The Spanish-speaking community has always been an integral part of what makes Idaho what it is today. And like so many others, this community has recently experienced a growing problem with substance abuse, addiction, and the need for drug and alcohol rehab and detoxification.
Because of this need, we’ve listed some of the most common addiction terms and questions en español to be aware of. The information here will help you get a better understanding of addiction, learn what is involved in professional treatment, and obtain a good grasp of what to expect once you get help.
Abuso de Drogas y Alcohol
“Drug & Alcohol Abuse”
Substance abuse is using any substance – whether it’s prescription drugs, illicit (illegal) ones, or alcohol – in a way that they are not intended to be used.
For prescription drugs, that includes:
- Selling, sharing, or using other people’s prescriptions
- Taking prescription drugs more frequently or in higher amounts than prescribed
- Using them with other drugs
For illicit drugs, abuse is a bit simpler: any use of these substances is considered abuse since they are illegal.
And when it comes to alcohol, most consumption over the recommended guidelines (1-2 drinks per day on average) is typically considered abuse.
Continued drinking despite serious problems caused by alcohol is also considered to be abuse.
And while substance abuse doesn’t always indicate an addiction or substance use disorder, it does increase the risk of developing one.
Trastorno por Consumo de Sustancias (Adicción)
“Addiction/Substance Use Disorder”
NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, defines addiction as:
a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control, and those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs.
Addiction, then, isn’t some sort of moral failing or just a lack of willpower. But instead, it’s an actual physical disease. NIDA goes on to explain:
The initial decision to take drugs is typically voluntary. But with continued use, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired; this impairment in self-control is the hallmark of addiction.
Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain that are critical to judgment, decision-making, learning and memory, and behavior control. These changes help explain the compulsive nature of addiction.
And as a physical disease, it needs to be treated in a professional setting, just like any other health problem.
Abusing too much of an addictive substance can lead to a dangerous and potentially fatal overdose. And today more than ever, overdoses have become more frequent and more deadly.
According to NIDA, more than 70 thousand Americans lost their lives to a drug overdose in 2017 – a 316% increase since 1999.
It’s no wonder that drug overdose is now the number one cause of death for adults under the age of 55.
Over the course of an addiction, the body usually starts to actually depend on the drug in order to function normally.
That’s because over time, the frequent presence of the drug has led to physical changes in both the mind and the body as a whole. Cell receptors are grown or killed off, certain chemicals may become stronger or weaker, and natural dopamine production may stop entirely.
And eventually, these changes mean that an addict has to use more and more of the drug in order to make up for the changes and get the effect (the “high”) that they want.
This is what’s known as tolerance.
And the higher the tolerance (a.k.a., the more used to the drug a body is), the harder it is to get off of it.
Síndrome de Abstinencia
When someone is physically dependent on a substance (as is often the case with addiction), and they try to quit, they will often go through withdrawal. This is the process of letting the body adjust to functioning normally without the addictive substance. And in most cases, the higher the tolerance, the harder withdrawal is going to be.
Some common symptoms of withdrawal include:
In fact, the symptoms of withdrawal can be so uncomfortable that many addicts trying to get clean on their own end up turning back to using just to get some relief.
¿Qué Tipos de Programas Existen?
“What Types of Programs Are There?”
Overcoming a substance use disorder is no easy feat. And for most, doing so successfully requires the help of a professional program.
But not all programs are alike. And in fact, each has its own pros and cons as well as ideal situations that it should be used in.
Below are the most common types of programs available today.
Desintoxicación de Drogas y Alcohol
“Drug and Alcohol Detoxification (Detox)”
The first stage of a professional program, drug and alcohol detoxification is focused on helping patients push through the often-difficult stage of withdrawal.
These programs provide a range of treatments to help decrease the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. These treatments may be medicated in nature (e.g., methadone, suboxone), or they could be more holistic as with nutrition therapy, exercise regimens, and meditation.
