What is Drug Rehab? An In Depth Explanation

Drug rehab is essential for those who are addicted to any type of drug. Quite often, people try to stop using on their own first. This method is not only ineffective most of the time, but it's also dangerous.

Getting the needed support during recovery is important, and this can only happen in a professional environment. During drug rehab, patients are made to feel at ease from their very first moments. It can be quite a lifestyle change to begin recovering from an addiction. However, it's important to remember that it has been done by millions of people around the world. Therefore, it is possible.

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People often have questions that they'd like to have answered before committing to going to drug rehab. They want to know everything from the type of treatment they can expect to how long they'll be there. Once these questions are answered, it becomes easier to see themselves getting drug treatment.

Recovering from a drug addiction is crucial. So many people remain in their addictions for years. They just can't see a way to escape them. The right drug rehabilitation program can make such a difference. The modern methods being used today have the power to make recovery a reality for addicts who need them.

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What is Drug Rehab?

Drug rehab is short for drug rehabilitation. This refers to the type of treatment used help someone recover from an addictive substance. Drug rehab is for those who are addicted to both legal and illegal drugs. There are a number of different methods used to achieve various recovery goals during rehab. Most importantly, patients learn how to live life without being dependent on any type of substance.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug rehab is intended to help addicts stop their compulsive, drug-seeking behaviors. This, in turn, will stop the use of the drugs.

Every addiction, and every addicted individual is different. Because of this, the type of drug rehabilitation that's required for everyone who needs it varies. However, a drug addiction is a chronic disorder that never goes away. It is also affected by occasional relapses. This means that short-term treatment is generally not good enough. For many people, long-term treatment is highly recommended in order to result in long-term success.

Drug Treatment Approaches

There has been a tremendous amount of research completed on drug rehab programs. Some of it dates back to the mid-1970s. Over the years, drug treatment approaches have changed considerably. However, there have been a number of principles that have always been kept in mind. These include:

  • Knowing that addiction is a treatable disease, even though it is quite complex. It affects behavior and brain function.
  • There is no single type of treatment that will work, or be right for everyone.
  • People with drug addictions need to be able to access treatment quickly.
  • It is vital to address all of a patient's needs; not just the drug use. This is the only way that treatment is effective.
  • It is important to stay in treatment long enough so that all benefits are experienced.
  • The most commonly used forms of treatment are counseling and behavioral therapies.
  • Medications can be a very important part of treatment. However, they should always be combined with behavioral therapies.
  • Treatment plans should be designed according to patients' unique needs. They also must be reviewed often and adjusted as necessary.
  • Treatment should address other possible mental conditions as well as addiction.
  • Drug detox should be thought of as the first stage of treatment. It should never be viewed as the only required method.
  • An addicted person does not have to voluntarily enter treatment in order for it to be effective.
  • Any type of drug use during treatment should be monitored closely and continuously.
  • Drug treatment programs should be testing patients for HIV/AIDS, as well as other infectious diseases. Steps should be taken to teach patients how to reduce their risk of contracting them.

Effectively treating a drug addiction is not simple. Actually, it is one of the most difficult challenges professionals face. However, when the right methods are used, it can be done successfully.

In his publication, Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America, William White discusses how much this field has evolved. The very first recording of any type of addiction treatment program was in the late 1700s to the early 1800s. It dates back to the Native Americans. So much has happened since that time.

Today, drug rehab programs are absolutely necessary as so many more people are addicted than ever before. Finding the right drug addiction treatment center that focuses on all of the above core principles is critical.

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Drug Addiction Treatment and Therapy Methods

There are a number of different strategies that are used during drug addiction treatment. Strategies should be chosen and modified based on what that particular patient needs. Usually, professionals will use a combination of different types of therapies.

There are several factors that go into deciding which therapies might be most beneficial. The types of drugs used, the length of the addiction and the history of the patient all play important roles.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Drug Addiction

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (also known as CBT) was developed as a way to prevent relapse. It was first used for alcoholics, and later, it was used for those addicted to cocaine. It is based on the theory that substance abuse behavior patterns are the result of learned behaviors. During treatment, patients learn to identify these problems. They gain new skills to correct these behaviors with the goal of stopping the drug abuse.

