Rehab Centers Can Help You Overcome Substance Abuse

By The Fix staff 01/21/15

Rehab Centers Can Help You Overcome Substance Abuse

Rehab Centers

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, the greatest myth about alcohol and drug treatment is that it results in failure. The only failure involving drug or alcohol treatment happens when you or your loved one give up on the possibility of attaining sobriety. For the more than 17 million Americans identified by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, rehab is a life-saving tool to overcome alcohol addiction. Rehab can help the 23.9 million Americans who have used an illicit substance in the last month according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Factors to Consider Before Admission to a Rehab Center

Finding the best treatment center for you or a loved one remains an intricate process involving several factors. Review the following list in order to make sure you are not surprised when you or your loved one check into a rehab center.

Inpatient Versus Outpatient

When going into rehab, you have the option of completing treatment on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient units may be more specific in the types of substance abuse they are able to treat. Each inpatient facility may have different criteria for age limitations and sex. In most cases, outpatient units will be able to provide assistance to a wide group of people in age and gender. Some rehab centers may have a religious base, so check with the facility before your admission for any religious requirements or activities during the course of treatment.  You would not want your loved one to be forced to attend a service that he or she does not wish to.

Financial Concerns over Substance Abuse Rehab

Substance abuse includes alcohol use disorder and drug abuse. One of the main reasons people fail to obtain treatment remains financial concerns. Before going into treatment, you will need to evaluate your financial situation. According to the Affordable Care Act, substance abuse treatment is one of the essential health benefits that must be included in all insurance policies. If you or a loved one does not have insurance or another financial option to help pay for treatment, you may be able to get help with local or state resources for obtaining inpatient treatment at an outpatient rehab center.

Medical History

You will also need to take your medical history and any other mental health issues into account when selecting a rehab center. While many centers will be able to treat both conditions, some severe medical conditions may require medical hospitalization prior to admission into an inpatient rehab center. For example, extended alcohol abuse can cause serious problems in the liver. The liver removes dangerous substances from the blood and metabolizes them before the kidneys have the opportunity to remove the substances from the body entirely. Furthermore, diabetes, stroke, or advanced COPD can make selecting a rehab center difficult due to the available level of care. In some instances, a specific inpatient facility may be unable to help someone wheelchair-bound. However, it's important to remember that a rehab facility that can help you does exist, and you may only need to look a little further. If you are unsure about your qualifications for admission, an assessor at the respective facility will be able to help you.

Social Support

Lastly, you will need to assess your social support system when selecting an appropriate rehab center. Social support includes the support provided by your family, friends, coworkers, or even employers. You may also consider the social support available resources through Employee Assistance Programs or local group therapy sessions.

What to Expect at Admission to an Inpatient Rehab Center

Admission to an inpatient rehab can be a frightening process. You may feel that some of the facility's requirements are intrusive or detract from your goal to become free from drugs or alcohol; however, each rule is designed to give you the best chance for success in your rehab efforts. While the specifics vary depending on facility, the following issues will be the most likely to come up during the initial admission.

Changing Attire

In order to protect you and others in the facility from obscenity, you may be required to change into a facility approved dress code. Some facilities may provide you with a set of clothing, such as scrubs, to wear during the first day at treatment. This is not meant to bring attention to your new-patient status, but to be a safety measure in the event that you have a severe or difficult time with detoxification. Detoxification is the process by which the chemicals in your body--alcohol or illicit drugs--are removed by abstaining from the substance. In addition, you will be given the chance to place valuable belongings in a safe or other lock-box, and you may be required to relinquish any dangerous objects.

Visual Search for Weapons

When you change your attire, you may be required to undergo a visual search by a staff member. This is to ensure you do not have any objects or weapons that you or another person in the facility could use to harm themselves since depression is one of the most common symptoms of addiction withdrawal.

A Thorough Assessment

Upon Admission, you will undergo a detailed physical and mental evaluation. This will help the licensed medical practitioner determine any medications you need during detoxification and treatment. Furthermore, this helps identify any other mental or physical health conditions that need to be treated.


The time frame of treatment varies depending upon the severity of your substance abuse disorder. You will receive medication and psychological therapy--psychotherapy--to treat your problems with substance abuse.

What to Expect from an Outpatient Rehab Center

Depending upon the factors discussed for choosing an outpatient or inpatient rehab center, you may find yourself seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse at an outpatient rehab. Outpatient rehab allows you to continue living outside of the treatment facility. You can expect to undergo a similar process to inpatient treatment at an outpatient rehab center. Furthermore, most people who have been in inpatient rehab continue the path to recovery on an outpatient basis following discharge from inpatient rehab.

A Thorough Assessment

You will have a complete assessment of your physical and mental health at the beginning of treatment at an outpatient rehab center regardless of prior inpatient rehab. This serves as an opportunity to catch any conditions that may have evaded inpatient treatment. Furthermore, treatment for drug or alcohol abuse is an ongoing, changing process that must be reevaluated multiple times in order to give you the best chance for sobriety.

Medication Management

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least 53% of those with substance abuse issues have a severe mental illness. An outpatient rehab center can help treat both addiction and other mental health problems with medications. This includes evaluation by a psychiatrist to change medications, monitoring of blood levels of medication, and referrals to other physicians as needed for the treatment of physical health concerns.


Attending therapy sessions is a vital part of outpatient treatment. This may be conducted in a one-on-one or a group session. Furthermore, your social support system may be able to attend therapy sessions with you. Psychotherapy seeks to change negative thought processes into positive thought processes, which further heighten your resolve and chance for successful treatment.

Drug Rehab Centers

Some rehab centers may be dedicated to the treatment of illicit drugs only, which includes the debatable legality of synthetic drugs. However, most cases of drug and alcohol abuse occur simultaneously with one another as well as with other mental health disorders. Depending upon the type of drug abuse, you may need inpatient rehab to treat the possibly life-threatening symptoms from benzodiazapines. Furthermore, drug rehab centers help alleviate the additional symptoms of withdrawal during the first few weeks after quitting. In some cases, drug use can induce mental health and physical conditions, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, changes in appetite, or problems in the GI tract.

Alcohol Rehab Centers

Alcohol rehab centers provide treatment for those suffering from an alcohol use disorder, which ranges from mild to moderate to severe. In cases of severe alcohol dependency, inpatient rehab is medically necessary. Withdrawal from severe alcohol dependency can result in tremors, delirium tremens, seizures, psychotic symptoms, or even suicidal thoughts or actions.

Suicidal thoughts or actions are a MEDICAL EMERGENCY and require IMMEDIATE MEDICAL INTERVENTION.

During the course of treatment at an alcohol rehab, you will receive medical attention for withdrawal symptoms. You will also receive treatment for any other mental health conditions and physical conditions if applicable.

Making the decision to get help for drug or alcohol abuse will change your life and the life of your loved ones. Drug and alcohol abuse affects the entire family of those with problems with substance abuse, and treatment has been shown to effectively treat up to 90% of cases of addiction. Rehab comes in both inpatient and outpatient forms, and you only need to evaluate your situation to determine the best option for you. Drug and alcohol abuse can be overcome.

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