when should I go to rehab

Do You Need to Go to Rehab? How to Know Your Habit Is an Addiction

“Should I go to rehab?”

“How will rehab help me?”

“How do I know if my habit is even an addiction?”

If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone.

About 24.6 million Americans over the age of 12 had used illicit drugs sometime in the past two months.

That’s about 9.4% of the United States population – a noticeable increase from the 2002 statistic of 8.3%.

To put this into perspective, walk down any busy street or through a shopping center and count the people walking by. On average, every tenth person you see has likely used illegal drugs within the past month.

But that’s not all. Nearly 21 million Americans over the age of 12 have a substance abuse problem.

This means, on average, nearly one in twelve of the people you encounter on the street have probably had an admitted substance abuse problem. And this doesn’t account for people who can’t, or won’t, admit to being addicts.

So, if you’re asking if you should go to rehab, you’re not alone. But, is your habit really an addiction? If so, how can rehab help you? What is the average success rate?

This article will help you answer these questions, starting with the most important one…

“Is My ___ Habit an Addiction?”

This is a hard question to answer on your own; mainly because drug addiction literally tricks your brain into believing that your addiction is a good thing. We’ll explain how this happens in a moment.

First, according to the World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association, an addiction has to meet three or more of the following qualifications:

  1. Tolerance: your body is building up a tolerance to the substance, requiring you to increase your use (frequency and/or dosage) over time.
  2. Withdrawal: you experience emotional or physical symptoms (irritability, anxiety, shaking, sweating, nausea, vomiting) every time you try to stop using.
  3. Limited Control: once you’re sober again, you regret how much you drank or used the previous day or night.
  4. Lifestyle Consequences: your health, family life, social life, career or self-image is suffering as a result of your use.
  5. Neglect of Activities: you often put off, or completely neglect social, recreational, career or household activities as a result of your use.
  6. Waste Time and/or Energy: you spend a lot of time and/or energy planning how you’ll get access to the substance, or how you’ll conceal your use of it (of the symptoms of your use) from family members, friends and/or coworkers.
  7. The desire to “cut back”: you’ve made multiple, unsuccessful attempts to control, reduce or eliminate your use of the substance.

If three or more of these sound familiar, chances are you’re dealing with an addiction.

But again, you’re not alone.

The good news is, if you’ve admitted to an addiction and are considering rehab, you’re already on the right path. Only about 2.2 million of the almost 21 million addicts ever get treatment.

That’s only one out of ten addicts who have the courage to get help.

“How Did I Get Addicted to ___?”

It’s normal for an addict to feel helpless or out of control.  It actually means your brain is working like it’s supposed to. The problem is your addiction is exploiting the natural functions of your brain.

For example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, your brain responds to drug use by flooding its reward circuits with positive messages.

These messages are delivered in the form of a naturally occurring feel-good chemical called dopamine – a neurotransmitter which increases feelings of euphoria, safety, and self-confidence.

Under normal circumstances, your reward chemicals motivate you to eat, to sleep, to connect with loved ones and to engage in other perfectly normal and necessary behaviors.

But, by using drugs, you “trick” your brain into rewarding you for something that is not good for you. In other words, your brain has its own “drugs” which it uses to reward you every time you use whatever chemical or substance you’re addicted to.

But that’s not all.

As you continue to use drugs, your brain adapts by numbing its ability to feel the full impact of its own reward chemicals. This means, in order to feel the full impact again, your brain demands more stimulation from the substance.

This means more drug use, more stimulation, to which your brain responds by numbing the cells in its reward center, making you more and more dependent on the substance.

This is how addictions inhibit your capacity for learning, stress management, memory, decision making, judgment, behavior control.

Many times, addicts have to take heavier, more frequent doses, until their brain is screaming out for the very thing they’re trying to stop using.

So again, it’s normal for an addict to feel helpless to stop or to cut back.

It’s also normal for addicts to try and hide their problem from friends, family members or coworkers.

It’s nearly impossible for “Normies” (a term often used to describe non-addicts) to really understand the complexities of addiction.

According to an article from the National Institute for Drug Abuse, if you’re suffering from addiction, you’ve likely heard things like this:

  • “You could stop if you really wanted to.”
  • “You just don’t care enough to stop.”
  • “You need to practice some self-control.”
  • “If you loved yourself, you’d be able to stop.”

In reality, addiction is a complicated disease which takes more than willpower, self-love, or discipline to beat. It exploits the natural functions of your brain, and it doesn’t care how smart, talented or decent and moral you are.

It’s nearly impossible for normies to understand this because they’ve never had to experience it. But a look into the mind of a true addict paints the gritty, high-definition picture of what it’s like to be trapped in the cycle of addiction.

