Going to rehab is key to overcoming addiction because it gives you the understanding of why addiction happened, as well as the tools to become and stay sober.
Addiction is the result of developing a dependency on either drugs or alcohol and the behavior that frequently results. Those battling addiction will often isolate themselves from friends and family to a significant degree. Also, they tend to give up hobbies and activities they previously loved. They do this all in the pursuit of continued substance use.
Addiction often starts with recreational drug or alcohol use. However, it soon spirals out of control, with the person unable to regulate their own use of the substance. In many cases, this can lead to financial distress, lost job or low school performance, and more. Rehab is essential but is often a difficult choice for someone to make.
Why is Overcoming Addiction So Difficult?
The biggest reason that overcoming addiction can be so difficult is that the person living with addiction cannot use their own willpower or desire to stop using the substance abuse. Since dependency takes place in the body and brain, it creates significant, lasting changes to the brain structure and reward centers. Those living with addiction can find it literally impossible to resist the impulse or craving for drugs or alcohol.
During the abuse, the brain experiences drastic changes to the reward center. This creates intense changes in behavior and thought processes. For example, individuals that become addicted to drugs in the opioid family are driven to seek that feeling to the point that it becomes an uncontrollable compulsion.
Why is Rehab the Key to Overcoming Addiction?
Entering rehab or similar professional treatment takes much of the burden off of your shoulders in the early stages. Allowing you to then focus on integrating the recovery process into your everyday life. It helps the individual to begin building an array of healthy tools and coping mechanisms to minimize the impact of potentially triggering environments or situations.
There are countless benefits that come along with leveraging professional help in your recovery process, but many of them are going to be personal, and unique to your situation. The biggest benefit of entering treatment, however, is the resilience that it can give to your recovery, and the solid foundation to help your sobriety last.
It’s been proven that not only is rehab a major contributor to long-term recovery success, but the longer you stay in treatment, the better your personal outcome can be. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends at least three months of rehab to give the time needed to create an effective toolkit of coping skills and strategies. One research study showed long-term success by focusing on the escalating consequences of addiction.
What is Drug & Alcohol Rehab?
Drug and alcohol rehab are common terms for the treatment of substance use disorders. They are a treatment plan for either drug addiction or alcohol addiction. These plans can consist of anything from 12-step programs, to outpatient treatment, and even inpatient treatment like residential treatment programs.
In some cases, the facility may even treat co-occurring disorders like addiction in combination with a chronic disease, or mental illness. Rehab is essential to long-term recovery for a variety of reasons, and without a solid rehab structure in place, many people struggling with addiction are at significant risk of relapse.
Different Types of Treatment
Inpatient care is also called residential care and involves the patient living at the treatment facility for a period. This is frequently used for the early stages of treatment, where an individual needs support while going through the detox and acute withdrawal stages. Inpatient care is one of the most structured and intense treatments.
Intensive outpatient allows the patient to live at home while visiting the treatment center several times a week for a few hours at a time. When at the facility, they participate in therapy and other recovery activities. It is often a step down from inpatient care or day programs.
Outpatient programs vary considerably, but often only require the patient to visit for a few hours each week while maintaining their own recovery to a large degree.
Day programs are also called partial hospitalization programs. They are intense, non-residential programs. Typically, you would check into the facility each day, participate in treatment and activities then go home in the evenings.
Principles of Effective Treatment
- No one treatment is perfect for everyone
- Treatment needs to be available readily
- Treatment options should be flexible
- The patient should be able to stay in treatment as long as needed
- Medication is an important part of many treatment plans
How Do I Know if I Need Rehab?
The biggest sign that you may need rehab is if you experience withdrawal symptoms whenever you stop using or cut back on your substance of choice. Stopping use and feeling the onset of withdrawals is a solid sign that you should ask for some help.
A Place to Start
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, a great place to start is the New York Addiction Resources page. There is a huge collection of information about substance abuse and recovery simply waiting to be used to improve your life.