Alcohol and drug abuse is a complex behavior characterized by intense and sometime uncontrollable craving for the substances, along with compulsive seeking and use even in the face of devastating consequences. While abuse and addiction begins with the voluntary act of drinking or taking drugs, a person’s ability to choose not to do so may be compromised over time and consuming these substances in excess becomes compulsive.
Because addiction has so many dimensions and disrupts so many aspects of life, alcohol and drug abuse rehabilitation is not simple. Effective alcohol and drug rehab centers typically incorporate a number of components, each directed to a certain aspect of the addiction and its consequences. Rehabilitation must help the individual stop abusing substances, maintain a drug-free lifestyle and achieve productive behavior in the family, at work and in the society. Most recovering addicts in rehab centers require long-term or repeated episodes of care to achieve the ultimate goal of sustained abstinence and recovery.
Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that alcohol and drug abuse treatment can help patients stop abusing substances, avoid relapse and successfully recover their lives. Based on the research, some key principles have emerged that should form the basis of any effective alcohol and abuse rehab programs. Mostly, these principles say that no single treatment is appropriate for everyone and stresses that a combination of time, counseling, and proper detoxification are important factors in an effective rehabilitation from alcohol and drug abuse.
Some alcohol and drug abuse rehab centers may also offer the use of medication to combat withdrawals. However, specialists and recovering addicts need to be careful with these as some medications may just become drug substitutes and become another type of addiction. As much as possible, seek for an alcohol and drug treatment program that includes a natural detoxification and rehabilitation.
Drug rehab centers also deal with behavioral issues to help the would-be ex-addicts to engage in the recovery process, modify their attitudes related to substance abuse and increase healthy life skills.
Behavioral rehabilitation includes:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy and courses, which seek to help the individual to recognize, avoid and cope with situations in which they are likely to abuse alcohol and drugs
- multidimensional family therapy, which helps addicts and their families address a range of influences on their alcohol and drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family function
- motivational interviewing, which capitalizes on the willingness of individuals to change
- contingency management, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence
The bottom line is that there are plenty of alcohol and drug abuse rehab programs out there and it’s important to pick a center that suits you. Get informed on the different programs and processes to ensure that you will have a safe and successful recovery.