How Effective Is Drug Rehab?

Every person hoping to overcome an addiction eventually asks themselves – “Is drug rehab REALLY effective?’

That is a legitimate question. Recovery takes time and effort, and course someone wants to know if it will all be worth it in the end.

Here’s the good news – just as with other chronic diseases, Substance Use Disorder can be successfully managed. Evidenced-based drug treatment helps people break free from substance-driven compulsions. A person who is properly motivated, puts in the work, and receives the proper support can regain both their sobriety and control over their life.

Does Relapse Mean Drug Rehab Was a Failure?

But it is important to remember that as with other chronic illnesses, recovery from SUD is a process that will take a lifetime, one day at a time. To minimize the chances of relapse, constant vigilance and commitment to a sober lifestyle is required.

It has been said that “Relapse is part of recovery.”, but that is dangerous and misleading. Using drugs or alcohol during recovery is NEVER okay. It DOES happen, however, and preparation is the key to both preventing and recovering from relapse.

Relapse rates during recovery from addiction are comparable to those of other chronic conditions:

  • Asthma – 50% to 70%
  • Hypertension – 50% to 70%
  • Type I Diabetes – 30% to 50%
  • Drug Addiction – 40% to 60%

Consider this – society doesn’t give up on work or condemn diabetics who have high blood sugar because they snuck too many sweets. No, they are told to change their diet and exercise more, and their medication regimen may be changed.

Similarly, a person who has slipped or relapsed can refocus on their recovery plan. If necessary, their treatment program or anti-craving medication can be adjusted to better support their sobriety. Taken in this context, it’s obvious that a relapse does NOT mean that drug treatment has failed or that recovery is impossible.

Committing Fully to Drug Rehab

A program’s efficacy can best be judged by successful and enduring sobriety among its clients. The best drug rehab programs provide considerable instruction on preventing relapse:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Avoiding “triggers” – the emotions, thoughts, people, places, and things associated with drug use
  • Positive coping skills
  • The importance of self-care
  • Reducing stress
  • 12-Step meetings
  • The necessity of a Sponsor
  • Building a support system
  • Long-term aftercare

Perhaps even more important, Significantly, clients are taught how to respond if a relapse occurs. Having a detailed relapse recovery already plan in place is crucial. Often, it is the difference between a momentary slip and a full-blown return to active addiction.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Beware of any drug rehab program that says they can “cure your addiction”. Right from the start, that statement is misleading, because there is no cure for SUD. There is no such thing as an “ex-addict”. There are only those who have learned how to successful manage the symptoms of their disease.

So in the end, the answer to the original question is this:

OF COURSE drug rehab is effective.

However, success depends largely on three factors:

  • The program must be evidence-based. The treatment options and overall philosophy must be supported by empirical, peer-reviewed scientific data.
  • Treatment must be of sufficient duration. For drug rehab to be effective, it must last a MINIMUM of 90 days, in any combination of residential, outpatient, or partial hospitalization. A Los Angeles Times article reported that individuals who remain in treatment for fewer than 90 days relapse twice as often as those who remain longer.
  • The patient must put in the work. It sounds simple, but a person in recovery must fully commit if they are to succeed. This means putting aside ego and stubbornness and old ways of doing things.

If you are truly ready to get sober, Chapman House Treatment Centers. Located conveniently in Orange County, Chapman House is one of the most-trusted drug rehab programs Southern California.

For a confidential assessment, contact Chapman House TODAY.