Rehab the Right Way – Quick Fixes No Longer Workable in Creating Long-Term Sobriety

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There are many ways to come down off of drugs and alcohol. In a country with more than ten percent of its adult population addicted, some say this is a good thing to have such variety in our treatment care. But this is only true if all options for treatment work. One must consider the implications of each method of treatment they are considering, and the pros and cons of each.

Rapid Detox; Possibly Dangerous and Uncertain

Rapid detox is a sort of “fad” detox method, one which a lot of people are using because of its speed of delivery and its promise of a permanent recovery. But a permanent recovery, overnight? The key failure with rapid detox is that it affords no time for any actual rehabilitation to occur. A rapid detox supports the idea that addiction is all physical and not mental at all, which is not the case. A rapid detox may be able to remove much of the negative toxins and drug chemicals from the person’s body (and even that is questionable) but there is absolutely no mental, psychological, or spiritual healing that occurs in a rapid detox.

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment, while not necessarily a “non-biased” organization, did report on some of the key flaws in rapid detox, which any layman could easily observe. Even if one did not want to argue about the potential risk involved with anesthetically inducing a coma upon a person to rapidly drain all opiate chemicals from the body and the fact that patients have experienced serious medical problems from that, there is still the lack of real and proven success rates from this method. In the NAABT report, they did cite an article written by the Journal of American Medicine (a completely non-biased entity) which stated that rapid detox was expensive, potentially dangerous, and unproven as an approach to treating opioid dependence.

Ibogaine – A Controversial Detox Method

Ibogaine is another highly controversial approach to drug and alcohol rehab. Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive drug found in a variety of plants in the Apocynaceae family. While Ibogaine has been in use for ritual purposes in African tribes for centuries, it came to the States as an anti-addictive substance in 1962. Ibogaine is illegal in the United States and is classified as a Schedule I drug.

Many argue a purported value behind Ibogaine, saying it can be used as an anti-addictive supplement to help people come down off of opiate addiction. However, even if Ibogaine is entirely natural in its composition, this is still akin to using one drug to come down off of another drug. This is slippery ground, especially when no treatment, structure, rehabilitation, or counseling is used.  There is also very little assurance of the drugs safety, this kind of treatment should be avoided.

Outpatient Rehab – Why it Pales in Comparison to Inpatient Rehab

There are several reasons why drug addicts and alcoholics usually choose to enter into residential rehab programs over outpatient centers. Residential programs bring more to the table in terms of services offered, security of the facility and location, time spent away from old environments and trigger systems, etc. There are a lot of reasons here, but there are three, key factors that make residential rehab the superior approach to addiction treatment:

  • Structure. This may seem unappealing at first, but it is a boon for people in recovery. A regular, daily schedule that one follows every day will support focus and direct attention to the task at hand. In an outpatient program, a recovering individual will be away from rehab for several hours at a time, and in those hours cravings and instability can grow. At a residential facility however, there is structure, clear boundaries, and accountability that keeps recovering individuals on track.
  • Community. There is a certain sense of community in a residential treatment center, a facility that is set aside and on its own somewhere. There is a sense of community amongst the staff and clients who spend so much time together. There is a bond that is cherished between clients who spend much of their time together for several weeks concurrently. There are a lot of tough times that an individual will face as they attempt to garner sobriety, and the prevalence of such strong community in a residential center is invaluable.
  • Focus. Not having to worry about the obligations of work, school, family, friends, daily routine, etc. a client can fully focus on themselves in a residential setting, something that they cannot do as well in an outpatient setting. The focus at a residential center is such that people can really get down to the buried and hidden issues that are promoting their addictions. This is key for an effective recovery process to occur.

No one can replace the value and the sheer benefit that a residential rehab program can provide for a struggling addict. The only reason why sometimes people do not capitalize on residential care is that they cannot get into such a program or because they simply refuse to do so. However, this is by and large the best approach to addiction treatment available and should be pursued by all who want help for an addiction struggle.


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