One of the goals with CBT is learning to anticipate what problems may arise. Patients learn to be in control of these negative, addictive behaviors. They develop their own coping strategies to learn how to avoid them. They use the following techniques:

  • Exploring both positive and negative consequences of drug use
  • Learning how to recognize cravings
  • Developing ways to cope with cravings
  • Identifying situations that would put them at risk of using
  • Learning how to avoid those dangerous situations

Research has shown that CBT is very effective in treating addiction. It's even more effective when it is combined with other treatment methods.

Multidimensional Family Drug Rehabilitation Therapy

Multidimensional Family Drug Rehabilitation Therapy (MDFT) has been shown to be very effective for young people with addictions. For adolescents with addictions, incorporating this type of treatment is crucial. It specifically addresses:

  • Ways to eliminate substance abuse
  • Ways to eliminate crime or illegal behaviors
  • Ways to improve overall mental health
  • Ways to improve the adolescent's success in school
  • Ways to improve the way the family functions as a whole

There are several goals with MDFT. First and foremost is to keep the family together and thriving. Family stability is critical in order for the young person to be successful. Any mental health symptoms are addressed with the appropriate forms of therapy. Mental health conditions are often and underlying cause of addiction. Most families are not aware of this fact.

Overall, MDFT focuses on the fact that teen drug problems are multidimensional. In order to facilitate real change, it's important to address all facets of the addiction. In doing so, MDFT is a highly recommended form of drug treatment by both teens and their families.

Motivational Interviewing Drug Treatment

Many people who are entering drug rehab find that they lack the needed motivation to recover. Motivational Interviewing (MI) addresses this problem. It can be such a barrier for recovery; even in those who want it.

Most people with addictions are aware of the negative consequences of continuing to use. However, they are also afraid of the changes that are to come. MI works so well because it internally increases the addict's own internal motivation. This is done by allowing the patient the opportunity to choose his or her own goals.

MI allows patients to grasp what they feel is important as a part of their recovery journey. In the process, they are able to overcome denial. They make their own conclusions about their drug use, and they develop a desire to change. That desire comes from within, not from a counselor.

In a sense, MI gives addicted patients control over their own destinies. When they feel in control, they are much more likely to make the right choices, and be successful.

Medication Therapy for Drug Addiction

For many patients in need of drug rehab, medication therapy offers them immediate help. These medications work by blocking the receptors that lead to addiction. This brings relief for withdrawal symptoms. Some even help to eliminate toxins from the body.

There are a number of different medications that are commonly used to treat drug addiction. These include:

  • Suboxone: Suboxone is often used to treat addictions to painkillers, or to treat heroin addictions. It has been very effective for a number of addicts.
  • Methadone: Methadone was once considered a standard treatment for heroin addiction. However, today it is being used less and less often. Some experts have criticized methadone, saying that it was too closely related to heroin. Therefore, it was more like trading one addiction for another.
  • Naloxone: Naloxone is often sold under the name Narcan. It is usually used to treat alcohol addiction. It works by reducing cravings, and many alcoholics have experienced success.
  • Campral: Campral is a medication that is similar to Narcan. In fact, the two are often used together to treat alcohol addiction. It works by reducing a need for alcohol.
  • Topamax: Topamax is an epilepsy drug that helps by reducing the risk of seizures in recovering addicts.

Additional methods are still being researched, but they show great promise in treating addiction. Vaccines may be developed in the near future. These cutting-edge drugs may eventually reduce the effects of drugs on they body and brain.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) has been found to be very effective in treating addiction. It is a new type of psychotherapy that is helpful when trauma is a component of addiction. Patients follow the therapist's hand movements with their eyes. During this time, they are asked to recall a disturbing event in their lives.

Eventually, the therapist guides the patient to think about more pleasant events or thoughts. This weakens the effect of negative emotions. Eventually, the disturbing thoughts begin to feel less severe. Patients find that they are more in control of them.

