I Need Help with An Addiction

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Asking for help is often the most difficult step. If you believe you, or your loved one, may need treatment, understand that you are not alone. There are over 30 million Americans living in recovery from a substance use disorder, and that reality is possible for you. The Council on Chemical Abuse is here to assist you in determining the next step towards recovery.

What treatment is best for you?

There are many different types of treatment for substance use disorder. These are referred to as “Levels of Care.” It is important to have a treatment professional complete an assessment to determine the most appropriate level of care. You can be assessed at a number of different providers or at Treatment Access and Services Center (TASC), Berks County’s central intake unit. Where you go depends on your insurance. Click here to learn more about finances and where to go for an assessment.

Operating on a walk-in, first-come, first-serve basis, TASC provides drug and alcohol clinical assessments to individuals who do not possess private health insurance, or who are publicly funded through Medicaid. Following the clinical assessment, TASC secures funding and placement in the appropriate level of care.

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What Can I Expect in Treatment?

It is important for you to know, every person’s experience with substance use disorder is unique, and so no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals. Treatment is most successful when it is tailored to an individual’s needs. As with any chronic illness or disease, sustained recovery may require multiple courses of treatment utilizing multiple approaches.

For many types of substance use disorders, treatment includes an initial period of withdrawal management, often referred to as ‘detoxification,’ in which the physical symptoms of withdrawal are safely managed. Attempting to quit a substance “cold turkey” can be dangerous or even fatal for people who are addicted to alcohol, opioids, or benzodiazepines.

Therapy and counseling are another very important part of treatment. There is a wide range of behavioral therapies available, and a professional can help determine which type is most appropriate based on individual needs. Group and individual sessions along with psycho-educational lectures are common components of substance use disorder treatment.

Unlike what many may think, treatment of a substance use disorder does not end after 28 days. It requires continuous care which may include the use of medications and counseling. There are several highly effective medications used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders. FDA-approved addiction medications are proven to significantly reduce the risk of relapse and foster successful long-term recovery.

Peer support programs can be an invaluable resource for people in recovery. Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery and Dharma Recovery can provide opportunities for people in recovery to connect with one another in a supportive, and safe environment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to get help through an employer for addiction treatment?

Yes – many employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs are employee benefit programs offered by many employers, typically in conjunction with a health insurance plan. EAPs are intended to help employees deal with personal problems that might adversely impact their work performance, health, and well-being, including addiction treatment. EAPs generally include assessment, short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their household members. An EAP’s services are usually free to the employee or household member, having been pre-paid by the employer. Ask your human resources department about the EAP provider to learn more about what may be available to you.

Is it unusual for a person to enter treatment numerous times?

Unfortunately the answer is no. Many people with a substance use disorder go through treatment several times before successfully engaging in recovery. A personal motivation to change can strengthen over the course of numerous treatment attempts. Insights gained in treatment can be cumulative and may assist the individual in realizing the full benefits of treatment.

What if my child needs help but refuses to enter treatment?

Act 53 provides parents and legal guardians a means by which to commit their drug/alcohol involved child to treatment services. In Berks County, the point of contact for initiating Act 53 proceedings is the Juvenile Probation Office. If necessary, the probation department will refer the child for a drug and alcohol assessment. If treatment is recommended as a result of this assessment, the child must comply with this treatment or involuntary commitment proceedings will be initiated. For more information, contact the Berks County Probation Department at (610) 478-3200.

Will treatment “fix” my loved one?

Substance use disorder is a progressive disease that cannot be cured with a quick fix. Treatment can address the addictive behavior and assist in returning the individual with a substance use disorder to a healthy lifestyle. As addiction is also a family disease, it is important that all family members consider their need for support as well.

Should the family be involved in the treatment process?

Yes, absolutely! Family support plays a large role in the treatment process. Many emotions experienced by the individual with a substance use disorder are rooted in the family system and need to be expressed as part of treating the disease. Family involvement can extend the benefits of treatment; however, it is also important that family members seek support for themselves. Find more information about family support.

Does a relapse mean that treatment doesn't work?

Relapse does not mean failure. With every chronic disease, there’s the chance that a patient will relapse and require additional treatment. This is as true for people with asthma or diabetes as it is for a person with substance use disorder. Relapse is not due to a lack of willpower or resolve. It just means that additional treatment is needed.

Will I have to leave Berks County for treatment?

Fortunately, there are many options for treatment in Berks County.