Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependence on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs like cannabis, cocaine, heroin, or amphetamines. It is intended to help addicted people stop compulsive drug searching and use. Treatment can be performed in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different periods of time. At the heart of every major drug rehabilitation program are hard-working men and women known as drug addiction counselors.
When a person participates in drug addiction counseling, they are addressing the psychological component of their dependence. This is the process that prevents people from using drugs in the days, months, and years after the original addiction treatment program. Counseling provides lessons for making better decisions and, in general, improves the life of the individual in mind and spirit. The movement toward treatment in drug rehabilitation centers is creating a demand for these highly qualified counselors at all levels.
Outpatient drug rehabilitation programs provide a safe and supportive living situation for people who are trying to stop using drugs and alcohol. Group therapy is an opportunity for the recovering addict to sit with peers in the drug rehabilitation program and share experiences while receiving mutual support. Family counseling is an opportunity to rebuild trust and re-establish bonds between family members that existed before drug addiction entered. Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that drug abuse treatment can help many drug offenders change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward drug abuse; avoid relapses; and successfully exit a life of substance abuse and crime.
Treatments for prescription drug abuse tend to be similar to those for illicit drugs that affect the same brain system. Drug abuse changes brain function and many things can trigger the desire to use drugs in the brain. The SAMHSA National Helpline provides free referrals to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, as well as connecting them to local assistance and support. The referral service is free regardless of health insurance status.
If you have health insurance, it is recommended that you contact your insurer for a list of participating providers and healthcare facilities. Alcohol and drug addiction affects the whole family. It is important to understand how substance abuse treatment works, how family interventions can be a first step to recovery, and how to help children from families affected by alcohol and drug abuse. For additional resources, visit the SAMHSA store.