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Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Did you know that almost 10% of Delaware’s residents have reported using illicit drugs in the last month? It isn’t just our state, either. The nation is battling an opioid epidemic. At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we want to be a part of the solution. That’s why we offer a wide array of treatment options to fit the needs of each individual. 

We believe that quality treatment saves lives, and we want to start with our community. 

Substance Use Disorder - Who Is at Risk?

There is no set reason behind why some people struggle with substance use disorder and others don’t. There are, however, risk factors to look out for. Common things that can put people at risk for a substance use disorder include:

  • A history of trauma
  • A childhood of abuse or neglect
  • Time in the armed forces
  • A family history of substance use disorders
  • Early exposure to alcohol or other drugs
  • Peer pressure
  • Presence of a mental health disorder

How Many People Get Treated for Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder is prevalent. 21 million Americans are currently experiencing it, but only 10% of them are receiving help. Barriers to treatment include stigma surrounding drug use, lack of knowledge about financial options, and a lack of access to treatment. In addition, many individuals think they don’t need treatment or are not ready to commit.

Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health

Mental health and substance use disorders often go hand in hand. One can often cause the other. For example, someone living with depression or anxiety may use alcohol or other substances as a form of self-medication. Substance use disorder can also cause (or exacerbate) mood disorders or mental health issues. Because of this, addiction should always be treated alongside mental health.

Substance Use Disorder and Physical Health

The use of alcohol and other substances are known to deeply impact physical health.  Some common side effects of substance use include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Insomnia 
  • Tachycardia
  • Bradycardia
  • Risk of multiple forms of cancer 
  • GERD, IBS, or acid reflux 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • More

At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we treat the whole person. We believe in treating the body as well as the mind.  Any damage that has been done to your body due to substance use will be addressed and monitored.

What Treatments Are Available for Substance Use Disorder?

Treatments vary from facility to facility, but here are some common treatment options available for substance use disorder:

  • Detox. Medical detox usually lasts 3-5 days, and it takes place in a facility or a hospital. This form of treatment was created to help patients through the initial withdrawal period while monitoring their symptoms and helping them find relief.
  • Medication-assisted treatment. A MAT program is designed to help patients find the medications that work for them while they attend counseling or group therapy. MAT medications usually consist of Suboxone or methadone – both work to manage withdrawal symptoms, curb cravings, and prevent relapse. 

Medication Management
critical health education
  • Inpatient or residential treatment. This form of treatment is intensive, and it takes place in the facility of your choice. Patients will live at the facility and learn life skills, attend group therapy, and cultivate healthy routines.  The goal of residential treatment is to guide patients through the early days of sobriety while providing quality mental health treatment.
  • Intensive outpatient or outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatments allow patients to attend intensive therapy without living in a facility. Patients who choose outpatient treatment can continue to work and take care of their families while striving for recovery.
  • Psychotherapy, individual therapy, and group therapy. Also known as “talk therapy”, psychotherapy works to address the root cause of the patient’s addiction. It also works to help patients recognize and manage their triggers.


Principles of Effective Drug Treatment

Every effective treatment facility follows the 13 principles of drug addiction treatment. These principles have been studied and carefully noted by clinicians worldwide. The idea is that in order for treatment to “stick”, all 13 of these principles need to be in place. At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we take these principles seriously.

  1. Treatment is not a “one size fits all” endeavor. Individuals are unique, and their treatment plans should be unique.
  2. Treatment must be easily accessible. If a patient needs to commute long distances to get help, or if treatment is too expensive for their budget, they likely won’t regularly attend.
  3. Treatment must address all aspects of a person’s life, including their medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal needs.
  4. An individual’s needs change, and their treatment plan needs to change too. There should always be room for modifications.
  5. Treatment efficacy is dependent on the patient remaining in treatment for an adequate amount of time. Leaving treatment before it’s recommended can cause relapse.
  6. Counseling, both individual and group, are critical components of drug addiction treatment.
  7. Medication can be a highly effective treatment method, and it needs to be considered. Medications work best when combined with mental health counseling or therapy.
  8. Those who are living with co-occurring disorders (a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder) need to be treated for both. Ignoring a mental health issue when treating someone for drug addiction is not an effective course of action.
  9. Medical detox is only one step in the recovery process, and it shouldn’t be treated as a full treatment program.
  10. Treatment doesn’t necessarily need to be voluntary. If someone seeks treatment because it’s legally required, it can still be effective.
  11. Relapse is not a sign of failure, and the treatment plan should be adjusted if it happens. Drug use while in treatment should be monitored and addressed.
  12. It’s common for people to participate in high-risk behaviors when they’re living with a substance use disorder. Because of this, patients should be assessed and tested for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases.
  13. Long-term abstinence may require multiple treatment attempts. Time and patience are needed from the patient’s care providers. 

Getting Treatment for Substance Use Disorder at SUN Behavioral Health Delaware

At SUN Behavioral Health Delaware, we offer both inpatient and outpatient treatment options for adolescents and adults. We also offer group therapy and individual counseling. We know it isn’t always easy to seek treatment, and we’re happy that you’re here. Reading about treatment is the first step! If you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a consultation, call us today at 302-604-5600!


FAQs About Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Why do people with a substance use disorder need more drugs?

If someone has been using alcohol or other substances for a prolonged period, they begin to build up a tolerance. This means that they need more and more of the drug to achieve the same results. Oftentimes, they’ll experience uncomfortable physical withdrawal symptoms if they skip a dose or stop using substances entirely. 

What drugs lead to addiction?

Stimulants, narcotics, and benzodiazepines are the drugs most commonly associated with addiction. 

Delaware Substance Use Disorder Treatment

At SUN, we’ve created a caring, healing environment and will be there for every step of your journey to recovery. Please call us today to help you, your family and your loved one.


SUN Behavioral Delaware

21655 Biden Ave
Georgetown, DE, 19947

Hours of Operation:

Open 24 hours

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