What is drug addiction?
Drug addiction is clinically called substance use disorder. It includes drug abuse and dependence, and is considered a mental illness. When uncontrolled or compulsive use of drugs (whether prescription drugs or illegal) causes severe damage or suffering, usually affecting family life or employment, someone is considered to have SUD. According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5), a person is diagnosed as SUD if they meet at least the following two criteria in the past 12 months:
- The intake of this substance is usually larger or longer than expected.
- There is an ongoing desire or unsuccessful effort to reduce or control the use of the substance.
- A lot of time is spent on acquiring, consuming, and recovering from the material.
- Desire, or a strong desire or urge to use the substance, occurs.
- Continuing to use the substance will result in the inability to perform primary duties at work, school or at home.
- Use of this substance can cause relationship problems.
- Due to the use of this substance, important social, professional or recreational activities are abandoned or reduced.
- In situations that are harmful to the body (for example, driving under the influence of alcohol), the use of this substance will occur repeatedly.
- Although it is known that the substance has an effect on physical or psychological problems that may be caused by the substance, the substance is still used (i.e. drinking alcohol in the case of liver disease or opioid medication in the case of depression or anxiety).
- People need more substances to obtain the desired effects, or the same amount of substances no longer produce the desired effects.
- Withdrawal. When not taking the substance, a person will experience substance-specific withdrawal symptoms.
SUD diagnosis varies based on the number that meets these criteria. The presence of two to three symptoms constitutes a mild diagnosis, four to five are moderate, and six or more are marked as severe.
How do I know if I need hospitalization or outpatient treatment?
Regardless of the environment, the first step in drug addiction treatment is clinical evaluation. During this process, the clinical team can determine whether inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment is the best step. This includes medical history, type and duration of substance abuse, previous treatment history, summary of current medications (if any), and evaluation of external factors including living conditions and work performance. A major consideration is how many medical professionals an individual needs, especially during the detoxification process of medical monitoring, and what treatments are currently being implemented by external medical professionals. For example, for those who cannot get rid of their daily work duties or have a strong support group at home, an outpatient plan can be recommended. Your current healthcare provider or admission consultant at the treatment center can help determine the best treatment option for you.
Will I perform detoxification?
When you stop using the substance, you may be detoxified, but the symptoms and severity will vary depending on the degree and nature of your SUD. Withdrawal symptoms vary from medication to medication. For example, compared to prescription sedatives, the symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are much milder; this is the difference between irritability and fatigue, and possible seizures and hallucinations. Whether your detoxification will be carried out under the care of the medical team (inpatient or outpatient) will be determined by the clinician. Detoxification is usually the first stage of your recovery, including stopping the use of medications in order to begin recovery.
Do I need to go out of state to find a treatment center?
There is no need to look for SUD treatment centers outside the state. If you are looking for an exclusive plan or want specific accommodations and amenities, you can choose to leave a specific facility in the state. However, if it is determined that an outpatient plan is the best way to advance, choosing a treatment center closer to home may reduce the commute time of visits and make more frequent meetings and treatments possible.
Does the insurance cover drug addiction treatment?
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, all insurance plans obtained through Marketplace health must cover drug abuse treatment (and SUD cannot be considered a pre-existing disease). If you have insurance elsewhere, full coverage cannot be guaranteed, because this partly depends on whether the treatment facility you choose is on or off the network; however, many insurance companies do provide at least partial coverage.
Does Medicare cover drug addiction treatment?
Medicare does cover drug addiction treatment; however, there is a caveat. In order to obtain insurance, you must:
- Under the care of a doctor who considers medically necessary treatment
- Seek treatment from a Medicare approved facility
- a detailed treatment plan developed by your provider
Is there continuous support/after treatment available?
Treatment centers usually provide support to alumni or, if they don’t have additional plans, can provide referrals. Support groups and 12-step programs do exist—especially Anonymous Narcotics (NA)—where individuals can find sponsors and become part of other communities that manage their recovery. If you are looking for a local support group, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline can recommend support services in your area by calling 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Which certifications should I look for when choosing a treatment center?
The two main certifications that drug abuse treatment centers can obtain are from the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Medical Institutions (JCAHO) and the Accreditation Commission for Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). In addition to one of these certifications, the treatment center can also obtain certification from its state health department.
Should I go to a drug rehabilitation center?
Only you and your doctor can determine whether a particular drug treatment center is suitable for treatment. However, if you are concerned that your medication use (prescription or other methods) has become a problem, you can refer to the diagnostic criteria of SUD diagnosis as a starting point.
Can I let my loved one into the treatment center?
If your relatives are teenagers or teenagers under the age of 18, you can send them to a drug rehabilitation center. However, if they are 18 years of age or older, unless they are ordered by a judge, they must voluntarily seek help. These laws vary from state to state.
How do we choose the best drug addiction treatment center
Multiple factors are used to select the best drug addiction treatment center, including certifications from major associations and national departments. When reviewing the treatment center, we considered its history, facilities, planning, and contribution to research and education. In addition, we have also looked for multiple locations and professional projects that can provide services to a wider range of people.
Next, we narrowed down the categories of leading treatment centers that will help provide services to specific groups of people and remove barriers (including age and/or lack of insurance) to participating in drug addiction treatment centers.
Finally, we studied the aftercare services provided to alumni and the public. Since SUD cannot be cured, ensuring support after the initial treatment is very important to help individuals recover for a long time after the end of the treatment center.