Getting Sober / Staying Sober

drug addicts

Alcohol and Drugs Rehab Drugs List

Most rehabs will offer to treat addiction to alcohol and a wide range of drugs, as well as possibly other addictions. The website of the rehab should list the names of the drugs that it offers treatment for the addiction to.

It is likely that the recovery process in the rehab will focus on the individual themselves and their underlying emotional drives, rather than on a specific addiction to a specific drug.

What is really important in this context is the detox process. Anyone entering a rehab who has has been or is addicted to any type of drug, prescribed or not, needs to be assessed by a clinical team to see if a medical detox is needed or not.

For this reason it is important to know if the rehab offers a program for recovery from the specific drug or drugs that the individual is or has been addicted to. This information should be available on the rehabs website. If not , it should be established during the admissions enquiry.

Below is a list of the most common types of drugs that a rehab will offer help with.

Bath salts




Crystal meth












Prescription drugs


Spice / K2






What is a Drug Rehab ?

A drug rehab will have treatment programs that should offer help and support if you or someone you know has a dug problem or addiction. Learn more here about the different types of help available.

Often people looking for a drug rehab will be slightly confused by the terminology and language of a rehab or treatment center, that seems to treat every form of addiction that can be thought of, ranging from alcohol to drugs, food, sex, video games etc.

Most drug rehabs and treatment centres have developed their own addiction treatment programs over time that they apply to any individual who they perceive as having a problem with any type of addiction.This means that they classify people as addictive personalities, who effectively have a drug of choice that can range from alcohol to food to anything else.

This of course can create real problems in terms of understanding what the rehab can offer and whether it is really effective in what it does.It is important to understand this in the context of how a rehab or treatment center sees the nature of addiction and drug addiction specifically.

Depending on the individual and their history, a drug rehab or treatment center should be able to offer significant help in certain aspects and areas of the individuals recovery process.This help and understanding should begin with the admissions process into the drug rehab, and this should give the individual a fairly clear idea as to whether the rehab really understands the nature of their drug addiction.

The drug rehab should be able to take a clear and detailed medical history and should know what questions to ask.

Drug Rehab and Treatment Programs

It is also really important that the drug rehab, apart from anything else, offers a comprehensive risk assessment in terms of withdrawals from any drug that individual may have been using as well as from alcohol or any other substances that individual has used as well.

The drug rehab should have a fully qualified medical staff and clinical facilities able to assess and oversee any medical detox that needs to be done whatever the timeframe.

If the drug rehab does not have such facilities and staff, then it should have arrangements with a local clinical facility, often a hospital, who can do this on their behalf.

Drug Rehab Staff

Most drug rehabs will have their own medical and nursing staff on site, normally 24/7, and this can be a good indication of how experienced the rehab is in dealing with people who have are addicted to various drugs.

A drug rehab is likely to list on its website a wide range of drugs that it can offer help with to people who are addicted to them, or have been recently addicted to them. These will range from things such as cocaine through to heroin through to valium etc.

A more detailed list can be found here, although this is not comprehensive. Many drug rehabs will also offer help with people who have been addicted to prescription drugs, and any substance that may have been used or misused in addition.

Once a drug rehab has assessed whether a medical detox is needed, and such a medical detox has been overseen and undertaken if necessary, then the rehab will initiate the its addiction treatment program.

Such a program is likely to be based on the first five steps of the 12 step program pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous, and adapted by Narcotics Anonymous as part of its own recovery process.

A drug rehab is likely to suggest that the individual attends meetings of Narcotics Anonymous and possibly Alcoholics Anonymous as well as part of its addiction treatment program.

Attendance at such meetings is sometimes mandatory, if not it will be encouraged or is likely to be encouraged very strongly.

It is hoped that attendance at meetings of NA and AA will help ground the individual in an understanding of addiction and what it means, and will be helpful for the individual both whilst in the drug rehab, and much more so once they have left as a form of after-care and support.


Its all about Recovery …………

Drug addiction is a complex brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable, drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences.

Drug seeking becomes compulsive, in large part as a result of the effects of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and, thus, on behavior.

For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)’

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Drug Addiction

Drug addiction can be one of the most painful and horrific experiences that any individual and/or their families can go through. There are a number of treatment options available, although the effectiveness and availability can differ hugely depending upon where the individual lives or how willing they are to access treatment.

Most people when thinking about some type of help for anyone who has a drug addiction are likely to think of a rehab or treatment center. This is normally a residential option, normally for about 28/30 days, and should include some sort of detox facility.

Anyone entering a rehab or treatment center for any type of drug addiction needs to be sure that the rehab either has facilities itself or access to a local clinical facility which can assess and if necessary perform or monitor any type of medical detox that is needed. This is absolutely essential and should be scrutinised carefully before an application to any rehab is made.

