Rehab, or rehabilitation, is a form of treatment designed to help people who have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse. This is offered in a residential setting, meaning people actually stay in the facility while they heal. This is based on abstinence and focuses on providing intensive therapy, support, and care to those people who are struggling to become drug free. There are traditional and modern rehab models.
In a traditional model, the patients completely break away from their circumstances and environment. What this means is that they stay at the facility for the duration of their treatment. On the other hand, modern models involve intensive outpatient therapy, and then also providing intensive aftercare, including sober living facilities and referrals to local services.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab
- Stage 1: A short stay of up to 12 weeks in a rehab facility, which sometimes builds up to a longer stay. During this time, the focus of the treatment is on detoxing the body and providing intensive therapy so that patients can become drug free.
- Stage 2: A longer stay in a rehab facility for a period of 12 weeks or more, where the focus is on reintegrating patients into society through education, development of important life skills, employment or educational training. Patients are also provided with capabilities for lasting sobriety.
- Stage 3: A slow reintegration into mainstream society through sober living facilities and supported housing, where some mentoring and counseling continue to be provided.
Philosophies and Approaches in Drug & Alcohol Rehab
There are six different philosophies that are mainly employed during rehab. Which philosophy the center chooses will determine to a great extent how they approach their patients’ recovery as well. However, it is increasingly common for centers to offer treatment according to different philosophies, not in the least because it is now recognized that every addiction is completely unique.
When someone enters a rehab facility, the professionals who will assist the patient must determine his or her understanding of the nature of addiction. They must also establish the philosophy and treatment approach that they will use for that particular person. In so doing, the rehab process is better suited to the individual.
The six recognized philosophies are:
- The 12 Step Program
The original 12 Step Program was the Minnesota Model, which was used mainly by Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA). According to this model, addiction is a chronic illness and people have to work through 12 individual steps in order to achieve recovery. The model is popular but is constantly being changed to make it more flexible. Hence, it is common to come across centers that offer a “modified” Minnesota Model or “modified” 12 Step Models. Under this philosophy, patients are allocated a “step” group as well as taking part in both group and individual therapy. Usually, working through the program takes less than 12 weeks. However, once they return to the community, patients are expected to continue to go to AA or NA meetings.
- The Therapeutic Community
Therapeutic communities are based on the idea that staff and patients alike are part of a learning and social community. Exactly how this community operates will vary, although a hierarchical model is the most common. Members go through stages, with each stage having certain activities. Every time patients complete a stage, they will be provided with more responsibilities and freedom. Within the community, people take part in one to one counseling sessions, group work, skills and interest development, training, and education. The therapeutic community model has also been modified a lot in order to meet the needs of patients, making them more flexible and shorter. It is a very intensive form of treatment, however, and because the focus is on individual psychology, they tend to last between six and 12 months at least.
- The Faith Based Model
Faith based models, regardless of what faith a patient has, employ staff who are religious. While it is not always necessary for residents to follow the same faith or to take part in activities related to faith, scriptures are the golden thread in this treatment approach. People will be expected to study various religious texts, learning lessons pertaining to their particular situation. They will also be expected to pray and to take part in religious discussions with their peers.
- The Integrated and Eclectic Approach
In these programs, there is no adherence to a specific philosophy. Rather, they use various interventions and methods that focus on making sure the individual needs of each patient are met.
- The Social Learning and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Approach
With these programs, patients are provided psychological services, including CBT. This can help to change future behavior. CBT is often part of integrated approaches.
- Skills and Personal Development Approach
Finally, there is the skills and personal development approach, which is often included in the integrated service as well. Here, the focus is not as strongly on psychological therapy, but rather on developing different skills and personality traits. This teaches patients to become contributing members of society. The program is generally very structured, with patients taking part in training activities, educational classes, and group work. Work experiences may also be offered.
Drug & Alcohol Detox
Before any type of treatment can commence, patients must detox first. This is often offered within the rehab center but it can also be offered in a hospital. Detox means that the body rids itself of the remaining toxins and chemicals associated with the patient’s chosen substance. This period is incredibly difficult and sometimes dangerous, depending on the substance used. Generally speaking, detoxing lasts for about a week.
There are certain drugs whereby detoxing is not necessary. These are the types of drugs, such as marijuana, that are only psychologically addictive. In these cases, people may also consider going to an outpatient treatment services, rather than full inpatient rehab. Outpatient services follow similar approaches to full detox but they allow people to remain in their home environment, attending treatment several times per week instead. That being said, research has shown that inpatient treatment of a period of at least 30 days has the biggest chance of enabling people to achieve lasting sobriety overall.