A great deal of caution must be taken when assessing drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. While all claim to help individuals caught in the labyrinth of substance or process dependence, only a few have any real success and credibility. Good rehabilitation programs focus on the individual, and are willing to develop therapy plans that are concerned with the parameters of each individual’s problems. A properly balanced blend of behavioral, psychological, and medical approaches is the most effective.
Whether admission to drug and alcohol rehabilitation is voluntary or not, the chances of success are greatest if a program is developed to which the patient is willing to adhere. The plan may be a straightforward, single concept approach, or it may be a complex of different philosophies. What is most important is that all possible issues are addressed in the therapy. Whether that approach is medical, spiritual, psychological, or physiological, or all of the above, it must be one that the patient will follow.
Inpatient residential programs
Inpatient residential programs have the greatest success rates for those with severe addictions or who need a complete change of environment to facilitate recovery. Inpatient residential rehab programs require the patient to remain on premises anywhere from thirty days to a year, depending on the needs of the patient. While there is a general pattern to the recovery philosophy of most centers, for the most part it involves a mixture of Cognitive Behavior approaches, addressing the spiritual self, and using medical methods, if necessary. Cognitive Behavior practices center on changing the perception of drugs, the role of environment in addiction, and the impact of addiction on the patient’s social sphere.
In general, outpatient programs involve individual group and individual therapy sessions. The therapeutic principles parallel those found in inpatient programs. The only difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is that the patient gets to go home while in outpatient programs. Much like inpatient programs, the emphasis is on changing the patient’s view of drugs and the circumstances surrounding their use.
Because treatment programs are only as effective as the incidence of relapse, the best programs place a strong emphasis on this stage of recovery, and provide resources for patients to help them remain sober. These actions may include the use of sponsors, admission to a sober living facility, continued group therapy, or periodic returns to the treatment center for refresher seminars.