When someone is struggling with addiction, they may not know they need help despite the very clear damage they are causing to themselves and those close to them. Some may fear being criticized or even rejected by their loved ones if they allow them to see the depth of their torment. In many ways, their addiction becomes a familiar place to dwell, as though it has become their “comfort” zone but in reality, they are in the trips of a compulsion that is beyond their control.
Knowing that there are support and treatment available to them is sometimes not enough to motivate an addict to seek it. However, being made aware of the considerable benefits of overcoming addiction and how it can truly transform an addict’s life to one that’s healthy, happy and fulfilling can go some way to providing the incentive they need to regain control of their lives. Although the journey to sobriety is never easy, the rewards hugely outweigh the efforts required.
In this article, we take a closer look at what’s involved in drug rehab in an attempt to clarify what’s involved in drug addiction treatment and illustrate just how rewarding it can be for someone who has been completely lost to the illness.
Steps of the Addiction Rehab Process
Each patient entering drug rehab is evaluated and assessed by counselors, therapists and physicians as part of the initial stages of treatment. This allows a personalized treatment program to be devised that will address the unique medical, emotional and psychological needs of each patient. Evaluation is carried out when someone is first admitted to a drug rehab center and in general, all recovery processes share the same elements after that first step as follows:
- Detoxification (detox): to rid the body of the chemical influences of drugs and alcohol
- Rehabilitation (rehab): continued care to educate patients on the nature of their addiction and provide them with life skills to cope during recovery through therapy sessions and counseling
- Ongoing recovery: aftercare to assist patients leaving a drug rehab center as they return to their daily lives
When in rehab, patients will receive treatment using a combination of approaches including medications, behavioral and complementary therapies.
What Are the Key Principles of Addiction Treatment?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there are some key facts that should be kept in mind when embarking on a treatment program as follows:
- Addiction affects the brain’s chemistry and not just a person’s behavior
- Early intervention with addiction treatment can lead to better outcomes
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating addiction because everyone has their own unique set of circumstances and medical needs
- Effective treatment targets all aspects of a patient’s life and not just the addiction issues they have
- There is a strong correlation between addiction and mental illness and patients should be evaluated to determine if they have a dual diagnosis
- When in treatment, patients should also be assessed for other infectious diseases like HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis
- An addiction treatment program lasts for as long as the patient needs to overcome their illness
- Although detox is the first and most important stage of addiction treatment, it is not sufficient in itself to allow someone to overcome the illness. Medical treatment, behavioral therapy and ongoing support are also required to effect long-term change.
- Behavioral therapies include a combination of group, individual and family counseling
- Medications are frequently used in the treatment of drug addiction and alcoholism
- When patients leave rehab a good aftercare program will monitor their progress and help with relapse prevention
- Treatment plans should be continually revised and adapted to meet each patient’s changing needs in rehab
Patients Are Supported in Rehab and Recovery
The most important takeaway from addiction treatment for someone who has been consumed by substance abuse disorder is the support they gain from therapists and others in rehab or recovery. Medical supervision through the detox process also makes the most challenging step towards sobriety much more comfortable for patients than if they were to attempt to quit on their own.
This is because patients are supported with every single step they take towards recovery when they enter a rehab facility, which can be vital for a sustainable life in abstinence. For someone who is nervous about living their lives without drugs or alcohol because they have become central to their existence, this support can make a significant and very positive difference to their chances of success in overcoming the illness.