This condition is impossible to describe to someone who has never been addicted and cannot see inside the mind of an addict. So again, it’s normal for an addict to feel like no one can understand what they’re going through.

The good news is that people who reach out for help and go to rehab have a much, much better chance of recovering and living a normal, happy and productive life.

“How Can Rehab Help Me?”

By now, you know that addiction recovery isn’t simply a matter of changing your thinking and behaviors. Addiction changes your body chemistry and brain function in ways that you can’t just turn off.

This is why the most successful addiction treatments focus on complete recovery, in mind, and body. Thankfully, many people, from ordinary, to famous, have gone on to beat addiction and enjoy sobriety. Still, other people get help or go to rehab, only to suffer multiple relapses before finding freedom.

Anyone who knows about addicition understands that the road to recovery is just as hard for rich and talented people as it is for ordinary people. Statistically speaking, the likelihood of addiction relapse, which is between 40% and 60% is similar to the relapse rate of other chronic diseases, including asthma, diabetes, and hypertension.

What’s the difference between people who go to rehab and recover and those who spend years on the merry-go-round of addiction?

It depends on how through, personalized and customized their addiction treatment is.

You don’t have to be an addiction specialist to figure this out. Common sense tells you that a 22-year-old addict with a history of addiction in their family needs a different treatment than the 35-year old housewife who only recently developed a painkiller addiction.

You instinctively know that the 45 year-old-alcoholic who spent thirty years repressing a childhood riddled with sexual abuse, needs a different treatment than the 25-year-old college student who got addicted to Vicodin after a back injury.

Our intervention specialists talk to people all the time who have been let down by one-size-fits-all recovery programs, or treatments that don’t address the entire problem.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is. People have been treated for alcohol addictions, crack-cocaine addiction, crystal meth addiction, heroin addictions, marijuana additions, benzo withdrawal, Xanax withdrawal, painkiller addictions, and addictions to benzodiazepines, and much more.

One thing to know is that the more thorough, customized, and personalized your rehab experience is, the better your chances are of enjoying a successful recovery.

“What’s the Next Step If I Decide to Go to Rehab?”

If you, or someone you love, meets the criteria we discussed in this article, the next step is to talk to an intervention specialist.

Our specialists can help you schedule an addiction intervention and/or choose from one (or a combination) of the following three levels of care,

  • Detoxification

Drug and alcohol detoxification treatment helps flush your body of harmful toxins left behind by: alcohol, prescription drugs, opioid painkillers (i.e., oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, fentanyl, methadone), benzodiazepines (i.e., Klonopin, Xanax, and Ativan), MDMA (aka ecstasy or Molly), methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine or crack.

Since the detox period is uncomfortable, you can also get professional help when managing your withdrawal symptoms.

Detoxification is often the first step for a lot of people entering one of the following rehab programs:

  • Inpatient Residential Treatment

Addiction recovery is more successful with help and support. This is why inpatient residential treatment offers the benefit of working with experts and in a group setting, where you’ll build the habits for breaking the cycle of addiction.

You’ll be welcomed into a safe community and receive 24-hour care in a treatment facility. Inpatient rehab experts will help you assess the causes of your abuse habits and help you develop and enforce healthy behaviors as alternatives.

  • Outpatient Treatment

Patients choose outpatient treatment as an alternative to the full-time commitment required during inpatient residential treatment.  Some patients also choose this option for maintenance or to prevent relapses.

Outpatient is a part-time program designed to accommodate patients who have work or school obligations. The treatment focuses on group therapy multiple times a week, with one-on-one therapy once a week or a few times a month.

Outpatient treatment gives you the option of partial hospitalization or straight outpatient treatment. These are details which your intervention specialist will discuss with you.

The important thing to remember is that people who go to rehab have a much better chance of recovering than those who try to do it on their own. If nothing else, rehab gives you the opportunity to meet other people, just like you, who have their own bouts with addiction. It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone.

Why Not Get on the Road to Recovery Today?

More than 14,500 specialized substance abuse treatment programs are available in the United States, offering a variety of care options.

Sadly, over 95% of people who needed specialty substance abuse treatment didn’t get it and didn’t think they needed it. But sobering statistics show an exponential rise in the amount of drug-related deaths in the United States.

This doesn’t include health problems which are caused by drug use, but which don’t take their toll until later in life.

The good news is, a personalized and professional treatment plan can be very successful. About 10% of Americans over the age of eighteen claimed to be in recovery after a bout with drug or alcohol abuse. So, if you or someone you love is asking these questions…

“Should I go to rehab?”