Once this has been cleared, the individual is likely to be offered help through a variety of addiction treatment programs that the rehab is likely to offer. Recovery from drug addiction is seen primarily in the context of helping the individual come to terms with the underlying emotional drives and conditions that have fuelled their addiction in the first place.

Most addiction treatment programs that are offered in a rehab arebased on the 12 step program originally formulated by Alcoholics Anonymous, and adopted by Narcotics Anonymous and other 12 step organisations.

Drug Addiction

Most rehabs that offer help with drug addiction will list the various drugs that they can help with on their website. This should be seen as an understanding by the rehab that the individual may have used a number of substances and that their recovery process needs to be focused on an understanding of how these drugs may have affected the individual.

The most common drugs that a rehab will or should have an understanding of are : benzodiazapines, cocaine, crack, restore method, the moral, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, methadone, morphine, OxyContin, Suboxone, Valium, Vicodin, Xanax as well as a range of prescription drugs.

Anyone entering a rehab or treatment center for drug addiction may also have what is sometimes referred to as a dual addiction to alcohol as well, or alcoholism, and the rehab should have an understanding of what addiction means and have addiction treatment programs in place to help an individual work through both types of addiction.


What is an Holistic Drug Rehab ?

Any rehab that offers treatment for anyone addicted to any type of drug, should in effect be an holistic rehab whether they call themselves that will not.

It is an unfortunate fact that many people including rehabs use the word holistic because it appeals vert much to people’s sense of their own self-worth, and appeals to people’s belief that the rehab will treat the individual as a whole person, and not just treat their addiction.

Treatment of the whole person should be the focus of any rehab or any recovery process that may begin in a 12 step fellowship such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.

The majority of rehabs will treat people both for drug addiction and alcoholism.

It is in the nature of rehab is that they like to treat people as addictive personalities, and as such do not focus too heavily on the nature of their addiction in terms of the recovery work.

The recovery work that is done in a drug rehab, whether it is called an holistic drug rehab or not should be largely of a therapeutic nature, and will quite often be based on the 12 step program initially used in Alcoholics Anonymous and adapted for use in Narcotics Anonymous and other Twelve Step fellowships.

Any rehab that offers addiction treatment programs for drug addictions should spell out specifically on its website which drugs, both prescription and non-prescription it will offer treatment for. This is crucially important from a point of view of understanding and be able to deal with a medical detox.

Anyone entering rehab should be assessed for whether or not a medical detox is needed. The rehab must have the facilities and the staff to adequately undertake such a clinical assessment to be able to determine whether a medical detox is needed or not.

If the medical detox is needed, then the rehab should either have the facilities and personnel to manage such a medical detox themselves, or have arrangements with a local clinical facility who can oversee and undertake the medical detox on their behalf.

This process should be clearly highlighted and spelt out on the rehab’s website. It is important in this context therefore that the rehab has qualified medical personnel who have specific experience of dealing with withdrawals from a wide range of narcotics and prescription drugs, and are able to manage these withdrawals in a safe and controlled manner.

Some holistic drug rehabs offer what they call an holistic detox. It is important to be clear that this is normally a very different process from a medical detox.

What is normally meant by an holistic detox is a cleansing process of the individual.

This cleansing process can be a physically cleansing process by way of diet, nutrition supplements, colonic irrigation etc.

It can also be an emotionally cleansing process by way of group therapy and other talking therapies. An holistic detox can also involve other less conventional forms of treatment such as sweat lodges etc.

Anyone undertaking a holistic detox should make sure that the rehab fully understands the so-called cleansing methods involved and is able to undertake them in a safe and controlled environment.


Hazelden introduces maintenance programme

For the first time, Hazelden will begin providing medication-assisted treatment for people hooked on heroin or opioid painkillers, starting at its Center City, Minnesota facility and expanding across its treatment network in five states in 2012

This so-called maintenance therapy differs from simply detoxifying addicts until they are completely abstinent.

Instead, it acknowledges that continued treatment with certain medications, which can include some of the very opioid drugs that people are misusing, could be required for years.

Via : Time Magazine


Does Bloomberg need a beer policy?

Any attempt by anyone to improve public health is always going to have critics, and always potentially run into problems

Whatever happens eventually to Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to limit the size of soda that Americans can drink, the point made in this article in the New York Daily News has some merit.

Written prior to the introduction of the mayors attempt to limit sugary sodas to 16 ounces, the article makes the point that it would still be possible to buy beer in 24 out containers.

Whilst not wishing to get into a debate as to which is worse view, there is some  value in the realisation that public health needs priorities, and if limiting size of soda is a real priority over limiting size of beer then that is a conscious choice.

The danger is that it is not necessarily a conscious choice but simply a reflection of a view, accurate, about the danger of sugary soda drinks.

