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How Effective Is the Rehab Centre Approach in Treating Addiction?

Over the last several decades, addiction treatment has evolved dramatically. As we’ve learned more about addiction, we’ve come to understand that locking alcoholics into a “drunk tank” is not going to solve the problem: people with addictions are people first and foremost, and deserve to be treated with humanity and respect. Addressing the underlying causes of the addiction is a key factor in the success of any rehab or recovery program.

As a result of how addiction treatment has changed over the years, we are seeing a lot more people enjoy long-term sobriety. In the 20th century, a common attitude was that “addiction will always get you in the end”. Back then, this was frequently the case, as people who were released from ineffective treatment programs had high odds of relapsing fairly quickly.

Modern-day addiction treatment programs do a much better job of catering to each individual’s unique needs and circumstances. People are exposed to combinations of therapeutic methods that are a good fit for their personalities, and that address the root causes of the addiction. When combined with comprehensive aftercare, addiction rehab is highly successful at helping individuals achieve lifelong sobriety.

What Does the Research Say?

It is difficult to quantify the success of rehab, because there is no standard definition of rehab. Some researchers define rehab only in terms of inpatient addiction treatment, others also include outpatient and partial hospitalization programs, and still others include support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

Similarly, the definitions of recovery vary from simply stopping use of the substance to also having strong mental health and a good quality of life. Some researchers regard recovery as being sober for at least one year; for others, it’s at least five years.

According to a Canadian Centre on Substance Use & Addiction (CCSA) survey of people in recovery from addiction, the top two resources used by respondents in their recovery were 12-step support programs (91.8% of respondents) and inpatient addiction treatment (60.6% of respondents). Of the people who used these tools, 83.2% felt that inpatient rehab was very important to recovery.

While this survey does not tell us anything about the people who were not able to achieve sobriety through rehab, it does indicate that many of the respondents may have suffered a relapse had they not participated in rehab. Inpatient addiction treatment programs appear to have been particularly successful when used in conjunction with other tools, such as 12-step programs, support recovery houses (or sober living homes), and group or individual counselling.

Relapse Does Not Mean Treatment Has Failed

It is estimated that around 40% of recovering addicts suffer relapses after completing treatment. Contrary to what many people think, this does not mean the treatment was not successful. Relapse is a common phenomenon among people with many chronic conditions, at around the same rates. Between 30% and 50% of people with type 1 diabetes experience relapses in spite of treatment, but we don’t say their treatment has failed. Instead, there is a recognition that treatment may need to be adjusted.

The same is true of addiction. If you have had a relapse, it may be a sign that you need a bit more time in a treatment program to address whatever triggered the new drug or alcohol use. Complete sobriety often takes two or more attempts at rehab, and this is no different to other conditions that take time and several treatment attempts in order to be successfully managed.

relapse addiction

What Makes Inpatient Rehab Effective?

In spite of the fact that some people relapse and have to return to treatment, inpatient rehab remains one of the most effective forms of addiction treatment. People who complete an inpatient program are less likely to relapse than those who rely solely on other methods, such as outpatient rehab and 12-step support groups, and those who try to recover with no help at all. Of the people who do suffer a relapse, those who return to inpatient rehab are more likely to achieve long-term sobriety after their second treatment program.

Inpatient rehab has some built-in benefits that make it an effective form of treatment:

  • You are in the facility 24/7 for a period of several weeks. This gives you access to round-the-clock support, whenever you need it.
  • Because you are temporarily removed from the “real world”, you are protected from drugs and alcohol, and from many of your substance use triggers.
  • All of the logistics of daily living are taken care of. You have a roof over your head and access to nutritious meals that are designed to help your body heal from the rigours of drug or alcohol use.
  • Inpatient rehab is a highly structured environment in which you follow a routine and have all of your therapy appointments on-site.
  • You learn the value of positive recreation, and you are encouraged to explore recreational options that you can continue to pursue when your time in rehab is over.
  • Most rehab facilities have comprehensive aftercare programs that help you make the transition from inpatient treatment to the real world. These programs provide support when you need it, as well as referrals to ongoing therapy services in your area.

inpatient rehab

Getting The Help, You Need

If you are seeking a drug and alcohol rehab facility that will support you or a loved one through detox, rehab, and aftercare, look no further than Thousand Islands Rehab Centre. Our caring, professional addiction specialists will put together a customized addiction treatment program that is based on your unique needs and circumstances. We follow a holistic approach that considers your physical, mental, social, spiritual, and cultural well-being, and we offer a wide range of treatment methods. These include group and individual therapy, family counselling, nutrition and exercise coaching, life skills training, and much more. Once your complete rehab, you will have access to our comprehensive aftercare program, which is designed to keep you where you belong: at home, surrounded by your loved ones, living a happy, healthy, productive life without drugs or alcohol. Contact us today for more information.

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