The question of whether rehab even works or not is something of hot debate. Since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, there have been multi-step programs that allow people to face their addiction without leaving their everyday lives. But, commonalities in these programs include changing your environment, daily routine, and core habits that are likely tied to your addiction. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation has stood as a longer rehab treatment solution for helping people change their environments, routines, and habits in a safe environment.
What Does Success Mean?
Success means something a little different to everyone, but in a very broad sense, a successful recovery means that the person is no longer using drugs. Drug use and drug-seeking behavior are the bare minimum of behaviors that rehab centers aim to correct. However, the idea is that success isn’t a matter of completing the program. Many addicts will enter a program knowing full-well that they’ll relapse within hours or days of being out of the program.
Success should lead to sober living after rehab for weeks, months, and years. However, there’s some question on what exactly constitutes rehab and whether relapse is a failure or a setback.
Rehab often comes in three forms. First, are the in-patient rehabilitation facilities that people see on television and are often showcased in documentaries. This type of treatment doesn’t work for everyone and can often be too disruptive to the person’s relationships with their spouse or children. That stress of being away from their family isn’t always a preview into what life could be like without them, but instead is a stressor that leads them to leave rehab and use.
The second form is out-patient treatment. This type of treatment presents its own problems as the person is often still at home or still in the same environment. They may frequently encounter familiar triggers such as walking through certain areas of town.
Finally, the last form of rehab is the DIY approach. People will often decide, with family, to attend 12-step meetings and work their way to sobriety mostly alone. Some people don’t consider this rehabilitation, although it’s clear that this person has started on their path to sobriety.
Defining rehab isn’t easy, but essentially you’ll need to consider if the center, facility, or program is right for you, whether it meets your definition of rehab or not.
Understanding Relapse Rates
Relapse rates play an important role in understanding if a rehab center is successful or not. This section is where many long-term rehab facilities will capitalize on their success. Many rehab centers claim that they have a 90-ish percent rate of success because they’re only looking at their graduation or completion rates. While it is more impressive when 90-day programs have high completion rates, that doesn’t mean that the people will remain sober after they leave the facility.
Many celebrities have cycled through rehab stays only to relapse, enter rehab again, and eventually die from an overdose, alcohol poisoning, or drug-related illnesses. There’s no doubt that relapse rates play a significant role in how well a rehab center prepares their patients for life outside of treatment.
Substance users have between a 40 and 60% relapse rate across the board. Essentially it means that it doesn’t really matter if someone spends 90-days in a confined center or 90-days in an out-patient facility. The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that treating drug addiction similar to other diseases leads to the same effect of a peak in the severity of the condition after release from treatment. But, in the same breath, that means that the longer they’re in treatment, the longer they have full control over their illness.
Successful Sober Living and Longer Rehab Treatment
Whether you’re looking for a 90-day inpatient program or an ongoing out-patient program, sober living is a life long journey. To many people, it can seem overwhelming to think that twenty years from now, you may still struggle to remain sober, but the truth is that no rehab can cure you of addiction in 30, 60, 90, or even 180 days.
What a rehab center should aim to do is to arm you with tools and techniques that will make sober living easy. At Rehab Carolinas, we put our focus onto efforts around addiction rather than sensationalizing the treatment. We provide resources such as finding half-way homes, or sober living facilities, as well as provide guidance on accessing addiction treatment systems through employers and employer protection as well.
Contact Rehab Carolinas when you’re ready to start living sober, rather than jumping from facility to facility.