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Treatment Defined

In the world of addiction recovery, the term treatment, or rehab, usually refers to a professional and/or medical center that detoxes the addict and begins the education process to help them live a life free of their drug(s) of choice. Treatment may be on an outpatient or inpatient basis, or a combination of the two.

Typically outpatient treatment consists a series of meetings at the treatment center. If the treatment is intensive, there are probably four or five meetings each week. Less intensive programs meet less often, but usually at least once or twice a week. How many weeks involved depends on the program. Outpatient meetings are generally a combination of education and group therapy facilitated by a professional with experience and/or certification in addiction counseling. Drug testing may be a requirement of outpatient treatment. The outpatient program may use at least part of the 12 Step model or it may use a different model.

Inpatient rehab generally consists of actually staying in a hospital or residential treatment center for a number of days, weeks or months. A stay of 28 or 30 days is probably the most typical. Most inpatient programs start with either medical or non-medical detoxification. Many inpatient treatment centers draw on the 12 Step model and include in-house 12 Step meetings as well as group therapy and individual counseling. Some provide education and/or meetings for families during the addicts stay. If the treatment center is near a metropolitan area, addicts may be bussed to outside 12 Step or other recovery meetings as part of the program.

There are treatment centers that deal with addiction in general, and those that work with addiction to specific drugs. Some offer medical detox, others specialize in non-medical detox (no tranquilizers, etc.) under medical supervision. Treatment centers may work with the general population of addicts or with specific groups, such as women, men, adolescents, young adults, etc.

Many drug rehabs incorporate at least part of the 12 Step model in their education process. There are, however, treatment centers that use other models.

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