Drug Abuse

Learn more about abuse and its various treatments.


We’ll hold your hand.

It’s heartbreaking to watch a loved one struggle with an addiction. In spite of all of your best efforts to help them, sometimes a professional drug intervention is necessary to persuade a loved one that substance abuse is not just a problem they can handle alone.

A third-party interventionist is trained to effectively, but compassionately, confront the person in need and offer them a comprehensive program for rehab and recovery treatment. 95% of interventions are successful at getting loved ones to agree to enter a treatment program.


Take the first step.

Drug intervention services often begin with a calm and objective approach that leads to creating an individualized plan for optimal recovery. Reaching acceptance is often the first major step of any journey toward achieving sobriety, and drug intervention is a key element in getting through this first major challenge. Through the loving testimonials of friends, family and the people who care, the individual is shown the detrimental impact of their behavior and how it affects those around them.

Our interventionists work to prevent communication breakdowns before they happen and hold a meeting with a chosen group of supporters long before confronting the individual to coordinate an approach that is best suited to help their loved one through such a difficult time.


Know when intervention is necessary.

An addiction to drugs or alcohol destroys the lives of an addict and surrounding loved ones from the inside out. It affects the brain and central nervous system, making it very difficult for those afflicted to stop substance abuse on their own.

You can’t force someone to accept help, but a trained drug interventionist knows how to create a support system that may be your best chance at helping your loved one.

You may notice that your loved one:
  • Blames outside circumstances like work or other people for their problems
  • Experiences significant changes in weight
  • Fights with friends and family members
  • Promises to get help, and then doesn’t
  • Ignores addiction-related safety issues and exhibits high-risk behaviors
  • Withdraws from family functions and responsibility
  • Lies about their whereabouts

What qualifies as successful?

A successful drug intervention ends with your loved one promptly finding treatment. After understanding the effects substance abuse has on their lives (as well as their family’s), many addicts truly understand that sobriety is possible, and they become motivated to seek help and work toward a true recovery.


What is the success rate?

About 95% of drug interventions are successful.


Where do I start?

Your loved one doesn’t need to do this alone. Neither do you. Seeking help from one of our trained interventionists will help your loved one get into the right treatment program for them, and will help your family mend and restore their relationships with each other.

Addiction Recovery

Recovery from alcoholism starts here.

Alcohol abuse doesn’t play favorites: it can affect anyone at any time. And when it does, it’s a very serious disease that can unravel the lives of individuals, families, and, ultimately, the fabric of society.

Although alcoholism is shockingly common, overcoming it by yourself is almost impossible. Fortunately, with a wide variety of treatment programs available, you don’t have to travel the bumpy road alone. More than 60% of patients remain sober after a year’s treatment, and many of them go on to live happy, abstinent lives.

Alcohol treatment isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Reaching true recovery is never easy, but with these steps, anyone can begin the journey.


One step at a time.

  1. Awareness

    Awareness is the first step on the long road to recovery. At this stage, you become aware of the telltale signs that alcoholism is affecting your quality of life, and you accept that you need to change. Critical to starting recovery, you understand that your symptoms and behaviors do not reflect that of a normal, healthy lifestyle. You admit you need help and make the next brave step to do something about it.

  2. Detoxification

    Sobriety is your best weapon for combatting alcohol addiction. To achieve sobriety, detoxification is the process through which the drug is purged from your body.

    Medical supervision is strongly recommended in most detox situations to safely manage the withdrawal effects that can range from mild to life-threatening:

    • Headaches
    • Shaking and sweating
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Anxiety and restlessness
    • Stomach cramps and diarrhea
    • Withdrawal seizures, delirium tremens (DT), and hallucinations
    • Possible death

    Withdrawal symptoms typically begin hours after you commit to sobriety, peak after a day or two, and then improve throughout about five days.

  1. Rehabilitation

    Even after detox the craving for alcohol does not go away. For that reason, rehabilitation is imperative to maintain your abstinence. Today’s rehab programs rely on multiple types of therapy, such as holistic methods and behavioral therapy. Tailored to treat your individual needs and the severity of your alcoholism, inpatient and outpatient programs are effective and may last from 30 days to a year.

    In addition to proven methods designed to help you heal the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of your addiction, you may also be treated with medication to help curb your cravings.

  2. Maintenance

    After the initial detox and life-changing metamorphosis into sobriety, it is ultimately your responsibility to maintain abstinence and become a happy, productive member of society.

