Treatment Options | Substance abuse

Treatment Options


If you are struggling with drug addiction, it is important to attend an assessment session before starting with treatment. A trained healthcare professional or social worker will conduct an assessment with you, in order to plan a course of action. 

Inpatient facilities cater for the needs of clients at a certain spectrum in the cycle of substance dependence. This type of client is evaluated by a professional in the field and treatment requires the patient to be removed from their current environment for a prolonged period of time.  A multi-disciplinary intervention, provided by mental health professionals, is required. Treatment centres follow a biopsychosocial approach where the health, mental, and social dimensions of the client is addressed. Treatment duration differs from facility to facility.  

Benefits of community-based treatment versus inpatient treatment: Community-based treatment can be seen as a “revolving door of services”. Clients may need one service above others, and may not necessarily need to access all of the services available. This is especially effective with aftercare support services because the client may obtain assistance in their specific areas of need. This type of treatment also allows the person to be an active member of society with less disruption to their normal functioning. The service is provided while the client is exposed to their usual environmental stressors. Clients then immediately apply skills obtained in therapy. They also have a greater opportunity to have increased family involvement in the treatment period. 

Aftercare services are important because there are no quick fixes for substance abuse. It is a lifestyle change that requires constant work by both the person abusing substances and their support structure. “Studies show outcomes are better when a person stays in treatment for longer. Continued care following treatment such as aftercare services and support group attendance will also benefit the service user” 

Source: []
Received from researched based guideline from the NIDA website. 


Roles and responsibilities: The client will likely be subjected to the same environment and circumstances after they went for treatment. The caregiver should be mindful of their role as a support structure, they should not try to do “too much” for the client. The roles and responsibilities of parents/caregivers and people with drug addiction problems should be clearly defined so that the affected person is able to function independently as an individual in society.

Families consist of individuals, but are connected as a whole. Parts within the system are simultaneously independent and interdependent. If one person has a substance use disorder in the family, it impacts the whole family. Therefore, the family’s involvement in the programme is of great importance. Practicalities to consider as family/ caregiver are:

  1. Attend sessions and become involve in the therapeutic programme;
  2. Provide moral and emotional support;
  3. Be clear about rules and boundaries;
  4. Help the family member to follow treatment recommendations;
  5. Encourage abstinence from alcohol and other drugs;
  6. Encourage sober peer relationships;
  7. Encourage involvement in structured activities;
  8. Encourage participation in support groups;
  9. Help the family member to build good coping skills;
  10. Promote effective communication within the household;
  11. Reduce family friction, but do not avoid conflict. Deal with conflict in an appropriate manner;
  12. Understand and know the signs of relapse;
  13. Understand and know your family member’s triggers and assist the family member in avoiding them; and
  14. Be mindful of negative support e.g. over-involvement in the decision making of the person with a drug addiction problem.

Source: [TRI Science – Partnership for drug free kids (Hazelden Publishers); and]

Benefits of family involvement:

  1. Understanding the concept of addiction;
  2. Support in ensuring sustained recovery;
  3. Minimize family stress and caregiver burnout;
  4. Learn new ways in dealing with problems caused by addiction;
  5. Increased emotional health for family;
  6. Decreased conflict, isolation and loneliness.

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