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Thank you for visiting Substance Abuse Facts. The pain of a bloody battlefield. The memory of an abusive parent. The severe consequences of a misguided choice. Using a substance can create the illusion that the pain is gone. This is why abusers often use drugs and alcohol as an escape – to self-medicate. Finding solutions to a substance or alcohol abuse problem is an important first step on the road to recovery. Here are the dos and don’ts of finding effective treatment.

Do find a treatment program that works for you.

Treatment comes in a variety of forms so it’s important to find a program which fits your values beliefs and goals. For example if you don’t believe in a higher power then a program based on a 12-steps philosophy might not be the best choice. If you’ve experienced physical or sexual abuse then a gender-specific treatment program or therapy group might feel safer than a co-ed program.

You’ll also need to consider personal concerns especially if you’re the family breadwinner or have sole custody of minor children. There are facilities which provide housing for young children. If the facility you are considering does not then an admissions counselor may by able to point you to options for child care.

Don’t let the cost of a facility stop you from getting the help you deserve.

The cost of substance abuse programs is one of the leading reasons addicts don’t seek professional help. However there are ways to get financial assistance. Your health insurance may cover some or all of the costs of treatment. If you’re a Medicare patient the plan may cover some aspects of treatment but you can expect to pay for most of the bill yourself.

For those without insurance or with too little coverage consider financing the cost of rehabilitation. The facility’s admissions counselor may be able to direct you to a financing program.

It you are still worried that rehab is too expensive imagine the financial cost of losing a job because of your addiction or the human cost of causing a car accident while under the influence. The cost of your treatment is an investment not only in your quality of life but your safety and well-being.

Do look for a program based on well-researched methods.

It’s not enough to barricade yourself at a remote retreat with nothing to do but look at the stunning scenery. Addiction is a complex disorder which requires treatment methods which have been proven to effectively help other addicts. For instance a center might incorporate techniques based on cognitive behavioral therapy CBT. CBT focuses on changing behavior by examining underlying thoughts attitudes and beliefs. This makes it ideal for those living with trauma or stress who self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.

Cognitive behavioral therapy as well as several other types of therapy has been well researched with regards to addiction. It has been shown to increase an addict’s chances of success. In addition researchers are constantly refining behavioral and medical techniques based on scientific findings.

One way to find out if the facility you’re interested in offers a research-based therapy is by finding out if it’s accredited with a national medical or counseling organization. Avoid programs which are not backed by scientific research or clinical evidence.

Also make sure the staff members have the appropriate credentials to care for you or your loved one. Professional caregivers might have certification in fields such as addiction counseling or they might hold advanced degrees in fields such as psychology theology or social work.

Don’t give up.

Be persistent. Some experts compare recovery to a marathon. According to many studies cigarette smokers attempt to quit nearly a dozen times before they achieve success. In fact experts say that relapse rates for drug addiction are similar to those of other common chronic conditions such as asthma high blood pressure and diabetes.

Do find support.

If family members or friends have been enabling your addictive habits it’s critical to find friends you can count on who will not enable you. In addition to the friends you might make during treatment you can form new connections in unlikely areas. For example take up an art class or enroll in a group exercise program at a gym.

Don’t think you can go cold turkey and be successful.

Your addiction is a serious condition which may require medical treatment. You deserve the same quality medical care as a person living with diabetes or heart disease. At worst cold turkey can plunge your body into withdrawal. In some cases such as addiction to alcohol heroin or certain prescription drugs withdrawal can lead to serious consequences such as severe vomiting or seizures. You may need the help of medical professionals who can monitor your detox and provide you with relief from the more uncomfortable symptoms.

Even if the drug being abused doesn’t produce physical withdrawal a trained treatment staff can help you deal with the psychological symptoms of withdrawal such as anxiety or agitation.

Not only will you need assistance with detoxing your body a good treatment program will teach you the skills to manage your addiction and the underlying conditions which may have contributed to it. These may include post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD depression bipolar disorder or an anxiety disorder.

Everyday people just like you take the first step down the path to sobriety. Join those who chose a life free of substance use and full of healthy choices. Seek treatment today.