There are a number of different types of programs out there that engage in addiction recovery. Of course, the different programs all have the objective of achieving sobriety. Some are more successful than others. According to the Department of Justice, most typical drug rehab programs can only boast a rate of success in achieving lasting recovery at around 30%. Then again, there are programs for addiction treatment that have a 70% or higher success rate.
Twelve-step programs use a set of principles that outline a course to follow for recovery from addiction. The outline generally came from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to recover from alcoholism, but the same set of principles is used in other substance abuse programs. Basically the person first must admit he cannot control his addiction, recognizes that a higher power can give him strength and examines past errors (with the help of an experienced member). The person will then set about making amends for the errors of his way, and he will learn to live a new life with a different code of behavior. He also will strive to help others who are recovering from the same addiction.
Drug-free treatment has been known to be one of the best (and safest) ways to come off of drugs or alcohol. One method is called Therapeutic Community, where the individual is required to abstain from all substances, including substitution drugs or medications. Those that participate in this model take part in daily activities and have psychological support during the process.
Because those undergoing Therapeutic Community principles work and live together and support each other, they gain in responsible behavior and learn skills in living that they may not experience elsewhere. The downside to this type of treatment is that it takes a long time commitment, often as much as two years. Many cannot afford this amount of time away from family.
There is a wide variety of short-term drug rehab programs available for addiction recovery. These short-term programs are usually about thirty days in duration. This is about the length of time regular medical insurance plans cover. The programs consist of some meditation, group educational lectures, a Twelve Step meeting and group therapy. There is also recreation and exercise, as well as physician appointments.
The problem with short-term treatment is that when the thirty days are up, the recovering person has to leave, whether he is truly ready or not. He may be referred to other outpatient programs, or counseling, but statistics show that few recovering addicts go to these follow-up programs.
Additionally, it usually takes the body a full twenty-eight to thirty days to recover, and the person is just coming out of his foggy state of thinking. He has not had time to adjust to a new future without drugs. This can lead to relapse.
Rapid detox was developed for opiate withdrawal to help a person avoid the intensely uncomfortable symptoms that accompany withdrawal. In rapid detox, the person is put under anesthesia and given opiate-blocking drugs. Although one detoxifies rapidly, it is dangerous and expensive. It has not been shown to give long-term abstinence and a person is likely to relapse.
USA Today reported that these “ultra-rapid detox” methods can be life-threatening. It is not pain-free although this is commonly promised. When the person would come out of the anesthesia, he would still have withdrawal symptoms and feel miserable.
Methadone is a potent opiate and has been used to treat heroin addicts. It is similar to heroin in its chemistry, and is also known to be addictive. Recently methadone has been found to be lethal to those who abuse it and mix it with other drugs such as cocaine, Valium, Xanax and the like. One director at the University of Florida stated that it was a fast-growing drug problem with hundreds of deaths resulting from its use every year.
Medical detox is a process that takes certain drug and alcohol addicts and gets them through serious withdrawal symptoms that could be fatal. When someone is an alcoholic and consumes high volumes of alcohol each day, or takes heavy doses of barbiturates, methadone or benzodiazepines, a medical detox can be imperative. Coming off certain drugs or volumes of alcohol can be deadly.
It really depends on the amount of drug or alcohol the person consumes on a regular basis. The symptoms when coming off these poisons can result in seizures, and those seizures can kill.
To be noted, a medical detox is not a drug rehabilitation program. There is much more to a full rehab. Sometimes a medical detox must be done before entering rehab.
Harm reduction is a program which aims at reducing the harms associated with addiction for those who cannot or are unwilling to stop using drugs. The focus on prevention of harm could not really be called a rehabilitation program, however, as the person is not rehabilitated. He still uses his drug or drugs of choice. Minimizing risks of addiction is the objective, such as stopping the spread of HIV by sharing needles. The problem? The person is still using drugs and stays addicted.
Dual diagnosis is given currently by just about every drug rehab around. This is where the person is diagnosed with an addiction and with a mental disorder. Of course, these conditions occur together frequently, because mental problems often come directly from a state of addiction. A mental problem can occur before addiction becomes a problem and lead to alcohol or drug abuse. Other times, and so often, the substance abuse leads to emotional problems which become alleviated once the person gets off the drug.
For mental conditions, drugs are often prescribed. The taking of substitute medications has its own side-effects and can also create various mental effects. However, when addicts go through a truly effective program it has been found that many secondary mental problems disappear, even without using substitute drugs.
Buprenorphine is used to get people off of opioids. They are to taper off of the drug over a time period of nine months. Suboxone and Subutex are forms of buprenorphine which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for drug replacement therapy. However, according to a study in some National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials, there was almost universally relapse that occurred after treatment.
Buprenorphine is often abused. An addict will take the tablets and crush them then inject the drug. There are a number of bad side-effects as well. These include feeling lightheaded, nauseous, confusion and headache. Some experience shallow breathing or even fainting. There are many other side-effects.
One form of extreme drug rehab is to head for treatment in Mexico and allow the administration of Ibogaine. This is a hallucinogen which is said to aid in the recovery process. However, this chemical compound is a dangerous drug and is even classified as illegal in the U.S. and a Schedule 1 substance. This means it has a high potential for being abused. It has caused deaths.
Finding a drug rehab that meets the needs of an addict to become truly drug-free is not easy. It is not always the smartest move to try and replace one addiction with another addictive drug. Many drug rehabs do not have a program that lasts long enough to get an addict fully recovered and able to deal with life back in the day-to-day world.
There are drug rehabs that provide a drug-less treatment, do not take two years to complete, but continue to treat the recovering addict until he is truly ready to go back and live without drugs, any drugs. We can find the one right for you or your loved one.