Millions of people are affected by excessive and chronic alcohol and drug use every day. While traditional alcohol and drug treatment rehab programs argue that there is no cure for substance use, it is important that the person struggling with alcohol and drug use enroll in a program that can help them develop the skills and tools that they need to help achieve and maintain a clean and sober life. Here are some quick facts about addiction treatment.
One of the first steps toward sobriety is sometimes detoxification. Detox is the process of removing the toxic chemicals that have collected in your system as a result of alcohol or drug abuse. Not everyone needs to go to detox. It depends on the amount of alcohol and drugs used, the frequency of use, and the length of time used. Not all drugs require detox to become clean and sober. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional to see if you need to detox.
If needed, detox may last from a few days to 14 days, depending on the drugs involved. The gold standard of detox is intravenous (IV) treatment supervised by a doctor who can modify the protocol as needed to make the process as comfortable as possible. As you experience detox, you may have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms will vary with the type of substance use that you have, but they will peak, begin to subside, and then disappear.
Alcohol and drug rehab treatment programs may be residential or outpatient and they may last 30 days, four weeks or longer, depending on the program. Studies show that the longer you stay in a program, the higher your chances for success in sobriety. While there are many programs that promote a quick fix to your situation, it takes longer to make the significant changes needed to achieve long term sobriety.
An internet search reveals hundreds and hundreds of alcohol and drug rehab programs with glowing promises of effectiveness. They tend to use high pressure to create high expectations but they generally deliver very low success rates. Exactly how low is not known because the programs often times, don't explain how they measure success, this is an important quick fact about addiction treatment. Instead, they make unsupported claims based on their own self-serving estimates, guesses, or hunches. Most exist to make money rather than to help people overcome their problems.
Most alcohol and drug rehab programs are either based on or use the 12 steps developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). However, AA's success rate is only about 5% at best. That is, only about one of every 20 members achieves and maintains sobriety at the end of one year. And many of those "successes" later relapse and resume abusive alcohol consumption.
The non-profit, St. Jude Retreats offers a highly effective four week (longer is available) Cognitive Behavioral Education program. Periodic outside professional evaluations reveal that the long term success of St. Jude guests is at least 62%. These evaluations are posted on the St. Jude website for your examination.
You have a wide choice of programs. Some are luxurious spas and others provide only Spartan accommodations. Virtually all use the 12 steps of AA. Some use yoga, yacht therapy, equine or horse therapy, religious conversion, nutrition, acupuncture, hair analysis, or almost any other technique a person might want. Of course, the most important consideration should be the effectiveness rate in helping people achieve long term clean and sober lifestyles.