The real issue is about education.

Only through a long and sustained period of education will any sense of understanding of what the dangers to an individual’s health are come through.

The only real problem with education is that it is competing  with $1 billion industry that has a huge territory to defend.

Full story New York Daily News


Targeting young addicts

Article about how authorities in southern California are aiming to crack down on heroin addiction amongst young addicts

‘A heroin addict for years, Taylor Beatty is 22 years old, has been sober for a month, and says she faces a daily struggle against the drug that is addicting an increasing number of young people.

“I started using at 12 and this has been the biggest struggle I’ve had to go through in my life,” she said.

Taylor has been homeless for several years trying to regain her family’s trust. She recently overdoses and said she didn’t think she was going to make it. Luckily, she did.

Now, she’s in her 17th treatment center.’

Full Story – NBC


Science of addiction

Can’t vouch for the scientific accuracy of this, but a very well thought out and presented article on the science of addiction, showing in very simplistic terms and diagrams some of the main beliefs about addiction and how it works in the human brain.

Dr Urban D’Souza, School of Medicine, University Malaysia Sabah

“You are unable to stop when you want to, despite being aware of the adverse consequences. It permeates your life; you spend more time satisfying – Dr Nora Volkow

Addiction is the repeated or continued use of any mood altering drug/substance or also a behaviour that involves adverse dependence. It may be due to neurological problems or may be neurological impairment leading to such behaviour. Addiction may include nicotine, alcohol, drugs, exercise, sex, gambling or also internet usage!”

Full story – DaijiWorld


Drug Addiction – Harm Reduction or Abstinence ?

Interesting article concerning the approach by British Columbia to dealing with its problem of drug addiction.

Basically a contrast between the different merits of various harm reduction techniques employed, against a complete absence of all drugs.

Although this article focuses on the attitude of British Columbia, Canada – it is a debate that is highly applicable to everywhere that is trying to grapple with this problem.

”In other words, why are the taxpayer-funded authorities so focused on harm-reduction methods (including providing free needles, crack kits and hash pipes) that they reject funding for abstinence-based recovery programs, denying addicts a scientifically-supported treatment option?

I’m not the only one asking this. Abbotsford-Mission MLA Randy Hawes, whose son beat his drug habit through an abstinence-based program, says it was one of the issues that frustrated him and other Liberal MLAs who last fall questioned the authorities about it, through the health minister’s office.”

Full Story : The Province


Vispassana in prison

Research looking at the positive effects of a Vispassana course in prison, hold much interest and hope for alcoholics and drug addicts who are prison inmates.

The Practice of Positive Criminology

A Vipassana Course in Prison


Positive criminology  is a new term for a perspective associated with theories and models that relate to socially inclusive, positively experienced influences that assist individuals in desisting or refraining from criminal and deviant behavior. A qualitative phenomenological study of prisoners who were in recovery from substance dependency and who participated in a Vipassana course in a rehabilitative prison introduces features of positive criminology. A total of 22 male prisoners participated in a 10-day Vipassana course run by volunteers in prison. Deep interviews were conducted with participants before, immediately after, and 3 to 4 months after the course. The findings describe components of positive criminology that had meaningful impact on the prisoners in rehabilitation: perceived goodness, positive relationship with the prison staff, positive social atmosphere, and overcoming an ordeal. Implications for practice and further research are outlined.

Reference using The Harvard Reference system:

Ronel N, Frid N, Timor U ( 2013) The Practice of Positive Criminology, A Vispassana course in Prison : International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol 57, No 2, pp133/153

For Full article, click here


Therapeutic programs

Really interesting piece of research by Gila Chen, looking at the effectiveness of different therapeutic programs as part of a process of rehabilitation for recovering addicts.

The research piexe was published in The International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminolgy and was entitled  Social Support, Spiritual Program, and Addiction Recovery.


This study compared personal and emotional modifications of inmates who were recovering addicts and who participated in one of two year-long therapeutic intervention programs, one including social support and experiential spiritual program components (Narcotics Anonymous, NA, meetings and the 12-step course), the other including primarily social support (NA meetings only, without the 12-step program). The hypothesis was that supplementing social support programs with a concrete spiritual program would result in more positive personal and emotional changes. The results seem to support the hypothesis: Inmates participating in the 12-step program demonstrated a higher sense of coherence and meaning in life and a gradual reduction in the intensity of negative emotions (anxiety, depression, and hostility) than those participating in NA meetings without the 12-step program. The research findings demonstrate the importance of the 12-step program as part of a rehabilitation process for drug addicts.

Full reference using the Harvard refering system

Chan G ( 2006) : Social Support, Spiritual Program, and Addiction Recovery. The International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminolgy, vol 50, No3, 306/323

Doi: 1177/0306624×05279038

For Full Article, click here