Increasing the success of drug and alcohol rehab
Drug and alcohol rehab does work, but it is not an exact science. What works for some people, will not be as successful for others. For this reason, it is important to choose the right drug and alcohol rehab centre for you. As discussed, you will need to stay there for at least four weeks, usually much longer, so it is important that you feel comfortable there and that you have trust in the staff. There are a great number of treatment centres available, so it is worth taking the time to assess the best option.
Family support can also increase the success rate of drug and alcohol rehab. Most centres will have family counselling sessions, where family members can discuss how the problem has affected them and learn how they can help in the long term. This can help the patient to see that their problem is also causing hardship for the people they love and can provide inspiration to stick to the programme. It can also help family members to understand that addiction is a disease and not a character flaw.
The quality of aftercare also has a major impact on the success of drug and alcohol rehab. Aftercare may include outpatient attendance or even a ‘halfway-house’ to help the patient to reintegrate into society. Drug and alcohol rehab will never be able to ‘cure’ someone of their addiction, so long term aftercare will always be needed to help them stay sober and clean.
What counts as success for drug and alcohol rehab?
There are four levels of success for drug and alcohol rehab:
Initial treatment – including detox and admission to a drug and alcohol rehab centre. With denial often a strong factor, this can be the hardest stage for friends and relatives to achieve.
Early abstinence – this is often the hardest stage for the patient, as they face up to the physical and psychological aspects of their addiction. Achieving 90 days of abstinence is considered a success for this stage.
Maintaining abstinence – from around 90 days to 5 years, the key to success is applying all the tools learned in drug and alcohol rehab in order to remain clean and sober and reintegrate into a normal life.
Advanced recovery – once a patient has achieved five years of abstinence, their regular counselling will usually cease and they will be considered to have recovered.
So does drug and alcohol rehab work?
The answer really depends on your definition of success. Drug and alcohol rehab will usually work in most cases for the first two stages described above – initial treatment and early abstinence. However, maintaining abstinence for up to five years without relapse is much harder to achieve. Advanced recovery, where the patient becomes a fully integrated member of society, engaging once again as a successful spouse, parent and citizen, is rarer still.
In all cases, even those who achieve full recovery, the addictive tendency will always be there, and the potential for relapse will remain. Drug and alcohol rehab does work in helping patients to cope with their addiction, but it is not a cure.