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Understanding Drug Rehab

Providing Trusted, Evidence-Based
Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

Drug rehab is crucial for individuals addicted to drugs. The combination of therapies and medical detox helps patients stop using illicit substances and learn how to live a sober life. The bad news is some patients may find the number of drug rehabilitation programs available to be overwhelming. The good news is there are many treatment options available so every patient can find a program that meets his needs.

According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, of the estimated 22.5 million Americans classified as having a drug abuse or addiction problem, only about 4 million will receive the care they need to heal. If you or someone you care about struggles with drug dependence, don’t wait any longer to get help. Instead, contact us at Michael’s House today at 760.548.4032. We can discuss your options in rehabilitation and help you to choose the program that will be most effective for you.

Types of Addictions Treated at Rehab

Few drug rehabilitation centers cater to a specific kind of addiction. Rather, most rehabs will provide a treatment program that speaks to the medical and psychological issues of each patient, no matter what drug is being abused.

The most common addictions for which treatment is sought include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Heroin addiction
  • Cocaine dependence
  • Marijuana addiction
  • Crystal meth addiction
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Poly-drug addictions
  • Dual Diagnosis disorders

While each of these forms of addiction have differences, the best drug rehab centers focus on the universal elements of addiction. This approach leads to greater levels of success for patients.

The Difference Between Abuse and Addiction

Many patients get caught up in trying to define their relationship with drugs and alcohol. For example, drug abuse, has a far less threatening reputation than that of drug addiction. According to Medline Plus, an issue with drug abuse is defined as the regular abuse of any illicit substance including alcohol over the course of a year with negative consequences. These negative consequences can be financial, interpersonal, work-related, legal, health-related – anything that changes the patient’s experience of day-to-day life for the worse.2

Drug addiction is defined as a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.It is possible to be physically dependent upon a drug without having an addiction to the substance. However, when addiction is an issue, the negative consequences experienced during drug abuse become overwhelming, which makes it impossible for the patient to function in relationships with others, at work, at school or in the community.

Different Types of Treatment Programs

The two most basic types of drug rehab are outpatient and residential treatment programs. Both can be effective choices based upon the needs and experiences of the individual patient. Residential drug rehab gives individuals time away from the temptations and distractions that come with everyday life.

Outpatient drug rehab provides patients with a more loosely defined schedule. This form of treatment allows patients to stay with their support system at home and maintain a limited presence at work or school. Both options offer patients a different range of therapeutic options and counseling with the goal of maintained abstinence and long-term recovery.

An effective drug rehab program – either outpatient or inpatient –includes:


Patients should feel comfortable at their rehab of choice, and able to openly discuss what they need with counselors and medical professionals. A welcoming environment is key to both patients and their family members.

High Success Rates

Most drug rehabs keep track of the recidivism, or relapse, rates of their patients and the most effective programs keep in close contact with clients as much as possible after they are graduated from treatment. The success rates for different drugs and situations can help patients compare the efficacy of different theories behind addiction treatment.

Personalized care

The ability for a patient to take part in the development of his or her treatment program with access to a wide range of therapy types gives them a much better chance of creating an experience in rehab that will help them to rapidly progress in recovery and become more solid in their ability to handle the stresses of life that threaten sustained abstinence.

Quality of life improvement

Drug rehab is about helping the patient learn how to avoid relapse on an ongoing basis, but it should also be about helping patients to improve their daily experience. This happens when they are given the assistance they need to handle the other issues in their life that may be diminishing their ability to remain clean and sober. Health problems, legal issues, family problems – all these and more should be addressed on an as-needed basis at an effective addiction treatment program.

Schedule of Care

Many addicted patients state that a fear of what to expect in drug rehab is an obstacle to medical and therapeutic care.

When patients know what happens in the treatment process, it allows them to mentally prepare for the work ahead of them.

Patients should expect to undergo the following steps when they enroll in a comprehensive drug rehab program:

  • Orientation. The first few days of treatment are focused on helping the patient to feel comfortable in the program and assisting the medical team in better understanding the needs of the individual patient. The doctors and therapists must be familiar with the patient’s drug history, mental health history, and medical history in order to create a personalized treatment plan that will be effective.
  • Detox. If the patient has physical dependence and/or withdrawal symptoms, detox is the first step after diagnostic evaluation. Patients may receive medication if warranted and begin the process of the psychotherapeutic care that will define the bulk of their rehab experience.
  • Counseling. Next, patients receive care through experiential, personal and group therapy sessions. This time is when patients begin the process of working on the trauma and mental health issues that may have pushed them toward addiction in the first place.
  • Aftercare. When patients return home after treatment, they pick up where they left off during the counseling process. Aftercare can consist of therapy, yoga, treatment services such as acupuncture and even a residential sober living program.

Patient Contribution to Effective Addiction Treatment

The most important thing patients can bring to their rehab experience is a realistic understanding of what drug rehab provides and the willingness to utilize those resources to the best possible outcome. The possibilities for personal growth and recovery in treatment are limitless.

Here are a few tips to help patients get the most out of rehab:

  • Keep an open mind. When patients have an open mind and a positive attitude, they are more likely to find what they need in rehabilitation.
  • Follow the rules. Even the rules that seem insignificant or arbitrary actually bring a new layer of learning to rehab. The rules are to be kept and maintained. Even things like curfew, lights out, food in rooms, and phone access help patients in their recovery.
  • Avoid relapse. Though relapse is rare at a residential treatment program, it is possible. Patients should focus their attention on avoiding relapse at all costs.
  • Practice confidentiality. Patients often share personal and life experiences with each other in group therapy. It is important for patients to maintain confidence while providing support. The only caveat is when those conversations reveal that someone is hurting themselves or someone else—then it is time to involve a counselor.
  • Don’t give up. Persistence is the key to success in recovery. There will be good days and there will be bad days. Focusing on missteps and worries rather than on successes and specific treatment goals can cause patients to lose focus.

Challenges and Obstacles

As individuals seek balance and strength in recovery, it is common for obstacles to appear.

Here are a few of the most common challenges and how to begin to deal with them:

  • Payment for treatment. There are several payment options for treatment such as financing options, insurance coverage and receiving financial assistance from friends and family.
  • Adjusting to a new environment. Making the transition from active addiction at home to a rehab facility can be rough if there are issues with physical illness or mental health. Talking through obstacles as they arise and asking for help from medical professionals empowers patients to adjust quickly and also shift their focus to personal recovery.
  • Personality conflicts. When people in an unstable frame of mind come together, conflicts can develop. It’s important not to allow any one situation to spiral out of control or to become violent in any way. Instead, ask for assistance from counselors to work through specific issues.

Above all, staying in treatment and remaining focused on recovery is the primary goal. Anything that distracts from that is an obstacle and a challenge to be overcome through therapeutic care and perseverance.

Find the Right Treatment Center at Michael’s House

Michael’s House is a residential drug rehabilitation facility located in Southern California. We are a high-end treatment center that helps patients overcome their dependence on drugs and alcohol. Our “whole body” approach to recovery is designed to promote health and wellness on every level. We know how you feel and are ready to help. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 760.548.4032. If you have insurance, please get your information ready, and we can tell you what forms of treatment are covered. Please take this important step in your recovery today.

Start the Journey Today!



1Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, July 2016. Accessed 6 Sept. 2017.
2 "Substance Use." MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Accessed 6 Sept. 2017.
3Understanding Drug Use and Addiction.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Accessed 6 Sept. 2017.