Drug Rehabilitation

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Understanding Why Drug Rehab Works

It was President Nixon who started the war on drugs back in 1971. He designated $105 million to go for treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. Unfortunately much of the debate surrounding drug addiction is whether or not drug rehab works. However, studies have shown that treatment over incarceration actually works and saves money, too. The question of why drug rehabilitation works really depends on the addict. While it is a successful program for many, there are addicts who simply relapse no matter what kind of treatment that they receive. For those who do find success through drug rehab, they usually have benefited from one or more of these treatments while there.

Detox and Stabilization: The Basis of How Drug Rehab Works

Inpatient treatment centers are known for putting their patients through detox as the first step to being taken into a facility. The detox lasts for 24 to 72 hours, and it basically allows the addict to go through withdrawals in a safe environment while also removing all drugs from the system. Without the drugs in the system, it’s still a long road to recovery, but for many, it is also the first stable day. After detox, patients enter the facility, which is detached from triggers, social circles and bad environments that may lead back to addiction. The whole point is to stabilize and treat addicts.

Group Therapy

Others believe that it is the ability to talk about addiction with other addicts and therapists that make the burdens of addiction and recovery easier to bear, but it is also important to understand exactly how drug rehab works. They are able to talk to strangers about their experiences and relate to one another. By talking about the different triggers, effects, people, problems and issues related to addiction, patients are able to see from other point of views while also being able to look at themselves. With guided group therapy, a therapist may also bring in exercises to calm and soothe the mind while also guiding those in recovery how to deal with triggers.

Drug Rehab Works with Supportive Atmospheres

Many addicts try to go through outpatient therapy, which basically allows them to continue to work, go to school and live in the same environment. This is often the problem that causes a relapse. The atmosphere isn’t supportive of a drug-free lifestyle. When addicts into inpatient care, they are enveloped into a place that is built to support those in drug recovery. They provide therapy, activities, cognitive behavioral therapy and education resources in addition to a clean place to sleep.

Activities and Education

Part of rehabilitation is to help addicts learn about addiction and to also recognize what is happening when they feel like they need a certain drug. There are triggers, and there is also familiarity. By going through rehabilitation, the education resources and therapists will help you learn more about what it means to be addicted and re-train the mind to look for positive sources that aren’t drug-related. That leads to activities. Most rehabilitation centers have an activity center that may include arts, crafts, writing, computer lab, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, swimming or other activities.

Helping Hand

Probably the most beneficial part of treatment is that there are others helping you get through a difficult period in your life. It’s a very supportive environment, and inpatient treatment is voluntary. This means that while you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to, you’re more than welcome to visit with family and friends while there. There are many programs. Some may last two weeks and others three months. It all depends on the type of support that you need and how effective therapy has been for you.

It’s Necessary

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 23.5 million people who are 12 years of age or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol addictions, but only 2.6 million actually received treatment. As more states look to legalize marijuana, it’s clear that there are some lenient policies towards drug offenders these days, but there has been very little movement in some states towards rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

Last year some changes went into effect for first time juvenile offenders whose charges would be dropped if they completed a treatment program monitored by the courts. The overwhelming evidence shows that rehabilitation is the preferred treatment rather than prison time. However there hasn’t been any legislation to change the overall war on drug laws that have filled prisons with almost 100,000 drug offenders for federal jurisdiction and 225,000 for state jurisdiction.

It’s clear that the war on drugs has changed the way that people look at drug addicts in America. Until more legislation designates rehabilitation as the right treatment for drug offenders, it may continue to wage without an end in sight. As more rehabilitation centers pop up across the country, those looking for treatment should stick to reputable inpatient treatment centers with highly reviewed staff and successful ratings.


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