Navigating through substance use treatment and recovery can be like learning a new language. Aside from a brand new set of vocabulary words to understand, the world of treatment – like a language – has its own topics to emphasize, communication structure, knowledge base, and cultural norms to honor. We all know what to do when a physical health emergency occurs or when a physical issue becomes difficult to manage. You would most likely pay a visit to your primary care physician and get a referral to a physician specializing in the area of concern. When it comes to substance use and other mental health issues (dual-diagnosis), the road is not marked as clearly. Remember, most brain illnesses and physical health problems are incurable. The good news is that the symptoms are definitely treatable and recovery is achievable.
How We Can Help
Live4Lali offers the expertise of reliable health professionals including registered nurses, addictions counselors, social workers, psychologists, and physicians. We have built a solid team-oriented approach to help substance users and their loved ones navigate through the existing systems via education, assessments, and strong relationships with a variety of treatment providers. We truly embody the case management philosophy and utilize the recommendations of our clinical advisors, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This service is not funded by any treatment or recovery programs. It is based on social work best practices and is rooted in harm reduction. Whether you just found out that a loved one is using, or if you are someone who is ready to make any positive change to improve your overall health due to substance use or mental illness, we can help you.
Make an appointment by calling 844.LV4.LALI (584.5254) x803 or click here to email us.
Origins of Substance Use
Many people do not realize that a majority of substance use issues do not start with picking up a substance. It often starts as a learned behavior. For example, if you grew up in a home where a parent or family members drinks alcohol every evening, that behavior becomes normalized in some sense for you. It also can manifest from another underlying mental health issue. Some of these common issues include depression and mood disorders, anxiety and trauma disorders, process disorders (such as eating disorders), schizophrenia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Today, many instances of initiation to substance use can be traced back to inappropriate or unnecessary physician prescribing via a misdiagnosed illness, or through a physical health condition in which pain medications were prescribed in an unmonitored fashion. Some of these prescription medications will include:
- Such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, or morphine
- Primarily used to treat pain disorders
- Can lead to misuse, and heroin or synthetic opioid misuse (fentanyl)
- Such as alprazolam/Xanax or diazepam/Valium
- Sedatives or muscle relaxants primarily used to treat anxiety disorders
- Can lead to misuse and is often misused in combination with opioids
- such as methamphetamine, Adderall, or Ritalin
- Primarily used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Can lead to misuse, and cocaine or crack cocaine use or misuse
Tips for Treatment Program Access
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Many treatment centers will promote themselves as being “evidence-based.” This term is very complex and broad. Use the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Principles of Effective Treatment as a guide. We do! We hope you will find it to be very empowering.
- Do not assume that because your friend went to a treatment facility that it will “work” for you or your loved one, or is appropriate for a specific case. All cases of health (mental or physical) are individualized and programs should be built as such.
- Do not rely on a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) to guide you. Typing “heroin addiction treatment” into a search engine will bring up paid ads that are invested in by a company or organization. This does NOT mean that the facility is appropriate for you or your loved one. It means that the organization invested in an advertisement to be viewable on the internet in the hopes that they will generate interested consumers. Instead, visit SAMHSA or NIDA for information and guidance.
- Do not rely on online reviews to come to a conclusion about a treatment center’s validity or success unless the review is overwhelmingly negative. Many reviews are written by people who are paid to write reviews or they may be former clients.
- If you are approached by a treatment marketer over the phone or at a support group or public event not specifically catered to treatment, please be cautious.
- Detox is not what we mean by the term “treatment”. Detox stands for detoxification. It is a medical process that rids the body of unhealthy substances. This process should always be experienced at a hospital where you will be medically monitored in the event of a seizure, dehydration, or pain. You will be eligible for treatment once a physician and psychologist approves your readiness.
- SAMHSA defines recovery as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.” Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and Refuge Recovery are not treatment, they are designed to provide peer-to-peer support focused on mutual aid. They give you the tools to live a healthy life long after you have been through a treatment program.
- Never assume that you or a loved one belong in an inpatient or residential facility, or in an outpatient setting either. The concept of “rehab” has been determined predominately by media. It is a place you go. The concept of treatment looks much different. It is a major piece to the long-term puzzle of recovery. Please recognize the distinctions between the two terms.