For someone struggling with addiction, the decision to seek help can be life-changing. Addiction is more common throughout the population than most realize. With the right help and plan in place, you can sustainably overcome your addiction. Below is a guide to drug addiction treatment in Canada.
What is Addiction?
The Canadian Mental Health Association defines addiction as the “complex process where problematic patterns of substance use or behaviours can interfere with a person’s life.” It is more commonly described as the “condition that leads to compulsive engagement with a stimulus, despite negative consequences.” The most common type of addiction in Canada is alcohol dependency. An estimated 18% of the population meets the criteria for dependency alcohol in their lifetime. In recent years, there has been a growth in the use of opioids (psychoactive drugs) traditionally used for pain management.
What Can Cause it?
There are many different reasons why someone might find themselves addicted to something. The risk of substance use disorders rises when an individual has relatives who also experience addiction. Alcohol and drug use can also have an impact on the brain, stimulating pleasure centers, and can make us crave the dopamine response. Other common causes and roots for why someone might experience addiction include environmental factors, mental health issues, coping with trauma, and more.
When Should You Seek Drug Addiction Treatment?
If you believe you are experiencing addiction, you should seek drug addiction treatment as soon as possible. This is a personal and self-driven decision that needs to be made when you are ready. While the decision to get help may seem impossible at times, there are plenty of drug addiction treatment options available to you. Different methods work for different individuals depending on their experience. Ultimately, drug addiction treatment may be necessary to help you overcome and move forward.
Where Can You Find Help?
Below are some of the most common forms of drug addiction treatments available in Canada. Treatment settings include outpatient (community), inpatient (hospital), Residential, Withdrawal Management Centers, and Continuing Care settings.
Therapy and Counselling
The most common form of drug addiction treatment, therapy/counselling, comes in many forms. There is individual therapy, couples, family therapy, and group therapy. Individual therapy is the process of meeting one-on-one with a mental health professional in an out-patient setting. This form of drug addiction treatment helps some individuals recognize negative thought and behavioural patterns, establish new patterns and find healthy ways to cope in place of substance abuse.
Support and community are important when seeking drug addiction treatment. The battle of overcoming your addiction is harder when you are doing it alone. Group support helps individuals find this community. While it is not a form of drug addiction treatment, it is a safe, supportive, and often free place that can be essential to some for sustainable recovery.
The process of withdrawing from the substances you are addicted to can often prompt a difficult emotional and physical response. Detox (or withdrawal) drug addiction treatment programs exist to help individuals, who have a physical dependency, safely withdrawal. The different types of detox programs that exist in Canada include medical detox (the use of medications and medical supervision), social detox (supportive and supervised environment), and home detox (support to withdrawal in your own home).
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