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By KK Mounsey

How to break the bonds of addiction

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, and you're ready to break free from the bonds of that addiction and improve your life, it's time to seek treatment. Rehabilitation, called rehab for short, is a broad spectrum of resources in the mental health realm that are available to everyone who wants to make some positive changes in their life.

Addiction is defined as a physical and psychological dependence upon a particular substance, activity, or behavior. These things offer the addict a feeling of euphoria and a sense of being in control. However, addictions can have devastating effects on the lives of both the addict and their loved ones.

In the past, treatment for addiction was limited to substance abuse. However, over the years, as more research has been done, rehabilitation has become popular for behavioral addictions, including sexual addictions, gambling, shopping, food, and more.

Mental health disorders and addiction

An individual's ability to live a happy and positive life can be severely impacted by addictions and mental health disorders. Both behavioral addictions and substance abuse can keep an individual from being present for their loved ones and can end up severing relationships. Additionally, opportunities for advancement in education/employment, financial stability, and even emotional health can be affected by addiction.

Treatment for these mental health disorders and addiction equip the addict with tools that they will need to work on themselves from the inside first. The rehabilitation process will probably draw out past issues that caused pain/resentment and have been suppressed for years. The rehab process will also teach the addict how they can live a positive and meaningful life and some things they can do to avoid addictive behaviors/substances.

It's time to get help

Before an addict can be successful with treatment, they must be willing to admit that they do have a problem and it's bigger than they are. They must be willing to accept and willing to commit to receiving professional help. If you are an addict, you must realize that needing help is not a sign of weakness — in fact, most people do need help when dealing with a mental health issue or an addiction. This behavior is beyond an individual's ability to control it — the only choice is to seek professional help in some capacity.

However, most of the time, addicts are not willing to seek or accept help. They don't see the damage that is being done; they see the pleasure provided by the substance or activity. This is when an interventionist can help.

An interventionist is someone who will work with the loved ones to get the addict into a rehabilitation program. Interventions can be quite helpful for getting a resistant addict into a treatment program. In fact, they built a whole television series on this premise. Intervention opens the eyes of the individual to the loved ones' points of view and shows them how their behaviors are hurting those around them.

Different types of treatment

There are lots of different types of rehabilitation programs and differing levels of care within those programs. In order to determine the proper program and level of treatment, professionals will look at a few factors, including substances being used, religious background, behavioral addictions, mental disorders/illnesses, and finances.

The various types of treatment include the following:

1) Treatment for Drug Addiction: this program of treatment is for those who are using/abusing drugs and/or alcohol.

2) Treatment for Alcohol Addiction: this program of treatment is specifically for those who are using/abusing alcohol.

3) Treatment for Dual Diagnosis: this program of treatment is for those addicts who also have co-occurring disorders.

4) Treatment for Eating Disorders: this program of treatment is for those who are suffering from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, overeating, etc.

5) Treatment for Anxiety: this program of treatment is for those who are suffering from panic disorders/anxiety.

6) Treatment for Depression: this treatment program is for those addicts who are also suffering from depression.

7) Treatment for Gambling Addiction: this treatment program is for those who are addicted to gambling.

8) Treatment for Sex Addiction: this program of treatment is for those who are addicted to love/sex.

9) Treatment for Compulsive Shoppers: this treatment program is for those who are addicted to shopping/spending money.

10)Treatment for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): this program of treatment is for those who are suffering from OCD.

Different levels of care

As mentioned, within these treatment programs, there are varying levels of care, from long-term in-patient to part-time outpatient care.

Following are the varying levels of care within rehabilitation programs:

1) Long-term Inpatient Care: this level of care consists of three or more months in an inpatient facility.

2) Inpatient Rehab: this level of care refers to thirty to sixty days in an inpatient facility.

3) Wilderness Treatment/Rehab: this level of care refers to a nature-based therapy — the length of time is recommended by staff based on life skills, personal needs, and character-building activities.

4) Recovery House/Sober Living: this level of care involves living in a recovery house/sober living house. The length of time is based on personal needs and finances. There is no limitation on the length of time an individual can stay in a sober house. These are meant to be transitional living facilities, where the individual can get back to normal life, typically after completing an inpatient treatment program.

5) Partial Hospitalization Outpatient Program: this level of care consists of five to eight hours a day taking part in group sessions, one-on-one sessions, and therapy.

6) Intensive Outpatient Program: this level of treatment consists of about three hours per day, three to five days a week (depending on personal needs), participating in group sessions, one-on-one sessions, and therapy.

7) Part-time Outpatient: this level of care is the mildest and consists of at least one hour per day, one to three times per week. The addict gets additional support through counseling and small group sessions. Typically, this level of care is done only after the individual has completed other forms of treatment and has achieved a level of sobriety.

As has been mentioned previously, personal issues/needs will help to determine the treatment program and level of care that will work best. Rehabilitation facilities have representatives that will be able to explain the programs they offer and be able to recommend the appropriate level of care.

For most addicts, participating in a treatment program is the only way that they can break away from their life of pain and depression. You should realize that recovery is a gift. The very first step to becoming sober and getting the gift of recovery is treatment. Once an addict becomes sober, they will be able to reconnect with their inner self and to mend broken relationships with loved ones.

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