If you are considering entering a drug rehabilitation program, you may be wondering if drug rehab actually works, especially for the long-term. After all, there are plenty of stories about celebrities, like actors Philip Seymour Hoffman, Cory Monteith and others, who underwent drug rehab programs and stayed sober for a while, only to start using again many months (or years) after rehab—with tragic and devastating results.
Drug rehab does work, but the qualifying factor of how well it works has less to do with the drug rehab program itself, and more to do with the individual who undergoes treatment. The number one deciding factor in how well drug rehab center works? It is your willingness to commit to your recovery from addiction. How willing are you to do what it takes to get sober?
Most drug rehab centers are staffed with trained professionals who have also made the difficult journey from addiction to recovery, and they want to help others do the same. If you are willing, help is available.
How Drug Rehab Works
Drug rehab works by first severing your physical dependency on drugs and alcohol—typically through drug detox—and then begins the process of severing your psychological dependency.
Drug rehab is meant to offer a safe, structured and sober environment where professionals help you learn the tools and life skills necessary to get sober and stay sober. It’s not enough to just stop drinking or taking drugs. The underlying issues that caused you to reach for drugs and alcohol in the first place will still be there as “triggers.” It is breaking old patterns and learning how to respond to “triggers” in a new way, healthy way that requires work.
In the best case scenario, drug rehab offers a supportive environment where you start working through these issues without numbing or self-medicating with drugs and alcohol – maybe for the first time in your life. It can be uncomfortable and even emotionally draining. When individuals get sober for the first time after years of drugs and alcohol, it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. It’s helpful to be in a safe place during difficult transition period.
The mood swings and acute cravings that you encounter during the initial days and weeks of drug rehab will eventually subside with time. The longer you stay sober, and the better you get at applying the coping tools you learned in rehab for managing addiction triggers, the fewer the mood swings and cravings you will have.
Effective Drug Rehab Is up to You
Drug rehab centers offer a variety of options when it comes to drug and alcohol treatment programs. The best programs offer comprehensive programs that include healing approaches for the mind, body and spirit, with various therapies that address each aspect as you go through recovery. Your different therapies during a drug rehab stint might include counseling sessions with a clinical therapist or psychologist, drug and alcohol counseling, and 12-step support (as is used in Alcoholics Anonymous). Some programs will include educational modules on the disease of addiction, as well as holistic body therapies that help the body begin healing itself. These therapies may include acupuncture, massage, meditation, yoga or a combination of some of these modalities.
Drug rehab works for many people, but how well it works is up to you. You can enroll in a drug treatment program and just show up and go through the motions, or you can apply yourself and do the work required to get well. If you’re going to make the choice to go to drug rehab, you may as well make the choice to give it everything you have. Your life is worth it.