Rehabilitation at its Finest

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Posted: September 2, 2015

Rehabilitation for the use of drugs and alcohol is gaining increased attention among users, addiction professionals, and the media. Drugs such as Flakka have been a major topic of discussion among local news channels, especially in South Florida. Rehabilitation facilities are popping up everywhere to accommodate the needs of those struggling with addiction, Florida being known as the rehabilitation capital of the world. Often, there is a negative social stigma associated with seeking help for addiction but the truth of the matter is, these individuals have reached a point where they need outside help and cannot maintain sobriety without attending a rehabilitation treatment center. Realizing that you or a loved one needs professional help in kicking addiction to drugs and alcohol should be praised, not looked down upon. Addiction to drugs and alcohol can fall under the category of mental illness due to the mind altering effects both drugs and alcohol have on those using. There are many rehabilitation facilities that treat all types of addiction, not only for drugs and alcohol, but emotion-behavioral disorders, and several other forms of mental illness. These rehabilitation programs range from residential rehabilitation treatment programs that typically last a minimum of thirty days, medical detox facilities that typically last seven to ten days, and sober living homes (also known as half way houses) that typically last a minimum of three months.

The first stage of rehabilitation is medical detox. Medical detox is a program where the user cleans their body of the dangerous substances they have been using and are under 24hour medical care. The withdrawal process can be very difficult on a person’s internal organs, which is why doctors and nurses are required to keep a close eye on them. Withdrawal symptoms include cold sweats, shakes, vomiting, etc. however, due to new advances in medicine there are medications that can be prescribed to lessen these painful side effects of withdrawal. Although detox may be the most difficult part of treatment, it is also the most important considering the health risks that coincide with it. Depending on the type of drug or the amount of alcohol the recovering addict is trying to kick, the stay at a medical detox facility can range from a couple days, to a couple weeks. Often times the user has to wean themselves off of the drug, taking smaller doses every day, to lessen the shock it has on their body.

After completing the medical detox, the next step of treatment is to attend a residential rehabilitation center. During residential rehabilitation the recovering drug addict will live at the facility and receive care that usually includes individual and group counseling, AA meetings, support groups, therapy, and receive education about further relapse prevention strategies. Depending on each individual’s needs, the length of stay can range anywhere from 30 days to several months-the longer the stay the more success the individual will have. After the residential rehabilitation treatment has been completed, the last step in overall rehabilitation may be to attend a sober living home.

The purpose of sober living homes is to remain in an environment where drug and alcohol use is not tolerated and where residents can rely on each other for support in refraining from substance use. While residing in a sober living community, there are typically services provided that include support groups and staff will help the recovering addict get re-adjusted to life without the use of drugs and alcohol. Most likely staff will help the residents find work, create resumes, and apply for health and food benefits, among many other things. Not everyone chooses to attend a halfway house after completing a residential treatment program, but it may prove necessary to keep the recovering addict out of the environment that they used to obtain and use drugs and alcohol in. The longer one can refrain from relapse, the better chance of overall success they will have.

These are the three stages of rehabilitation the typical drug user looking to kick their habit will go through. For more information regarding what services are available for you, American Addiction Network can provide a comprehensive list that includes treatment facilities within your personal budget and can accommodate any specific needs you may have.

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