When it comes to drugs like alcohol and benzodiazepines, these withdrawals can actually be fatal.
A detox program will also help prevent and treat any dangerous complications too. Malnutrition, dehydration, choking, cardiac problems, and mental disturbances (all possible complications) can be fatal if left untreated.
It’s always advisable, then, to partner with a professional detoxification facility rather than trying to detox on your own.
Centro de Rehabilitación de Drogas/ Centros de Rehabilitación de Alcohol
“Drug Rehab Center/Alcohol Rehab Center”
After detoxification comes alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation. And while detox is concerned with the physical side of addiction, rehab is more focused on the mental side.
This stage of professional treatment aims to reverse the compulsive drug-seeking behaviors and self-destructive tendencies of substance abusers using therapies like one-on-one counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and behavioral therapies.
Rehabilitation is a necessary part of any recovery plan. In fact, NIDA points out that “detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself [i.e., without rehab] does little to change long-term drug use.”
“Residential Treatment or Inpatient Treatment”
An inpatient or residential treatment program is considered to offer the highest level of care when it comes to addiction recovery. And it’s also what most people imagine when they think of a rehabilitation program.
During these types of programs, patients actually stay at a treatment facility throughout the course of the program. That means that they eat, sleep, and go through therapy all in the same centralized location. This allows for a more controlled environment as well as more intensive treatments.
The upside of a residential program is, obviously, a higher quality of care. Patients are separated from their jobs, their school, and many of the environmental triggers that helped keep their substance abuse going strong. And that can help them re-evaluate their life and start over anew.
However, a residential program can also be quite disruptive. Since patients are required to stay on the campus grounds almost at all times, fulfilling certain obligations (like a job, school, or even tending to family needs) can be difficult if not impossible.
A residential or inpatient program is usually around 30 days but can also be as long as several months.
Outpatient treatment is a more flexible form of rehabilitation. But with added flexibility also comes a lower level of care which may be problematic for some.
These programs have treatment sessions that usually take place in the evenings or over the weekends rather than throughout the day. That means that patients can spend their nights and days however they please.
With greater flexibility, patients can attend school, go to work, and live their lives without as much disruption as if they had gone to an inpatient program.
However, this type of treatment is usually best either for those with a mild addiction or who are transitioning back into life after an inpatient program. Otherwise, the temptation to use again may be too much to handle.
These programs are usually around 3 months long.
Programa Ambulatorio Intensivo
“Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)”
An Intensive Outpatient Program or IOP is a step up from outpatient but not quite as great of care as with an inpatient program.
It follows the same format as an outpatient program. Treatment sessions usually take place in the evenings or over the weekends. However, sessions are usually quite a bit longer and take place more frequently throughout the week.
This makes it easier for those who need a higher level of care to balance a busy home life with the treatment they need to get clean and stay sober permanently.
They’re also usually around 3 months long.
Programa de Hospitalización Parcial
“Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)”
A Partial Hospitalizations Program or PHP offers even more intensive care than an IOP, yet still not as high as inpatient.
These programs require patients to come in during the day to get treatment but also allows them to spend their nights and evenings at home. Usually, each session is about 6 hours long and occurs Monday through Friday.
As expected though, these programs can make holding down a job with regular work hours quite difficult considering the schedule.
¿Qué Tipos de Tratamientos se Utilizan?
“What Types of Treatments Are Used?”
According to the Principles of Effective Treatment from NIDA, “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.” And on top of that, “Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.”
As a result, a quality treatment program needs to provide a wide range of therapies and strategies in order to treat an addiction properly.
Below are some of the most common types of treatments found in most rehabilitation programs today.
In one-on-one therapy, patients take a deep dive into their addiction and find out more about what’s behind their problems with substance abuse.
Past trauma, underlying mental disorder, ineffective coping mechanisms, and more can all often be responsible for the onset of an addiction. And in many cases, the addict themselves doesn’t usually recognize that these problems are at least partly to blame.
