When you hear the word rehab, or rehabilitation, you might think of a certain type of treatment for addicts and even criminals, as in: “She’s had an addiction to alcohol for years but now she’s in rehab.” However, rehabilitative services and treatment approaches for addiction have grown extensively over the last 50 years and the types of these services vary.
First, rehab typically refers to a live-in residential treatment center or live-in health care facility, also known in the drug-counseling field as RTC. A rehab center might offer services such as drug counseling to address substance abuse, therapy to treat mental illnesses, and other forms of treatment to address behavioral issues. Some rehab centers are beginning to employ behavioral health therapists to ensure that behavioral concerns are well addressed. Additionally, the public education system in the United States has Behavioral Health Specialists who work with youth in special education whose behavior are interfering with their education.
In addition to a live-in facility where recovering addicts would participate in a variety of services, rehabilitative services can also include sober living homes, sometimes referred to as halfway houses. These are an extension of care for those recovering from addiction and who have already participated in and lived at a traditional rehab center. At these centers, although patients live there, as they would in a traditional rehab center, they have significantly more freedom to be able to attend work, school, or family events. Another rehab-like service is an outpatient treatment center. Patients live in their own home but attend the center at regular intervals for treatment. They might attend the center for group therapy, individual therapy, drug counseling, or mental health treatment. Regular attendance to the center depends on their need, and can be daily, weekly, or bi-monthly.
Finally, rather than attending or living at a formal center for treatment, rehab might also include community-based services such as attending an Alcohol Anonymous (AA) meeting. AA meetings and others, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Overeating Anonymous (OA) are based on the 12-step model of treatment.
Clearly, rehab centers can include a variety of forms, offering varying levels of service. More recently, it has become a common trend that they also address mental health issues. It is frequently found among addicts that a drug or alcohol addiction will accompany a mental illness and that often the addiction began because of the illness. Mental illnesses that co-exist with substance use are Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Anxiety, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
When this is the case, rehab treatment must thoroughly address the addiction, the mental illness, as well as any underlying issues that might also be contributing to substance use. Many treatment centers for sober living are clinically oriented and attempt to address both the substance addiction as well as the mental illness.
In addition to a clinically oriented adolescent rehab center, there are also lock-down facilities that severely restrict the behavior and mobility of an addict. Here, addicts have often committed a crime and under the reign of the law. They are locked within the premises and perhaps even to one room. These centers are typically for adults who have already exhibited acute forms of behavior, such as harm to self and others.
Finally, some rehab centers should not be confused with an educational type program where addicts might attend regularly or in some cases make their home. These programs provide psycho-education and support for shaping their behavior towards being socially acceptable and healthy.
There are, indeed, a variety of sober living and treatment facilities to participate in, depending on an addicts needs and the level of care they require. Fortunately, research indicates that having a treatment plan and knowing the expected duration of that treatment is strongly correlated to positive outcomes and recovery.
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