Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers (also called “Rehab” or “Drug Rehab”) are specialized medical facilities that treat addictions and substance abuse behaviors. This treatment usually involves a long series of psychotherapeutic treatments, cessation treatment and other treatments depending on the substance being abused. These facilities sometimes require the patient to “check-in” to a hospital like facility and stay for extended periods of time to ‘detox’ and create a safe environment for the abuser to extract themselves from their current condition. Other treatments involve a more out-patient style treatment and can be arranged to work with the clients schedule. In most cases a ‘philosophical break’ must occur from current addictive behavior in order for the patient to change into more normal behavioral patterns. Only after a complete and abrupt cessation of the substance being abused can a patient hope to make a full recovery. This recovery can take weeks and sometimes even months to achieve completely. A small percentage of patients may never recover and a new model of Client Centered Therapy accepts a patient may be able to recover and still use the substance in moderation. This is in contrast with accepted 12 Step Program beliefs.


Drug Rehabilitation Treatments are performed by professional drug counselors and doctors who are versed in treating specific addictions and prescribing medication to combat addictive cravings. In some 12 step programs the counselors were themselves at one time addicts. In some treatment centers medications may be prescribed by a medical doctor to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. Most treatments always involve either a mix of group counseling or individual psychotherapy. Depending on the type of addiction a variety of drug treatments are available. With powerful opiates a series of drugs is used to offset the painful withdrawal symptoms of “street” drugs. With alcohol addictions other specific treatments will be used. In most cases a behavior modification or a cessation model will be used.


The most popular form of treatment for a person who is addicted to a substance is to be admitted into a Residential Drug Treatment Program. This usually requires a patient to check into a facility, or a group of facilities, also called Therapeutic Communities for an extended period of time. Another type of therapy is called the 12 Step Program and involves a series of meetings for group therapy sessions that can be completed on an outpatient basis. 12 Step Programs differ from traditional psychotherapy in that the groups “self monitor” each other and a religious tone and dogma is injected into the treatment, requiring the recognition of a “higher power” to participate. Secular 12 Step Programs also exist which resemble traditional psychotherapy group sessions and do not require a recognition of a higher power. Group Therapy 12 Step programs are available for each specific substance from Alcohol to Narcotics and use foundation of the 12 steps tailored to each type of addiction. Another more controversial method is called Client-Centered Therapy. Client Centered Therapy revolves around the tenant that a therapist must create a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which the client is encouraged to reach their full potential without the use of the abused substance.


Side effects of the cessation of powerful psychoactive drugs and alcohol are acute. Withdrawal can be painful and debilitating. The treatments are designed to mitigate and assist the patient in the transition to a drug free state and deal with the psychological effects of withdrawal symptoms. Drug and Alcohol addictions are both psychological and physical in nature therefore require the a two track approach to treatment. Abstinence from the addictive substance is imperative for a full recovery. Though this is debated by some practitioners. Success rates for recovery are difficult to ascertain but for the majority of people who attempt to recover and work hard at resolving addictive behavior find they can beat the addiction. Treatment Centers are expert at assisting the patients who have completed recovery programs. They arm the recovered patients with tools and resources to combat cravings and identify situations that fuel the desire and create a relapse. A relapse is not uncommon after a first attempt at treatment has been apparently successful. A relapse does not mean initial treatment has failed. Most treatment facilities can re-treat patients if they have a relapse and fall back into substance abuse behavior.


Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers are convenient and safe private clinics that perform a vital function in rehabilitating hopelessly and even mildly addicted individuals. The social and personal cost to individuals saddled with addictive behavior is enormous. Today, a myriad of success-oriented programs exists. Societies effort to reincorporate and accept individuals back into functioning roles is greater than ever. Those who suffer from addictions can confidently re-engage normal behavior after treatment. The ability to have a full and functioning life after debilitating addictions can be a powerful compelling proposition to seek recovery. Most addicts, after treatment, can become functioning members of society again. With today’s state of the art Rehabilitation and Treatment facilities there are more options and better suited services available for treatment than has previously existed.

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