Be Smart When Seeking Treatment for Addiction

By Constance Ray of

While admitting you have a problem may be the biggest step in overcoming addiction, it’s certainly not the hardest. Recognizing that you have a problem with addiction and deciding that you need help is a huge accomplishment – and you should be proud of that decision. But one of the most important things for a person struggling with addiction to understand is that patience is key. There’s really no way around it – it’s a long, hard road.

Many with addiction problems will seek treatment. For some, that will mean inpatient treatment at a rehab facility. For others, treatments could mean regular meetings with drug and alcohol counselors, programs like AA and NA, and other support networks. Whatever your addiction situation, it’s important to think about what treatment scenario is right and fully research your options before you begin. Obviously, it’s a raw and stressful time for anyone deciding to get help with their addiction – but a little planning can make a lot of difference.


Do you or your loved one need an inpatient rehab stay?

Levels of addiction vary, and for some the dangers of chemical withdrawal make medical detox a necessity. But for some, addiction may be able to be managed without this sort of inpatient care.

“If your addiction withdrawals can lead to serious complications or death, then a medical detox is clearly the right course, and a hospital or ER visit may be your safest and only option,” says StepOneRehab. “For some types of drugs, the withdrawal symptoms may be very bad but not life-threatening. You may experience cravings and you may have a massive desire to use, but you may have alternative treatment options that you can pursue while waiting for more intensive programs. Some alternate options can include intensive outpatient (IOP), with visits to a drug or alcohol counselor weekly, AA or NA meetings, or other types of holistic therapy. That isn’t to say they are easy or foolproof, and of course you should consult your doctor or a medical professional when it comes to detoxing.”

Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor. Substance abuse and addiction are medical conditions, and your doctor can advise you on your best course of action for your specific level of dependence.


Research your coverage

Depending on your insurance, you may be able to have some of your expenses covered. Before you begin the paperwork to check-in to a rehab facility, you need to study exactly what your insurance covers.

Recovery is hard on its own, but it can get even harder when you add additional financial burden. For serious addiction sometimes incurring additional medical expenses is unavoidable. But even a little bit of reimbursement helps. Make sure you know exactly what your insurance will cover – and what it won’t.


Find the specific treatment program for your specific problem

Though there are markers that can identify all types of addiction, the fact is that no two addictions are the same. Opioid dependency and alcohol abuse are not the same, for instance.

If at all possible, it’s important that you enroll in a treatment program that fits your specific addiction(s).

“Most rehabilitation programs offer treatments that focus on a specific category of drug, such as opioids or sedatives. In order to receive the most effective treatment, the person should make sure he takes part in a program customized for his specific kind of addiction,” says the Foundations Recovery Network.

Admitting you have a real problem and taking the first steps to getting help can be scary. You may want to impulsively begin any treatment available, as the situation can feel overwhelmingly dire. But your overall treatment will benefit from a little planning before jumping into a program. The road to recovery is long, and it’s best to start it out with the most appropriate and confident first step, and once you’ve gone through the process, set yourself up in an ideal situation to help keep you clean.


Constance Ray co-created RecoveryWell to provide a safe place for people to share their addiction stories so that others can learn from them. The goal is to share stories of hope from survivors who know that the fight against addiction is one worth having, because no matter how it affects you, life can get better.


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