Opiate Addiction Treatment Centers specialize in supporting those recovering from opioid addiction. They treat those suffering from addiction to illegal opioids like heroin, as well as prescription drugs like oxycodone. These centers typically combine both physical as well as mental and emotional support to help stop addiction. Physical support often includes medical detox and subsequent medical support (including medication), and mental support includes in-depth therapy to address the underlying causes of addiction.
The goal of treatment for alcoholism is abstinence. Those with poor social support, poor motivation, or psychiatric disorders tend to relapse within a few years of treatment. For these people, success is measured by longer periods of abstinence, reduced use of alcohol, better health, and improved social functioning. Recovery and Maintenance are usually based on 12 step programs and AA meetings.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse
A combined mental health and substance abuse treatment center has the staff and resources available to handle individuals with both mental health and substance abuse issues. It can be challenging to determine where a specific symptom stems from (a mental health issue or an issue related to substance abuse), so mental health and substance abuse professionals are helpful in detangling symptoms and keeping treatment on track.
Dual Diagnosis/Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment
Many of those suffering from addiction also suffer from mental or emotional illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, or anxiety disorders. Rehab and other substance abuse facilities treating those with a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder administer psychiatric treatment to address the person’s mental health issue in addition to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Opioids are any drugs based on the chemical composition of opium. An opiate is a synthetic (man-made) version of an opioid, also known as a narcotic. Opiate pain medications include prescription painkillers, like Oxycodone, OxyContin, and Percocet. Other opioids include morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, buprenorphine, methadone, and heroin. Dependence or addiction to opioids is treated in a similar fashion to other drug and alcohol addictions, with an eye towards helping the body detox safely before other treatment commences.
Buprenorphine Detox and Treatment
Similar to methadone, buprenorphine is a drug meant to help with long-term treatment for opioid addiction. Those recovering from heroin addiction or other opiate addiction may be prescribed buprenorphine (Suboxone and Subutex) to help wean the body off of opioids safely, over time. Buprenorphine helps lessen the discomfort and danger of detox and withdrawal.
Vivitrol used for Addiction Recovery
Vivitrol has proven to be extremely effective in the treatment of opiate and alcohol abuse, especially when complimented with an effective rehab program. Vivitrol is a non-narcotic, non-addictive medication approved by the FDA that is used to suppress a person's cravings for a substance.
Psychotropic medications (aka psychodynamic medication) are any medicines used specifically to affect and/or alter a patient’s mind, emotions, and behaviors. Such psychiatric medicines are often used to change chemical levels in the brain that impact a person’s mood and behavior. These medications include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-ADHD drugs, and anti-anxiety medications.
What does Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center offer?
Medically Assisted Detox
Drug and alcohol addiction often takes a heavy toll on one’s body. Over time, a physical dependence can develop, meaning the body physiologically needs the substance to function. Detox is the process of removing drugs and/or alcohol from the body, a process that can be lethal if mismanaged. Medical detox is done by licensed medical professionals who monitor vital signs and keep you safe, healthy, and as comfortable as possible as you go through detox and withdrawal.
24 Hour Clinical Care
At certain points in the recovery process, it’s important to have support available 24/7. 24-hour clinical care offers a safe environment in which to recover from drug or alcohol addiction in peace, knowing medical detox and other treatment will happen with professionals on hand.
Outpatient programs are for those seeking mental rehab or drug rehab, but who also stay at home every night. Outpatient services are provided at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center and at community based out-patient clinics (CBOC)or Veteran's Centers conveniently located throughout the surrounding area.
Residential (inpatient) Treatment
There are occasions when treatment requires more intensive management than what could be provided through the out-patient clinics. Wilkes-Barre meets that need through provision of intensive Mental Health and/or Behavioral Services in their state of the art in-patient unit. The Veteran's needs are fully assessed on admission to ensure that any physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or social need is identified and addressed. Families are encouraged to become involved and to become active participants in helping to identify and work toward resolving problematic issues during the Veteran's stay.
The SARRTP unit is a 10 bed in-patient residence unit with a day treatment program. The program offers eligible Veterans the opportunity to learn how to stay clean and sober, with an emphasis on changing behavior and lifestyle in order to promote abstinence. In this way, the Veteran is better prepared for a lifestyle based on continuing recovery. The Staff of SARRTP encourages the Veteran to meet their own personal recovery goals, as well as their goals to improve the quality of their lives and relationships (Length of stay is 21 days).
Certain drug and alcohol rehab centers have standard treatment regimes they expect all patients to follow. Others offer individualized treatment, meaning they tailor treatment to a person’s specific background and needs. For example, a rehab facility may adjust a treatment program to take into account the type of drug or addiction from which the person suffers, their age, medical condition(s), religious beliefs, or lifestyle.
Research clearly demonstrates that recovery is far more successful and sustainable when loved ones like family members participate in rehab and substance abuse treatment. Genetic factors may be at play when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, as well as mental health issues. Family dynamics often play a critical role in addiction triggers, and if properly educated, family members can be a strong source of support when it comes to rehabilitation.