“How will rehab help me?”

…we hope this article has given you some answers. If you’re ready for the next step, feel free to talk to an addiction specialist right away. We’re ready to help you get on the road to sobriety today.

Does Rehab Really Work

Does Rehab Really Work? What You Need to Know About Drug Rehab

If you or a loved one suffer from drug addiction, you have already heard a lot about drug rehab. Doctors and former addicts often talk about how rehab can help people live a drug-free life. But does rehab work as well as experts claim?

Overcoming addiction can seem like a task of tremendous difficulty, but countless people have succeeded through rehabilitation. However, the cost and effort can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know the results.

Read on to find out if rehab really works, and what you need to know about drug rehabilitation.

Drug Rehab Basics

The most important thing to know about addiction is that it is a complex illness.

By definition, drug addiction is a brain disorder that leads to the inability to control drug abuse. An addict’s brain is rewired to make it impossible for them to stop, despite the harmful effects. An addict has an uncontrollable compulsion to seek drugs even if it means they might die from it.

People can become addicted to numerous chemical substances, including a variety of drugs, prescription medicine, nicotine, and alcohol. Addiction affects the brain’s reward mechanisms, making the addict feel dependent on taking more of the same drug. Prolonged drug use can bring about tolerance, which means that the addict will need a higher dose to get the same sense euphoria from their drug of choice.

What is even more worrisome is that drug addiction also has broad social and mental consequences. The destructive behaviors wrought by addiction can damage a person’s career, social life, mental health, and family happiness.

So, an effective drug rehabilitation program should address all the root causes and restore a person’s life. This is a complex challenge. Also, each addiction is different and requires a different approach to treatment.

Each drug rehab program is different, but they all have the same core aims. These include helping the patient get rid of drugs from their system, as well as from their life. Drug rehab also works to prevent relapses, which are common among former drug addicts.

Since you are here, it means that you have already started your journey towards recovery. Let us see the different levels of rehabilitation care you can seek.

Drug Rehab Levels of Care

As we have seen above, different addictions merit different treatments. The most effective treatments rely on a combination of comprehensive professional treatment, psychological support, and long-term life changes.

Detoxification Programs

Detoxification is the cleansing of drugs from the body. All drug rehab programs have some form of detox, but some focus solely on detoxification. These programs include frequent, and often constant, medical monitoring to ensure that the patient does not relapse.

Detox may also include specific prescription medicine designed to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. For example, methadone is an opioid prescribed to treat heroin addiction.

Residential Treatment Programs

Residential treatment involves staying in a live-in healthcare facility. Recovering addicts leave their homes and stay at the facility to get therapy for substance abuse. This is the most intense form of drug rehab, and also the most expensive.

The length of stay in the healthcare facility varies depending on the type of addiction and the severity of the symptoms of each recovering addict. The key benefit of residential treatment is that it helps recovering addicts stay away from the triggers and temptations that led to their addiction in the first place.

This type of treatment allows recovering addicts to “reset” their lives and make a new start once treatment is over.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Another form of intensive care, inpatient treatment aims to heal severe cases of drug abuse. In such programs, recovering addicts live in a closed treatment facility for a month or longer. During that time, they must follow a strict schedule with no deviations.

The aim of inpatient treatment is not only to detoxify, but also to help recovering addicts build the coping mechanisms they need to live a drug-free life.

Partial Hospitalization Programs

Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) do what they say in the box. With PHPs, recovering addicts receive partial hospitalization and enjoy many of the benefits of inpatient care. The treatment requires a minimum of six hours each day, five days a week.

Intensive Outpatient Programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) give recovering addicts the chance to live at their homes and still receive effective treatment. In such programs, patients must visit a hospital or treatment center on a daily basis to receive treatment.

With IOPs, patients get to maintain some of their daily habits while eliminating everything that has to do with their addiction.

The drawback of IOPs is that recovering addicts may still be exposed to the triggers that led to their addiction. Intensive outpatient programs have a higher rate of relapse than inpatient and residential treatment programs.

Conventional Outpatient Programs

A milder approach, conventional outpatient treatment involves detoxification and frequent meetings with a psychologist who helps with behavioral issues.

These programs are less intense than intensive outpatient programs. They are mainly for recovering addicts who haven’t been abusing drugs for a long time.

Halfway Houses

Halfway houses, also known as sober living homes, offer additional support once a recovering addict finished their primary rehab treatment. Recovering addicts can live for a while in a halfway house before returning to their homes.

Halfway houses offer a safe and drug-free environment. Recovering addicts get to live with each other and build social support. This helps recovering addicts stay drug-free and avoid relapsing once they return to their homes.

