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Drug Rehabs

It's no secret that drug abuse and addiction can be devastating experiences. But what many people don't understand is that the thought of entering drug rehabs programs can be overwhelming to individuals who desperately need this type of help. In many cases, resistance to treatment is based upon fear of the unknown. Even those who know that they need help may be plagued by questions such as What will treatment be like? What will they do to, with, and for me? What will they expect me to do? Am I going to be completely cut off from the world? What are the other patients going to be like? Though many of the answers to these questions depend upon the unique nature of the treatment program you are considering, some of the mystery can be removed - and much of the anxiety can be lessened - by gaining a general understanding of what happens at drug rehabs centers.

Who Needs Drug Rehabs?

Drug rehab is an intense - and intensely personal - experience. Entering a drug rehab program means leaving your home, work and responsibilities for a month or more, and working tirelessly to create a new path in life. But before a person can enter drug treatment, he or she needs to understand that treatment is needed, and determine the type of treatment that best meets his or her needs. Every individual is unique, and what might be a perfect fit for one person won't meet the requirements of another. In order to confirm your need for addiction treatment, you should consider speaking to a professional who can assess your needs and history and make a personalized recommendation.

The Four Stages of Drug Rehabs:

Most drug rehabs programs consist of four stages: Intake, The Development of a Treatment Plan, Treatment, and Continuing Care:

Step 1 - Intake:

"Intake" refers to the assessment process that happens on a patient's first visit to a treatment program. During intake, the program's treatment professionals learn the medical and family of the patient, and discuss the patient's drug use. There's usually a lot of paperwork to fill out during the intake phase, including a treatment consent form that - among other things - outlines the program's confidentiality policy and states that the patient has willingly entered the program.

Step 2 - Developing the Treatment Plan:

Based on the information the client gives during intake, an initial treatment plan will be created, and a doctor or nurse will review the plan with the client. This is a great opportunity for the client to ask as many questions as are necessary to develop an understanding of what will occur during treatment.

Step 3 - Treatment:

Once the plan has been developed, actual treatment will begin, starting (if necessary) with a period of detoxification during which the clients' body will purge itself of the drug(s) or alcohol that have been abused. Once the detox is complete and the client's body is clean, the rehabilitation and recovery portions of the treatment plan can begin. During this time, the treatment plan will be reviewed and modified as needed to ensure that the therapeutic activities and experiences that the client is completing are having the desired effect.

Step 4 - Continuing Care:

People typically make great progress toward a life without drugs or alcohol while they're in a treatment facility, but returning to "normal" life can be difficult. A good treatment center will provide continuing care in the form of counseling sessions and support groups. Continuing care is important because addiction is a lifelong disease that requires maintenance. Some treatment centers will even help graduates find a "sponsor" - someone who's been through treatment and has successfully abstained from drugs and alcohol for an extended period of time. The treatment process may seem overwhelming, but remember that taking things one step at a time will keep the process manageable, and make long-term recovery achievable.

The Bottom Line:

Taking that big first step into drug addiction treatment can be scary, especially when you don't know what to expect and you fear the worst. Although you will work hard while in treatment, you are also well taken care of and free from other responsibilities, at least for a while. Checking in to drug rehabs lets you get away from temptation, responsibility and distraction, allowing you the needed luxury of recovery time for yourself. Knowing what happens in a drug rehab can reduce some of the apprehension you may be feeling about treatment.