Millions of people go into rehab every year. Yet all too many of them have been through rehab before and then relapsed — according to statistics, one in ten people going into a drug or alcohol rehab program have been through them at least five times. This means it’s crucial to choose the right rehab program for you or the one you love. Yet with so many different rehabs out there and so many different choices in terms of approach, duration of stay, and aftercare, how do you make the right choice? Here are some questions you should ask as you compare the options for addiction treatment centers.
What results are expected at the end of the program?
Often, it can seem like every program aims for a different result. Some programs see success as going to meetings or taking the prescribed medication. Others consider just completing a 28-day program as success. The better ones will base their success rate off the percentage of patients who are able to stay sober and clean after returning home. A number of programs include elements like employment and relationships post-rehab in their reporting. Therefore, your first question after a rehab program gives you their success rate should be — how do they measure their success rate?
How long is the program?
Some rehab programs are as short as a 28-day period of detox and rehabilitation. (At New Directions, we recommend at least 90 days.) For most people, such a short stay isn’t enough to achieve long-term, established sobriety. Addictions involve both physical and mental damage, so more time is needed for addicts to become totally sober.
Does the program use ‘substitute drugs’?
Some drug addiction treatment programs will give addicts painkillers or ‘substitute drugs’ if they are recovering from a painkiller, heroin, or other opiate addiction. There are even harm reduction programs which are not designed to produce complete sobriety, just to reduce the harm resulting from illegal drug use. At New Directions, the goal is always to help our patients become completely clean and addiction-free, without replacing one addiction with another.
How does the program help eliminate physical cravings for the addictive substance?
The initial stages of drug rehab are often characterized by severe cravings for the drug. Most rehabs will offer one or more ways to help suppress the cravings as well as various forms of support meetings and counseling to help deal with cravings on a psychological level. Detoxification is usually the first step, but good nutrition and other methods can help address cravings over the long run. Detox is usually not enough on its own — complete sobriety requires more thorough treatment.
Does the program provide nutritional and holistic components?
Drug addiction occurs for many reasons, and being able to stay healthy on both the physical and spiritual level is key to eliminating addiction. Good drug rehabs need to address the health of their patients on all levels — this is why New Directions provides everything from traditional counseling to yoga and meditation as part of its therapy.
How will aftercare work?
A residential treatment program is just the first step. The highest chances of relapse occur when the patient moves from rehab back into their normal life. They need to have the necessary skills in order to deal with this transition, and usually also need an ongoing aftercare program which will help them face the stresses and temptations of creating a new life without drugs or alcohol.