Getting Sober / Staying Sober


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 are symptoms of alcoholism?

When a person is admitted to a rehab, one of the first things that they and their family will be told, both directly and indirectly is that alcoholism is an illness, and that an alcoholic as such, is a person who is suffering from that illness.

Some people and literature refer to alcoholism as a disease rather than an illness, however the early members of Alcoholics Anonymous have always referred to it as an illness.

There are differences, medically, between the concept of an illness and a disease, and important though they are they are not really relevant to this issue.

The nature of alcoholism as an illness has been important for a number of reasons, not least of all as an attempt to try and remove some of the stigma surrounding the person being an alcoholic.

This in part is because the nature of alcoholism is often very public, both in terms of actual drunkenness, but also in terms of other behaviours when drunk and sober.

The premise behind alcoholism being an illness is that the alcoholic is effectively a sick person as opposed to a bad person.

This may be somewhat of a mute distinction, but is an important one nevertheless.

The question of alcoholism being an illness or not has to an extent died down, but from the point of view of the alcoholic and the family it is still a very important issue.

Part of the reason for this is a need both by the alcoholic and their family to be able to make sense of the alcoholics drinking and the chaos that ensues from it.

One of the questions that inevitably arises once someone is in a rehab is a questioning of why nothing was done about the person’s drinking beforehand.

A rehab will inevitably be a focal point for what the illness is, what it means and what symptoms if any are displayed by the alcoholic.

Most illnesses/diseases in a traditional medical model are likely to have symptoms that can be picked up on either by a doctor or other health professional. Alcoholism is not necessarily like that.

It is certainly true to say that if someone is an alcoholic they will reach a point where their drinking is out of control. An alcoholic is likely to have alcoholic blackouts at some point in the drinking, but this is not true of all alcoholics.

There is also quite a fine line between a heavy drinker and an alcoholic. As such, there is no way to define or classify an alcoholic based on the reality of what their drinking is.

A rehab/treatment center will be a safe place where someone can begin the process of recovery, and it is through the nature of the recovery that they will realise they were ill in the first place.

One of the dangers of trying to categorise alcoholics, is that to some extent people’s patterns of drinking will vary hugely, and there is no standard diagnosis that anyone could apply that would make any sense in terms of being able to spot an alcoholic.

This may be of little or no comfort to the family of an alcoholic, but in truth anyone who lives with an alcoholic at any level of intimacy is likely to get sucked into their illness, and lose much of their own life emotionally.


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