In the town of Bella Vista, AR everything seems as if it is alright. With the low crime rate and it being ranked #6 safest places to live in Benton County you wouldn’t think that anything out of the ordinary goes on here, but looks can be deceiving. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine are very popular drugs in Arkansas because of the easy transport from Mexico and the rural areas to have labs. With the main interstates that run from Mexico right to Arkansas it’s not a surprise that the state is being flooded with drugs. It also doesn’t help that Arkansas is full of rural areas that are easy to hide home labs where meth can be cooked. AssessmentWhen someone is addicted to drugs it not only affects them, but it affects everyone around them. When dealing with an addict you have to be very careful not to tick them off, but also not to enable them. The first step is getting them help is having them see and admit that they have a problem. Once that step is taken their next step is completing an assessment to find out about treatment options. Treatment is a huge step for an addict to make. They are scared of what their life will be like if they quit using drugs, or they could be extremely defensive and completely deny care. If they are ready to get help find a rehab and take an assessment. Assessments are conducted by trained professionals to determine the level of care needed based on the addiction. People who are addicted to heavier substances like cocaine and meth are more than likely better off in a more intensive program and the assessment taker will make note of the conversation that includes their drug of choice, how much and how often it’s consumed, and and their willingness to change. If you are too embarrassed to call and get help at first there are online assessments you can take to see if you have a drug problem. While these tests aren’t administered by a trained or licensed professional they will let you know if you should seek out professional medical help. Assessments are the start of the treatment process and it’s important that you are honest when speaking with someone if you really want to be on the road to recovery. Pre-Intake and IntakeDuring the pre-intake process this is usually when you make financial agreements and you take a even longer assessment to find out exactly what type of treatment is right for you.During this stage it is also important for you and your family members to ask questions. You want to make sure that this is the right treatment facility for you because not every rehab is for everyone. Good questions to ask are the location, visitation hours, cost, payment options, and treatment options. Either treatment is paid for by insurance or it is an out of pocket expense. Most insurance companies cover substance abuse treatment because it has become such an epidemic today. There are treatment facilities that offer services on a sliding scale if you’re paying out of pocket and some even offer services to people for free and they are ran off of government funding. During the intake process you fill out what’s likely a questionnaire form. This is a longer and more detailed version of an assessment. In this form it asks you questions about your drug of choice, how often and the amount that its used, your medical and mental health history, family history, co-occurring disorders, and how you view your addiction. It is crucial during this stage that you are completely transparent. If you want to truly receive the help you need you have to tell the truth because this let’s the facility know the level of care that you need in order to recover from addiction. It gives the doctors a more clear understanding of you. Receiving the best care is the ultimate goal in treatment and you want to make sure that you choose a facility that you think can provide that care. The quality of care is essential in the outcome of recovery. The questionnaire form that is filled out during intake is to personalize your treatment plan because no two people are the same. If you’ve ever been in treatment this is a good time to let the facility know about that as well because they may try something different that wasn’t tried before and they might request those records in order to better assist you. Once you’ve completed the intake process you are usually then walked to your room and your belongings are searched for paraphernalia and sharp objects. You are then most likely physically examined and then guided to the common area to meet your fellow peers. DetoxDetox is probably one of the hardest parts of recovery, but it is necessary to recover properly. It also is the reason most people don’t recover because they are scared, but there are trained medical professionals there to make your transition a little easier. Detoxing is to remove all the chemicals and toxins that were introduced to your body during the course of your addiction. It has different levels to it and it all depends on the drug that was used, the amount in which it was taken, and the frequency. It is highly advised not to detox on your own as you may put your body into shock and it is best done under the supervision of a medical professional. During detox you are going to experience some symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal is your body physically craving the drug. Some common symptoms are irritability, vomiting, nausea, tremors, trouble sleeping, and depression. There are certain medications that you can take to lessen the severity of these symptoms and make detoxing a little more bearable. They are given in therapeutic doses and always prescribed because you don’t want to get addicted to something else while you’re trying to recover from your original addiction. Some common medications used to help with detox are benzodiazepines and barbiturates. It’s always better to detox without the use of medications as some of them have an addictive quality as well, but sometimes it is necessary to use them. Detoxing is the first major step in healing your body, after this is