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Drug Abuse Rehab

  1. Table of ContentsPrint
  2. Why Do I Need Rehab?
  3. Beyond Detox – Recovery Takes Time
  4. What Types of Programs Exist?
  5. Who Needs Treatment?
  6. Benefits of Longer Treatment
  7. What to Look for in a Drug Rehab Program

Hopeful man looking off in the distance

Why Do I Need Rehab?

Choosing drug abuse rehabilitation is a solid first step towards helping you or your loved one overcome an addiction and lead a new, healthy life.

When you or someone close to you needs drug abuse rehab, it can be hard to know where exactly to find help. Without the proper help, however, substance abuse can lead to potential life-threatening situations. Additionally, drug abuse affects not only the life of the individual user but also the lives of his or her family. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective treatment methods to help individuals overcome their drug addictions.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), those who complete drug abuse rehab are more likely to:1

  • Achieve sobriety.
  • Have fewer run-ins with the law.
  • Enjoy better relations with family members, friends, and colleagues than those who do not participate in treatment.

Many chronic conditions such as arthritis or diabetes carry a risk of recurrence, even after years of successful medical management. In a similar way, there will always be a possibility of relapse for those in recovery.1 However, finding a reputable treatment program that utilizes evidence-based treatment (and staying in treatment long enough—NIDA recommends at least 3 months) gives people a head start on sobriety and gives them the tools they'll need to prevent relapse.2

Choosing drug abuse rehabilitation is a great first step towards helping you or your loved one overcome an addiction and lead a new, healthy life.


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Beyond Detox – Recovery Takes Time

While detox is often looked upon as one of the most difficult aspects of the recovery process, addicts aren’t in the clear once they make it through withdrawal.5The real work of recovery takes place post-detox in the therapeutic portion of treatment. In therapy, both individual and group, recovering addicts uncover the root causes behind their substance abuse, helping them to address these issues so they don’t cause them to return to substance abuse at a later date.3


What Types of Programs Exist?

Success in the air

There are numerous types of drug abuse rehab programs available. Various approaches provide a variety of aspects of care, while addressing numerous needs. Private drug abuse rehab programs often provide a large array of therapies for individuals struggling with a drug addiction problem.4

There are two different types of residential drug abuse rehabilitation programs: hospitalized and non-hospitalized. In the last few years, residential treatment facilities have undergone changes and started to provide an environment that is less hospital-like for patients. Treatments in residential facilities may depend upon the particular program and facility.5

Outpatient drug rehab programs are also available, and they can vary in terms of intensity as well as length.5 Some outpatient programs may last from several hours per day to just a few times per week. Outpatient care typically allows patients to remain at home while receiving necessary treatment. This can be beneficial for individuals who are attending school or need to maintain a regular work schedule.6 The disadvantage to nonresidential care is that individuals may typically still face daily struggles that can trigger drug abuse.7

The first step in the rehabilitation process is often intake or assessment. During this phase, a qualified staff member will work with the patient to determine the extent of their addiction, ask about their general health, and devise an appropriate treatment plan to help him or her attain the greatest chance for recovery.6,8




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Who Needs Treatment?

One of the first questions that should be asked when determining whether you or someone close to you needs rehab is whether the issue of drug abuse is out of control. Individuals who are not able to control their use of prescription medications and/or illicit substances may require professional treatment.

In many cases, those who have a drug abuse problem will go to extensive lengths in order to hide their addiction. A person with a drug abuse problem may also exhibit the following symptoms:9,10

  • Red/bloodshot eyes.
  • Dilated pupils or constricted pupils.
  • Withdrawal from family and/or friends.
  • Mood swings.
  • Sudden changes in behavior.
  • Neglect of personal grooming/hygiene.
  • Unusual smells on clothes/breath/body.
  • Unusual weight loss or gain
  • Changes in sleeping patterns such as being up at night and sleeping during the day.
  • Lack of interest in favorite activities.





Benefits of Longer Treatment

NIDA recommends that any type of drug addiction treatment last at least 90 days; in fact, they find that shorter treatment lengths demonstrate limited effectiveness.11 Studies have demonstrated that the people who stay for 3 months or longer typically have better outcomes.12 So, while the initial investment of time can seem daunting, longer treatment lengths pay off.

Ongoing support and aftercare are essential to this type of sustained, long-term recovery. Many drug abuse rehab centers feature robust aftercare programs, including ongoing individual therapy sessions on a periodic basis, group therapy meetings, and alumni events. Oftentimes, alumni are also encouraged to get involved in their own recovery community by participating in 12-step meetings or residing in a sober living home. If recovering addicts have people they can turn to for support when they are tempted to relapse, they are more likely to stand strong and resist the urge to use again.

Relapse Rates by Treatment Length


What to Look for in a Drug Rehab Program

Considering rehab? Don’t forget to ask about…

A 2016 survey conducted by Recovery Brands found that many patients leaving a treatment program suggest that examining a program’s offerings, such as amenities, food, recreational activities, and the quality of housing, is one of the most important considerations when selecting a treatment program.

Make sure to ask the programs you’re considering about their offerings for patients staying there to help you in your final decision.

When choosing a program, it is important to know what to look for.

First, consider whether the rehabilitation program accepts your insurance. If it does not accept your insurance, find out whether it offers a payment plan. The cost of a program can play a major role in your selection process. Inpatient treatment, which generally costs $200 to $900 per day depending on the length of the program, tends to cost more than outpatient, which runs between $100 and $500 per treatment session.13  When considering the costs of the programs, don't forget that your recovery matters much more than a price tag and there is always a way to afford treatment.

In addition, take the time to find out whether the rehab program offers services that encompass a broad spectrum of needs, including psychological, medical, vocational and social. It is also important to find out whether the program employs a variety of strategies, including linkage to aftercare services, to help increase the chances of long-term success.

If you're ready to call about treatment, prepare for your call by:

  • Having your insurance card handy.
  • Listing your top priorities for treatment so you can ask potential programs whether they provide the care/amenities that are important to you.
  • Gather a list of questions you might have. These could include:
    • Are you licensed/accredited?
    • What is the cost of your program?
    • What is your visitor policy?
    • Do you offer medical detox?
    • Can you treat dual diagnosis patients?
    • Do you offer childcare?

Whatever questions or concerns you have, don't be afraid to bring them up—you need to feel comfortable with the program that you choose.


References:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). How effective is drug addiction treatment?
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Effective Treatment.
  3. American Society of Addiction Medicine. (2011). Definition of Addiction
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Behavioral Therapies. 
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Types of Treatment Programs.
  6. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). Treatment Settings.
  7. CIGNA. (2017). Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment for Substance Use Problems.
  8. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 45. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13­4131. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006.
  9. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). What are signs of drug use in adolescents, and what role can parents play in getting treatment?
  10. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2017). Frequently Asked Questions.
  11. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?
  12. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 1997. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 24.) Chapter 5—Specialized Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.
  13. American Addiction Centers. 2017.
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