Undergoing a comprehensive drug treatment program for substance abuse is an essential step in the direction for long-term sobriety and recovery. While the benefits of drug treatment are numerous, there are those who seek recovery who show hesitance in taking this step. It can be difficult to step back and take an objective look at your situation and fully understand the ramifications of your own substance abuse issues. The ultimate purpose of this article is to explain why rehab is so critical in the long-term recovery of not only yourself, but also a loved one who may be struggling with substance abuse.
Addiction can be seen as a complex disease in which substances of abuse—whether they be drugs and/or alcohol—can change both the functioning and structure of the brain. These changes can result in long-term impairments even after drug use has ceased. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the relapse rates for addiction can range from 40 to 60 percent, which is comparable to other diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.
Those who argue against the effectiveness of formal drug treatment will contend that relapse rates are the same whether an individual goes to treatment or decides not to. While that assertion is true to an extent, undergoing formal drug treatment will help improve the odds of abstinence. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that relapse rates improve in people who go into addiction treatment centers within 30 days of completing detox programs. People in this category—in the worst case scenario—take 40 times longer to relapse, if they relapse at all.
In another study regarding rehabilitation and long-term health, research in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that among people who start taking drugs, 27 percent died within 20 years and only 27 percent were sober. Studies such as this seem to indicate that addiction does not go away on its own or by self-administered means. Addiction can prove to be fatal without some form of formal treatment.
Why Rehab is Ideal for Long-Term Recovery
There are several reasons why undergoing formal drug treatment is essential for sobriety and long-term recovery. Some of these reasons include the following:
- Length of time for treatment—while many drug treatment centers offer programs of varying length, drug treatment programs that last for 90 days or longer have shown to be most effective in promoting long-term abstinence and recovery. Many of these programs are residential programs within the facility itself where people can focus on the underlying root causes of their addiction. In this time frame, there are many therapy, counseling and medical interventions that are employed that can be tailored specifically to a person’s addiction and can be altered as treatment progresses.
- Medical Detox—there are many drugs which can have potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Because of the physical and psychological nature of withdrawal, many rehab centers offer in-house detoxification services which provide around the clock supervision and monitoring by licensed and qualified staff. Detoxification can help minimize the physical and psychological harm that withdrawal can cause and provide a smooth transition into formal drug treatment.
- Treatment Options—while inpatient residential drug treatment is ideal, there may also be outpatient treatment options that are available. Outpatient drug treatment may be an option if an individual cannot break away from work and/or family commitments and have no prior history of failed treatment, underlying medical or psychological issues that require formal interventions or a history of violence towards others or history of self-harm.
- The Continuum of Care—the support and empowerment of drug treatment doesn’t end with the end of formal treatment itself. Drug treatment also provides aftercare options, whether it is through individual outpatient counseling, support groups, or assistance with employment or apartment searches. The goal is to provide the necessary support for meaningful long-term sobriety.
If you or a loved one has a drug and alcohol problem and is struggling to get sober call The Palm Beach Institute today to speak to an Addiction Specialist about assisting your loved one in getting the help they need before it’s too late. Call us now at 1-855-470-2050.