For people who need EMDR, their addictions are generally fueled by traumatic experiences. By treating the underlying cause, better results are seen in recovery.

There are also a number of other types of therapy that are frequently used during drug rehab. Therapists carefully choose which methods are right for each patient. Not all forms of treatment are right, or work for everyone.

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What Can Be Expected During Drug Treatment?

People who have never gone to drug rehab before often wonder what to expect. Their only experience with drug treatment may have been through what they've seen in movies or on television.

Every patient's drug rehab experience is different. That's because patients all have different needs during addiction treatment. Patients should expect to receive treatment plans that are tailored according to their needs. Otherwise, they will not maximize their time there.

For most who go to drug rehab, there are a number of different types of treatment they'll all experience. These include:

Drug Detox

Detoxification has been known to be an important part of the recovery process for many drug addicts. Unfortunately, it is often seen as the sole method of recovery. This should never be the case. It isn't enough for patients to go through drug detox and then believe that they're “cured.” Addiction is never cured, and it requires ongoing treatment.

A drug addiction is a complex condition. Drug detox will address the physical side of the addiction. However, it does not work to address the psychological side. This is the component that causes people to return to using. Patients going through drug detox need to be sure to attend a qualified drug rehab program afterwards.

An effective drug detox program offers multiple methods of detoxification. The right one should be chosen to suit the patient's needs. Medication managed detox is for those who require medications to help them through the process. This is not the right approach for everyone. Also, some medications can become addictive. That means this method should be utilized with caution.

A holistic drug detox program is a more natural way to remove chemicals and toxins from the body. It can also be used to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Holistic detox involves dietary changes and exercise to promote and improve the body's natural detoxification.

Detox can take three days, or it can take several more. Again, this is all according to what the patient needs at that time.

Individual Counseling

All patients who enter a drug rehab center will participate in individual counseling sessions. These sessions are critical in the recovery process. During individual counseling sessions, the therapist will get to know the patient better. Establishing trust is very important.

Once the therapist has a better understanding of the patient's addiction, he or she will begin therapy. One of the above methods are often used, or a combination of them. The goal is to understand the reasons behind the addiction. Those root causes are targeted, resulting in a much better, long-term recovery.

Group Therapy

Group therapy has been shown to be very helpful for those in drug rehab programs. People are often nervous about group therapy. They don't like the idea of sitting down with a group of strangers and talking about personal issues. However, what they usually find is that they're able to learn so much more about themselves.

Patients usually experience group therapy in a number of different settings. There may be 12 Step programs, which are group-oriented. There may also be other types of groups that cover various subjects. In listening to others share their stories, patients get to know one another. Over time, trust is built and they feel more comfortable sharing.

There are also a number of other types of treatment in drug rehab. Activities like Yoga and meditation are often very helpful. Art therapy, music therapy and equine therapy have proven success rates.

Above all, patients should expect to become a part of a small, close-knit community. The people are all likeminded, with one goal in mind &- to recover from addiction. The atmosphere should be calm, modern, friendly, and very relaxing.

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Types of Addictions Treated During Drug Rehabilitation

People with addictions often assume that they need to find a specialty drug rehab to help them. The truth is that these types of facilities don't necessarily make a difference. Addiction is addiction, regardless of the substance being used. Most drug rehab centers will be able to treat any type of addiction successfully.

People who need drug treatment can get help, whether they are struggling with:

  • A marijuana addiction
  • An addiction to prescription drugs
  • A hallucinogenic drug addiction
  • An addiction to cocaine
  • A crystal meth addiction
  • An addiction to alcohol
  • An addiction to heroin

Treatment methods exist for helping with all of the above, as well as every other type of addiction. A drug addiction is very powerful, but the key is not in treating the addiction, necessarily. Every effort must be made to treat the reasons behind it. This is what makes going to drug rehab so effective in drug addiction recovery.

Drug Rehab Methods to Consider

Once an individual makes a decision to go to drug rehab, there are other decisions to be made. He or she will need to decide on the type of drug treatment to participate with.

