Does Rehab really work?

There are all sorts of rehab centres and treatment programs with varying range of effectiveness. If you are looking for the right rehab – it’s a difficult job with so many rehabs and so many different treatment approaches for alcohol and drug addiction. So how can you gauge if a treatment facility is effective—or will be effective—for you or your loved one? What makes a drug rehab program successful?

Studies indicate that effective treatment regimens have some things in common. Below are 6 components of a successful treatment approach:

1. Individualized Addiction Treatment Plan

“No single treatment is appropriate for everyone” a foundational principle of effective treatment. For instance, addicts and alcoholics who come to Hope Trust come from different parts of India and the world. Each has a different background – culturally and in terms of individual experience. A good rehab will be flexible and competent to understand and tailor a treatment plan that best suits the individual. A comprehensive assessment, specialized detox, and one-on-one individual counseling provide sensitive, targeted care. Though the broad outlines of the program may be common to the group, individual customization is critical in effectiveness.

Read more about personalized treatment at Hope Trust.


2. Assessment of co-occurring disorders

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, about 37% of individuals with alcoholism and 53% of individuals with drug addictions have at least one serious mental illness. Oftentimes, the mental illness and substance abuse feed off each other with one directly linked to the other. An addict may try and manage his ‘uncomfortable’ mental state such as depression by drinking or drugging, and depression stimulates the client to continue drinking or drugging). Such clients are also highly susceptible to relapse, unless they gain good insight into their condition and become compliant with medication and follow-ups. Though it may be difficult to determine which came first, it is however important that both issues are addressed simultaneously. Hope Trust has a highly effective dual diagnosis program with high recovery rate.

All clients are assessed by a psychiatrist first on admission and thereafter monitored by the clinical staff for evidence of any co-occurring mental issues. It needs experience and insight to sift through the apparent and clinical behaviourial aspects to accurately diagnose dual diagnosis and treat it appropriately. Hope Trust counsellors and psychiatrist also get background information from family regarding family history and dynamics.

Read more about dual diagnosis and its treatment.


3. Isolation

A healthy, positive, and supportive environment is one of the major advantages of inpatient residential rehab stay. A residential rehab isolates the client from the distractions and temptations of life, and allows him or her to focus entirely on building his recovery. This insulation from the outside world is critical for undisturbed progress. 

The inpatient environment, however, should not be clinical. At Hope Trust, the facility has lots of fun elements and is more like a home rather than a hospital.


4. Strong aftercare program and support groups

An effective relapse prevention program is essential for sustained of sobriety. After all, rehab is ultimately preparing you for life after rehab. At Hope Trust, each client undergoes an individualized relapse prevention program prior to discharge, wherein his or her unique relapse triggers are identified and strategies for dealing with them are formulated. A family communication exercise is also facilitated to initiate healthy rebuilding of relationships. Aftercare programs and follow up care addresses any ongoing issues in continued sobriety . Clients are also provided with a list of nearest support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and encouraged to participate in the groups.

Read more about Hope Trust’s strong after care program.


5. Length of stay

Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical. A 90-day treatment stay is currently the gold standard of treatment. For decades, research has proven that people who attend a longer treatment plan has a lower rate of relapse. A 1999 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that

  • 35% of those in treatment for less than 90 days reported drug use the following year, versus

  • 17% of people who were in treatment 90 days or over reported relapse in the following year

Recovery takes time. A longer treatment stay offers more time to master the tools of recovery, a higher chance of getting employment, and more time to help the addict develop a new and balanced lifestyle. Research also indicates that it takes approximately 90 days for the brain to rewire itself and shake off the immediate effects of drug or alcohol abuse.


6. Empathy

Empathy is not sympathy. It is important that the addict in treatment feels that his therapist understands him or her. Therefore, a counselor who himself or herself has personal experience with addiction and recovery is able to connect far better that an individual who only has educational knowledge. Most of the staff at Hope Trust are themselves in recovery – ‘have been there and done that’ – and coupled with their qualifications and vast experience are highly effective in helping addicts, alcoholics and their families.

Read more about Hope Trust’s therapy staff.