    But again, you’re not alone in the ongoing journey of sobriety. With the support of a sponsor and AA meetings or similar programs, you’ll learn alongside your peers how to overcome the pitfalls and revel in the successes of living a healthy, alcohol-free life.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Treat both body and mind.

Addictions are rarely skin deep and are often just one part of a more complex inner struggle. Treating addiction from the inside out usually involves also treating one or more mental conditions that so often accompany it. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one approach typically used to target, change, and treat the maladaptive thinking patterns that accompany the spiral into addiction.


What does it do?

As a psychotherapeutic method, CBT emphasizes recognizing and understanding the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors embedded in a variety of mental illnesses and substance abuse or personality disorders.


How does it work?

CBT is known to be problem-focused and action-oriented. You would team up with a therapist to analyze the thinking patterns behind your self-destructive behaviors, deflect those negative thoughts, and then actively problem-solve on how to take control again. This puts responsibility and self-awareness in your hands, and helps you to fully understand what it takes to overcome each challenge while inciting both confidence and a sense of accomplishment.


What disorders does it treat?

Typically, CBT is used to treat mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar, anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But it’s not just for those suffering from a mental health condition. For people coping with substance abuse, eating disorders, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other conditions, it’s an effective way to challenge negative thoughts by looking at them as though they are hypotheses to be tested logically and objectively.

Regardless of whether or not your addiction is accompanied by dual diagnosis, CBT can help you. Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum – almost all substance abuse is backed by stressful living situations, grief, or some other uncontrollable factor.


Is CBT right for me?

Generally lasting around seven months, structured CBT helps you build coping skills that will last a lifetime. You’ll know CBT can work for you if you find you struggle with any of the following:

  • Management of addiction or mental illness symptoms
  • Relapse of addiction or mental illness symptoms
  • Inability to cope with stressful situations
  • Difficulty managing emotions like anger or fear
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Trouble coping with grief, trauma, or medical illness
  • Chronic physical symptoms

CBT can help me, what’s next?

Once you’ve realized CBT could help you, it’s best to begin by asking yourself, “How do I expect to change by the time I complete this therapy?” With your therapist helping you form a plan to reach your personal goals, you’ll be able to take an active part in preparing your own path toward recovery, making CBT all the more effective.

Sometimes medication is also required to further facilitate the benefits of CBT. Based on your individual situation, your therapist will assess your needs and help you devise a plan that will be the most beneficial for your body, mind, and lifestyle.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Master your mind.

Born of Buddhist principles in mindfulness and meditation, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a modified form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that has been shown to effectively combat mood, eating, and substance abuse disorders. Originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD) by Marsha M. Linehan, a psychology researcher at the University of Washington, DBT emphasizes techniques for emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and acceptance.

Linehan developed DBT to help patients who found CBT’s constant focus on change invalidating and counterproductive. If you’re highly sensitive or experience extremely painful problems like severe bipolar and addiction, DBT helps you return safely to baseline arousal levels through self-awareness and coping skills training.

DBT usually involves weekly group or one-on-one psychotherapy sessions that focus on problem-solving skills to avert destructive behaviors and thinking patterns you experience on a daily basis.


How does it work?

Whereas CBT focuses on challenging negative thoughts and redirecting thinking patterns toward goals, DBT focuses on accepting these uncomfortable thoughts instead of struggling with or denying them. Counselors will first ask you to identify the thought, emotion, or behavior to understand the trigger. Once this understanding has been reached, the process of change seems less impossible.

“Dialectic” refers to the therapist trying to establish the difficult balance between acceptance and change and the integration of these two concepts into everyday life. In DBT, counselors will gradually teach you how to use your “Wise Mind”, the happy medium between extreme mind “parts” referred to as “Reasonable Mind” and “Emotion Mind”. Wise Mind is achieved through self-awareness and recognizing an emotion or behavior before it becomes a destructive action.


What are the benefits?

Although it was originally developed for people suffering from extremely painful emotional or mental disorders and self-destructive urges, DBT is a proven treatment for a variety of problems including drug or alcohol abuse, dual diagnosis, eating disorders, depression, pathological gambling, or shopping addictions. After lots of time, hard work, and patience, DBT is capable of:

  • Managing addiction or mental illness symptoms.
  • Preventing relapse of addiction or mental illness symptoms.
  • Improving the ability to cope with stressful situations.
  • Improving the ability to manage emotions like anger or fear.
  • Dissolving relationship conflicts.
  • Decreasing trouble coping with grief, trauma, or medical illness.
  • Improving chronic physical symptoms.