Ongoing Support Groups

With drug relapse being a real threat, ongoing support is a must even after you have escaped your drug addiction. Joining an ongoing support group like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can help you maintain your motivation and find constant encouragement to stay off drugs.

Recovering addicts can also help others who struggle as they did through ongoing support groups. Giving back to the community can be a rewarding experience for those who overcame their addiction.

How Efficient is Drug Rehabilitation?

Many drug addicts are reluctant to commit to a drug rehab program because it often fails. Yes, drug relapse is real. Studies show that more than 85% of all recovering addicts will relapse in less than a year from finishing their treatment.

However, this is not the whole picture. The same studies also show that only 10% of all drug addicts ever receive treatment. This means that more than twenty million drug addicts in the US alone will never receive the treatment they deserve.

For those struggling with drug addiction, rehabilitation may be their only chance to live a healthy, drug-free life.

However, the patient’s dedication and the level of care they receive are crucial to the outcome. Moreover, strong ongoing support is also essential to avoid relapsing since recovering drug addicts are still in high risk for years after their treatment is over.

Drug addiction is a disease much like diabetes, depression, or cancer. It requires careful treatment, follow-up support, and lifestyle changes to overcome.

Coming out of rehab, your body will be clean and you will have the tools you need to live a drug-free life. What you do with these is up to you. Many recovering addicts never touch drugs again, but others fall into the same traps and relapse.

Even if you relapse, you can seek treatment again. This will be different than the first time, to give you a new perspective and avoid the same mistakes.

Evaluating Drug Treatment Effectiveness

Before committing to a drug rehab program, you should do your research to make sure it is the right program for you. If you are looking to book a treatment for a loved one, you should also research your options and discuss details with a qualified physician.

As part of the national drug control strategy, the Office of National Drug Control Policy provides a list of factors to determine the effectiveness of drug rehab programs. These factors include:

  • Reduction or elimination of drug use
  • Physical health improvement
  • Mental health improvement
  • Social interaction improvement
  • Education improvement
  • Employment improvement
  • Public safety improvement
  • Legal status improvement

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, complete sobriety is the end goal, but even a reduction in the use of drugs is a success. The office aims to improve quality of life. This is possible even before achieving complete sobriety.

The Profile of a Good Drug Rehab Program

Knowing what you should expect at drug rehab can help you make that big decision to change your life.

The first thing you have to understand is that rehab represents a huge commitment. A commitment that can change your life forever. However, the stakes are nothing less than your life itself.

Getting into rehab will take you away from your triggers, temptations, and distractions. It will also take you away from your current responsibilities, allowing you to focus 100% on getting sober.

While different rehab plans offer different options, most follow some basic core elements. Let us see them below:

Initial Assessment

Rehab starts with an initial assessment interview. You will have to complete an interview and a series of medical exams to assess your health and the severity of your drug addiction.

Medical Detoxification

Unless your addiction is at very early stages, or you have just relapsed, you will have to undergo medical detox. This includes going through a withdrawal period and taking prescription medication to ease the transition to sobriety.

A Fixed Schedule

All rehab programs are scheduled to optimize your time in treatment. There is little free time and everything is planned and programmed. This doesn’t mean rehab is boring or tiring. It means that even leisure and rest are tightly scheduled.

Behavioral Counseling

You will take part in counseling sessions on a daily basis. These will help you build the skills you need to live a drug-free life. Counseling will also help you deal with the underlying causes of your addiction to prevent relapsing.


These include workshops to teach you new skills and educate you on how drugs and addiction work. Knowing how the brain works can help you avoid the same mistakes.

Social Support

Rehab often means socializing with other recovering addicts. This can build mutual social support that will help you find the motivation you need to keep going.

Family Support

Family participation can be a huge boost in your recovery efforts. Your close family members will learn how to help you stay sober and support you during your recovery and after you have become sober.

Ongoing Care

Finally, rehabilitation continues even after you are sober. You will have to join support groups and take part in ongoing activities to ensure you remain drug-free.

These are all part relapse prevention planning. The aim of drug rehab is not only to get you free from drugs but also prevent you from doing them again.

So, Does Rehab Work?

Finally, answering the question “does rehab work”, we have to say that it does. It does work and has helped millions find happiness without drugs. Here at Addiction Treatment Services, we help recovering addicts find the personalized rehabilitation they need.

With so many drug rehab options, it can be difficult to find the right one for you or your loved one. Taking that first step is often the hardest thing to do, but remember that ending your drug addiction is possible.

At Addiction Treatment Services, we know how to help with rehab that works. Contact us today to start your journey to find out the ideal rehab center to treat your addiction.