Ask ten people with addiction about the roots of their substance use disorder, and you’ll receive ten different responses. Childhood trauma. A genetic predisposition. Underlying, untreated mental illness. Inability to cope. You’ll have the same experience if you ask them about the biggest challenges to recovery. Managing stress. Keeping healthy. Navigating relationships. Because there are many reasons for addiction, there need to be many different treatment options available.
Finding the treatment option that is right for you could take time. There’s some trial and error involved, but once you find the treatment that clicks, you’ll be able to build a healthy life in recovery.
Here’s why no single treatment option works for ever person with addiction, and what you should consider as you find the treatment option that is best for you.
We Have Different Issues Underlying our Addiction
Finding a way to overcome substance use disorder usually involves getting to the bottom of your addiction. Understanding why you use and abuse substances can help you control cravings and urges in the future. Knowing the root cause of your addiction can also help you find treatment that will work well for you.
For example, you might have a mental illness that you are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. This could be true whether you have a diagnosis or not. If you are dealing with co-occurring disorders of substance abuse and mental illness, you’ll want to find a treatment program that is well-versed in dual-diagnoses. These programs will help you learn to live sober, while also giving you the knowledge and medication you’ll need to control your mental illness in a healthier way.
Other people have substance abuse disorder that is rooted in trauma. Treating trauma is a sensitive but powerful process, so you’ll want to find an addiction treatment center that is experienced helping people with traumatic pasts.
Different treatment centers have developed tools to help people in specific populations, whether that’s those with trauma or mental illness, first responders or LGBTQ+ people. Finding a treatment center whose tools match you needs can give you a leg up on recovery.
We Have Different Belief Systems
In addition to finding a treatment program that aligns with your needs, you need to find one that aligns with your beliefs. Many treatment centers focus on lifelong abstinence, while others believe people can use substances in a responsible and healthy way.
Spirituality also comes into play here. Millions of people have found recovery through 12 step programs, but some people with substance use disorder don’t like the idea of “admitting they are powerless” or putting their faith in a “higher power.” These people might not enjoy a 12 step program. Similarly, some people enjoy making yoga and mindfulness practices a basis of their recovery, while others simply don’t “click” with these activities.
Finding a treatment center that aligns with your spiritual beliefs, that endorses the definition of recovery that you choose, and that has activities you enjoy is important.
We Have Different Drugs of Choice
Addressing addiction involves some universal acknowledgements, like the fact that your substance use is impacting your life and health. But there can also be major differences in treating addiction based on what substance you’ve been primarily using.
For example, people who are abusing opioids have to content with strong physical cravings and should choose a treatment center that is experienced with medication-assisted treatment. People detoxing from benzodiazepines or alcohol should have medical oversight. People who are in treatment for methamphetamine addiction might experience psychosis or paranoia, and need a treatment center that is well-versed in these side effects.
Just getting help for your substance abuse disorder is a major step. It can be tempting to get whatever treatment is available. However, there’s no one type of treatment that works for every person with addiction. Find a treatment program that seems like a good fit for you, and don’t be afraid to try something new if your current course of treatment isn’t working. After all, your treatment is setting the stage for the rest of your life.