After successfully withdrawing from drugs or alcohol in a medical detox, a stabilization program for substance abuse helps people to prepare themselves mentally and physically for addiction treatment. Stabilization is a vital tool for helping people to overcome the roadblocks to recovery present during early abstinence and can help people start treatment on the right foot.
What is Acute Stabilization?
Acute stabilization is the second step of the treatment continuum, following medical detox. After withdrawing form drugs and alcohol, many people still have lingering symptoms or mental health concerns that may interfere with standard addiction treatment. Acute psychiatric stabilization helps to address these concerns and pave the way forward.
Unlike medical detox, acute stabilization focuses less on the immediate symptoms of drug withdrawal and more on a person’s holistic health and wellbeing. It recognizes that even though people may have recovered from the physical effects of substance abuse, they may not be prepared to enter an intensive treatment setting.
Understanding Withdrawal Symptoms
Most drugs of abuse have a set of acute physical withdrawal symptoms that typically resolve within a week. Yet even after these physical symptoms have passed, many people will feel lingering mental health symptoms that don’t resolve nearly as quickly. This collection of symptoms is known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) or protracted withdrawal, which has symptoms such as:
- Difficulty with cognitive tasks
- Increased sensitivity to stress
The symptoms of PAWS range in severity – and can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year. These symptoms can often be relieved through targeted interventions, but it takes time to fully recover.
Further, many people with co-occurring mental health disorders may be experiencing significant challenges in functioning after completing detox. Some people – either knowingly or unknowingly – use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. When they suddenly stop using these substances, the underlying mental health symptoms can come back stronger than ever.
If underlying mental health disorders are not addressed promptly, there can be devastating consequences. Untreated depression, for instance, can increase the risk of relapse after achieving abstinence threefold. By treating co-occurring disorders and addiction simultaneously at an integrated treatment facility, people have a much better chance of recovery.
When Stabilization is Appropriate
The stabilization phase isn’t necessary for everyone. Some people finish medical detox feeling revitalized and prepared for the next steps in their recovery journey, but others may need more time to reach that place. From the first moment you arrive at our detox facility, our team will begin to track several key factors to ensure that each client gets the level of care they need to thrive.
Determining whether a person needs a stabilization program for substance abuse depends on several factors. Through a thorough psychiatric evaluation and sustained monitoring during detox, the treatment team at Annandale Behavioral Health looks for indications such as:
- Lingering withdrawal symptoms
- Signs of co-occurring mental illness
- Suicidal ideation
- Physical weakness
- Vitamin deficiencies
Any one of these indications can suggest that acute stabilization can be of better assistance to the client, rather than sending them to residential treatment before they are ready.
Residential Psychiatric Treatment
For people experiencing significant mental health concerns following detox, residential psychiatric treatment at a stabilization program is often necessary. This allows psychiatric professionals to provide brief and targeted interventions intended to stabilize people’s emotional and mental states before beginning intensive addiction treatment.
This targeted approach can help people experiencing several different mental health disorders, including:
- Major depressive disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
Left untreated, these disorders can interfere with a person’s ability to engage in addiction treatment. The purpose of psychiatric treatment is to bring about mood and personality stabilization, allowing people to enter residential addiction treatment in a state conducive to their long-term recovery.
Our Substance Abuse Stabilization Program
The stabilization program for substance abuse at Annandale Behavioral Health has been carefully designed to maximize every client’s ability to succeed in addiction treatment. While not always clinically necessary, it can be a vital component for many people to find success.
Other treatment centers will skip the stabilization process altogether. Instead, they offer medical detox services intended to ensure a client’s physical health is “good enough” to start addiction treatment. Our experience has shown that setting the bar so low can interfere with the healing process and set clients up for failure. By elevating the focus to holistic physical, mental, and spiritual health, we ensure that our clients can have a positive and transformative experience when they begin residential treatment.
When you’re ready, we can help you to begin that experience. Recovery from addiction is absolutely possible, and our team can show you how to make it a reality. Don’t delay seeking treatment any longer – contact the team at Annandale Behavioral Health to get started with the best addiction treatment program in Los Angeles today and start your new life in recovery.