Most abusers are unable to treat themselves to stop abuse. It is important for those with any problem with drugs or alcohol to seek the best treatment.

Illegal drug abuse and alcohol abuse has been a problem for decades and within the past few years, prescription drugs are now the choice for children and adults.

Today, if you find you are taking more and more of your prescription painkillers and the normal doses are no longer working, you should seek treatment.


The best substance abuse treatment is a residential stay in a treatment facility. Many facilities are a month in duration, but a more lengthy stays of 90 days to six months consisting of drug treatments and therapy is more effective. Cognitive therapy is the treatment of choice in many residential treatment facilities in association with relapse therapy. Follow up and after care is important and more effective in preventing relapse, than a detox treatment only. Cognitive therapy, which is a specific type of therapy that works on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, has a higher success rate in treatment.

Another form of help with continuing sobriety once one is free from alcohol and drugs is sober living homes. These homes require patient to be alcohol and drug free while living at the home and remain under a curfew at night. Most homes generally allow people to attend community programs, outpatient programs, or a 12-step program of choice during the evenings.

Holistic Treatment Centers

If traditional treatment centers are not acceptable, holistic treatment centers may be the answer. Holistic centers will work on detoxifying, drug treatments, and psychological therapy including group therapy and cognitive therapy.

Holistic centers, in addition to traditional drug treatments, offer alternative medicine such as acupuncture, massage, and meditation. They work on the whole person’s needs on a spiritual level. That does not mean holistic centers will try to change beliefs; the purpose of working on spiritual needs is to find a balance in your life to be better prepared to face the daily stresses of life.


The first treatment in any rehab program is detoxification, getting rid of the drugs in the system. A physician may prescribe medication to ease the pain and cravings that detox programs can create.

Although detoxification is the first treatment in treatment centers in conjunction with other treatments, detox by itself is not recommend for drug abusers because it can be dangers. Detoxification is effective in many cases with an acute drug overdose with one particular drug.

Detoxifying methods use medication, including anesthesia to help by-pass withdrawal symptoms such as sweats, tremors, and cravings, not unlike medications used in the cessation of smoking. Twenty-four hour supervision and treatment staff experienced in detox is important when choosing the detoxifying route. Counseling and follow up are necessary to avoid relapse.

Treatment centers are prevalent in every state. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site offer many treatment center programs according to where you live.