How to Find Effective Drug Rehab Programs?

3 min read · 5 sections
An effective treatment program not only addresses the issue of addiction, but can and should also help people in all areas of their life.
What you will learn:
What makes up an effective treatment program?
The various types of programs available.

Drug and alcohol addiction is a pervasive disorder that affects every area of the individual’s life and has a negative impact on that person’s functioning.

Substance use disorder is a medical condition defined by the uncontrollable use of a substance despite harmful consequences.1

Addiction affects the brain, including areas responsible for motivation, learning, and impulse control. Thankfully, various types of rehabilitation programs can aid an individual struggling with addiction in their recovery process so they can go on to lead healthy lives.

In 2020, 41 million people aged 12 and older had a substance use disorder.2 Only about 4 million of them received treatment for the disorder.2

It’s important that those in need find an effective rehabilitation program that can guide them on the path to long-term recovery. While there is a plethora of treatment facilities in the United States, it’s important to find a program that specializes in addiction treatment that’s tailored for you.

Components of Effective Rehab Programs

An effective rehabilitation program typically incorporates many components, each directed at a particular aspect of the disorder and its consequences so that the individual stops misusing drugs or alcohol, maintains abstinence, and leads a healthy lifestyle beyond treatment.3

In 2020, there were more than 16,300 treatment facilities in the United States.4 As previously mentioned, only 1.4% (or 4 million) people who needed treatment for a substance use disorder in 2020, received it. Approximately, 2.9 million people received treatment in a specialized drug and alcohol rehab facility.2 Others sought help elsewhere—from a self-help group, mental health centers, and private doctors.2

Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics and needs of the individual seeking treatment but addresses the physical, mental, social, vocational, and legal issues associated with the addiction.3 Additionally, an individual’s treatment plan should be continually assessed to ensure the program meets their changing needs.3

Types of Rehabilitation Programs

Residential Treatment

Residential treatment typically falls in short-term or long-term programs.3 Short-term care tends to be more intense and may last days, weeks, or months. Long-term residential programs usually last 6 months or a year.3

Regardless of the duration of treatment, inpatient rehab or residential facilities provide housing and 24-hour care while an individual receives intensive individual and group counseling, psychiatric care, and education to help them understand and resolve issues that led to drug or alcohol misuse.3

Many inpatient programs utilize the “therapeutic community,” a treatment model that focuses on social relationships and connections to aid in recovery.3

During inpatient treatment, addiction and recovery are considered in relationship to their environment, social and psychological deficits are identified and repaired, and personal accountability is emphasized. These highly structured programs encourage direct confrontation of problems, including negative self-beliefs, self-concepts, and patterns of behavior that have perpetuated the addiction. These damaging patterns are replaced with constructive behaviors that encourage health and well-being.3

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment varies greatly and includes programs that range from low-intensity drug education programs to intensive day-treatment services.3

In intensive outpatient treatment (sometimes referred to as partial hospitalization) services, therapies, and treatment look similar to inpatient care but permits the individual to participate in their normal routine, such as going to school or work. Treatment occurs during regularly scheduled, clinic-based appointments and is provided in group and individual sessions.3 Less intensive outpatient care is the same but may require fewer hours at the facility.3

A person’s level of functioning and social support factor greatly into the level of treatment that’s best suited for their needs.

Outpatient programs typically involve individual counseling, group counseling, and treatment of other co-occurring disorders or health problems.

Individual counseling can greatly assist in rehabilitation by not only addressing the addiction, but also addressing any other areas of life where the individual may be struggling, such as relationships, employment, or illegal activity.

Behavioral counseling seeks to change behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.5 Many addiction treatment programs use a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help an individual change how they think or behave.3 CBT draws on an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to help them understand why they misuse drugs or alcohol and how they can change these behaviors.3

Motivational incentives have shown to be an effective behavioral therapy as well. In this approach, the treatment provider “incentivizes” the individual to remain abstinent by offering rewards for positive behavior.

Many programs also utilize group counseling.3 Participation in group therapy, mutual-help groups, and other peer support programs during formal treatment and as part of ongoing care can help an individual maintain abstinence and reduce the risk of relapse.3 In fact, research indicates that group therapy leads to positive outcomes when offered in combination with individual counseling.3

Rehabilitation programs that offer comprehensive care can be found all over the United States. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, you want to find the best rehab facility for you and your needs and creates a custom treatment plan just for you.

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