Drug addiction rehabilitation and treatment

When it comes to recovering from drug addiction, you’re bound to have a lot of questions about the healing process. How do you know if you need help? What kind of drug treatment is right for you? What can you expect from rehab? The content below offers answers to some of your most important questions about drug rehab and treatment.

What is drug rehab and drug treatment?

Drug rehabilitation, commonly called simply “drug rehab,” is the process of treatment for dependency on drugs. The purpose of drug rehab is to release one from the grips of substance abuse. Treatment is often sought when drug use has become compulsive regardless of it’s negative effects.


Commonly abused drugs

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most commonly abused addictive drugs include:

The rehabilitation process

The specifics of drug rehabilitation are based upon specific individual needs. Intake counselors, behavioral counselors, doctors and of course, the patient, all play vital roles in defining a successful process. At a higher level, the drug rehabilitation process can be broken down into four steps:

  1. Assessment – Beginning at the first contact with someone seeking drug treatment, a team of doctors, counselors, therapists and supporting staff begin crafting an individualized treatment plan. Plans continue during intake into the rehabilitation facility to ensure the best possible treatment and recovery outcome.
  2. Detoxification (detox) – In order or start the rehabilitation process detoxification is often necessary to rid the body of any harmful drugs. As the detox process can be dangerous, it should be carried out by a trusted and credentialed treatment facility under doctor’s guidance.
  3. Rehabilitation (rehab) – Removal of drugs from the system is just the beginning of the healing process. Rehabilitation involves getting to the core issues that fueled the individual’s addiction through therapy.
  4. Aftercare – The sole purpose of aftercare is ensuring the transformation that happened during the rehabilitation process endures. Aftercare involves taking steps to ensure that the skills learned during rehabilitation become a part of every day life.

Drug treatment programs

Types of treatment

Drug treatment programs are always based upon specific individualized needs and can include a variety of approaches including residential inpatient, outpatient and aftercare.

Residential inpatient treatment is the next step for clients who have completed or are near completion of their detox program. For those in residential inpatient treatment, both a medical and non-medical option exist based on the specific patient needs.

Inpatient medical residential treatment involves pharmaceutical therapy and medication management from health care professionals, prescribing medication to help patients safely work through recovery. It is at this time that co-occurring disorders are also diagnosed and evaluated (dual-diagnosis).

For those who’s addiction doesn’t require inpatient treatment another rehabilitation option exists: outpatient treatment. Those treating addiction with outpatient treatment visit the facility regularly but do not spend the night. This approach can allow for treatment while maintaining family and/or job responsibilities, and is appropriate for those with less severe addiction.

With non-medical inpatient treatment patients are still monitored throughout the detoxification and transition to rehabilitation, just with a reduced level of medical supervision and the absence of medication therapy.

Partial hospitalization is the next step in the continuum. Intensive outpatient programs are also available, ordinarily a step in the process between residential inpatient rehab or partial hospitalization.

For all patients aftercare is the final, vital step in the healing process.

Common facets of drug treatment programs include:

Alcohol and drug addiction treatment

Addiction comes in many forms and is largely found to involve more than one substance or condition. One of the more common coexisting substance combinations is alcohol and drug addiction. According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, more than 23 million people over the age of 12 are faced with a combined addiction to both alcohol and drugs.

Our individualized treatment programs focus on treating co-occurring addictions in whatever form they come in including alcohol and drug addiction.

Selecting the best drug treatment program

There are several ways to approach any addiction and every case is different. The best approach is one tailored to the specific needs of the individual with a clear goal in mind. Selecting the right drug treatment program starts with the first call or interaction.

Finding a drug rehab facility

When it’s time to take action, finding the right drug rehab facility can become a daunting task. Consider the questions below to be sure you are armed with the kind of information you need to make a confident decision.

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Questions to ask a drug treatment facility

Drug rehabilitation treatment center questionsBefore you enroll in a drug treatment program, there are a few critical questions you should ask to make sure that your treatment will be safe and effective:

  • Does the program meet the licensing requirements of the state?
  • Is it staffed by credentialed, well-educated medical personnel, therapists, social workers, nutritionists, and case managers?
  • Does it offer a full range of recovery services, such as individual therapy, family counseling, peer groups, 12-step programming, and recreational therapy?
  • Does the program include evidence-based therapies for behavior modification and relapse prevention?
  • Are the accommodations comfortable and appealing?
  • Is medication management provided, both for anti-addiction drugs and psychiatric medications?
  • Does the facility offer an integrated plan for treating co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders?
  • Does the program help its patients transition successfully from one level of care to the next (inpatient/residential to outpatient to aftercare)?
  • Do patients receive adequate support in aftercare through alumni services, case management, and community referrals?


Statistics on drug rehabilitation success are generally hard to come by. Data does exist, however to quantity the scope of drug addiction in the United States compared with how many people enter treatment. The most recent national drug use report from SAMSHA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, states that just over 4 million individuals needing drug or alcohol abuse treatment sought it out. That number pales in comparison to the nearly 23 million that were in need of treatment. That number indicates that less than 19 percent of those who need treatment did seek treatment that year.

