Whether you’re suffering from drug and/or alcohol abuse, you’re told to attend rehab to get clean. And at times, it’s required. But does rehab work? Find out here.
In 2016, over 20 million people in the United States were classified as having a substance use disorder. If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, chances are that you’ve thought about getting clean. Maybe you have even tried going cold turkey.
It’s also likely that you have wondered, “Does rehab work?” That’s a difficult question to answer since there are so many factors at play. We’re going to break it down and help you make an informed decision about your journey to sobriety.
What Does Rehab Entail?
One of the problems with answering the question “does rehab work” is that there’s no standard definition of what rehab entails. People often use the term broadly, to describe any approach to overcoming addiction. It’s important to understand the different types of drug and alcohol addiction treatment modalities, to determine which is the best type for you.
Most rehabs are inpatient facilities that offer short-term stays of approximately 30 days. However, there are also detox programs and sober living homes. Each plays an important part in helping a user get clean and stay clean.
Detox refers to the physical process of stopping drug or alcohol use. Heavy users who go cold turkey can face serious withdrawal symptoms. These can range from flu-like symptoms to seizures and even death.
Even the mildest symptoms, however, can be so unpleasant that addicts are tempted to stop them by using again.
That’s why it is vital to be under medical supervision while detoxing. Sometimes, less addictive drugs are administered to help ease the withdrawal symptoms. Compassionate and experienced medical professionals will monitor the patient’s health but are also instrumental in reassuring the patient that everything they are experiencing is normal.
Many facilities offer detox treatment as the first step of a patient’s recovery journey. It serves as a foundation upon which the remainder of treatment can be built.
Rehab is an intensive, short-term program intended to address all aspects of addiction, from the physical to the psychological. By entering a rehab program, the patient will get help from trained professionals. She will also be able to avoid triggering situations, which might otherwise cause her to use again.
Rehab also offers a safe, supportive environment where patients can focus on the most important goal: sobriety.
Sober Living Programs
Better known as “halfway houses,” sober living residences are often the next step after rehab, but before going it on your own. Here, patients learn to reintegrate with society, while still receiving intensive support from counselors and from their peers.
Residence in a sober living home is usually contingent upon holding down a job or attending school. The individual must also demonstrate responsibility, attend meetings, and obey a curfew.
In many ways, rehab is an ongoing process. That’s why people often describe themselves as a “recovering addict,” rather than as a “recovered addict. Even after a patient has fully resumed a productive life, outpatient rehab can be helpful in maintaining sobriety.
Outpatient rehab can consist of group therapies, career counseling, and various types of training.
Does Rehab Work If It’s Court-Ordered?
There are as many reasons to enter rehab as there are rehab patients. Sometimes it is court-ordered for people who are facing drug-related criminal charges. Other times, it is the result of an intervention staged by the friends and family members of a substance abuser.
Still, others decide to try rehab simply because they are sick and tired of the hold that addiction has over them. They understand that battling addiction on their own will not be successful.
Whatever the external motivation for entering a treatment facility, the substance abuser must also find the internal motivation to complete the program. Rehab won’t work if the individual doesn’t want to stop using. Rehab isn’t effective if the user plans on returning to substance use at the earliest possible opportunity.
In other words, what you will get out of rehab depends on what you put into it.
Defining the Goal of Rehab
Asking “does rehab work” is also dependent on how you define success. Obviously, one of the primary goals of any addiction treatment center is achieving and maintaining sobriety. Getting clean is a wonderful achievement, no matter how you look at it.
Yet most recovering addicts and the professionals who treat them would also say that other goals must also be met. These can include repairing broken relationships, maintaining steady employment, earning a degree, being awarded custody of children, and achieving mental health.
When you enter rehab, you will be asked to name some goals that you would like to work towards. Setting your own goals and then taking action to meet them is an important step toward being accountable.
Does Rehab Work the Same Way for Everyone?
In short, no. Not every type of treatment is going to be successful for every person that walks through the doors of a rehab center. And that’s OK. That’s why there is a wide range of modalities that these centers use. It’s also why most programs offer personalized approaches to recovery for each and every patient.
Some rehabs are grounded in spirituality, while others rely on psychological approaches. Some facilities ask patients to do a great deal of soul-searching, and others focus more on the practical skills necessary for a sober lifestyle.
You probably know people who have been in rehab before, perhaps many times. And it’s understandable that, watching these people relapse, you genuinely wonder, “does rehab work?” It may very well be, however, that those particular rehab treatment programs did not work for that individual, at that stage in their lives.
It does not mean that rehab won’t work for you.
Ready To Learn More?
Muse Treatment offers a variety of rehabilitation options. Our staff is experienced, caring, and dedicated to helping you succeed at sobriety.
We understand that rehab can be an incredibly frightening prospect. That’s why we have addiction specialists on hand to answer any questions you might have. It’s confidential, and there is no obligation. Contact us today, and take the next step toward sobriety.