DBT therapists are required to undergo rigorous training, so be assured that if you are seeking DBT therapy, you will receive quality guidance towards recovery.


Let us help.

DBT therapists are required to undergo rigorous training, so be assured that if you are seeking DBT therapy, you will receive quality guidance towards recovery.

EMDR Treatment

Break down your barriers with EMDR.

Addiction rarely exists on its own. In fact, about 60 percent of the time it’s accompanied by mental illness or serious trauma that helped trigger the addiction. To help treat this aspect of substance abuse, a breakthrough treatment called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR therapy, is proving to be a valuable psychotherapy for drug and alcohol rehabilitation.


What is EMDR?

Founded in 1990 by Dr. Francine Shapiro, EDMR therapy emphasizes disturbing memories as a root cause of psychopathology, including addiction and dual diagnosis. EMDR was developed to alleviate post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) symptoms, but now is often used to treat a variety of psychological disorders.


How does it work?

Like a computer shutting down, a traumatized or distressed brain may become overwhelmed, freezing normal cognitive and neurological coping mechanisms. Employing an eight-step procedure that includes having you recall distressful past trauma while receiving one of several types of bilateral eye movements, tones, or taps, EMDR helps reduce the lingering effects of troubling memories. By paring away the recurring uncomfortable sensations of these overwhelming triggers through repeated use of biofeedback body scans and re-evaluations, you can stabilize your mind enough to begin learning necessary drug and alcohol rehabilitation coping tools.


How does it help?

EMDR therapy integrates the psychological, physiological, behavioral, and cognitive aspects of treating addiction in order to improve your clarity and self-awareness. It quickly helps improve:

  • Dysfunctional behaviors
  • Relapse triggers
  • Clarity
  • Self-awareness
  • Coping capabilities

EMDR therapy serves to “reboot” the complex mind of an addict suffering from dual diagnosis. A healthier mind leads to a much healthier body.


How effective is it?

A 2009 study (published in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research) found EMDR therapy to be four times more effective than traditional drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapies. That is because it addresses your addiction from the inside out and pinpoints the factors that contribute to your illness, not just the illness itself. Because of this introspective approach, all it takes is one session to start seeing results.

Individual & Group Therapy

There’s something for everyone.

Drug abuse therapy is an important step in the recovery process. It is designed to provide you with the tools you need to move forward into sobriety. Though there are also many other types of therapy available, two of the most common sessions are individual and group. Depending on your treatment plan, you can either attend one or both throughout the recovery process. We can help you determine which type of session is best for you based on your needs and addictions.


Individual therapy.

During individual therapy sessions, you are provided with personalized, one-on-one care with a therapist. This therapist will play a crucial role in your recovery process by providing you with the courage, support, and motivation you need to push forward. Your conversations will focus mainly on your past and mental health. Some pros and cons of individual therapy are:

Pros of individual therapy
  • It provides an increased sense of privacy.
  • You can work at your own pace.
  • It is individualized and directly supports your unique needs and issues.
  • You can choose your therapist.
  • You can decide how often you meet.
Cons of individual therapy
  • It doesn’t allow you to learn from others who are also suffering.
  • You must be self-motivated.
  • It won’t encourage you to interact with others.
  • You may feel alone in your fight.
  • There is only one person to hold you accountable, not several.

Group therapy.

Group therapy involves meeting with a therapist and others who are struggling with addiction as well. The group is able to openly and honestly discuss their issues and concerns to one another without judgement while the therapist facilitates. Many people who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction feel alone, and group counseling strives to provide them with the support they need. Some pros and cons of group therapy are:

Pros of group therapy
  • It provides interaction with others who are dealing with the same issues.
  • It incites progress through the observation of others achieving success.
  • It abates common issues like depression, isolation, and shame.
  • You can practice new behaviors in a safe environment.
  • It improves social and communication skills in a group environment.
Cons of group therapy
  • Confidentiality can’t be completely protected.
  • Some people may be uncomfortable speaking in a group.
  • The flow of conversation depends on its participants.
  • It has a set schedule with sessions you are required to attend.
  • You’re not able to choose your therapist.

Family Counseling

It’s a family affair.

As loving family members of someone who is struggling with addiction, you naturally want to help and support your loved one any way you can. That help will be vital to their road to recovery, but if you don’t say, do, or encourage exactly the right things, then you could unknowingly become a detriment to their healing process.


What is family counseling?

