Q: What is rehabilitation in the first place? What’s it like?
A: Rehabilitation is the process of combining pharmacological (prescription medications) and psychotherapeutic treatments to address substance abuse disorders.
It can be difficult to know exactly what to expect during rehab treatment, since the specifics are based on a person’s individual needs. However, the majority of rehabilitation treatment programs do offer many of the same basic services, which include:
A: Yes, rehabilitation for substance abuse disorders works.
The main goal of a rehabilitation process is to help individuals overcome their problems with their drug-of-choice and go on with the rest of their lives functioning well without it. So, rehabilitation is considered to be successful if a person is able to leave the program and stay clean and sober. The intent of rehabilitation is to enable a patient to be successful in life and avoid the drastic consequences that substance abuse can cause. Some other goals of rehabilitation include:
End alcohol or drug abuse
Establish a positive support system
Improve general health
Improve personal circumstances
Meet employment and educational needs
Reduce criminal behavior and resolve legal problems
Treat psychiatric disorders and psychological problems
Most inpatient rehabilitation centers require a minimum 28-30 day stay. Some people may need a more intensive treatment, and it may be suggested that they stay for 3-6 months in a residential treatment setting. Outpatient rehabilitation is usually recommended on a weekly basis, the standard is about 10 weeks of treatment for at least 5 hours per week. However, ongoing weekly rehabilitation for substance abuse disorders usually continues on a weekly basis for up to a year after diagnosis.
Q: Should I choose inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation?
A: It depends on your environment.
Needing rehabilitation does not necessarily mean that you need to go to a sleep-in rehab. Many people who live in a supportive environment can continue working and still seek outpatient addiction treatment. So, if your family and friends can support a drug or alcohol free lifestyle, you might want to consider outpatient rehabilitation. It is often much cheaper and is as successful (if not more successful) than inpatient rehabs.
On the other hand, men, women, and adolescents who need a major change in environment or who cannot otherwise avoid relapse should attend an inpatient rehabilitation center. If it is difficult to stay clean and sober where you are living, consider taking a break and going to inpatient rehabilitation.
Alcohol and drug rehabilitation is based on the different needs of addicted individuals. Still, there are some general processes that are common to each rehabilitation journey.
1. Assessment. Each rehabilitation process starts with assessment. Medical staff screen you to assess your personal needs, level of addiction, and health state. Then, they are able to accurately create an individualized treatment program that fits your needs.
The assessment is done through a series of physical exams, psychological screening, mental health assessment and drug tests. Once they are aware of the nature of the issue, treatment providers can tailor a treatment plan.
2.Detox (if necessary). Some substances are easier on the body than others, and some create harsh withdrawal symptoms as they leave the system. Almost all long-term and chronic addicts and alcoholics will require medical supervision during detox. In the detoxification stage, medical staff can monitor your state 24/7 and will try to make detox as comfortable as possible. In some cases, medications are necessary to lower the intensity or treat adverse withdrawal symptoms.
3. Psychotherapy and behavioral treatment. This phase of the rehabilitation process is considered to be “the meat” of the program. Certified counselors help you establish the base for future sobriety by addressing the addiction issues that stem from underlying mental and emotional conditions. When the root cause of the problem is identified, counselors and therapists can help you adapt new thoughts, patterns, and behaviors in order to change outcomes.
4. Aftercare. Finishing the rehabilitation program does not mean the process is done. Recovery is a lifelong process and many challenges as resisting cravings, triggers to use or drink again and relapse. After rehabilitation, the recovery process continues to follow-up programs, sober living facilities, transitional houses, support group attendance, job or life skills development and continued psychotherapy.
What to look for in a rehabilitation program
You need to make a few things your priority when choosing the treatment facility where you will start the rehabilitation process.
Appropriate licensing and accreditation – Treatment programs receive accreditation from the state, so check if they have it. Check to see if the center is accredited by CARF, as well. Also, it’s important for you that the program is run by licensed addiction and mental health professionals whose certifications are up to standard.
Effectiveness of treatment methods – Outside agencies gather data and publish statistics about a treatment centers’ success rates. Check to see how these external rankings place the facility, and look online for former patient feedback.
Aftercare services – In a good treatment program, the process of rehabilitation will continue to other recovery services and community support groups. Also, make sure you obtain a discharge plan before you leave the rehab program.
How to make rehabilitation work for you
There are several things you can do to contribute for your success in rehabilitation. Here are some of our suggestions.