Here are some steps you can take to find the care you need.
Step 1: Diagnosis
The first step for anyone concerned that they have, or someone they care about has, an addiction is to get an accurate diagnosis. Not all physicians are trained in addiction treatment. Ask your primary care provider (PCP) if he or she knows how to diagnose addiction. If your PCP cannot make the diagnosis, ask him or her to refer you to a qualified health care provider who can diagnose addiction.
Step 2: Comprehensive assessment
Next, you will need a comprehensive assessment to identify your history of substance use, the severity of your condition and any other health problems and personal circumstances that may affect your treatment. This should be conducted by your PCP or another highly trained health care professional. The assessment, along with your diagnosis, will provide the information needed to determine your treatment needs.
Step 3: Medically managed withdrawal
If you have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using alcohol or drugs, you may need medically-managed withdrawal services, which are also called detoxification. Detoxification will keep you safe and more comfortable while you stop using substances. A doctor—sometimes in combination with other health care professionals—should provide medical supervision of your withdrawal. Detoxification is an important step in the recovery process for some people, but it is not treatment for the addiction.
Step 4: Finding the right treatment provider
It’s important to choose an addiction treatment provider who offers the right type of treatment for you based on your comprehensive assessment. Look for a highly trained addiction care team whose members are able to provide effective treatments—including medication and behavioral therapies.
Step 5: Getting the most from your treatment
You will develop a treatment plan with your addiction treatment provider. Your treatment may include medications and behavioral therapies. Toward the end of your treatment, you will make a plan to manage your recovery.
Step 6: Stay healthy by managing your condition
After your initial treatment, it is important that your doctor continue to help you manage your condition, in cooperation with others if appropriate, and that you play an active role in order to maintain and continue the progress you have made.