Frequently Asked Questions

What is drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a brain disease that consists of often chronic drug use with devastating life consequences and is characterized by drug craving and seeking.

How can you tell if someone is addicted to drugs?

Someone that is compulsively seeking and using despite the consequences is an addict.
Signs of addiction:
1. An inability to consistently restrain yourself from doing something.
2. Having your behavior control impaired.
3. An increased craving and need for the substance.
4. A deteriorated emotional response.

What is the difference between self-help groups?

These groups include Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-Step and Professional Addictions Treatment. 12-step groups (e.g., AA) are non-professional groups. One of the primary differences between 12-step groups and professional treatment is the issue of confidentiality.

Maintaining confidentiality is required, by law, for professional healthcare providers. No such assurances exist in non-professional groups. Another significant difference is that professional healthcare providers rely on science and research as guidance; whereas, 12-step support groups rely solely on spiritual solutions. These differences lead to a great deal of unnecessary controversy between supporters of science and supporters of 12-step groups.

How long do most addiction treatments last?

To maintain positive outcomes, participation for longer than 90 days is most effective for residential and outpatient treatment. However, staying in treatment depends on many factors associated with both the individual and the program. Individual factors related to engagement and retention typically include the motivation to change drug-using behavior, along with a degree of support from family and friends, the pressure from the criminal justice system, child protection services, employers, and or family.

In an ideal treatment program, successful clinicians establish a positive and therapeutic relationship with their patients. When the clinician ensures that the treatment plan is developed cooperatively with the person seeking treatment, it ensures that the plan is followed with a clear understanding of the treatment’s expectations.

Can family and friends help an addict?

Family and friends play a critical role in motivating individuals with drug problems to enter and stay in treatment. Family therapy is especially important for adolescents. However, staging an intervention is always recommended with the assistance of a professional.

What is a comprehensive drug addiction treatment program?

The standard of drug rehabilitation programs should include the following:

1. An individualized treatment plan
2. Individual and group therapy
3. Regular evaluations
4. Addiction workshops
5. Relapse prevention treatment plans
6. Mental health disorder workshops
7. Medication management
8. Recovery maintenance plans
9. Training in life skills