Family counseling (or therapy) is the building up of the family as an integral part of the recovery process. It encourages family members to learn how the addiction has affected the unit as a whole and on an individual level. It investigates issues in the family that have arisen due to the addiction and that existed before drugs or alcohol became a factor (maybe issues that created the need to use in the first place).


What are the benefits?

Significantly fewer addicts suffer from relapse when they have the support of their educated family members to back them up. That is due to the solid support system that is built up during each session and the mutual understanding between you and your family.

You are able to better understand your loved one’s struggles, and your loved one is able to see what affects his addiction has had on you. By resolving underlying issues, he is able to remove the stresses that initially drove him to use and greatly reduce the desire or need to use again.


What should I expect?

During family counseling sessions, a professional counselor talks to you and your family to determine the best possible rehab strategy. She also teaches you how to encourage positive behavior, be supportive, and deal with your emotions in a healthy, productive way.

It is often a very difficult and confusing time for family members, and this is a safe place to ask the questions that have been nagging you. Uncertainty, concern, and confusion are very common and understandable feelings, and counseling gives you a platform in which to seek answers.


Let the healing process begin.

Family counselors have the best possible experience and know-how to be able to answer your questions and hold your hand during the long road ahead. We have an extensive network of resources and would be happy to provide you with a list of experienced therapists and counselors in your area that would love to talk to you. We can also walk you through the process and explain what to expect during your first session and beyond. We’d love to help you heal your family and begin living your life again.


A vital step to recovery.

Alcohol and drug addiction are chronic diseases that can creep up on individuals over several years or ambush them after just a few short months of heavy drinking. Regardless, most addicts require a complete cessation of drug or alcohol intake to achieve sobriety and live a life unfettered by addiction.

Detoxification is one of the initial steps necessary to launch a patient into the long process of recovery.


What is Detox?

Usually referred to as detox, detoxification is the medical process used to effectively and safely reset the body as alcohol, drugs, and toxins are removed from the system. Sometimes medication is also used to ease withdrawal symptoms.


What should I expect?

Withdrawal can lead to deadly delirium tremens (DTs) and must be medically monitored. You may receive substitution medications, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, which help ease withdrawal symptoms by simulating the effects of alcohol until your body recovers. Vitamins, especially B1, may also be administered to offset the vitamin deficiencies accrued throughout your addiction.

Ranging from mild to severe, possible withdrawal symptoms you might experience include:

  • Sweats
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions and seizures

Why should I get help?

A hidden killer lurks within drug and alcohol addiction, and it’s heightened during the do-it-yourself detox process. When an addict tries to quit on their own without medical attention, the result may end in hospitalization, or even death.


What makes it so risky?

When you abruptly stop using, the brain overloads on the chemicals and hormones it usually produces in excess to compensate for the depressive effect of drugs or alcohol, leading to the severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms discussed above. In less severe cases, some people may handle withdrawal on their own without much difficulty, but it’s never worth the risk.

Getting help isn’t something to be embarrassed about, and it doesn’t mean you’ve been defeated. It means you’re bravely stepping up to grab a new lease on your life.


Detox is only the beginning.

Without motivation and support, cravings can take over again. An ample supply of help from treatment medication and therapy is essential to not having a relapse.


What medications will I need?

Medications commonly prescribed to deter cravings include acamprosate, naltrexone, disulfiram, or the lesser-used baclofen. You may also continue taking vitamins to maintain a healthy system.


How do I return to “normal” life?

Staying sober usually involves spending time in an outpatient or inpatient rehab program as you learn tools and gain support to cope with living an abstinent life.


What people are saying about the National Assessment Foundation

  • Deborah G.
    “I cannot say enough about National Addiction Foundation — the services they offer are invaluable. They didn’t just find any program for my son, they took the time to find the right one. I will always remember what they have done to help my son and our family. I can’t express how grateful I am for their services and will recommend them to all that are in need. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
    Deborah G.
  • Chester M.
    “I am so thankful and blessed to have National Addiction Foundation as part of [my life]. They made this happen for my father, and I will forever be in debt to them for their help during this difficult time. I truly appreciate the work that you all do.”
    Chester M.
  • Rebekah H.
    “National Assessment Foundation was the miracle I prayed for. They went above and beyond in reaching out to make sure my son was on the plane and on his way to safety and treatment. I have been able to sleep at night knowing he is in good care and on his way to a change in behavior and choices. They are helping him win the battle of addiction, and I will forever be grateful to them for saving his life.”
    Rebekah H.

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