What many people don't realize is that there are a number of different drug rehab methods available to them. Each method is good, although each method might not always be the appropriate choice. Still, knowing what they are can be very helpful.

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient drug rehab is what most people think of when they think of addiction treatment. It is actually the method that is most highly recommended for most people.

During inpatient drug rehab, patients stay at a facility for about 30 days. They participate with many different types of therapy. Some of these are mentioned above. During that time, they spend their days focusing on recovering from addiction. This type of drug rehab is quite intensive, which is why it often yields the best results.

One of the benefits of inpatient drug rehab is being able to actually concentrate on recovery. All too often, the stresses and challenges of daily life crowd out everything else. By choosing inpatient rehab, those distractions are gone. This in itself usually results in success.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient drug rehab is usually for those who have already completed an inpatient program. However, there are exceptions to that. There are some people who are simply unable to commit to a 30 day stay. For these individuals, outpatient drug rehab might be their only option.

All outpatient drug treatment facilities are different. Some of them focus solely on patients meeting with therapists. Appointments may be held once a week at first, and then gradually become further apart. Some programs may also include support groups, but not all of them do.

12 Step Programs

For those who choose an outpatient program, group therapy is essential for recovery. If the outpatient drug rehab does not offer support groups, they can be found elsewhere.

There are a number of different 12 Step programs that can be utilized independently. Narcotics Anonymous is an excellent example. This organization is dedicated to helping drug addicts as they recover from their addictions. There are no requirements to join, other than being free from drugs. Meetings are usually held on a weekly basis, and they are located all over the country.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient treatment might be an excellent type of drug rehab for someone who cannot commit to inpatient rehab. It is intended for those who need a higher level of care.

During intensive outpatient treatment, patients are still able to work or go to school. They live at home, and so, they're able to take care of their other responsibilities as well. People who aren't able to take off from work usually find this method to be desirable. It's also desirable for those who have small children at home.

Long-term Drug Rehab

Finally, long-term drug rehab is another option to consider. These are residential programs, and there are many different types. A long-term drug rehab is appropriate for someone who needs longer than 30 days in inpatient treatment. Patients are able to say in these facilities for up to six months, or longer, in some cases.

During some long-term drug rehab programs, patients may be able to continue to work. They are required to participate with treatment and support groups. They may have responsibilities to care for at the residence.

For someone who has a toxic home environment, or who needs more care, this type of drug rehab is ideal.

How Effective are Drug Rehab Programs?

Sometimes people are skeptical about drug rehab programs, and for good reason. Many of them have fairly low success rates. This means that people may be in recovery while they're in treatment, but they quickly relapse.

It's important to find a drug rehab center that will help to prevent a relapse. There are a number of ways to go about doing this.

First of all, it's important to look for a drug rehab program that looks at each patient as an individual. Your needs are going to be much different than those of another patient. The staff should take plenty of time with you when they're assessing you. This will ensure that they know exactly what type of treatment you need.

Secondly, it's not enough to just treat the symptoms of addiction. Too many drug rehab centers rely on this alone as a form of treatment. There could be a number of different problems that have led to your addiction. These issues need to be addressed specifically. For example, you may be suffering from:

  • A depressive disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • An anxiety disorder
  • Physical pain in your body
  • A health condition that needs to be addressed
  • Bipolar disorder

These conditions are called co-occurring disorders. When these conditions are not treated, the addiction is likely to return. This can be dangerous for a few reasons:

  1. It can result in an overdose of the drugs you were using. Overdoses can be fatal if they're not treated right away.
  2. It can result in a complicated, chronic addiction cycle. This can make it much more difficult for you to recover in the future.

You should also be aware of the fact that your treatment should never end within 30 days. Sometimes people think that all they need is drug detox, or inpatient drug rehab. That is not true at all. Ongoing treatment is definitely needed for someone who has a drug addiction.

Take a moment and think about how long you have been using drugs. You didn't become addicted overnight. However, as you kept using, your addiction kept getting stronger and stronger. It takes a lot of time to undo the damage that has been done to your brain and body. Drugs wreak havoc when they're used illicitly. Taking the time to receive proper drug treatment is the key to recovery.

