The length of a rehab program can vary greatly, and largely depends on the needs of each individual. For some, a weekly outpatient program may suffice, while others may participate in inpatient care that lasts on average 30–40 days. You may ask yourself, “How does rehab work?” Like many things in life, long-term recovery is usually achieved with time and dedication. For some, this may include long-term inpatient drug rehab that involves staying on-site for an extended period of time. This can help some clients better regulate their recovery needs for sustained sobriety. These types of programs may also include sober living housing, which provides patients with a stable place to live while transitioning back into normal life.
Dependence is defined as an adaptive state that develops in response to repeated drug administration, and is unmasked during withdrawal, which occurs when drug taking stops. Dependence from long-term drug use may have both a somatic component, manifested by physical symptoms, and an emotional–motivation component, manifested by dysphoria. While physical dependence and withdrawal occur with some drugs of abuse (opiates, ethanol), these phenomena are not useful in the diagnosis of addiction because they do not occur with other drugs of abuse (cocaine, amphetamine) and can occur with many drugs that are not abused (propranolol, clonidine).
For individuals addicted to prescription drugs, treatments tend to be similar to those who are addicted to drugs affecting the same brain systems. Medication like methadone and buprenorphine can be used to treat addiction to prescription opiates, and behavioral therapies can be used to treat addiction to prescription stimulants, benzodiazepines, and other drugs.
People who are addicted to drugs need to be in a drug-free environment with people who will hold them accountable for their goal of getting off drugs. Drug rehab may begin with detoxification, which helps the addict rid his or her body of the drugs and treat any withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone needs to go through detox, but detox alone is not enough treatment to effectively break the addictive cycle long-term. Once detox is completed, the real work of addiction treatment begins.
Getting alcohol out of the addicted person’s system is the first part of recovery. People with a severe alcohol addiction can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. A supervised alcohol detox is usually necessary for people addicted to alcohol to prevent potentially fatal complications. Shaking, sweating, seizures, and hallucinations are possible alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Woman Turns to Rehab After Struggling With Drugs, Alcohol: Part 1