Last updated: 04/3/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Drug rehab is a form of treatment for those who have become addicted to dangerous substances of abuse. If you have been abusing an illicit or prescription drug for a long period of time and no longer feel in control of your use of the substance, you will require intensive drug rehab.
Rehab is a treatment program that will help you stop abusing dangerous drugs, treat the symptoms and side effects associated with your substance abuse, and prepare you to live your life in recovery as safely and beneficially as possible. Drug rehab is also a well-rounded treatment option that should cater to all the needs you may have as a particular individual, including those that may not even pertain directly to your substance abuse.
When you choose to attend drug rehab, your chance of a strong and healthy recovery increases considerably compared to those who decide not to do so. Let us help you find the right rehab program today.
Does Drug Rehab Work?
Drug rehab really does work, and those who attend it have a much better chance at recovery than those who do not. Unfortunately, relapse is a considerable threat if you are attempting to put an end to your substance abuse, and relapse rates associated with addiction are similar to those associated with other chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, etc. However, with drug rehab, many people are able to:
- Stop abusing dangerous drugs
- Minimize and put an end to their problematic or criminal activity
- Find jobs, return to school, and become financially stable
- Strengthen their relationships with their family and friends
- Stop experiencing the severe side effects associated with substance abuse, such as:
- Contracting and transmitting diseases
- Participating in risky behavior
- The physical, emotional, and psychological issues associated with drug abuse
In addition, drug rehab can help to treat a number of other problems associated with addiction, one of which is that of co-occurring mental disorders. If you have ever had issues with a mood or mental disorder or illness, it is very possible that this issue has helped lead to your substance abuse and possibly caused you many more problems as well.
As such, you will require treatment for both disorders at the same time, something most rehab centers are able to provide. If you have not been tested for the possibility of a co-occurring mental disorder, do so immediately, as individuals with substance use issues are twice as likely to have a mental disorder than those who do not have this problem, with the reverse also being true.
If you have been using dangerous, addictive, or dependency-causing drugs in large doses or for reasons other than they are prescribed, it is very likely that you require drug rehab. Ask yourself the questions below to find out for certain if you need to attend professional substance abuse rehab.
- Have you been lying to your friends and family about the extent of your substance abuse?
- Do the things that used to interest you no longer hold your attention?
- Do you use drugs all the time, even when you are alone?
- Are you constantly thinking about getting your next fix?
- Have you done dangerous, risky, or illegal things in order to obtain more drugs?
- Do you neglect to eat, sleep, or take care of yourself in order to use more?
- Have you tried to cut back or quit your use of these dangerous substances without success?
- Are you currently dealing with or have you previously experienced an increase in dependence or tolerance for the drug and still have not been able to cut back or quit?
- Have more than one of your friends, family members, coworkers, or other important people in your life expressed concern about your substance abuse?
- Do you feel that you are unable to get out of bed, fall asleep, or get through the day without abusing drugs?
- Do you make excuses for yourself to abuse drugs, even though you know it is dangerous and unhealthy for you?
- Have you experienced severe anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts associated with your drug abuse?
- Have you experienced intense physical side effects associated with your substance abuse?
- Have you ever overdosed on a drug you were using recreationally?
- Have you experienced any severe consequences of your substance abuse in the past year, such as:
- Losing your job or being reprimanded at work?
- Financial duress?
- Getting arrested or dealing with legal issues?
- Losing an important relationship?
- Despite these consequences, and the others associated with your substance abuse, do you still feel that you are unable or unwilling to quit?
This last question is one of the most important because it illustrates a lack of control over your drug abuse. But if you answered yes to any of the questions above, it is important to seek drug rehab immediately. Your substance abuse has become dangerous and is likely causing you––and your loved ones––many problems. However, this can all change with treatment.
What Happens in Drug Rehab?
In rehab, you will receive evidence-based treatment approaches to addiction as well as help with many other issues in your life. Addiction is a multifaceted issue, and rehab must pertain to all the parts of a person’s situation. Therefore, it is important to find a drug rehab program where you feel your needs are being considered and met.
Drug rehab consists of several different parts.
This is the beginning of drug rehab, in which you will be weaned off the substance you have become addicted to in a safe and beneficial way. It is important not to stop abusing drugs on your own, as your withdrawal symptoms may be severe and even deadly, and instead to let professionals help you put an end to your substance abuse in a safe and controlled environment.
Medication is used in drug rehab to reestablish normal brain functions, treat the symptoms and side effects of substance abuse, and curb any issues that may otherwise lead to relapse. Contrary to popular belief, pharmaceuticals are not used in rehab to simply shift your addiction from one drug to another but to manage and minimize your symptoms in a way that allows you to slowly and safely put an end to your substance abuse.
Behavioral therapy helps to teach you how to change your behaviors and attitudes toward substance abuse. In many ways, it is the most important part of rehab. Through these programs, you will learn to recognize and avoid triggers, cope with stress and cravings, see your addiction in a new light, and interact with yourself and others in a safer, healthier way. There are many types of behavioral therapy, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- 12-step facilitation therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Holistic methods
There are also a number of treatment methods utilized in many rehab programs that are not evidence-based approaches but can be extremely beneficial to certain patients. These may include:
- Pet/animal therapy
- Massage therapy
- Dance/art therapy
- Tai Chi
Many rehab programs also provide helpful options for those who require them to make life in recovery safer, better, and more beneficial. These can include:
- Vocational counseling
- Educational counseling
- Drug education
- Drug testing
- Housing help
- Nutrition classes
Your rehab program will be individualized to fit your needs, ensuring that you receive the treatment options that will be most beneficial to you. As you continue through rehab, your program will be reassessed and modified by your doctor based on your progress. Once you have reached a point where you are ready to move on to the next stage of your recovery, you will likely receive help choosing an aftercare program that will allow you to safely progress through the next phase of your life without substance abuse.
Most rehab programs last for a total of 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the particular facility, your needs as a patient, and your progress. There are some programs, though, that last longer, and these could be extremely beneficial to you if you have been trying to quit substance abuse for many years or have a very severe dependence on a dangerous drug. In general, rehab lasts as long as it needs to for each individual patient, and your particular needs and situation should be taken into account in order to ensure that you receive the best program for your personal recovery.
If you or someone you love has been suffering from addiction and the many effects of this disease, it is important to seek help rather than to go through it alone. You can find a list of addiction treatment resources in your state on our rehabs page.