Rehab Programs

What are Rehab Centers?

Rehab centers are often referred to as treatment centers or treatment programs, and almost invariably refer to a clinical facility that is aimed to help people who have an addiction to alcohol or drugs or some other substance or behaviour.

The term rehab can also apply to any type of recovery from any type of physical or mental injury or disorder, but the term rehab center almost always applies to an alcohol or drug treatment facility.

Rehab centers are essentially an outgrowth of hospitals that were used in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous to dry out or detox alcoholics prior to admission to Alcoholics Anonymous and prior to embarking on the 12-step recovery program that AA pioneered.

Over time rehab centers or treatment centers started by individual members of Alcoholics Anonymous and others with the express intent of providing a safe and secure environment for a limited period of time that would allow an alcoholic both to have a detox if needed and begin to look at some of their underlying emotional drives that fuelled their alcoholism.

Inevitably people who were what is known as dual addicted required treatment, and rehab centres began to broaden and widen their customer base with a view to admitting anyone was either an alcoholic or had any type of addiction to any substance or behaviour that could be identified as causing real problems in their lives.

Rehab Centers – Addiction

Rehab centres began treating alcoholics and people with other addictions relying heavily on the principles of the 12 step programme of Alcoholics Anonymous as a basis for their addiction treatment programs. No rehab is owned or has any formal connection with Alcoholics Anonymous, but a significant number of rehabs orientate their rehab facilities and programs around the principles of some of the 12 steps of the AA program.

Rehab centres also took a view that the individuals concerned had what they termed an addictive personality, and that the substance or behaviour that they were addicted to became known as their drug of choice. This was and remains a controversial view of addiction, but one that certainly suits rehab centers and treatment centers policy of being able to treat any individual who they believe has an addiction to anything that is causing problems.

Rehab centers and treatment centers focus mainly on alcoholism and drug addiction, but also aim to deal with objections to food, gambling, sexual addiction, internet and video game addiction as well as issues such as addiction to other people, often referred to as codependency.



What happens in a Rehab?

Anyone approaching the idea of going into a rehab for a residential stay is likely to be fairly apprehensive about what is involved and what the outcome is likely to be. Many people have an idea that the regime in a rehab is fairly strict, and that people often talk about a rehab feeling quite like a prison in some ways, albeit a very luxurious and open prison.

This is a somewhat simplistic generalisation and tends not to be true of the majority of residential rehabs. This generalisation comes from a sense that most rehabs do have fairly strict guidelines across a whole range of areas that affect the individual whilst they are in rehab.

The approach of the majority of rehabs that a client enters on a residential basis will normally be for about a period of 30 days. During this time they are living in somewhat of a bubble, which can both be a safe and a threatening experience.

The intent of a rehab is to help individuals begin the process of accepting that they have a problem with alcohol or drugs or both, and to begin the process of recovery.

To this end a rehab will take a view on what is needed to help the individual in this process, and this is where the litany of dos and don’ts tends to come in. The approach taken by a rehab varies widely as to how structured the environment needs to be, and this should be a major consideration when deciding which rehab should be approached with a view to entry.

Some rehabs will take a view that the individual needs to be challenged in many ways in order to accept the fact that they are an alcoholic. This starts with a fairly strict regime of what they are allowed to bring into the rehab by way of cellphones, laptops, iPads etc.

It is likely that this approach will mean the individual shares a room with another individual during their stay, as a matter of principle, to help break down the center of isolation that they may feel. In addition a rehab that adopts this type of approach is likely to have a fairly strict regime about what the individual can wear and what they cannot wear during their stay in rehab.

It is also possible that the rehab will take what they termed a holistic view of addiction, meaning that things like smoking and drinking coffee are banned during the individuals stay there.

If all this sounds a bit grim, you’re not alone. Many rehabs have realised that this type of approach puts so many people off that it’s bad for business. To that extent you’re likely to find differing levels of regimen amongst different rehabs concerning these areas and boundaries.