Specialty Addiction Treatment: Finding the Right Program

With more people than ever before struggling with addiction and substance abuse in the United States, there has been a great push to make addiction treatment more and more available and accessible for larger and larger numbers of people.

This is fantastic and very needed in our society especially right now, but there are a number of groups and population subsets that for varying reasons have unusual or special circumstances that require particular or specialized care in an addiction rehab program for safety or to produce the best results.

For these groups, standard addiction treatment may have some use or benefit, but will likely either not address some critical issues of their particular experience with addiction or will present potential safety concerns for the individual.

These people will likely require or find greater benefit from a form of specialty addiction treatment.

What groups may need, or benefit from, specialty addiction treatment and why?

We will now go over some of the groups of people who tend to see better results from treatments specifically tailored to their situations.

Dual Diagnosis.

When someone has an addiction that is part of, is symptomatic of, or is concurrent with a mental illness or disorder it is classed as a dual diagnosis. Often in these cases, the initial drug use and subsequent addiction were byproducts of an underlying disorder and unless the two issues are treated and resolved together the likelihood of relapse and regression can be extremely high.

Dual diagnosis has been found to be far more common in addiction cases than had been previously suspected and while the number of rehabs that offer dual diagnosis treatment are still in the minority, their numbers are growing quickly.

Women, and particularly, pregnant women.

Women can often benefit from addiction rehabs that are set up exclusively for the treatment of women. Especially for mothers, it can be helpful to have their children close, safe, and involved in their recovery.

Coed addiction treatment can be just fine for many women, but it can also introduce unnecessary stresses, distractions, and even threats to the rehab environment that can easily become drawbacks to an individual’s recovery.

For pregnant women, the need for specialized addiction treatment is very real due to the special circumstances as well as safety concerns for the unborn child.

For many addictions such as opiate addiction, withdrawal symptoms can pose a serious health risk to the child and very special care must be taken for the sake of the mother and her child.

LGBTQ individuals.

Members of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer/Questioning of sexuality) community tend to have different conditions and stressors in their lives that may drive them toward drug and substance abuse and addiction.

Because of this, it can often be very beneficial for people struggling with these issues to attend a rehab where the counselors understand these issues, and the rehab attendees can all support each other with a greater degree of understanding of what the others are going through.

This is another group who could potentially benefit from a standard rehab, but who would likely do better and have a better experience with a better chance of a lasting recovery in a rehab environment that is tailored to their unique needs.

Autism spectrum and Asperger syndrome.

Research has shown that those on the autism spectrum are, in general, less likely than others to engage in the risky behaviors such as the use of drugs or alcohol that often lead to abuse and addiction.

However, it seems that those who are on the spectrum or have symptoms of autism are at greater risk of developing substance abuse problems and addictions when or if they do use drugs or alcohol.

Recent research has in fact shown that there is likely a higher percentage of people on the spectrum among those in rehab for addiction than there are in the general population. The study showed that about seven percent of those seeking help with addiction were on the spectrum compared to the one percent in the general population.

This shows the increased risk for any of these people who do end up taking drugs or alcohol.

Because of the ways in which many autistic people are different from those who are not on the spectrum, traditional addiction treatment techniques are often far less effective.

Treatments such as group therapy in particular which are so prevalent in traditional rehab are often far less effective in the case of an autistic person.

The Indiana Resource Center for Autism recommends that addiction treatment for those on the spectrum include:

  • Getting to know each individual and working with their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Focus on individual performance, not group reliance.
  • Keep a positive spin on activities and learning.
  • Keep the pace of the program at a level that matches the person’s ability.

No matter what the specialized need, there is more understanding now than ever before of the needs of different people in their rehab and you should be able to find the right fit for you or someone you love.

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Dan and his team of addiction professionals at Elevate, have helped hundreds of people to beat addiction every year.