One-on-one counseling helps identify these problems, explains how they may contribute to addiction, and guides patients towards developing a plan for changing the trajectory of their lives.
Psicoterapia en Grupo
As the name implies, group therapy involves multiple people talking about their problems and receiving treatment in a group setting – usually with people facing similar problems.
There are a couple of important benefits to this type of therapy. First, it can establish an invaluable social support network among members. Friendships can even end up lasting a lifetime. And since strong social support is integral during recovery, this benefit is an important one.
On top of that, patients often learn more about their own struggles from the experiences of others. Their triumphs, their downfalls, and their journey towards recovery can all make an individual’s own road to sobriety much easier to follow. And in the end, that means a lower likelihood of relapse.
Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual. Instead, everyone around a substance abuser often suffers from serious problems as a result of their loved one’s dependency problems. And since most addicts will need the support of those closest to them in order to get sober, it’s only natural that many facilities offer family therapy during treatment.
Family therapy helps recovering addicts and family members mend broken bridges, admit past mistakes, and forge a new road ahead together. Rather than focusing solely on the individual, then, family therapy looks at treating the family system as a whole.
Finally, behavioral therapies give patients the real-life tools and strategies they need when they’re faced with overwhelming cravings or unexpected triggers.
There are quite a few of these therapies that treatment centers use today. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one of the best. It teaches patients how to recognize destructive behaviors and modes of thinking so that they can work towards reversing them entirely.
Some other behavioral therapies that a program may use could include:
- Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives
- Community Reinforcement Approach plus Vouchers
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- The Matrix Model
- 12-Step Facilitation Therapy
¿Cómo Mantenerse Sobrio?
“How Do You Stay Sober?”
Unfortunately, many recovering addicts end up turning back to substance abuse. In fact, NIDA states that around 40 to 60% of addicts will eventually begin using again after quitting.
So with such bleak recovery rates, how do people stay sober in the first place?
The key is creating an effective relapse prevention plan that can help patients fight off cravings, learn to deal with or avoid triggers, and develop and maintain healthier life strategies that don’t involve substance abuse.
What is relapse anyway?
Relapse is when someone recovering from a substance addiction goes back to using again. And while relapse should always be avoided at all costs, it’s actually a normal part of the recovery process.
The trick, however, is learning how to rebound and turn back to recovery after relapsing should it occur.
Some relapse triggers to watch out for include:
- Crazy Emotions and Feelings
- Problems Coping with Normal Daily Stress
- The Belief that They Don’t Have to Worry About Using Again
- Having a Short Fuse
- Not Remaining Committed to Recovery
- Spending Time with Old Friends Who Use
- Visiting Areas Where You Used to Use
Prevención de Recaídas
Though relapse is common, developing an airtight relapse prevention plan is the best way to prevent it from occurring. And there are a few core components and tips to these plans to make sobriety easier to maintain.
Stress Management – Stress is one of the biggest factors in relapse. And for many, it’s an overload of this emotion that can cause a full-blown spiral back into the depths of substance abuse. That’s why it’s so important to practice dedicated stress-management techniques. Eat well. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Practice meditation or mindfulness. Anything you can do to keep your stress at healthy levels will go a long way towards staying sober.
Strong Social Support – Social support networks are a great way to prevent relapse. By having a dedicated “buddy” or “sponsor” on-hand, you’ll know that even in the most trying of times, they’ll be there to talk you through moments of weakness and doubt. Plus, having someone there to cheer you on can keep you emotionally and motivationally supported too.
Attend Outpatient Treatment – Another great way of preventing relapse is enrolling in an outpatient program after graduating from an inpatient one. These programs are far more flexible and offer a smoother transition into regular life.
Alcohólicos Anónimos y Narcóticos Anónimos
“Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous”
Local support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous are some of the best sources of support when it comes to maintaining sobriety.
