In the 2019 McHenry County SUD Needs Assessment, research showed that about 6,000 county residents went without needed drug treatment. The estimate for those going without alcohol treatment was much higher at 28%.
Opioid overdose deaths across Illinois comprised 80% of drug overdose deaths, totaling 2,169 in 2018. Drug overdose deaths, including all drugs, totaled 3,543 in 2020 in Illinois. That was an increase from 2,788 the year before. Total alcohol deaths were 533 in 2020, up from 464 in 2019. McHenry County and Illinois are fighting back against the drug overdose death trends by tracking down drug dealers and charging them with homicide. In 2021, McHenry County was the leader in charging drug dealers with homicide in drug-related deaths.
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Importance of Treatment for Addiction
Although there are many treatment benefits for people who struggle with addiction and their families, there are two considerations that emphasize treatment importance. First, it is important to understand that people with addiction often have a co-occurring disorder. Also, addiction is a brain disease and not a choice. Understanding these two factors can also help families understand their struggling loved ones better.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Addressing Mental Health and SUDs
As the name suggests, a dual diagnosis treatment plan focuses on treating both disorders. This is important since an underlying mental health condition may lead a person to use a substance. For example, a person who has depression may turn to cocaine to self-treat symptoms. In dual diagnosis treatment, mental health professionals help a person stop using a substance and treat an underlying mental health issue properly. This approach is important to reduce the risk of relapse, which is higher among people who need dual diagnosis treatment and do not receive it.
Addiction: A Brain Disease
When someone uses a substance, it changes how the brain perceives pain, pleasure, and other signals. People can develop a tolerance to a substance, and they wind up using more to experience the same effects. When this happens, their bodies can become dependent on substances. Addiction happens when a person is no longer able to stop using a substance even if they know and acknowledge its dangers and negative effects. The reason it is called a brain disease is that it alters the brain, and the effects are visible even after a substance is gone from the body. Professional treatment is necessary to overcome addiction.
Types of Addiction Resources in Northern Illinois
There are several ways that professionals help people overcome the cycle of addiction. Programs typically include one or more therapy structures and types of therapy. With the right comprehensive treatment approach and continual care, a person can stay in recovery.
Treatment Programs and Therapy Structures
- Detox is the first step and usually involves 24/7 inpatient supervision, as well as medication to manage the side effects of withdrawal.
- A residential program involves staying in the facility 24/7 for several months or up to a year.
- An outpatient program involves therapy for at least a few hours each week with one or more facility or virtual visits.
- An intensive outpatient program includes multiple therapy sessions every week that often last a few hours each.
- A partial hospitalization program is usually five sessions that last five hours per week, but a person does not sleep at the facility.
When therapists recommend a treatment structure, one of their biggest concerns is a person’s risk of relapse. If the person is a high relapse risk, a residential or PHP program is better. These structures are also better for people who lack a supportive living environment or have a long history of substance misuse. People who have a lower risk of relapse or have a supportive living situation are better candidates for outpatient programs.
Also, those who have work, family, and other responsibilities may only be able to manage an outpatient program. However, when a person with a job needs residential or PHP treatment, a facility can help. The facility can provide information about the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows time off for necessary medical treatment. When addiction treatment is necessary, it qualifies.
Therapeutic Addiction Resources in Illinois
There may be individual, group, and family therapy sessions, depending on a person’s circumstances. Family therapy is important to help the entire family function better as a unit and support a loved one who struggles with addiction. Mental health and addiction treatment professionals use a variety of therapeutic approaches. A combination of the right therapies for a specific person’s needs can yield many benefits. These are the main types of therapies:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy that helps people identify behaviors and understand their causes.
- Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a form of CBT that helps people modify behaviors.
- Holistic therapy includes alternative approaches that support overall health, such as meditation for relaxation and nutrition for wellness.
CBT and DBT help people understand their triggers. Therapists teach them how to avoid some harmful triggers and deal with ones that may not be avoidable. People learn how to cope with life, and holistic therapies provide them with a way to replace destructive habits with healthier ones. Writing therapy, music therapy, exercise, and nutrition can all help people. For example, these therapies teach people how to express themselves and care for their bodies.
Finding Addiction Treatment Services in Northern Illinois
With the right therapy plan, a person can learn the keys to beating the cycle of addiction. At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, our team understands that each person is unique and that addiction is complex. We develop custom treatment plans for every person’s needs. Our Crystal Lake facility is a safe place where people receive the nurturing support they need and deserve. To learn more about addiction treatment and addiction resources in Northern Illinois, please contact us.
Licensed Physician and Surgeon
Dr. Beth Dunlap, a board-certified addiction medicine and family medicine physician, and is the medical director at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. She is responsible for overseeing all the integrated medical services at both campuses. Beth completed medical school, residency, and fellowship at Northwestern University, where she continues to serve on the faculty as a member of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has extensive experience in addiction medicine at all levels of care, and her clinical interests include integrated primary care and addiction medicine, harm reduction, and medication-assisted treatment.