Drug Rehab - A Process Overview

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A drug treatment program, also commonly called drug rehab, is something much more common today than it was even 30 or 40 years ago. Statistics suggest that there are well over 20 million people from teenagers and up who are addicted to some sort of substance and could benefit from a drug treatment program.

There are several different types of programs out there to help addicts. Some require an in-hospital or in-clinic stay that lasts anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on each person’s needs. Outpatient programs are also available which require no hospital stay, but instead have each person visit according to a schedule, much like one would visit a counselor or physician. A drug treatment program that many people use today typically will involve both in- and out-patient treatment. An individual might make outpatient visits for months or longer after finishing an in-patient stay for what’s known as detox.

Detox is the part of a drug treatment program, always in the beginning, which is one of the most difficult for most addicts. Formally known as detoxification, it’s the period in when the person’s body starts to react from withdrawal of the drug. In-patient programs offer the use of anti-addictive drugs and other therapies to help minimize the negative side effects of withdrawal every addict experiences when he or she no longer uses the drug. For alcoholics, the period of detoxification is often referred to as “drying out.”

Detox is the first step in a drug treatment program that gets the addicted person through an initial period of abstinence from the drug. The remainder of the program focuses on keeping the person from using the drug again and making another detox session necessary. It’s believed that some addicts, though they complete the initial detox session and seem to have overcome the early symptoms of withdrawal, take months before they’re truly finished with detoxification, because it’s believed that some drugs literally remain in the system for months, making it difficult to successfully break an addition in a short period of time. Long-term drug treatment works best for some people for this reason.

Almost any drug treatment program successfully used today uses physical therapies in addition to psychological therapies to help battle each person’s drug abuse. The physical effects of detox and those after can be easily monitored and even controlled with approved drug therapies, diet and exercise, but the psychological effects of drug addiction might be even more challenging to counteract.

Counseling, often individual counseling as well as group sessions, is an integral part of treatment. Sometimes an addict’s friends and family are involved in some sessions to help the addict understand how his or her behavior affects loved ones. A long-term drug treatment program help addicts continually monitor their psychological dependencies, and give them a better chance at successfully managing their addictions. The long-term need for help is reflected in how many people complete a drug treatment program and continue in long-term support groups like AA and NA.

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