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How do I Choose the Best Treatment for Substance Abuse?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
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The excessive use of substances often signals addiction. Addiction is a habit that can be physical and behavioral. In most instances, people need help to overcome such habits. If you are struggling with addiction, you may want to consider treatment for substance abuse. The best choice for such treatment will depend on the type of substance abuse problem you have, your underlying problems, and personal factors likely to make treatment effective or ineffective.

The first thing you must realize is that overcoming a substance abuse problem requires a lot of personal effort. Even the best program will not work if you are not ready to work with the program. Therefore, you need to carefully consider your addiction, the factors that fuel your addiction and be dedicated to resolve the issues.

Certain types of programs are most suitable for certain types of addictions. Group meetings, for example, may be all that are needed for certain alcoholics. However, it is less likely that such meetings will be as effective for heroin abusers. The first requirement that this places on you is to be honest with yourself in identifying your problems.

If you regularly consume alcohol and cocaine, there is little need to seek treatment for alcohol while telling yourself you have your cocaine use under control. It is best to research and find which types of treatment for substance abuse are recommended for habits like yours. Use that as a guide to make the best personal choice among the available options.

You also need to be honest with yourself about underlying problems. If your addiction resulted from a specific event in your life such as sexual abuse, death of a family member, or childhood trauma, it is likely that you need counseling or psychological treatment in addition to the treatment for substance abuse. It is best to choose a program that offers all of the services you need. If you are not sure about the cause of your problems, you may want to see a counselor before committing to a particular treatment program.

Such programs approach treatment for substance abuse in different ways. Each approach is not appropriate for everyone. If you know, for example, that your child plays a major role in your desire to overcome addiction, a program that bars contact with family may not be the best choice for you. If a treatment program offers liberties that will jeopardize your resolve, avoid that option. When choosing a program, you need to carefully consider factors that will make your treatment effective and those that will threaten the effectiveness.

Another thing you need to consider is the location. If your environment plays a major role in your habits, you may want to choose a distant option. Even if you cannot afford to enter a residential treatment facility, you may be able to obtain treatment for substance abuse in another city where you can stay with relatives.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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