Substance Abuse

As in many other American cities, substance abuse in Dallas is a significant problem. The World Health Organization defines substance abuse as “harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive stances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.” Abuse of drugs or alcohol often leads to behavioral, cognitive, and physiological changes in an individual that include difficulties in controlling use and persistence in usage despite harmful consequences.

As usage continues, tolerance increases, leading to increased consumption that can sometimes result in difficult physical withdrawal. Often, individuals try, unsuccessfully, to kick their addictions on their own but require an addiction treatment program to become free of abuse. Find out how you can get personalized help by contacting us at (866)266-6570 today.

How to Begin Addiction Treatment

One of the most important steps in seeking treatment is knowing that you have a problem. This advice applies to both teens and adults who are addicted to alcohol or other substances. Teens can begin by talking to their parents and/or their family physician. Minors who do not have a good relationship with their parents can also enlist the assistance of a trusted adult who can help get them into treatment. For those who are worried about revealing information to parents or other individuals, American privacy laws prohibit medical professionals from sharing confidential information with others, including parents.
Talking to a sympathetic individual is an excellent first step for making that call to get substance abuse treatment in Dallas.

Types of Addiction Treatment Programs

The ever-evolving world of substance abuse treatment means that many programs do not fit neatly into a specific category. Most substance abuse programs start with alcohol detox or drug detoxification followed by medically managed withdrawal that uses medications to ease physical withdrawal. The latter is particularly important for certain types of substances such as opiates, benzodiazepines, and even alcohol because halting use may have acute and potentially dangerous physiological effects. Detoxification is followed by formal assessment and placement in drug addiction treatment programs to address psychological, social, and behavioral problems that often accompany substance abuse.

Treatment programs fall into several common categories, including long-term and short-term inpatient substance abuse treatment, outpatient treatment, and individualized and/or group counseling sessions. Assignment to a particular inpatient drug abuse treatment program is usually based on the severity of an individual’s problem. Treatment programs may be combined to facilitate the individual getting back to a functional life as quickly as possible. Call us at (866)266-6570 today to learn more about your treatment options.

Long-term drug and alcohol inpatient treatment provides 24-hour care in a non-hospital residential setting lasting 6 to 12 months. Treatment in this type of facility is highly structured and may be modified to treat certain communities such as adolescents, women, people with severe mental disorders, and more. Specialized services like employment training may even be offered at some facilities. Short-term inpatient drug rehab is based on a modified 12-step program and lasts approximately three to six weeks. Outpatient therapy and participation in a self-help group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, generally follow to help keep patients engaged in positive activities that will reduce the possibility of relapse.


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Outpatient programs are less structured and can vary widely in intensity and techniques used, ranging from little more than drug education to intensive day treatment similar to what one may find in inpatient rehabilitation programs. These types of programs are ideal for individuals who want to maintain their jobs or careers while undergoing treatment. Group counseling is often a major component. Outpatient programs may also be tailored to patients who have mental health or other medical concerns in conjunction with their drug and alcohol abuse challenges.

Individual and group drug counseling programs address the life-related issues that alcohol and drug abuse can impair. One-on-one counseling addresses areas such as employment, family, and social relationships. Counselors encourage participation in 12-step programs at this stage and help patients develop coping strategies and other tools to stay away from abusive behaviors. Group therapy utilizes peer discussion to help promote substance-free lifestyles. Research has shown that patients have more positive outcomes when they participate in group therapy in conjunction with individualized substance abuse counseling.[2]

The Goals of Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance abuse programs have two main goals: to rid patients’ bodies of an addictive substance and to address the psychological and social factors that lead to drug addiction recovery and alcohol addiction recovery. The severity of the problem and types of drugs used often necessitate the administering of medications so that patients can safely withdraw from substances, which is necessary before embarking on lifestyle changes that will lead to a substance-free life.

A common misconception of medically supervised treatment is that one drug is substituted for another. Instead, medications relieve physical and psychological withdrawals caused by chemical imbalances that occur once the abused substance starts leaving the body during the drug detox process. Medical professionals provide a safe level of medication to overcome the toxic effects of drugs and alcohol. When administered in the proper dosage, these medications have no adverse effects on intelligence, mental, or physical capabilities.

Medications approved by the FDA to treat opioid addictions for Dallas residents include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. The most common drugs used during an alcohol detox program are disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone.

The second, and usually longer, phase of treatment involves examining damaging beliefs, self-concepts, and destructive patterns of behavior and adopting new and more constructive ways to interact with others. Cognitive behavior therapy in addition to regular participation in 12-step programs are necessary for many patients to maintain drug and alcohol addiction recovery in Dallas.

Seeking Help

If you start to notice yourself losing control over your drug use, abandoning activities you once enjoyed, or taking risks while under the influence of drugs, it may be time to admit that you need help. If you’re concerned that a loved one may have a substance abuse disorder, signs and symptoms to watch out for include a loss of appetite or inability to sleep, poor physical appearance, slurred words, a sudden change in attitude, secretive or suspicious behaviors, and even legal troubles.

Fortunately, help is available. We have a network of experienced addiction specialists who can assist with finding the right addiction treatment center in Dallas for your situation. Don’t wait any longer. Get your life back on track or help a loved one by contacting us today at (866)266-6570.


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