What is an Alcohol and Drug Rehab ?

Many people have heard the phrase ” going into rehab”¬† or simply the phrase ‘rehab’ itself, but are unclear about what it means or what is really involved with it.

A rehab is essentially a clinical institution, in the same way that a hospital is a clinical institution, but one that deals purely with different types of addiction.

There are other significant differences between hospitals and rehabs  which are explained further on.

Traditionally, a rehab would deal with people who were alcoholics, or who had a serious drink problem, even if they were unaware of what alcoholism was or whether or not they were alcoholics.

As time went on, rehabs realised that they could treat people who had other addictions as well, namely addictions relation to drug abuse, gambling, food, sex etc.

Rehabs and treatment centers realised that their approach to recovery meant they focused mainly on the individual and their internal triggers, and as such could apply the process to anyone who had any type of addiction at all.

With this overall approach to addiction, some people and some rehabs felt their message was a bit blurred, and started describing themselves as alcohol rehabs or drug rehabs or alcohol and drug rehabs.

Other treatment centers found this approach unnecessary, but it has meant that sometimes there has to be a distinction as to what an alcohol and drug rehab is.

The reality is that the majority of rehabs will focus on alcohol and drug addiction, and the majority of people entering a rehab will be doing so for the same reasons.

There is one proviso relating to rehabs offer treatment programs for drug addiction specifically. They will often enlist the specific types of drug addiction they have expertise in, and this may be of some value to people.

Not necessarily in terms of the addiction treatment programs that they offer, but much more in that knowledge of and treatment facilities they have for any detox or withdrawal program that may be necessary at the start of their recovery.

Rehabs and Hospitals

Describing a rehab as a clinical environment is an important element of its institutional nature, but it is also important  to clarify what that means.

It simply means that the rehab will have clinical staff as part of its overall recovery team.

They will have specific clinical functions within the team. It normally applies to doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists etc.

These clinical staff will have very specific roles in a professional capacity, relating either to any detox program in place at the beginning of the treatment program, or a role in the addiction treatment program itself.

In most other respects, a rehab is very unlike a hospital. Most rehabs are more like country clubs, and make a serious effort to provide a gentle and soothing environment within which an individual can begin the process of recovery.

Depending upon the rehab, the country club type approach will vary considerably in terms of its rules and regulations.

Some rehabs make a big point of incredibly rigid regulations about every aspect of the individual’s life whilst there, largely as a way of providing structure, which they believe helps aid recovery.

Other rehabs take a very different approach, believing that giving an individual freedom to be themselves as part of their recovery process is an integral part of them being able to find recovery in the first place.

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