Rehabilitation, or rehab for short, typically refers to specialized inpatient or outpatient healthcare services designed to improve, maintain, or restore physical and mental well-being and functioning. Rehab may help an individual to recover from additions, injuries, surgeries, and mental illnesses.
Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are the most common form of rehab. In these cases, rehabilitation involves undergoing detoxification and an ensuing period of therapy or counselling followed by outpatient services.
Rehabilitation programs are often provided in a residential setting, also known as inpatient services. Outpatient programs are also available.
Drug rehabilitation is one of the most common types of rehab. These programs are usually abstinence-based, which means that patients must not be using drugs or alcohol while they are at the facility. Since the detoxification process can be mentally and physically strenuous, most rehab centers provide comprehensive medical and therapeutic support. This treatment is aimed at individuals who have not been successful in stopping their drug use through other methods.
Drug rehabilitation usually involves passing through several recovery stages over a period of weeks or months. These stages are loosely defined, and vary extensively from one facility to another. They may include:
- Intake. During intake, the individual is admitted to a rehabilitation center. This may involve undergoing diagnostic tests, screenings, and interviews to identify individual needs.
- Detoxification. Nearly all drug rehabs have a detoxification phase, which is typically at the beginning of the process. This stage involves removing all drugs from the system. In severe cases, however, maintenance medication may be used to ease this process. Detoxification may be supervised by a medical doctor.
- Rehabilitation. During the rehabilitation phase, patients work to understand the root causes of their addictions and address them in order to move on with their lives. This phase may consist of individual therapy, group therapy, and/or family therapy.
- Recovery. Once a patient has complete a rehabilitation program, recovery begins. It is a lifelong process that requires ongoing effort.
Similar to drug rehab, alcohol rehab is designed for individuals who have addictions, specifically alcoholism. The first step in any alcohol rehabilitation program is getting rid of all the alcohol in the alcoholic’s system. People with severe alcohol addictions will experience intense withdrawal symptoms at this stage, which is supervised by a medical professional to prevent otherwise fatal complications. Common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include hallucinations, sweating, seizures, and shaking. Medications may be prescribed to ease this process.
Medical supervision and treatment is one of the benefits of attending an inpatient rehabilitation program. Prescription drugs can help boost the overall effectiveness of treatment and double the patient’s chances of recovery. Medications can help to ease symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and also prevent relapse. These work to reduce the physical sensation of alcohol cravings. They also will reduce pleasurably effects of alcohol. Other drugs cause a negative desire instead of reducing the positive feelings.
Inpatient treatment is also an ideal choice for people who would like to focus on their own health and well-being without the distractions or stress of their everyday family or work obligations. It allows for profound immersion in the process of recovery, and is a good choice for people who have tried to quit through other methods without success.
Alcohol rehabilitation can take anywhere from one month to six months. It depends on the individual. Treatment usually involves some kind of therapy or counselling. Techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be applied to help patients change the way they react when faced with stressors that would normally cause them to want to drink.
A 12-step program is a set of 12 actions or principles for individuals recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other compulsive behaviors such as sex addictions. It was originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1939. The AA method has been adapted for numerous other forms of addiction and compulsive behaviors, but the basic 12-step foundation remains the same.
Twelve-step programs involve the following:
- Admitting that you cannot control your alcoholism, addiction, or compulsive behavior.
- Recognizing that a higher power can give you strength.
- Examining mistakes you have made in the past with the assistance of an experienced 12-step member called a sponsor.
- Making amends for those mistakes, whether by apologizing or asking for forgiveness.
- Learning to change your habits and lifestyle
- Helping others who suffer from similar problems, including alcoholism, addictions, or other compulsive behaviors.
AA is the largest of all 12-step programs and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is the second-largest. The majority of people who access this form of treatment are in recovery for alcoholism and drug addiction, though 12-step programs also target a wide variety of other illnesses and problems, such as debt, chronic pain, the death of a spouse, or depression. The effectiveness of 12-step programs varies.
Drug or addiction counselling is designed for people suffering from addiction or alcoholism. It involves one-on-one sessions with a counsellor or therapist. A variety of methods and counselling models can be applied. These include behavioral therapy, systemic counselling, client-centered therapy, life skills counselling, psychotherapy, family therapy, and others. The method depends on the practitioner’s capacity as a professional and the patient’s unique needs.
During one-on-one sessions, the counsellor and patient may work together through the following:
- Information gathering. During this time, the counsellor gathers information from the patient in order to make an assessment and develop a treatment plan for the patient.
- Evaluation. An evaluation considers the nature of the patient’s symptoms and their severity, underlying causes of symptoms, possible solutions, the client’s attitude towards counselling, and whether or not the client and the counsellor are a good match.
- Feedback. During the feedback stage, the counsellor offers the patient information which should help the patient to see how counselling aligns with his or her goals.
- Addiction counselling agreement. An agreement is made between the client and the counsellor to engage in a therapeutic relationship. Issues covered might include the length of the sessions, topics to be addressed, the number of sessions, and the client’s goals and expected outcomes
- Behavior modification. During counselling, the client and the counsellor work together to resolve problems and meet the client’s stated goals. This involves assessing progress on a regular basis and identifying how counselling continues to meet the client’s needs.
- Termination. The termination phase includes a number of sessions in which the counsellor and client work together to prepare for discharge and develop an aftercare plan. The goal is to ensure that the client is ready to work towards goals on his or her own.