A drug rehab program can help you or your loved one develop a healthier lifestyle and recover from the many harmful effects of addiction. Drug and alcohol rehab facilities are located all throughout the U.S. to help those in need who suffer from substance use disorders.
Continue reading to learn more about what happens in drug rehab and what to expect if you or your loved one is considering this treatment.
What Is Drug Rehab?
Drug rehab centers offer a wide range of treatments that can help people recover from addiction and substance use disorders. Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and drug use. It is both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Addiction often requires intensive treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family behavior therapy, and drug education are some of the many treatments and therapies available at drug rehab centers. Each patient receives their own customized treatment program based on their unique recovery needs. Drug rehab programs are developed by a team of doctors, nurses, counselors, psychiatrists, and other addiction treatment professionals who carefully evaluate and assess each patient at the time of intake.
Drug rehab centers offer several levels of care. Residential rehab offers the highest level of care for patients who need help adjusting to a sober lifestyle after having been severely dependent on drugs and alcohol. Outpatient rehab offers the lowest level of care and takes place for a few hours a week to accommodate patients who want to continue working or caring for children while receiving treatment.
Who Needs Drug Rehab?
Drug rehab is recommended for anyone diagnosed with a substance use disorder and cannot control or reduce their drug and alcohol use. The NIDA states that doctors use a set of specific criteria to determine whether someone has a substance use disorder. You or your loved one may need drug rehab treatment if at least two of the below criteria are met:
- Using drugs and alcohol in larger amounts or over a longer period than was initially intended.
- Having a persistent desire to cut down or control drug and alcohol use, and being unsuccessful at doing so.
- Devoting inordinate time to obtaining drugs, using drugs, and recovering from the effects of drugs.
- Having strong cravings, urges, or desires to use drugs and alcohol.
- Being unable to fulfill important obligations related to work, school, or family due to regular drug and alcohol use.
- Continuing to use drugs and alcohol despite knowing that it is causing or worsening social and interpersonal problems.
- Giving up or reducing social, occupational, and recreational activities due to drug and alcohol use.
- Continuing to use drugs and alcohol in situations in which it is physically hazardous to do so.
- Continuing to use drugs and alcohol despite knowing it is causing or worsening physical and mental health problems.
- Having a high tolerance for drugs and alcohol, characterized by needing higher amounts to feel the desired effects.
- Experiencing drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms when stopping drugs or when using smaller amounts.
What Happens In Drug Rehab?
Everyone who goes to drug rehab will have their own unique experience, as treatment plans are customized for each patient. Generally, patients join a residential rehab program or one of several levels of outpatient rehab. Then patients receive a number of behavioral therapies that improve their psychological health and well-being, and that teach them essential skills on how to navigate their everyday lives without using drugs and alcohol.
Residential rehab, including inpatient rehab, offers the highest level of care, as patients live at the facility for the duration of their treatment programs and receive 24-hour monitoring and support. From day one, patients have strict routines and daily structure that keep them occupied and distracted from drug and alcohol use. Patients are provided with nutritious meals and attend behavioral therapy sessions all throughout the day. In between therapy sessions, patients can enjoy the many different amenities available at their drug rehab centers and engage in fun, therapeutic activities with their peers.
Residential rehab programs can last anywhere between 30 and 120 days or longer, depending on how the patient progresses with their treatment plan. Patients can transition to a lower level of care when appropriate to receive less intensive therapy and more free time.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
A PHP is the next level of care down from a residential and inpatient program. According to the NIDA, PHPs require patients to receive behavioral therapy for four to six hours a day on at least five days a week. The daily structure in a PHP is similar to that in a residential program, except that patients live at home or in a sober living facility while visiting the drug rehab center daily for treatment.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
An IOP requires patients to receive behavioral therapy for at least three hours a day on at least three days a week. IOPs are ideal for patients who have resumed their work or school schedules and have learned skills that help them effectively cope with triggers such as stress and anxiety. In addition, an IOP gives patients a higher level of flexibility as they continue transitioning back into their communities.
Outpatient Rehab and Aftercare
Standard outpatient rehab programs and aftercare programs offer the lowest level of care, as they usually involve visiting the treatment center no more than once or twice a week. These programs are ideal for patients who are highly motivated to stay sober and who may already have completed a residential program, PHP, or IOP.
Many patients in outpatient and aftercare programs have successfully identified and addressed the root causes of their addiction. They have learned the skills they need to navigate their communities while facing a low risk for relapse. Outpatient and aftercare programs can help current patients and alumni stay connected to highly supportive recovery communities.
Behavioral therapies can help patients change harmful attitudes and behaviors related to substance misuse and provide them with the essential life skills they need to cope with stress and other triggers that commonly lead to drug and alcohol use. Behavioral therapies at drug rehab are shown to engage patients in addiction treatment and provide them with incentives that motivate them to stay abstinent, reports the NIDA.
CBT is one of the most common therapies available at drug and alcohol rehab. CBT helps patients identify and correct problematic behaviors in ways that allow them to adopt healthier coping methods. For example, patients who once relied on alcohol to reduce anxiety can learn how to cope with anxiety by practicing meditation or exercising, which helps them stay sober.
Other behavioral therapies available at drug rehab include:
- Dialectical behavior therapy, which helps patients reduce self-harm behaviors such as cutting and pulling out hair.
- Contingency management, which rewards patients when they abstain from drugs and exhibit other positive sober behaviors.
- Motivational enhancement therapy, which uses special techniques that motivate patients to stay engaged in treatment and abstain from drug and alcohol use.
- 12-step facilitation therapy, which allows patients to connect with and learn from sober peers through support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
- Family behavior therapy, which addresses and explores how addiction affects everyone in the family. It also helps patients improve and repair relationships with their loved ones.
- Substance abuse education, which teaches patients how drugs and alcohol interact with the body and brain, and how these substances can drive addiction.
- Medication management, which involves monitoring how medications are working and having dosages adjusted as necessary.
- Nutrition education, which teaches patients how nutrition plays a role in their overall health and helps them develop healthy meal plans that boost immunity.
Each drug rehab center offers its own set of behavioral therapies, and may also offer recreational therapies like wilderness therapy, art therapy, and equine therapy. Contact America’s Rehab Campuses directly to learn more about our available drug rehab services and therapies.