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Drug and Alcohol Treatment Approaches

There are many different treatment approaches for drug or alcohol addiction in Canada. On this page, you will find a few of these. If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to talk to our referral counsellors. If you need immediate help, call our toll-free number. Many different treatment approaches for drug or alcohol addiction exist in Canada.

But with the ever-changing world, new treatment methods and new drugs make their way into headlines. Today, arm-reduction policies are present in all provinces. You can hear about Naloxone in the media, a drug to reverse overdoses saving lives. Relatively new drugs like Buprenorphine treat opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine is a long-acting opioid. It replaces the shorter-acting opioids, such as heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl, or hydromorphone. Another drug, Disulfiram, treats chronic alcoholism by causing unpleasant effects when people drink small amounts of alcohol.

Here are a few traditional treatment approaches. Call our toll-free number if you need help.

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Methods of Treatments

There are many types of programs to recover from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The most recognized is the 12-step program (AA or NA). There are various other approaches not so common. Below, you will find some of these other methods. Having a variety of rehabilitation processes is important. With diverse people from all walks of life and philosophies, one single treatment procedure couldn’t work for everybody.

Recovering from addiction is not just a question of abstinence for several days. It is much, much more than that. A person caught in the turmoil of substance abuse needs to examine their lives and the reasons behind their substance misuse. The individual’s needs, specific problems, and beliefs need consideration in choosing a rehabilitation program. There are, however, some addiction treatment programs that are known to give better results.

Below are some of these methods. There are more than this, but these are the better-known forms. Please remember that the public access recovery programs will not deliver most of these.

  • Medical detox

In cases where the person has taken certain prescription drugs in combination with illicit drugs or alcohol over short or long periods, they may require 24-hour medical supervision for several days to carefully wean off the chemicals. Doing it “cold turkey” for certain drugs and, in certain circumstances, alcohol could put the individual’s life in danger. This is done before the rehabilitation program as such can start. It also has much to do with a person’s physical condition. Drugs like Methadone, “Benzo” type medications, Morphine, Oxycontin, Percocet, and other pain suppressant drugs alone or in combination may require blood pressure and heart monitoring to avoid seizures and other complications. Medical detox can often be used for people with heavy or long-term alcohol abuse.  Medical detox is a step that some people can not bypass.

  • Residential Treatment

Many addiction treatment centres consideres “long-term” begin at two months and can be as long as two years. Residential means the individual stays on the premises 24/7. These programs will often include daily chores in a community atmosphere where each member contributes to the group as a whole. In another type, there will be a schedule much like school or college with studies in the morning, afternoon, and evening with group or individual counselling. More on residential programs here.

  • Outpatient programs / counselling

Outpatient is just that; the person does not stay at the facility but home and goes to the centre where services are delivered. The person is required to show up at various counselling sessions and group meetings. Most are public access programs and can assist someone who has a very hectic lifestyle and responsibilities and cannot free up time for residential rehab. There are also some one-on-one addiction counsellors. A person can consult with a set schedule each week. This approach works best with people that haven’t lost total control of their usage.

Online Coaching
  • Online Coaching

For those that do qualify, the meeting can be once or twice a week. In some cases, more and will taper off to once a week. Generally, it is twice a week for one hour or so, depending on the type of program the Coach has set up. A schedule of steps is programmed for each person to bring increase confidence, awareness, and control. Read more on this treatment program here.

  • Holistic Drug Rehab

In history, we find holistic medicine as far back as Hippocrates in 300-400 BC. It has seen a recent growth in popularity in North America since the mid-70s. Holistic medicine can be used to clear acne, relieve the common cold, remedy ulcers and many other ailments, including a method in alcohol and drug rehabilitation

  • Twelve steps methods

In the mid-1930s, two men with a drinking problem adopted a formula for self-improvement from the Oxford Group’s religious movement. This was the start of Alcoholics Anonymous. Centres often use the twelve-step program (Or procedure) in conjunction with their own drug rehabilitation program.  It is also applicable to other addictions or compulsive behaviour, such as gambling, eating disorders, etc. Many facilities will use some form of 12-step with their own techniques of dealing with substance abuse. The 12-step approach can be either in-patient or out-patient, depending on the treatment centre. Much of the philosophy of 12-step is based on reaching out to a higher power for strength to overcome one’s addiction and performing a self-inventory. You can read more on the 12-step treatment approach.

  • Biophysical Treatment

The word biophysical addresses the physical aspect of drug addiction. This step is, in fact, viewed by many rehab centres as a vital and necessary part of recovery from substance abuse. Many bio-physical treatments include exercise, nutritional supplements, and some use a sauna sweating step.

In all biophysical treatments, the concept of helping someone overcome addiction,  is ridding the drugs from the body. This method eliminates and addresses the effect of the substance by different means depending of the approach.

Consult with one of our counsellors to get the best possible approach to your drug or alcohol problem.  

Drug Rehab Settings

There are rehab facilities delivering to specific groups. From small rehab with intimate settings to bigger ones. Some centers are specific to alcohol, others to different drugs. Gender-specific as well as the LGBT community. Below are a few of these.

  • Home Detox: Anyone on prescription medication should consult their physician first. A sudden stop of some mind-altering substances can have severe medical consequences. Find out more on detoxing at home here.
  • Rehabs for Professionals: Some centers will provide to professional or high-profile people. You can read more on this type of rehab here.
  • Small Rehabs: Facilities catering to a small number of people simultaneously. Some may have no more than three or four beds, and others may have up to 10 beds. Follow the link to read more about this type of facility.
  • Women’s only: a professional rehab for women recognizes the special needs of women. Their experienced staff understand that. Often women need a new sense of real purpose and value. Get more on rehabs for women here