What is Drug Rehabilitation

06 Apr
By Marie

What is Drug Rehabilitation

Drug rehabilitation is a term used for a treatment process for dependency on alcohol, prescription, and illegal drugs such as heroin, amphetamines, or cocaine. The goal of the treatment is to stop alcohol consumption as well as drug use to allow people to lead healthy lives in the family, workplace, and society. The treatment is not one size fits all. Drug abuse treatment depends on the various factors:

  • Extent and nature of an individual’s problem
  • Suitability of drug abuse treatment
  • Availability of additional services
  • Quality of interaction between a person and his/her health care specialist

Family members and friends can also motivate people who depend on psychoactive substances to enter and remain in treatment.

An Effective Treatment

An effective drug abuse treatment must address the individual’s drug abuse or alcohol dependency as well other associated psychological problems. It is also very important that treatment should be suitable for an individual’s gender, age, culture, and ethnicity.

The appropriate duration of the treatment depends on the type and degree of the patient’s illness and requirements. According to various clinical studies, the most addicted individuals or those who badly dependent on alcohol require at least three months treatment to stop their drug use/alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. Recovery from drug or alcohol abuse is a long-term process and requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other serious medical condition, relapses to drug/alcohol abuse can occur and should indicate a need for treatment to be adjusted or reinstated. Because many people leave treatment in between, the treatment programs should include strategies to engage and retain people in treatment.

Behavioral Therapy- An Important Part of the Treatment

Behavioral therapies may involve the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy– The part of behavioral therapy help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are more likely to abuse psychoactive substances.
  • Motivational interviewing– In this therapy, the health care providers use strategies to encourage rapid and self-driven behavioral change to stop alcohol consumption and drug use as well as help an individual enters treatment.
  • Motivational incentives– Uses positive augmentation such as providing rewards for remaining alcohol/drug-free, for taking part in counseling sessions, or for taking medications regularly and exactly as recommended.
  • Group therapy- This therapy helps patients face their drug addiction realistically, along with its harmful results, and motivate them to stay drug-free. During the part of treatment, patients come to know ways to resolve their personal and emotional matters without abusing psychoactive substances.


Medications play a significant role in treating many patients. They are prescribed along with counseling and other behavioral therapies to treat drug abuse. Different types of medications may work at different stages of the treatment to stop alcohol/tobacco/drug abuse, to stay in treatment, and to avoid relapse.

Important medications available to treat opioid, alcohol, and tobacco addiction are listed below:

  • Methadone, naltrexone and buprenorphine are helpful in treating people addicted to opiates like prescription pain relievers and heroin.
  • Gum lozenges, nicotine patches, nasal spray, and the medications like bupropion and varenicline are available to stop tobacco addiction.
  • For alcohol dependence, acamprosate, naltrexone, disulfiram, and topiramate are available.

These medications can be considered after consulting with a health care specialist.