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What Is Drug Rehab? Do Treatment Programs Really Work?

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

March 11, 2019

All drug rehab centers vary by what kind of treatment modalities they employ, differing philosophies, and who they admit as patients. In order to get the most out of your recovery process, it is important to find a rehab program that specializes in your treatment needs.

Rehab Programs Employ Multi-Dimensional Treatment Approaches

Most studies on substance abuse point out that it is a complicated illness with many related conditions that need to be addressed to help substance abusers achieve a successful recovery. Chemical dependency is merely one condition that needs to be treated. If the dependency is very severe, inpatient rehab stays are shown to be effective in helping addicts get clean so that other underlying issues, such as depression or social problems, can be addressed through medication and therapy aimed at building coping strategies and appropriate social conduct.

Drug rehab centers employ many different styles of treatment, from the traditional 12-step program to psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that no single treatment or style of treatment will be effective for everyone, but most of them can be when they address the multiple needs of individual substance abusers and provide the ongoing clinical and community support necessary to ensure a successful recovery. These approaches use medication, support groups, counseling, and job training/placement to create individually customized programs for individual needs.

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U.S. States Fund Multi-Dimensional Treatment For Addiction

In fact, multidimensional approaches to treating substance abuse are successful enough that many states are beginning to allocate funds to make treatment affordable for those who need it most. Data suggest that the costs of drug rehab programs are much less than the societal costs of substance abuse. Drug rehab programs may reduce crime rates, drug-related medical costs, and the toll that substance abuse can take on families and communities.

According to a 2009 report by the US Department of Health and Human Services that looked at funded treatment programs in California, New York, and Washington, for every $100,000 spent, states avoided $487,000 in medical costs and $700,000 in crime-related costs. This study also found that supporting effective drug rehab programs lowered Medicare and Medicaid costs as well as reducing the likelihood of arrest and felony conviction for addicts by 16% and 34%.

The benefits of drug rehab programs are not lost on employers and insurance providers either. A Kaiser Permanente study showed that employees who received treatment for substance abuse missed less work, showed up on time more often, and had fewer conflicts with coworkers. The study concludes that at the very least, employers break even by investing in substance abuse treatment.

This is good news for those seeking drug rehab treatment because more options are becoming available to more people who need them, and chances are that you can find a rehab center and a treatment program that fits your individual, financial, social, and other needs.

Seeking Help Finding Drug Rehab That Works For You

The different styles of treatment employed by drug rehab centers are shown to be effective in minimizing the public costs of addiction and helping people live healthy lives, but not all treatment styles work for everyone. One key to successful recovery is finding a drug rehab center that offers programs and services that suit your needs and support your continued recovery efforts.

Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation that will help you find the appropriate rehab center.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse - HOME

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