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Treating Those With An Addiction

September 17, 2012, 9:34 AM by Austin Hoffman

Treating Those With An Addiction

Addiction doesn't pick and choose its victims. Literally anyone can be found in the grips of the disease. But there is help.

When someone is caught in the throws of addiction they usually don't see a problem or won't admit they have one.  Keystone Treatment Center Medical Affairs Specialist Matt Walz says finding help is more than just taking control over the disease.

"Don't wait, because waiting kills people. Waiting is the difference between life and death. Make the decision and make it now," Walz said.

Walz says if a person is diagnosed with cancer, the family supports the treatment process to get help and cure the disease.

"Why should it be any different with the disease of addiction," Walz said.

He says the earlier family members or friends do something to get that loved one into treatment, the better chance of it being successful. And if they do accept treatment, there are two main types to look at; in patient and outpatient.

"Outpatient is a less intensive type of treatment. When people have stage-one cancer, there’s stage-one cancer treatment, when people have stage-four cancer, there’s stage four-cancer treatment," Walz said.

Stage four in this case would be inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment normally consists of 12 hours of treatment per week and the individual stays at home or with family or friends. Inpatient, which consists of up to 12 hours per day of treatment, is much more extensive.

"What we do in inpatient treatment is, well, look at all the issues that are going on in a person’s life. It’s not just a physical disease but also a mental and a spiritual disease," Walz said.

Individual therapy, group sessions, presentations and 12 step meeting are all part of inpatient therapy. It's normally a 30 day process, but Walz says treatment goes much, much further than that.

"If they can't follow up or don't have the support to follow up with that in the long term, it's not going to take, or it's not going to work. And so we want to make sure they have all the tools, all the resources to make sure that they’re able to manage their chronic disease after the initial treatment period," Walz said.

Most people who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol don't seek the help they need.

Face it Together is working to change that. Monday at 7 p.m. CDT people from all walks of life will share their stories of recovery.  Join us for the hour-long prime time special on KELO-TV.

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