Completing a drug or alcohol rehab program shouldn’t spell the end of substance abuse treatment. Aftercare involves making a sustainable plan for recovery, including ongoing support. This can include sober living arrangements like halfway houses, career counseling, and setting a patient up with community programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a therapy modality that focuses on the relationship between one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It is used to establish and allow for healthy responses to thoughts and feelings (instead of unhealthy responses, like using drugs or alcohol). CBT has been proven effective for recovering addicts of all kinds, and is used to strengthen a patient's own self-awareness and ability to self-regulate. CBT allows individuals to monitor their own emotional state, become more adept at communicating with others, and manage stress without needing to engage in substance abuse.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a modified form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a treatment designed to help people understand and ultimately affect the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. DBT is often used for individuals who struggle with self-harm behaviors, such as self-mutilation (cutting) and suicidal thoughts, urges, or attempts. It has been proven clinically effective for those who struggle with out-of-control emotions and mental health illnesses like Borderline Personality Disorder.
In individual therapy, a patient meets one-on-one with a trained psychologist or counselor. Therapy is a pivotal part of effective substance abuse treatment, as it often covers root causes of addiction, including challenges faced by the patient in their social, family, and work/school life. Focuses on improving coping skills and resolution of trauma.
Trauma therapy addresses traumatic incidents from a client's past that are likely affecting their present-day experience. Trauma is often one of the primary triggers and potential causes of addiction, and can stem from child sexual abuse, domestic violence, having a parent with a mental illness, losing one or both parents at a young age, teenage or adult sexual assault, or any number of other factors. The purpose of trauma therapy is to allow a patient to process trauma and move through and past it, with the help of trained and compassionate mental health professionals.
A variety of groups are offered to provide Veterans with support and tools for symptom management. Current Active Groups include and are specific for the WWII/Korea, Vietnam and Global War on Terror Veteran with a focus on reducing the effects of military-related trauma. Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center offers Group Therapies for PTSD, Vietnam Vets, OEF/OIF Vets, Korean Vets, Substance Abuse, Smoking Cessation, Depression, Chronic Mental Illness and Anger Management.
Whether a marriage or other committed relationship, an intimate partnership is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life. Drug and alcohol addiction affects both members of a couple in deep and meaningful ways, as does rehab and recovery. Couples therapy and other couples-focused treatment programs are significant parts of exploring triggers of addiction, as well as learning how to build healthy patterns to support ongoing sobriety.
Experiential therapy is a form of therapy in which clients are encouraged to surface and work through subconscious issues by engaging in real-time experiences. Experiential therapy departs from traditional “talk therapy” by involving the body, and having clients engage in activities, movements, and physical and emotional expression. This can involve role-play or using props (which can include other people). Experiential therapy can help people process trauma, memories, and emotion quickly, deeply, and in a lasting fashion, leading to substantial and impactful healing.
Life skills trainings involve all the skills a person must have in order to function successfully in the world. These include time management, career guidance, money management, and effective communication. Truly successful addiction recovery is based on the ability to not only live substance-free, but to thrive. Life skills teaches the practical necessities of functioning in society, which sets clients up for success in life, and therefore sobriety.
Nutrition and Food Services (NFS) provides evidenced based nutritional services for Veterans and their families. NFS registered dietitian nutritionists promote wellness and disease prevention by ensuring effective nutrition education and counseling. NFS also delivers safe and high quality patient food services.
Wilkes Barre VA Medical Center Highlights:
Mental Health and Behavioral Service at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center and its outpatient clinics provide consultation, evaluation and treatment for a variety of issues that impact the emotional well-being of our Veterans and their families.
Staff psychologists provide evidence-based treatments, on a time-limited basis, for a variety of mental health issues. Treatment is coordinated with other services that the Veteran may be receiving. Family involvement is welcomed and encouraged to support the Veteran in reaching their recovery goals.
Program of Treatment involves a complete bio-psycho-social assessment, recreational activities, group therapy, and educational classes address the various aspects of addiction. When the program is completed the Veteran will have developed their own personal plan of recovery based upon their own unique needs. An additional opportunity is available to work with a vocational counselor.
Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) is a program designed to treat severely and chronically mentally ill patients in their homes and communities. MHICM patients are Veterans who have persistent mental illnesses that have caused increased hospital use. The primary goals of this program are to reduce the frequency and/or duration of hospitalizations and to improve the Veteran's quality of life. MHICM helps patients with housing needs, transportation, budgeting, shopping, homemaking skills, grooming, social skills entitlements and referrals to other services.
The Pain Management Program cocuses on ways to live with chronic pain via using psychological, physical and pharmacological strategies. Program is multidisciplinary and is facilitated by a psychologist, physical therapist and medical staff to ensure that the Veteran's needs are fully addressed.
Psychological services are available to Veterans who are enrolled in Home Based Primary Care (HBPC), a program that provides in-home services to meet primary care needs of an aging Veteran population with complex, chronic and disabling diseases.
The Anger Management Group is an eight-session psycho-educational group to assist Veterans in developing personal insight into their expression of anger and developing the strategies to manage feelings more effectively.
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