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Addiction Treatment Approaches in Idaho That Work

Substance abuse in Idaho, just as it is in the rest of the country, is a real and growing problem. Whether you live in Boise, up in Coeur d’Alene, or to the southeast in Pocatello, the chances are that you know someone who has a problem with drugs or alcohol. A recent national survey revealed that nearly 79% of Americans believe that the best way for a person suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction to recover is to go “cold turkey” – abruptly stop drinking and using – and then simply go to group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous. That survey reveals a stark disconnect between the general public’s perception versus the reality of recovery from drug addiction.

Cold Turkey Doesn’t Work

Idaho residents whose lives have been impacted by the substance abuse need to know that “going cold turkey” and trying to beat addiction without the help of trained and experienced Idaho addiction professionals and a structured program is almost certainly doomed to failure. Some estimates say that that approach has a success rate as low as 5%. Furthermore, the abrupt cessation of alcohol and certain drugs can be dangerous – even to the point of being life-threatening. Heavy users of alcohol or benzodiazepine-class drugs can suffer from potentially-fatal seizures if they suddenly stop. For this reason, it is always recommended that detoxifying from drugs and alcohol should always be done in under close medical supervision.

Numerous Addiction Rehabilitation Programs in Idaho Are Available for Those Who Truly Want to Quit

“… It is important that everyone understands that there is no one path to recovery. The path to recovery for individuals with addiction is as individualized as a number of ways and reasons that people become addicted.” “Many individuals will utilize one or more of the services in their paths to recovery, some will utilize one or more of them several times. The important thing is that all programs will be effective for some, but none will be effective for all.” ~ Karen Yost, Executive Director of Prestera Center of West Virginia So what does work? What are some of the drug rehabilitation programs in Idaho that afford the best chance to struggling alcoholics and addicts who want to begin their journey of recovery?

  • Biological approach – This approach recognizes that the disease of addiction is a chronic disorder of the brain that can be chiefly characterized by uncontrollable substance abuse and drug-seeking. An individual’s genetic makeup is emphasized, with the main theory that human behavior is driven by brain chemistry, structure and genetic predisposition.

Understandably, the biological approach to addiction treatment aims to correct the suspected biological cause. The goal is to “repair” what isn’t working. For instance, an individual who is biologically predisposed or conditioned to abuse drugs or alcohol might see improvement with the right medicine – one that would make useless rewarding. Such medications can include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.

  • Psychological approach – This approach tries to increase a person’s individual motivation to change. By educating the recovering alcoholic/addict about the real costs of substance abuse and the real benefits of regained sobriety, this approach tries to find a positive impetus.

Because a person must first want to make changes in their life and then be willing to take steps to realize those changes, the psychological approach helps people identify potentially-unhealthy behavior and thought patterns, instead teaches them how to act with positive, productive alternatives. A psychological approach to addiction treatment also tries to uncover any hidden trauma that may have been experienced in the past. If the person has a co-occurring disorder such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, those maladies are treated concurrently. Different formats are used when addiction recovery is approached from a psychological angle. The alcoholic/addict will receive individual sessions to get to the root of their problem, attend group therapy with others facing the same challenges, and couples/family counseling to help repair and rebuild relationships.

  • Social-cultural approach – This approach highlights the important effects that an individual’s social circles – their friends and family – can have on their recovery efforts.

When an alcoholic or addict is attempting to regain a clean and sober life, the dynamic of their group changes so drastically and so rapidly that often, family counseling may become necessary. The social-cultural approach can also refer to attending fellowship support groups of the “12-Steps” variety. When substance abusers at different points in their recovery regularly meet, every person in the group can draw strength and inspiration from their shared disease and common experiences.

  • Spiritual approach – This type of addiction recovery is based on the evidence-based idea that spirituality can have a profound, positive effect on an individual’s efforts at sobriety.

This approach has two parallel schools of thought – first, the tangible psychological benefits of Hope; and second, that a recovering individual can draw strength and inspiration from a “Power greater than themselves”. There’s very little debate about the benefits of spirituality. A 2003 study found that patients in recovery who reported that they relied on their faith (spirituality) were almost twice as likely to abstain from cocaine and heroin at the five-year mark than those who did not rely upon spirituality.

  • Holistic approach – This approach is comprehensive because the goal is to improve the total health of the person in recovery by including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual treatment.

A holistic approach will include all of the “traditional” therapies mentioned above, but may also include nontraditional offerings such as yoga, massage, acupuncture, exercise, pet therapy, and nutrition. Because every person suffering from an addiction is an individual, there is no single “one-size-fits-all” approach to drug and alcohol recovery that will work 100% of the time for 100% of the people. Some will benefit from one approach, others may get all they need from a different approach, and some will use bits and pieces from every offered approach to creating a workable whole that works that is just right for them. Ultimately, that is the mark of a successful drug or alcohol rehabilitation program – if it works for the person who enrolled. There are enough addiction recovery approaches for everyone, so if you or a loved one has tried an alcohol/drug recovery program and were unsuccessful in totally regaining sobriety, don’t give up. Dust yourself off, and start the journey to sobriety again, one day at a time, one step at a time.