This is the reason why follow-up drug treatment is so important. Many people think that drug rehab isn't effective, but they fail to follow through with outpatient care afterwards. Without adequate and ongoing support, patients are likely to relapse.

A drug addiction is a dangerous disease. In this way, it's very similar to other types of diseases. Diabetics, those with kidney disease, and those with heart disease know the importance of continuing treatment. The same standards apply for those with addictions. The good news is that treatment types change the longer person continues to be in recovery.

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Common Questions About Drug Rehab Programs

It's typical for those who have never been to drug rehab before to have additional questions. Getting answers to those questions is important. Answers help people to feel more at ease about going to drug treatment.

How do you know you need drug rehab?

It's actually not all that uncommon for people to be confused about whether they really need drug treatment. There are some signs that they need drug rehab, and these include:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when drugs are stopped
  • Having a difficult time staying away from drugs or quitting
  • Being told by family that they need drug treatment
  • Not feeling normal unless they're high or using
  • Experiencing legal or medical problems because of drug use

If any of these signs is present, drug rehab is necessary.

What should you look for in a drug treatment facility?

On the outside, most drug rehab facilities look very similar to one another. However, they are actually quite different. It can be confusing to determine which one is the best drug rehab.

A few characteristics should be evident, and these include:

  • Providing patients with their own treatment plans
  • Offering treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • A higher than average success rate
  • A commitment to provide referrals for outpatient treatment
  • Nursing care around the clock

How long will you be in drug rehab?

People often want to know how long drug rehab will last. This very individualized as well. Of course, inpatient treatment programs generally last 30 days. For someone who chooses an intensive outpatient program, he or she will remain for 12 weeks. Traditional outpatient programs may last several weeks or several months. Long-term treatment can last for six months or longer.

It is important to remember that going to an inpatient drug treatment facility is not the end of the road. Further treatment is needed for the addiction. Stopping treatment too soon can easily lead to a relapse. In many patients, it does.

Should you travel away from home to go to drug rehab?

Many people actually do choose to travel away from home to go to drug rehab. Others feel more comfortable going to a facility that's close to friends and family. This depends on one's own personal preference.

Traveling away from home offers many different benefits that many people don't realize. They find that they have more time to themselves to focus on their recoveries. They're able to take this necessary time and let go of all the stress that has been weighing them down.

How much does drug treatment usually cost?

The cost of drug rehab is very dependent upon what the patient needs. For people who need to go to drug detox first, this service can be as high as $5,000 or more. A stay at a drug rehab center can be even more than that.

Most people find that they're not able to pay for drug rehab out of pocket. Fortunately, they don't have to. There are a number of great resources available to them to help with the costs.

Will insurance help to cover the costs of addiction treatment?

Health insurance will help people to pay for drug rehab, and this has made addiction treatment so much more affordable. Health insurance companies are required to provide benefits for addiction treatment. This is because of the Affordable Care Act. Many people are surprised to find that they need to pay nothing out of pocket.

What if you're concerned about your job? Can you go to drug rehab and protect your career?

It is possible to protect your career and still go to drug rehab. Your employer is required by law to allow you to get the treatment you need for your addiction. It's important for you to know your rights, as well as your company policy.

So many professionals fail to get the drug treatment they need. That doesn't have to be something that happens to you.

Why do some drug rehabs have higher than average success rates than others?

This is a great question. It all depends on the type of treatments being used. Drug rehabs with high success rates work hard to treat the cause of the addiction. Treating symptoms is very important. However, unless the root cause of the drug addiction is discovered and treated, the behaviors are very likely to continue.

Are most drug rehabs LGBT sensitive?

Today, more drug rehabs are sensitive to the needs of the LGBT community than ever before. This population is growing, and they have unique needs that must be fully addressed. Feeling accepted and comfortable is so important. Everyone's needs should be accommodated.

Do you have additional questions about drug rehab? Contact us today.



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