Addiction is a very big problem in the United States. Millions of Americans every year suffer from addiction and only a small percentage get the treatment they require to overcome that addiction. The nation is currently in the middle of the worst state of widespread drug abuse and addiction. Communities across the nation are dealing with the worst outbreaks of abuse, addiction and co-occurring issues. Addiction does not discriminate; it affects Americans of any and all backgrounds. The problem was once secluded in urban centers, but now is quickly spreading to rural towns. Overcoming that addiction is a difficult task that millions are struggling with today. The task is troublesome and at times feels ominous, but it is not impossible. Addiction assessments are used to find and issue and provide tools for getting sober. Treatment programs use these assessments to gauge the depth of an abuse or addiction problem and to recommend a systematic program. Before an addict begins treatment they must go through detox.

Treatment Programs

There are a vast variety of treatment programs available to those ready to turn their lives around. Each program is different from the next, but most run on the basis of a 12-step program. Addicts enter a treatment center and conduct an initial assessment. A professional asks the addict various questions relating to their addiction, health and overall past. The assessment sets the basis for the system of treatment that the facility will conduct for that specific individual. No matter what the addiction is nor who the addict is they must then go through a detox.


The first/second step towards overcoming addiction is the detox process. Before treatment can begin, the addict must be completely from all drugs/toxins. Most addicts do not enter treatment because they fear the pain and discomfort of detox. The truth is that holistic detox is made to be as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, drugs can cause serious damage to the body which can make detox uncomfortable. Addicts should be ready for a variety of situations.

What to Expect in Detox

Detox can be a painful experience. Depending on the drugs that were abused and the extent that they were used can make the process incredibly painful and dangers. Medical professionals at the treatment center can prescribe medications to make this more comfortable, but it is best to detox naturally. At the same time many addictions can force a treatment center to administer drugs to ensure the physical safety of the patient. Methadone and Ativan are drugs that can be given to heroin addicts and alcoholics, respectively, to ensure their safety and increase comfort. In these cases the recovering addict is weaned off the drug. This can be scary for the recovering addict, but it is the best way to ensure long lasting sobriety. Most addicts have co-occurring disorders that have caused or prolonged the addiction. In these cases professionals may prescribe various medications to address those problems. Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) can last for several months and even up to a year. Recovering addicts should understand the problems that can be caused and given techniques to prevent relapse and a proper support staff to help. PAWS symptoms include: clumsiness, impaired memory, vertigo, oversleeping, irritability, mood swings, depression, anxiety, agitation and appetite loss. There is not a single detox method that is utilized by all treatment centers. Detox is catered to address the individual addict. It focuses on the mental, emotional and physical needs of the patient. Before entering a treatment program addicts and their families should discuss all of the factors of treatment.