Making the decision to find help for a drug or alcohol problem is never easy. Even if the initial choice seems obvious, following through on that decision often proves to be incredibly challenging for many people. Most people did not develop their problems overnight, and addressing those problems often requires an extended commitment to the process of rehabilitation.Fortunately, today’s most common forms of rehabilitation prove effective for many patients. This is especially true when one is willing to keep trying, even if success is not immediate.
3 Most Common U.S. Rehabilitation Methods
Those seeking a rehabilitation method in the U.S. will probably come across three different types. Depending on the nature of the problem, medical professionals will prescribe one or more of these types of rehabilitation to treat substance abuse. Each method has its strengths, but all have proven effective in various circumstances.
Detox, which in times past was often given the most attention, is actually only the beginning of the recovery process. While important, detox only occurs over a short time period – days to weeks – while rehabilitation is the more long-term effort to prevent further substance abuse.
1. Inpatient Rehabilitation
Inpatient rehabilitation is widely known as the most effective method for addiction treatment and recovery. Below are some basic facts about this approach to rehabilitation:
- Individuals who come to inpatient programs are often in poor health, and programs will focus on better nutrition and exercise, along with more standards programs of individual and group therapy. Twelve step programs are also often featured in an inpatient program.
- Focuses on making the most out of the typical 21-day program. Individuals leave with the necessary skills, health and understanding to avoid going back to their old ways.
- Are the most expensive of the three common rehabilitation programs. Even inpatient programs that are not resort-like still require a large staff of highly trained professionals, making the cost of attendance prohibitive for some. Health insurance, Medicaid or other forms of assistance are available. Some inpatient programs also allow payment up front based on a sliding scale that adjusts according to the patient’s income.
- Occurs in a residential facility, where the user has constant access to medical staff and support staff for the extent of his or her stay. Inpatient care lasts an average of 21 days, a stay that focuses on abstinence from drugs and alcohol, altering old behavior patterns that lead to drug use, and adoption of a substance free lifestyle.
2. Outpatient Rehabilitation
Outpatient rehabilitation is similar to inpatient rehabilitation, but it is structured around the regular lives of patients. It is often done on nights and weekends, and allows patients to go about their day-to-day lives while participating in treatment. As stated before, it is a necessary component of any long-term treatment plan. However, some patients will opt for only outpatient rehab, either due to cost or differing needs.
Outpatient programs often last between a few weeks and a period of 18 months. Restructuring habits and life skills takes time, and outpatient programs allow individuals to work on those necessary changes while working to pay their bills. These programs often employ a similar staff as inpatient programs, as the needs of patients are often quite similar.
Part of what distinguishes outpatient programs, however, is the opportunities that arise from their extended time
3. Social Programs
Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and Employee Assistance Programs are all based around creating a sense of community and support for users. These programs are often important for users committed to long-term recovery, and many patients will spend years participating in them to aid in preventing relapses.
The Importance of Medical Diagnosis
These three rehabilitation methods are used all across the country to help individuals suffering from substance abuse problems. However, it is important to realize that only a medical professional can give an accurate assessment of the ideal treatment for an individual. A physician may prescribe all three of these rehabilitation methods, depending on the individual patient’s needs and circumstances.
Rehabilitation programs provide a framework and a support group that allows users to recover, and stay that way. What works best for one may not work best for another – the fact remains, however, that effective options are out there for any situation.