Addiction Help: What treatment options are there for addiction?

Counseling Service of Addison County and The Addison County Committee on Opiate Addiction have teamed to put together a series of articles for our community this summer. Our hope is that this column offers information, support and hope for addiction recovery, specifically opiate addiction (heroin/painkillers).
This week’s writer is Jessi de Boer, who is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and a licensed clinical mental health counselor, is coordinator of Adult Recovery Services at CSAC.
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Addiction is a life-long disease. Very much like Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease, addiction treatment requires intensive changes to the physical body and also life-style changes. The brain is damaged by addiction and often the best treatment is one that includes counseling, social changes and medication support if possible.
I like to describe the treatment for this disease much like how we fight cancer. Addiction is not who the person is. This disease is like a toxic tumor that lives inside. It is important to go to the right program for care to best fight this disease. Your primary care doctor would never operate on a tumor in his/her office; for addiction, the same is true. People who are sick with addiction need to go to a certified treatment provider to determine the best form of treatment.
It may be that an intensive residential program to strike this disease hard and work to remove it is the best form of treatment. After that residential care. it makes sense to do intensive outpatient work just as we do with cancer providing chemotherapy and radiation multiple times per week. As this disease becomes more manageable regular outpatient appointments once per week work well in addition to community supports.
For many people, the best treatment program may be an intensive outpatient program that treats people a few days a week for a few hours each visit. The person who has addiction is able to live at home and start using the skills they learn in the intensive program in their daily life.
Certified treatment providers right here in Addison County can help you decide whether inpatient rehab or intensive outpatient treatment is right for you.
Here in Addison County we have community support and outpatient counseling. We also have certified medication assisted treatment doctors for opiate addiction at Bristol Internal Medicine. Coming up in this column we will review more about what medication choices there are and why this choice is helpful for some individuals and communities.
There is more information online at addictionhelpvt.com.

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