Drug and Alcohol Treatment

It is possible to recover from addiction with the help of a successful drug and alcohol treatment program. Treatment for drug and alcohol addiction can be accomplished in a drug-free environment. Meaning, no medications are needed to solve the problems caused by drugs. Many drug and alcohol treatment programs that are drug-free utilize nutrition and nutritional supplements as an important component of their delivery. Thus, these successful drug-free drug and alcohol treatment programs are neither psychiatric nor medical, but a social education model of rehabilitation.

Persons enrolling these types of program must receive full medical physicals, an M.D.'s permission to do the program and periodic medical review as individually needed. However, clients are not considered or treated as "patients" but as "students" who are learning to regain control of their lives. This is an important distinction. A student does not enroll to recover from an "illness"; he enrolls to learn something that he doesn't already know. He addresses the disability caused by drug use with new abilities, new skills for life.

Not all alcohol and drug rehab centers are the same. Each rehab can differ significantly in philosophies, program options, credentials, staff skills and qualifications, and cost. In the long run, drug treatment aims for abstinence from drugs and/or alcohol. However, its short-term goals are more modest: to reduce drug use and to minimize the medical and social complications caused by drug abuse. A typical part of what one does in rehab is group therapy and individual counseling. In terms of group therapy, patients can expect to participate in sessions in which other addicts, at different stages of the recovery process, discuss their individual challenges and successes.

How do you find the right drug and alcohol treatment program for you? Think about these questions when selecting a rehab program:

  • Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?
  • Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed, and/or trained professionals?
  • Is the facility clean, organized, and well-run?
  • Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: including infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?
  • Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender, and culturally appropriate treatment services?
  • Are long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided, and maintained?
  • Is there ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?
  • Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?
  • Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies to enhance the individual's ability to function in the family/community?
  • Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen if appropriate? (This is not always ideal as many addicts wind up addicted to their "replacement" medication)
  • Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to abstinence?
  • Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addiction and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?

Drug and alcohol treatment staff prepares graduating students with "re-entry" programs to follow as they re-start their lives on a new footing. But the full drug rehabilitation program is intended to produce graduates who can stand on their own feet and live drug-free, ethical lives thereafter. A graduate of a successful rehab does not go to weekly meetings for months after completion, nor does he describe himself as "recovering."

A student who has graduated from a highly trained drug and alcohol treatment program has recovered. He or she has obtained a new orientation in life. The premise of this model is that a former addict can achieve a new life. This goal applies (and is routinely achieved) whether the program is delivered in a free-standing center, daily after work, or even in prison. Once well, if he uses the tools he has practiced and learned to use at a drug and alcohol treatment center, a graduate can stay well. This is not theoretical. There are decades of graduates who will swear by it.

If graduates do run into serious difficulties, some drug and alcohol treatment centers will have the graduate return to their center where they inevitably find a specific part of the program that they earlier failed to fully understand and therefore could not apply in the travails of daily life. But, the majority get it the first time through.

If someone has been through treatment before, more than 30 days is often recommended. The cost of attending an effective drug rehab program is expensive because it is health care. A full-time, inpatient treatment center can range from $400 to $1200 per day. Insurance will often cover some or all of the cost. Finding the right best rehab program is very important because they are all different. We suggest you start with what funding is available, such as insurance and go from there.

Effective drug and alcohol treatment programs often take four to six months to complete. During this time, some might consider the program a "therapeutic community," but it would be more appropriate to say that clients are going "back to school"--this time to get real tools for real life.

Many insurance companies emphasize local effective drug treatment programs. One advantage is that family members can more easily participate in the family program. On the other hand, the cost of airfare is a small fraction of the total outlay, and the program's ability to provide just the services you need may justify travel. Especially for young people, being away from familiar "people places and things," may be an advantage.

While the goal of all drug and alcohol treatment centers is to get drug addicts sober and into recovery, some centers take it a little further. These centers seek to improve the quality of the addict's life after recovery. Through a series of programs, the recovering addict will be taught skills that can be used in all aspects of their life to make it better.

A Successful Drug and Alcohol Treatment Graduate is Someone:

  • Who has completed the drug rehabilitation program;
  • Who knows he is, in fact, capable of living a drug-free life thereafter;
  • Who has improved his or her ability to learn and thus can accept new ideas on how to change life for the better;
  • Who has personally absorbed the fundamentals of ethics and morality well enough that he or she can be productive and contributive to society and will have no further troubles with the justice system;
  • Who knows how to solve the problems of life in a rational manner to the best of his ability, without the use of mind-altering drugs.

Each drug and alcohol treatment program graduate is expected, no matter the severity of his or her earlier life experience, to achieve and to live a stably drug-free, ethical life. There is no such thing as a "victim" in these highly successful types of drug and alcohol treatment programs way of thinking. Even if life has dealt one a bad hand of cards, the road out is through personal recognition of responsibility for one's own condition.

In 2006, 13.1% of adults admitted to drug treatment were around the ages of 35-39.

From 1995-2005, violent crime fell 31.5% due to an increase in drug treatment admissions.

Detox is done before entering drug treatment programs.

Drug treatment centers provide rehabilitation services for drug addiction and alcoholism.

In 2006, 1% of individuals who went to drug treatment centers were Asia/Pacific Islander.

In 2006, 2.3% of individuals who went to drug treatment centers were American Indian or Alaska Native.

In 1999, there were 4 million chronic drug users in the United States who need drug treatment.

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