What You Need to Know About Drug Rehab

What You Need to Know About Drug Rehab

Drug rehab is one of the most misrepresented forms of treatment for drug addiction.  Many people visualize a depressing place akin to a lock-down psychiatric ward, uncomfortable beds, and hostile staff chastising the addicts for their bad behavior.  Although there may be some truly awful drug rehabs out there, this description is not the norm these days.

Drug rehab treatment ranges from very basic, state-supported facilities to high-end luxury treatment centers.  There are many drug rehabs that fall in the middle of this spectrum.  Drug rehab can be an excellent way to build a foundation for recovery because it gives you 30 or more days, depending on the program, to develop a skill set and identify your relapse triggers.

The top drug rehabs offer individual therapy; specialized clinical focus for clients with underlying psychiatric issues; complementary therapies such as neurofeedback, EMDR, equine therapy, yoga, and meditation; and access to addiction  psychiatrists.

When considering a drug rehab, focus on where you think you will get the most effective treatment for your particular issue. Some things to consider are:

1. Size:  Do you mind being in a large facility?  Generally these are less expensive than smaller facilities because the staffing ratio at small facilities tends to focus on one-on-one therapy and process work.  You can ask questions such as:

  • How often do you see your individual therapist and for how long?
  • How many people to a room? (most people prefer no more than two to a room)
  • How many people in the group therapy sessions?

2. Clinical Expertise:  Does the drug rehab have clinicians on board who specialize in mental health issues common among those with alcohol and drug addiction?  If you have clinical depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or other issues, you want to be sure someone at the drug rehab understands these issues and can assess and treat you for them. These underlying issues can be triggers for relapse, so it’s important to address them.

3. Reputation: Don’t just rely on the hype, ask around.  You can usually ask the drug rehab to give you some references from their alumni.  Beware of programs that hype themselves as the one that has found the ultimate “addiction cure” – there is generally no real evidence for such a claim. If it sounds like snake oil, it probably is.

4. After-care Options: The best drug rehabs that have been around for a decade or two have strong alumni networks that can serve as a support network for you when you return home. Does the rehab help you find a local therapist when you return home? Do they offer any form of follow-up or arrange support for you in your home town?

5. Cost: Some drug rehabs are covered by insurance, although many insurance companies will require you to do a step-up approach using cheaper outpatient services first, then if that fails, they may approve residential treatment.  Although some of the higher-end drug rehabs are expensive, this is often because they are very small, with only a handful of people in each treatment grouping. Some of the more expensive rehabs will be willing to negotiate the price somewhat if you are very committed to going and they have beds available.

Whatever your primary consideration might be in choosing a drug rehab, trust your instincts. If the intake person makes you feel understood and focuses on your specific questions and needs, you will likely feel comfortable with that choice. Do your research, and you will find the right drug rehab for you or your loved one.

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