These groups are free to attend, open to all, fully anonymous, and widely accessible across the country.
They’re also built on the 12-step model for recovery. This approach to staying clean has helped literally millions of people maintain their sobriety. And it’s even so effective that NIDA actually endorses it as one of eight evidence-based behavioral therapies.
Finding a group near you is easy too.
Los Trastornos Mentales y la Adicción
“Mental Disorders & Addiction”
Addiction is a complex disease. And just as it affects nearly every part of a substance abuser’s life (career, finances, social life, health), so too does it affect many different areas of their brain. It’s no wonder, then, that mental disorders are more common among addicts than they are in the rest of the population.
However, these underlying mental disorders (called “co-occurring disorders”) can also make treating both addiction or the other disorder significantly more difficult. That’s why finding a program that specializes in this kind of treatment (called “dual diagnosis”) is so important to ensuring long-term recovery.
Struggling with a substance use disorder and an underlying mental disorder is what’s known as having a co-occurring disorder. Some of the most common include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Co-occurring disorders are also incredibly common.
According to NIDA, about half of addicts will suffer from an underlying mental disorder. And in that same vein, about half of people with a mental disorder will also go through a substance use disorder.
By comparison, only about 1 in 5 people will suffer from a mental illness in a given year. That means addicts are 2 and a half times more likely to suffer from a mental disorder than the rest of the population.
Treating a co-occurring disorder can be tough.
Part of the problem is the fact that the symptoms of an underlying mental disorder can actually make an addiction worse and vice versa. This, of course, can lead to higher levels of dysfunction.
But on top of that, both disorders also must be treated at the same time. Otherwise, the symptoms of the one left unresolved will be more likely to lead to a relapse for the other disorder.
That’s why it’s important to use only a facility that’s qualified to treat co-occurring disorders. These facilities are called dual diagnosis facilities. And they know exactly how to treat both mental disorders and addictions simultaneously – giving patients the absolute best shot at staying clean for good.
¿Que Cubre el Seguro Médico?
“What Does Health Insurance Cover?”
Thankfully, treating a substance use disorder is significantly cheaper than it has been in the past. And part of the reason for that is because of recent changes in the healthcare system.
For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (MHPAEA) essentially forced health insurance companies to cover physical and mental disorders equally. And that means that nearly every insurance company is now required to help pay for addiction treatment services.
As a result, most people who have either private or federal health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid) will receive help in paying for their addiction treatment.
Just how much is covered, though, still depends on the individual plan. Some people may end up paying several hundred to thousands of dollars while others will walk away paying little more than a small co-pay. It just depends.
The best way to plan ahead, though, is by verifying your insurance coverage beforehand. That way there are no surprises, and you’ll be sure you can afford the professional treatment you need.
Nuestro Centro de Rehabilitación de Alcohol y Drogas
“Our Alcohol & Drug Rehab Facility”
Northpoint Recovery is a 22-bed residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation facility (Centro Tratamiento Residencial) located in Boise, Idaho. We provide drug and alcohol detoxification (Desintoxicación de Drogas y Alcohol) as well as rehab for both drugs and alcohol.
We are nationally accredited by the Joint Commission, offer fully individualized recovery plans catered to the unique needs of each patient, and have one of the highest staff-to-patient ratios in the area – so you can be sure you’re getting the attention you deserve.
Plus, we use only evidence-based therapies and strategies for addiction recovery, including:
- One-on-One Therapy (Psicoterapia Individual)
- Group Therapy (Psicoterapia en Grupo)
- Family Therapy (Terapia Familiar)
- Behavioral Therapy (Terapia Conductual)
We have a long history of reaching out to the Hispanic community. While we do not currently have Spanish-speaking staff members, we have helped many bilingual addicts attain the freedom and sobriety that they truly deserve.
And we would love to be a part of your or your loved one’s recovery journey. So please, reach out to us today to get started now.
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