5 Core Principles of Drug and Alcohol Treatment

connecticut drug and alcohol treatment

Substance addiction is a complex disease. It affects multiple areas of the brain, inhibiting a person’s ability to make decisions, think rationally, and maintain self-control. Yes, while it’s true that a person makes the initial choice to use drugs, the fact of the matter is, addiction itself is not a choice. Drugs and alcohol literally rework the circuits in the brain, making users feel as though they need drugs to function in everyday life.

Not only does substance addiction come with compulsive drug and alcohol use, it is also tails with it the risk of other serious health effects, including increased susceptibility to psychological and physiological issues. If you or a family member is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, it is important to recognize that this is an illness. And just like any other chronic disease, addiction deserves professional treatment.

Of course, the words “drug and alcohol treatment” are easier said than done. Addiction is not simple; it stirs a myriad of problems affecting a person’s mental, physical, emotional, academic, professional, legal, and social states. And because of that, addiction treatment must be multi-dimensional, too.

So, how do you choose the right addiction treatment center for your loved one? What should you look for in assessing the different types of drug and alcohol treatment today? In this article, Turnbridge walks you through the core principles of effective substance abuse treatment, informed by our own, clinical treatment experts as well as the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Individualized Treatment Plans

Drug and alcohol treatment is not one-size-fits-all. No single treatment works for everyone, and there is no universal definition of a “successful” rehab program. Every individual carries their own addiction story, meaning every individual deserves their own, tailored treatment plan.

The drug and alcohol treatment program you choose should consider all the components of your loved one’s drug-using background: his or her drug of choice, whether he or she has been to rehab prior, if relapse has been an issue in the past, what has worked and not worked previously, and more. The rehab facility should also take into consideration your loved one’s age, gender, culture, home life, and any histories of abuse and trauma.

When creating a treatment plan, a person’s individual strengths, weaknesses, level of readiness and stage of development should be evaluated, as well. Treatment for teens and young adults must be approached differently than adult drug and alcohol treatment. Men and women also have different needs in the recovery process. Matching treatment settings and services to your loved one’s particular needs and background will be critical to his or her long-term success in recovery.

Multifaceted Drug and Alcohol Treatment

As suggested above, the right treatment program will address and attend to the multiple needs of your loved one, not solely his or her drug problems. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “To be effective, treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.”

For example, if your loved one is struggling with a mental health issue like depression or anxiety, the right rehab program will consider and incorporate this diagnosis into their treatment approach. Mental health and substance use disorders often go in-hand, yet too often go unnoticed at home – especially in teenagers and young adults. Try to look for a treatment center that understands the complexities of dual diagnosis and that is equipped to treat co-occurring disorders, should they ever arise.

Long-Term Treatment Options

Much like any chronic illness, recovery from drug and alcohol addiction does not happen overnight. Research suggests that most addicted individuals need at least three months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop drug use. The best outcomes, however, come with even longer durations of treatment in a long-term, residential facility.

Long-term, residential substance abuse treatment offers round-the-clock, watchful care, typically in non-hospital settings. Turnbridge, for example, has safe and serene sober residences for young men and women in recovery. Our recovery homes and facilities are protected from outside temptation, yet not isolated from the world around them, and built on positivity: Clients have access to in-house gyms, music studios, yoga classes, art rooms, and more, as well as the local, vibrant city of New Haven.

Turnbridge is not simply an inpatient rehab program. We are a therapeutic community that facilitates resocialization and emergence in our clients. We encourage them to go forward and become the best possible versions of themselves, by teaching them healthy living, relationship-building, and coping strategies at every phase of treatment. This is one of the many benefits of a long-term drug and alcohol treatment center. Clients learn how to be responsible and accountable, as well as how to live socially productive and nourishing lives.

Turnbridge clients are not on a set timeline. Our adolescent and young adult treatment programs use a “Phased Reintegration” approach, meaning clients can walk at their own pace towards recovery. They move forward as they are ready, allowing them to take full advantage of what treatment has to offer.

Behavioral Therapy

As we outlined in our “Top 4 Principles of Young Adult Addition Treatment,” behavioral therapies are another essential piece of the recovery process. Behavioral therapy for addiction comes in many forms, such as individual, group, and family counseling. Generally speaking, though, it is designed to uncover the root of a person’s addiction and to teach them how to live sober, not just get sober. Behavioral therapies can focus on:

  • Addressing a patient’s motivation to change
  • Examining the cause behind a person’s drug and alcohol use
  • Building the skills to resist drug use and cravings
  • Replacing drug-using habits with rewarding, healthful activities
  • Improving problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Facilitating better relationships with family and peers
  • Providing incentives for abstinence
  • Establishing short- and long-term goals

Flexible Treatment Plans

Clients grow and change throughout the recovery process. Their needs evolve at each phase of treatment. Drug and alcohol treatment plans should also do the same: They should build on what is working for a patient or be changed based on what is not. Drug and alcohol treatment must be flexible, assessed continuously and modified based on a person’s fluctuating needs.

Turnbridge is a recognized dual diagnosis center with drug and alcohol treatment programs for adolescents and young adults. Find out whether Turnbridge is the right fit for you or your loved one. Contact us at 877-581-1793 to learn more.