Do Drug Rehabs Really Work?

Updated on April 28, 2021

A lot of people seem to question the efficacy of drug rehab. Unfortunately, these are often the ones who need it the most. No treatment method has a 100% success rate and this also applies to drug treatment. Many factors will affect how successful it is and the person getting the treatment has a role to play as well. The type of treatment will also make a difference. Let’s take a closer look at what the numbers say and how you can increase the chances of rehab treatment being a success.

The Harsh Truth About Drug Addiction

One thing we first have to address is the nature of drug addiction. Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is actually a chronic disease, meaning that treatment is just treatment and not a cure. It’s like diabetes or high blood pressure and you might have to seek continual treatment throughout your life. The only difference is that substance abuse is a mental problem, and unlike diabetes where you can easily monitor your blood sugar levels, it’s very difficult to monitor progress with drug addiction. In many cases, it can only be done through consultation.

This also makes it difficult to rate success. Different treatment centers will have different ways to rate success. Some people may still have destructive behavioral patterns afterward, but be completely sober. While this may count as success to a rehab center, it might not be for the individual. This is why treatment seekers are advised to look for a drug rehab center that uses a wide variety of techniques and treats the patient as a whole, not just the symptoms.

The Difference in Success Rates Between Treatment Options

With that being said, there seems to be a difference in outcomes depending on what kind of treatment you seek. For instance, while inpatient and residential treatment are the most expensive options, they’re also those with the highest rates of success, with 21% of people staying sober after 5 years versus 18% for outpatient programs.

Another thing that seems to make a difference is the length of stay. One study found that people who stayed in treatment for 90 days or more did up to 5 times better than those who stayed for shorter periods of time. As a matter of fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that patients stay in treatment for at least this period if they want to get better results.

It’s very important to note that the level of treatment will differ depending on the person. Some may need some care after the rehab and detox process. Those who don’t get sustained support afterward are more likely to relapse.

Choosing the Right Center for You

Ultimately, the rehab center that you decide to go for will make a huge difference in your chances of success. First of all, it would be advisable to speak with a dedicated treatment professional so that you can look at your options. They will be able to look at your profile and give you a few suggestions of places that would be a good fit for you.

Next, you have to make sure that you choose the right format. If you can, try to see if you could find ways to afford inpatient treatment. Speaking of which, know that you could be covered by your insurer up to a certain period. Your insurer might even cover for disability if you decide to go for treatment in some cases. Make sure that you speak with them and clarify what you’re eligible for.

Next, research the techniques that they’re using. Make sure that they’re backed by science, but also see if there are some things you think might work for you. Some will use things like musical therapy, for instance. Some will focus heavily on spirituality, and if that resonates more with you, this could be the approach that you need. Alternatively, some may want to feel like they’re part of a community, while others would rather have a closer relationship with their therapists. These are all things you’ll have to consider when picking the right treatment center for you.

Now that you know a bit more about how successful drug rehabs are at treating addiction, get in touch with a professional today who will be able to guide you through your options. Don’t hesitate to speak with a few centers in your area either and ask as many questions as you can.

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