Choosing The Right Rehab: Which Option is the Most Effective

Last Updated: July 2, 2021

If an individual has been in rehab before and relapsed, the program itself might not be the reason for this. The location of the center can play a crucial role. Sometimes the surroundings of the patient during and after rehab do not help ensure long-term healing. Traveling for rehab in another city or state could be a better choice if this is the case. In addition, one should consider the types of programs and treatments and the population that a rehab caters to.

Drug Addiction: Common and Undertreated

Millions of people across the country decide to attend a drug rehab program every year. However, data of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that just 10% of the 23 million people who are reported to suffer from alcohol or drug addiction actually receive treatment at a rehab center. When the center is located in another state, 12% of addicts achieve a better outcome. If a person decides to travel to another city or state, they need to bring medical and travel insurance, a driver’s license, passport or photo ID, a credit or reloadable debit card in case they stay longer than planned, and a list of any prescription medication they are taking at the moment, in a sealed container and with the respective dosage instructions. It is recommended to bring at least a week’s supply to make sure no dosages are missed. It is also suggested to provide the names, addresses, and phone numbers of family members, the primary physician and other health care professionals, referrers, and anyone else involved in treatment to the staff at the center.

Traditional vs. Untraditional Rehab Programs

There are two main options here: 12-step and non-12-step programs. 12-step programs are more traditional and religion-based. These treatment programs make it possible for participants to get a realistic grasp of their situation, learn coping approaches, cultivate more functional beliefs, and build constructive, positive relationships. Statistics show that the likelihood of a relapse is lower in recovering addicts who have chosen a 12-step program for addiction. Recovery can be a lifelong process, and there’s no wrong way to approach a 12-step program.

The 12 step program addresses participants collectively – the focus is not on the individual. After admitting powerlessness over the drug, patients accept that there is only one authority for the purposes of the 12-step group – a higher power that can bring healing. Some patients don’t find the religion- or spirituality-based approach helpful, but others do. The next step is knowingly making a decision to get and stay sober and turn one’s life over to the care of God or another higher power. The recovering addict admits they have done wrong and confesses their wrongs to God, the other members of the group, the victims of wrongdoing and, most importantly, to him- or herself.

Secular Rehabilitation Facilities and Treatment

The alternative to a 12-step rehab program is a secular, more flexible one. Such programs fall under the scope of “non-12-step”. Treatment revolves around the belief that the recovering addict should rely on themselves and learn to exercise self-control instead of looking for an outside source of strength, such as God. Non-12 step recovery programs are research-based and their approaches are far more flexible and adaptive as a result.

Aftercare services and support groups, which non-12-step programs integrate, can help to promote sustained abstinence, which has been proven to minimize relapse rates.
Studies indicate an inverse proportion between the duration of abstinence and relapse rate. Fewer than 15% of individuals who have abstained from drug or alcohol use for five years or more relapse. Both traditional and untraditional rehab programs rely on a combination of peer support and internal motivation and offer a host of tools and methodologies to minimize relapse. After undergoing detox, joining a group therapy program is recommended in every case. These are usually free to join, with the only prerequisite being the desire to become and remain sober long-term.

Holistic Therapy: Definition and Forms

Holistic therapy is another non-traditional form of therapy, which is aimed at attaining long-term sobriety by bringing the addict’s emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations into balance, hence the name (the person as a “whole”). Holistic therapists recognize that emotional stress, lack of sleep, and a poor diet can contribute to relapse, and attempt to treat them. Holistic therapy reduces the perceived appeal of drug or alcohol use by strengthening resistance to cravings, improving self-confidence, and promoting physical fitness. These rehab facilities recognize that being physically healthy is a key aspect of recovery. Focus is given to proper nutrition and suitable physical activity. Data of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shows that over 33% of adults in the US have resorted to some form of holistic medicine at least once in their lives, and this trend is becoming more and more pronounced. In general, holistic rehab centers base their treatment programs on a complex model integrating mental, physical, and spiritual processes. These methods are also known as “alternative” or “complementary” treatments. Often, they are based on practices close to nature or derived from cultural traditions.

Difference between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab

The choice between inpatient or residential rehab and outpatient rehab depends on the objective severity of addiction. The first type is recommended in cases where it is more severe. Two advantages of inpatient rehab are being in the company of people in similar situations and having medical care available around the clock.

Inpatient drug rehabs on hospital grounds provide 24/7 monitoring by medical professionals. If one chooses inpatient rehab, they will have to live in the facility for a certain period of time, usually one month. Insurance frequently covers these stays. The exact duration varies based on the type of facility and therapy offered. Some inpatient centers don’t allow visitors at all, and many of them give random drug tests at varying intervals.
If a patient wishes to stay more than 30 days, which is normal if a patient doesn’t feel ready to leave yet, they pay out of pocket or are offered alternative sources of financing. It is possible to stay a few months or even a year depending on prior experience with rehab, overall health condition, and presence of comorbid disorders like depression or anxiety, as well as the severity of addiction and the type of program.

Outpatient Rehab: A Strong Will to Recover

If the addiction is not severe and the individual wishes to attend rehab without stopping work or school, an outpatient program is more suitable than an inpatient one. A very strong will to recover is needed to succeed with outpatient rehab, because there is a lesser degree of control over the patient. He or she participates in group and/or individual therapy and other activities the center organizes, but goes home at the end of the day, and has to face a number of triggers and risks, which are absent in an inpatient setting. There are many effective inpatient and outpatient programs to help recovering addicts, but one needs to do in-depth research to find out more about their methods and approaches. Some of the compulsory aspects to ensure a positive outcome are medication in cases of severe addiction and during detox, counseling services, a focus on the person rather than the addiction, attention to the overall health condition, flexibility and adaptability to the patient’s changing needs, and a robust, proven mental health program in the case of a comorbid disorder.

Daring to Hope: A Future Without Relapse

Patients could also benefit from a short stabilization program aimed at guiding them back into successful recovery and preventing relapse. According to a survey conducted by Recovery Brands on rehab selection criteria, recovering addicts placed the greatest focus on the center’s payment options, financial support options, and whether their insurance was accepted. Other important considerations included supplementary therapies, such as equine and art therapy, and the quality of food.

There are men- or women-only rehab centers, luxury facilities catering exclusively to executives, rehabs for LGBT individuals, and rehabs specializing in a specific addiction, such as addiction to heroin. Other facilities cater to a more diverse population of patients and claim to treat all types of addictions.

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Published on: May 31st, 2018

Updated on: July 2nd, 2021