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Is It True That Drug Rehab Doesn’t Work? What Are Your Options for Recovery?

What defines substance abuse recovery? For some, it is the cessation of substance use. Or the detoxification of the physical body. An end to emotional dependence. Better relationships with family and friends. Fewer brushes with law enforcement. A better overall quality of life. And the possibilities go on. Treatment goals are as individualized and diverse as the people who make them.

Addiction rehabilitation can be an expensive undertaking, both in time and money. The last thought you want to have, going into it, is that drug rehab doesn’t work. But there is a reason that some people hold this belief. As with other chronic illnesses, substance abuse relapse is common. Some people go the rehab route repeatedly with only temporary successes. So what does this mean for you? What are your recovery options? There are several things to consider that might increase your chances of achieving recovery success and long-term sobriety.

How Drug Addiction and Relapse Affect Our Lives

Drug addiction is a significant physical and mental health problem in the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that, as of 2017, 11% of Americans over the age of 12 were involved in illicit drug use. Only a small fraction of that population seeks rehabilitative treatment each year, and of those, 40 to 60% will relapse.

As a chronic illness, drug addiction has a similar relapse rate to other chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. But unlike those primarily physical diseases, addiction causes changes to the brain. These changes affect behavior and alter one’s decision-making capacity, making drug addiction a complex medical condition with both physical and mental health aspects.

Rewriting the Narrative That Drug Rehab Doesn’t Work

Chronic health conditions, once diagnosed, will require care and attention over one’s lifetime, and drug addiction is no exception. The relapse rate is indicative that drug rehab is not a quick or easy fix. It is also proof that traditional therapies are not necessarily effective for everyone. This is especially true of those rehab programs that are based around shame and historically self-defeating ideas. For all of these reasons, it’s wise to carefully question what is the right choice for you.

Starting the process with eyes wide open and a realistic understanding of the challenges is the best possible approach.

If you desire a change but the thought that drug rehab doesn’t work is holding you back, don’t let it discourage you. Instead, use it as your motivation to investigate the more innovative programs that are rewriting the drug rehab narrative. Rather than using a shame-based approach, a treatment center that aims to heal both the body and the brain will base its program on cutting-edge addiction medicine and neuroscience brain-plasticity research. This type of program will also emphasize holistic lifestyle factors that influence healing, including nutrition and exercise. These novel programs are not “one size fits all.” Here, treatment specialists are able to take into account each individual’s needs and goals for the very best chances of success.

Increasing Your Chances of Addiction Recovery Success

Approaching drug rehab with the thought that it might not work may seem self-defeating, but it could actually work to your advantage. Starting the process with eyes wide open and a realistic understanding of the challenges is the best possible approach. There are many treatment options and even more treatment centers. Determining what’s best for you ahead of time could greatly increase your chance of success.

Recovery is possible, but it is not a passive process. It will require significant effort from you.

These actions will help to get you started:

Evaluate your motivation

If you have the idea that drug rehab doesn’t work, you may be trying to talk yourself out of it. Think about your goals, and make a list. Decide what you want to accomplish. Determine how you would like your life to change. Lasting change is possible if you are motivated, but you will need to set yourself up with the proper tools and resources to improve your chances of success.

Do your research

In order to set yourself up for success, you should understand the process—and find the right treatment center. Getting a recommendation from a friend or a familiar health care provider is a good start. Create a list of possible rehab facilities based on solid research. Enlist some help, if you need it. A caring family member or trusted friend can be a valuable ally in your quest to find the best place to start on the path to addiction recovery.

Find treatment methods that resonate with your needs

Perhaps the reason drug rehab doesn’t work for some people is that the treatment methods at their chosen facility do not align with their needs. Learning about the philosophy and therapeutic modalities of prospective treatment centers can help you determine which is a good fit for you. Line up your questions to ask centers directly, and voice your real concerns. Try to get a good feel for what drives their programs, and see what resonates with you.

Accept the challenge

If you are in it to win it, recognize the challenge, and accept it. Dare yourself to be the one it works for. Set short, attainable goals and allow yourself to be empowered when you achieve them.

Understand that lasting sobriety requires an ongoing commitment

Just as diabetics must monitor their blood sugar and take their medications regularly, a recovering drug user must place an emphasis on daily follow-up care. You must have strategies in place to handle triggers and temptations. What comes after drug rehab may be just as important for long-term recovery and lasting sobriety.

Don’t let the thought that drug rehab doesn’t work keep you from committing to change. It will be a challenge—certainly. But, with the right resources and an innovative addiction medicine team in your corner, your chances look good. When that team recognizes and understands the inevitable challenges and commits to a long-term, supportive relationship, the future looks even brighter. When the program is customized to your unique needs and your goals, your personal drug rehab journey can become a success story.

If you are ready to make a change but you’re struggling with the fear that drug rehab doesn’t work, it’s time to check out New Choices Treatment Centers. To learn about our innovative programs based on neuroscience research and exercise physiology, contact us online or by phone at (726) 888-7003.

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