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When you realize that you are struggling under the control of an addiction you can no longer manage, you know that you need to seek structured, professional drug and alcohol rehabilitation. But, just because you know that doesn’t mean that the next steps are easy. Once you know that you need treatment, you have to decide what kind of treatment you need.
It can be hard to make decisions when you are still dealing with an addiction. It changes your brain function and that complicates researching care, and it makes your life erratic and that complicates research, as well. You might be tempted to just accept general rehab without any questions about what that means or what it entails. You might assume it’s a one size fits all sort of thing. If it helped other people, it can help you. Right?
Wrong. There are many, many types of addiction treatment and among all of them there is no single treatment that works for all people. This one reason that treatment centers have an extensive intake assessment; it allows them to fully understand your needs and to design an individualized treatment plan that works for you. If you are not offered such a thing, consider choosing another facility. The benefits are worth holding out for. The better suited your program is to you, the more likely you are to succeed.
What follows is a discussion of the assessment and a list of benefits offered by personalized addiction treatment. Reflect on them as you look for a rehab program.
What Happens in Assessment?
Before any treatment begins, you will receive a biomedical and psychosocial evaluation. The following items have been defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The biomedical assessments include:
- Overall health history: including medical conditions and complications, development and cognitive issues
- Mental status: including psychological conditions and complications
- Physical, mobility, and sensory limitations
- General physical exam with neurological component
- Basics: blood pressure, temperature, pulse
- Patterns of substance abuse
- Urine and toxicology screens designed to pick-up commonly abused substances
- Past substance abuse treatments or detoxes
- Relapse potential and history
The psychosocial assessments include:
- Demographic features: culture, language, educations level, age, ethnicity, gender
- Living conditions
- Risk of violence or suicide
- Resources and strengths
- Financial situation
- Dependent children
- Legal status
- Cognitive, sensory, physical disabilities
Using all of this information, clinicians will design an individualized plan that will best treat you and your addiction.
Reduces Conflict Between Co-Occurring Conditions
The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services reports roughly 45 percent of American who seek addiction treatment have been diagnosed with both a substance abuse disorder and a mental one.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration backs an integrated approach to treating all of these conditions. This requires partnership across disciplines because each disorder will be treated in the context of the other. They assert “planning should be client-centered, addressing clients’ goals and using treatment strategies that are acceptable to them.”
If you suffer from more than one condition, you need individualized care.
Maintains Cultural Competency
Culture is not to be reduced to race or ethnicity. It also encompasses gender, age, geographical location, gender identity, and sexual orientation. An individualized plan understands the cultural context of your addiction. This means the treatment will incorporate community-based customs, traditions, and values into your project evaluations and treatment plans. SAMHSA asserts this will “advance health equity, improve quality, and help eliminate health care disparities.”
Increases Commitment and Retention
Everyone has something that makes them and their addiction unique. It can be distancing to have those aspects of yourself ignored. Addicts who are adolescents, senior citizens, parents, LGBTQ individuals, Christians, and members of other groups that define them do better in a treatment program that addresses those unique characteristics rather than ignores them. The minute you feel distanced from treatment is the minute you stop caring. You leave.
An individualized treatment plan benefits you in a number of ways, only a few of which are included here. The assessment items alone should give you a good idea of the degree of specialization that programs can manifest.