counseling the program offers. For more information on Family Programs, contact The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768.
During this phase your loved one will be living in a structured environment that will allow them to practice skills and the coping mechanism that they have been assimilating during their inpatient treatment phase. At the same time, we continue to help you to also change your behaviors so that you are in a position to establish healthy relationship boundaries when your loved one is ready to return home.
Life Skills Training
This training can include learning and practicing employment skills, leisure activities, social skills, communication skills, anger management, stress management, goal setting, and money and time management.
Relapse Prevention Training
Relapse prevention training teaches people how to identify their relapse triggers, how to cope with cravings, how to develop plans for handling stressful situations, and what to do if they relapse. A trigger is anything that causes a person to crave a drug. Triggers often are connected to the persons past use, such as a person he or she used drugs with, a time or place, drug use paraphernalia (such as syringes, a pipe, or a bong), or a particular situation or emotion.
Participants in self-help groups support and encourage one another to become or stay drug and alcohol free. Twelve-Step programs are perhaps the best known of the self-help groups. These programs include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous, and Marijuana Anonymous. Members themselves, not treatment facilities, run self-help groups. By attending, many people make new friends who help them stay in recovery.
Your loved one can begin leading a productive life by either working or going to school. They might be free of their drug of choice for 40 plus days. Family visits are now a reality and you can have the opportunity to also practice the coping skills taught to you by the treatment team. By now you have also learned what it means to have healthy relationship boundaries and have been taking better care of yourself physically and emotionally. As your loved ones are ready to embrace a long journey of recovery, The Watershed team will continue to provide the support that is needed to help you and your loved ones on this new phase back to your home environment.
Halfway House/Sober Living
Even when a person has successfully completed a treatment program, the danger of returning to alcohol or drug use (called relapse) remains. After-care is very important to successful treatment. Once a person is back in his or her community, back in school, or back at work, he or she will experience many temptations and cravings for alcohol or drugs. In Sober Living, your family member will meet periodically with a counselor or a group to determine how he or she is coping and to help him or her deal with the challenges of recovery. The longer a person stays in treatment, including follow-up, the more likely he or she is to stay in recovery.
We will provide you and your loved one with a comprehensive plan to be followed post discharge from The Watershed. Also, the staff at The Watershed Alumni Program is available to you and your loved one 24 hours a day / 7 days per week. Please, visit our alumni website at: http://www.watershedalumni.com or the alumni section of: http://thewatershed.com to learn about the services that we offer following your loved ones discharge from our facility.
When you are ready to start your new sober life, call The Watershed: 1-800-861-1768. We look forward to speaking to you and meeting with you in the very near future. We are committed to excellence and wish you and your loved ones a successful journey as you are embracing a new stage in your life.
Get Help Now! Our 24 Hour Helpline has professionals waiting to help.
Call 1-800-861-1768 for help right now!
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs are "Gold Seal" accredited through The Joint Commission. The Watershed is licensed by The State of Florida (FL) Department of Children and Families to perform addiction and substance abuse detoxification for alcohol addiction, drug addiction, drug treatment, alcohol rehabilitation, and drug rehab levels of treatment with intensive inpatient residential drug and alcohol rehab, as well as prevention services.