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Addiction Therapy

Addiction Therapy

Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction takes time and commitment. From the early days of intervention and detox to the later stages of relapse prevention and aftercare, each stage of treatment plays an important role in the overall process. A wide range of addiction therapy programs are available during rehabilitation, including pharmacotherapy measures to support drug discontinuation and psychotherapy programs to treat the precedents of addiction. Detox and rehab centers can be found throughout the state of Iowa, with aftercare programs also widely available from commercial and non-profit treatment centers.

What is an Addiction?

An addiction is defined as the compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite the existence of negative consequences. When it comes to psychoactive substances, people often seek repeated exposure even when they are experiencing health and social problems. Addictions are both intrinsically rewarding and positively reinforcing, meaning that people want to continue their unhealthy behavior even when it’s getting in the way of everyday life. A wide array of drugs are potentially addictive, with some drugs known to cause physical withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use and others known to cause psychological symptoms.

The Drug Treatment Process

The drug treatment process includes a possible intervention followed by detox, rehabilitation and aftercare. The substance and extent of addiction greatly influence the treatment provided, as does the operational philosophy of the treatment center in question. For example, while some treatment centers adhere to the disease model of addiction, others adhere to the free will model of addiction. Treatment programs may be incompatible between systems, with patients always advised to do their homework before signing up.  The rehabilitation process can be conducted on a residential or out-patient basis, with some patients benefiting from a live-in arrangement and others benefiting from living at home. Most rehab programs can be categorized as either pharmacotherapy or behavioral therapy.

Pharmacotherapy

Also known as medication therapy, pharmacotherapy programs involve the use of medications to aid drug or alcohol rehabilitation.  Medication therapy is mostly used to treat physical drug addictions, including alcoholism, heroin addiction, prescription opioid addiction, and benzodiazepine addiction. Medication therapies can be seen as an extension of medical detox programs, where patients receive medications in order to alleviate and manage withdrawal symptoms. Opioid replacement therapy is perhaps the best known form of pharmacotherapy, with other examples including benzodiazepine dosage reduction schemes for sedative addicts and Antabuse therapy for alcoholics.

Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapies form the basis of most rehab programs in Iowa, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy and various motivational enhancement programs. While medication therapies are mostly used to physical drug addiction, behavioral therapies can be used to treat all manner of psychoactive substance abuse and dependence. Generally speaking, behavioral therapy regimens aim to change problematic behavior patterns by analyzing and altering cognitive and emotional distortions.

Residential vs. Outpatient Rehab

Before deciding on a rehab program in Iowa, it’s important to understand the distinction between residential and outpatient rehab. Residential rehab, also known as inpatient rehab, involves an intensive live-in arrangement for a period of weeks or months. This allows the patient to receive 24-hour access to medications and psychotherapeutic support while living in a restrictive environment. Outpatient treatment provides a less intensive option, with the patient living at their usual home address while attending treatment sessions periodically. This is generally the less expensive and more flexible alternative, with patients also benefiting from family support.