Drug programs are organized counseling, therapy, class, activity, session, intended to help individuals struggling with drug abuse and addiction. The term “drug program” can have a wide variety of meanings, depending on the situation an individual may be in. Specifically, a drug program is intended to help addicts overcome their addiction to drugs, and live a sober, drug-free life thereafter.
There are several different forms of drug programs, and the longer an individual is involved in it, the intensity of the program usually decreases over time.
Residential Drug Program
Drug programs that are residential are the most commonly known form of rehabilitation from addiction. residential programs are facilities where addicts come to live for a period of time that is most often pre-determined on a 30-day cycle. Short-term residential drug programs are 30 days or less, while long-term programs are any period of time over 30 days, typically, 60, 90, or 120 days. Some drug programs are open-ended, which means they are results-based, and do not end until such time that an addict has achieved the necessary goals to maintain long-term sobriety. These goals are common to all drug programs, however some individuals need more than a preset period of time in which to accomplish them.
In a residential drug program, addicts are in a controlled and supervised environment where they participate in various therapies and counseling sessions both individually and in groups. The purpose of residential drug programs is to take the addict out of his or her home environment where he or she was using drugs, and provide a safe place to address a number of issues that may have contributed to, or caused the addiction. Some of these issues can be:
- Low self-esteem
- Poor communication skills
- Lack of coping and survival skills
- Serious injury or surgery
- Contentious relationships
- Grief or loss
- Guilt over transgressions against oneself or another
Because this process of addressing issues, many of which may have been repressed or part of a life-long struggle, can be very difficult and emotional, the safety of a controlled environment is often the only factor to stop addicts from using drugs to numb their emotional pain.
Another important part of residential drug programs is the preparation for returning home after completion. Most programs integrate an aftercare policy, where the addict and his or her counselor develop a plan for returning home and remaining sober. This plan often includes things like:
- Support groups
- Emergency contacts
- Continuation of individual therapy
- Continuation of activities and hobbies conducive to recovery
Outpatient Drug Programs
Outpatient drug programs have the same goals as residential programs, but addicts do not live within the facility walls. Instead, outpatient drug programs are more loosely structured, allowing addicts to come for therapy and counseling for several hours a week, and return to their homes at the end of the day. While this form of drug program allows for more freedom, it also has few safeguards in place to prevent addicts from relapsing. Because of the lack of a controlled environment, outpatient drug programs are not recommended for addicts with severe emotional turmoil.
Better suited for individuals who have either successfully completed a residential drug program or those without underlying issues that contribute to drug use, outpatient drug programs can be very effective. Less intensive than residential, but more intensive than addiction counseling, outpatient programs typically include the following aspects:
- individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Classes and courses to learn about addiction, how it develops, its progressive nature, and how it effects addicts and their loved ones
- Courses to improve life skills that help avoid relapse, such as communication, coping, and healthy habits
- Courses to learn how unassuming things in life can trigger relapse, and how to recognize and address those things without the use of drugs
- Courses to learn about dangerous people, places, and things in one’s life that may jeopardize sobriety
Outpatient drug programs can be preferred because they do not require that an addict be absent from his or her home and work life in order to participate. He or she does not need to explain a 30-day absence to friends, co-workers or loved ones, and may return home at the end of every day. Outpatient programs are generally flexible with the schedules of those participating, only requiring a minimum number of hours each week.
While the benefits of increased freedom at outpatient drug programs is alluring to many, it is important to assess each individual and the nature of his or her addiction to determine if an outpatient drug program will be effective in treating the individual to the point at which relapse prevention is being developed.
Court-Ordered Drug Programs
One of the most common negative consequences of drug addiction is legal trouble from arrests and charges for a variety of crimes related to drugs. Some of the charges addicts face relating to drugs can include:
- Illegal possession
- Illegal distribution
- Public intoxication
- Theft and/or fraud
- Drug Trafficking
- Assault while under the influence
Once in the legal system, many individuals are given multiple opportunities to attend a drug program to change their lives, and avoid further troubles. In a court-ordered drug program, addicts are held to the same standards as everyone else, but they face severe repercussions if they fail to adhere to these standards. Whereas an individual who relapses in a drug program may be kicked out, someone who is court-ordered will be kicked out, but also return to jail. Most often, court-ordered drug programs are not specifically assigned, as an individual can go to whichever program he or she chooses. The requirement of court-ordered programs is to complete it without relapse or any other destructive problems. Frequently, county and state funded drug programs are the recipients of individuals who have been court-ordered to get treatment. While any drug program that works for an individual is the best thing for that person, county and state funded drug programs tend to be of a much lower quality than private programs. Unfortunately, this often leads to higher relapse rates, and rates of dropping out of the program. Usually, these drug programs are overcrowded, and have waiting lists for admission.
Another unfortunate reality about court-ordered drug programs is that drug dealers are often sent to these programs as well. While many are not addicts themselves, they find dozens of new clients in court-ordered drug programs when they have no intention of rehabilitating themselves.
Do Drug Programs Work?
Any drug program, no matter what the intensiveness of it, works as well as the addicted individual is willing to work. Unfortunately, only 10% of those in need of a drug program get the help they need, according to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). When given the opportunity to get the help so desperately needed by addicts, their ability to receive the information and be truly motivated to overcome addiction will determine the effectiveness of the drug program. For several decades in the past, the overall success rate of drug programs was less than 10%, with the majority of addicts relapsing shortly after completing the program. In more recent years, many changes have been made in the addiction treatment field to correct this trend, the most poignant of which is individualized treatment. Some of the ways in which drug programs have become more individualized is as follows:
- Religious and spiritual options like:
- Muslim faith
- native American
- Demographic options such as:
- Gender specific
- GLBT specific
- Age specific
- Therapy options like:
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Art therapy
- Martial arts disciplines
- Music therapy
- Exercise regimens
- Massage therapy
- Hypnotic therapy
With a wide variety of options for drug programs in length, intensiveness, therapies offered, program population and demographic, and spiritual beliefs, addict of all kinds have something with which they can relate, depending on the type of drug program they attend. This increases the likelihood that they will feel more comfortable and safe in their environment, be more likely to share and express their feelings, and achieve a higher level of healing.
Find a Drug Program
If you, or a loved one is in need of a drug program, please call us now to speak with a trained counselor about your needs and preferences. We will work with you to find the best drug program based on what you tell us about location, demographic, therapies, length of time, intensiveness, and options. Drug addiction is hard enough to survive, and help is always urgent. Let us save you the time and hassle of searching aimlessly through thousands of drug programs. We can help you define exactly what you’re looking for, and help you to find it. Please don’t wait, and don’t waste your time. Call us now, and find your personal path to recovery from addiction with the drug program that will work for you.