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Drug rehabilitation programs have grown dramatically in the past 30 years.
Drug abuse has become a major affliction in society today. No aspect of life
is untouched by this epidemic. Crime and violence are the most obvious byproducts,
but amorality, ruined relationships, aborted careers, endangered families,
and ruined lives are no less serious and just as widespread. Drug abuse is
treated in specialized rehabilitation facilities and mental health clinics.
In the United States, there are more than 11,000 drug rehabilitation facilities.
Drug abuse has a great economic impact, costing an estimated $67 billion per
year. Drug rehabilitation can dramatically reduce the problem. There is a wide
range of financial variables, levels of care, and philosophical differences
among the various programs.
The goal of all drug rehabilitation programs is to educate the drug user to
the facts about chemical dependency and the changes needed to live a drug free
lifestyle. A variety of therapy can be included in any given drug rehab setting.
Most drug rehabs provide counseling, behavioral therapy, lectures, group therapy,
discussion groups, and other types of services to persons with drug use disorders.
There are different types of drug rehabilitation programs depending upon the
severity and nature of the individual's drug addiction. In all cases though,
detoxification is only the initial step towards recovery. By itself, detoxification
does little to change long-term drug use. Detoxification safely manages the
acute physical symptoms of withdrawal associated with discontinuing the use
of drugs. While detoxification alone is rarely sufficient to help addicts achieve
long-term abstinence, for some individuals it is a strongly indicated precursor
to effective drug addiction treatment.
Many behavioral drug rehab programs have been shown to help drug rehab patients
achieve and maintain prolonged abstinence. One frequently used drug rehab treatment
is cognitive behavioral and relapse prevention. In drug rehab, patients are
taught new ways of acting and thinking that will help them stay off drugs.
For example, patients in drug rehab are urged to avoid situations that lead
to drug abuse and to practice drug refusal skills. In drug rehab, they are
taught to think of a relapse as a "slip" rather than as a failure.
Cognitive behavioral and relapse prevention has proven to be an useful and
lasting therapy in drug rehabilitation. Specific drug rehab approaches are
associated with the particular drug rehab setting. The success rate of a drug
rehab is a difficult thing to measure. Outcome studies seem to indicate an
individual’s success will be determined primarily by their willingness
to incorporate new concepts and ideas into their lives.
The appropriate duration for an individual in drug rehabilitation treatment
depends on his or her problems and needs. Research indicates that for most
patients, the threshold of significant improvement is reached at about 3 months
in treatment. After this threshold is reached, additional drug addiction treatment
can produce further progress toward recovery. There are no quick fixes for
drug addiction and alcoholism. Recovery is an ongoing process. The skills one
learns during intensive drug addiction treatment must be integrated into everyday
life and this takes time.
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