Drug rehabilitation success

Success factors

So what makes some people successful at drug rehabilitation? In a study of individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse, Drug and Alcohol Dependence identified several of the most important factors that contributed to their success:

  • Developing a sense of self-confidence and competence
  • Acquiring new coping skills to handle substance abuse triggers
  • Access to recovery resources and support systems, such as 12-step groups
  • Personal support from friends and family members

In other words, the stronger your inner resources and your social support network, the greater your chances of meeting your treatment goals will be. An effective drug treatment program can help you develop the inner strength and external support you need to build a healthy, rewarding life.

What about relapse?

Relapse is a very real thing. It happens. But not all at once, but rather in stages. Why it happens might be best stated in the United Nation’s paper Investing in Drug Abuse Treatment:

It is true that not all cases of addiction are chronic and some who meet diagnostic criteria for substance dependence recover completely without treatment. However, many of those who develop addiction disorders suffer multiple relapses following treatments and are thought to retain a continuing vulnerability to relapse for years or perhaps a lifetime.

Length and type of rehabilitation treatment

The same report cites the importance of devoting the right amount time as well as a holistic treatment plan to successfully combatting substance dependence stating:

…research evidence is clear that, for those with severe forms of drug dependence, the best available treatments are:

  • Ongoing, like treatments for other chronic illnesses;
  • Able to address the multiple problems that are risks for relapse—such as medical and psychiatric symptoms and social instability;
  • Well integrated into society to permit ready access for monitoring purposes and to forestall relapse.

Treatment avoidance

man looking happy but skepticalA study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment followed 312 adults who had just enrolled in substance abuse treatment to identify their barriers to recovery and their incentives for getting clean and sober. Misunderstandings and fears about drug treatment were common. Some of the most common obstacles to getting help included:

  • Fear of discomfort or pain during treatment
  • Concerns about confidentiality and privacy
  • Memories of bad treatment experiences in the past
  • Fear of being embarrassed or humiliated in treatment

Many of the participants were afraid to seek drug treatment because they were afraid that their families, friends, or employers would find out about their substance abuse problems. Some lacked knowledge of detox and rehab and were afraid of what would happen during treatment. However, motivating factors were also identified, such as the desire for better physical and mental health, the need for job stability, and the desire to build stronger relationships with loved ones.

For the addict, the prospect of getting treatment can be overwhelming. Even if you know that rehab will bring benefits like improved health, better relationships, a stronger self-image, and a more positive future, the idea of giving up drugs can be frightening. After all, drugs can be a source of temporary energy, emotional support, mental distraction, and pleasure. But according to the American Journal of Public Health, substance abuse treatment can decrease your risk of disease, injury, and premature death. The journal adds that early intervention and intensive treatment at the beginning of recovery can increase your chances of getting clean and staying that way.


When someone is addicted to drugs they may see the effects their addiction is having on themselves or those around them and seek treatment. When someone struggling with addiction can’t clearly see the negative repercussions of their addiction an intervention is an option worth considering. When conducted with the right goal in mind and with the right participants, an intervention can be a powerful tool for change.

Looking for more information? We’ve created an Intervention Guide to better understand types of interventions, the intervention process and other valuable information.

Cost and payment options

The cost of drug treatment varies considerably from one facility to another. Community health centers, non-profit or not-for-profit hospitals, and publicly funded rehab facilities provide recovery services at little or no cost. Forbes Magazine estimates that publicly funded drug treatment programs cost an average of approximately $1,500 at the low end, with the costlier specialized programs ranging up to $8,000 or more.

Sliding scale payments/ federal/state funding

Sliding scale payment plans and federal or state funding (such as Medicare) are accepted at these facilities. At the opposite end of the spectrum are private facilities that offer treatment at a much higher rate, ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 and higher. Some of these facilities accept health insurance as payment, while others accept only cash payment in full at the time of admission.


Not all drug treatment centers accept insurance, but many do. By the same token, not all health insurance plans will fully cover rehab services. Some plans cover only outpatient programs, which are usually less expensive than inpatient or residential care, while others will cover a wider range of options. Many insurance plans limit the amount of time that they will pay for treatment.

  • atenaAmeriHealth logo United Health Group logoBlueCross BlueShield logo
  • CignaCom Psych

    Freedom consultancyGehaGHI
  • Value OptionsGreat West

    Health ChoiceHumana

  • Medical MutualMVPUnited Behavioral HealthAPS healthcare

We accept most major health plans to help you pay for your drug rehabilitation treatment. Please call for verification of benefits coverage or check with your health insurance carrier for final determination regarding specific covered services. All products, logos, and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement.

It’s important to discuss these questions with your insurance provider as well as the intake counselors at the center where you’re seeking admission. An intake counselor or case manager should be available to answer your questions and to find out whether your insurance company will authorize payment for the facility’s services.

Insurance provider information

Additional information is available for the following insurance providers:

Regardless of your financial circumstances or your ability to pay, there is a level of drug treatment that fits your needs. Look for a facility that provides quality treatment from compassionate, highly credentialed professionals at a reasonable rate, with a variety of flexible payment options.

Drug treatment for a loved one

Families play a vital role in the rehabilitation process. If you are seeking treatment for a family member, we’ve created the following resources to assist you in this time of need:

For additional resources, visit our Friends and Family Treatment Portal.

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Drug Addiction Rehabilitation was last modified: September 19th, 2017 by The Recovery Village