over then the healing of your mind begins.Inpatient Treatment (RTC, PHP, IOP) There are three different types of inpatient treatment programs and they are residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization program, and intensive outpatient program. Residential inpatient facilities are for those individuals that need a severe level of round the clock care. This is the most intensive level of care and it requires you to live at the facility for the duration of your program. Programs can last anywhere from 30-120 days. Living at the facility can really help the recovery process as you always have support when you’re having cravings and you don’t just give in and relapse. Residential treatment creates a safe environment for people who have a severe addiction or those who have tried but didn’t succeed at quitting their substance abuse habits. Two of the main focuses of residential treatment are the detox process and the counseling. Depending on the facility they will offer countless therapy sessions that you have to attend because you now have to retrain your brain and your way of thinking. You also have to soul search and find out why you have a substance abuse problem in the first place and these counseling sessions assist with that. There are different therapy sessions that are offered in residential treatment and the most common are individual, group, CBT, and DBT. In these sessions you will learn new ways to cope with life and it’s stressors, how to change your thought patterns and behaviors, how to manage your emotions, and how to control your cravings in a way that’s both effective and beneficial to your recovery process. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is a step down from residential treatment, but a step up from any other type of outpatient treatment. They are often called day programs because you spend the day there 3-5 days a week for about 6 hours and they you are released back home. This type of program is often used after an inpatient residential program has been completed, but you still need monitored intensive care. PHP offers the same services as a residential program when it comes to counseling and medication management, but you get to go home at the end of the day. This program is good for people with a solid support system in place and who can’t attend an inpatient residential treatment program because of certain circumstances. PHP is still very structured, but it comes with more freedom and flexibility and only should be used for those who are at the stage in recovery where they can handle the responsibility. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is the lowest form of inpatient treatment. This level of care is for individuals that have already gone through an inpatient rehab and don’t need to be detoxed by a medical professional. It’s mainly used as a slightly intensive level of support for those struggling with addiction. The goal of this program is to have individuals with an addiction integrate back into society while still being in a treatment program working on their recovery. Even though it isn’t a live in program like residential treatment it still involves a huge time commitment. The meetings for IOP usually are around 2-4 hours and about 3 times a week, but the difference is they are scheduled around your life. Since you’re in treatment, but still living your life as your normally would this gives you the opportunity to implement the skills you have learned in the program. This definitely helps with recovery because you are in a safe environment still, but you are able to be in the real world as well and face real life problems practicing a drug free life. Outpatient TreatmentOutpatient treatment is when you are able to receive treatment while still being able to conduct life as you normally would. It is very similar to IOP in the sense of the flexibility it offers. Like IOP it is mainly for individuals who have already completed an inpatient treatment or those with a mild addiction and still need a certain level of care. The treatment that you would receive in an inpatient facility is similar to what you would receive in an outpatient facility, but it is a lot less intense. You have to be responsible enough to do what’s right in order for you to recover because no one is monitoring you like they would at an inpatient facility. Outpatient treatment programs have meetings weekly and you would have to check in with your doctor for medication management and your therapist for counseling frequently, but you are still able to conduct life as you would without the drugs. Aftercare and Sober LivingAfter treatment is completed, whether its inpatient or outpatient treatment, you will get set up with a psychiatrist and a therapist if needed. It’s a great idea to have them and utilize them to their maximum potential. Continuing services, even if it is less intense, will help prevent a relapse. Making sure you keep your appointments are crucial in the recovery process. For some individuals moving into a halfway house after treatment is necessary because they still aren’t ready to fully be on their own. A halfway house gives you some freedom and responsibilities, but keeps you under the supervision of someone who has been in your shoes and would love to see you succeed. Putting your life together after a drug addiction isn’t easy. You have to change people, places, and things. You also have to change the way you think and they way you act. Getting involved in support groups like NA help a lot of recovering addicts because it gives them the support of other people who have been in their shoes and it shows them that recovery is actually possible. If you or anyone you know has a drug addiction help them receive the care they deserve. Be their support system and help them through the recovery process. Recovery can be a very lonely road, but it doesn’t need to be and it shouldn’t be. Reach out if you need help there are rehab facilities all over that are more than willing to help you when you can’t help yourself.