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Alcohol dependency and other types of drug addiction are diseases that progress through predictable stages. Accurately diagnosing these conditions, and developing a comprehensive treatment plan, requires the involvement of trained health professionals, often including a doctor who specializes in addiction medicine. Drug rehab is series of steps through which addicted individuals rid their bodies of the drugs they have been abusing, address the issues that either led to or were exacerbated by the substance abuse, receive treatment for co-occurring mental health or physical disorders, and develop the skills and strategies that will allow them to pursue long-term sobriety.

An effective drug rehabilitation treatment center will offer a variety of treatment programs to meet the specific needs of each individual client. Programs may include inpatient, residential, outpatient, and/or short-stay options, drug/alcohol detox, counseling, and support groups There are also Drug Rehab programs for specific addictive drugs so you may be in search of a heroin rehab, cocaine rehab, marijuana rehab, dual diagnosis treatment, prescription drug rehab, teen addiction treatment or meth rehab. Drug addiction and drug abuse have dramatic and far reaching effects on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Education is an important factor of any effort to curb drug addiction and drug abuse.


Drug rehabilitation is a program that an individual enters to treat a drug or alcohol addiction. Drug rehab programs work through therapy and education. Millions have successfully recovered from drug addiction because they received the right help and information while in drug rehab. Studies have shown that drug treatment works to reduce an individual's drug use and the crimes committed by drug addicted persons.

The more tools an individual is given to conquer their drug addiction, the more successful their results will be. A person who stays in drug rehab longer than 90 days usually have better success than someone who may stay shorter amount of time. The skills one learns during drug rehab must be integrated into their everyday life, and this takes time. Although there are a variety of treatment options available, the most successful programs incorporate strategies for keeping the person in treatment, give them tools to help them handle everyday situations that may interfere in their recovery, guidance and counseling towards understanding their initial reasons for abusing drugs and develop an aftercare plan once they leave rehab.

Rehab works to help those who struggle with drug and/or alcohol addiction dig deeper into their psyches and teaches the recovering person how to express repressed feelings. People that abuse and are addicted to drugs may get caught up in a cycle of unethical behavior in order to cover up and maintain their addiction. They may be lying, cheating, and stealing as a result of their addiction. Which usually hurts the people who are closest to them. Consequently, the addict feels intense feelings of guilt that can interfere with their recovery process.

Drug rehab programs can address this cycle of unethical behavior. It can help the addicted person to pinpoint the times when they have behaved unethically and the repercussions that resulted from their actions. This can be a cathartic experience for many, but it can release the guilt associated with the behavior. They then can focus on their recovery. Many successful programs believe that the ability to accomplish a complete recovery is based on the belief that an individual is not powerless, and takes responsibility for his/her own actions.

It is important to be well informed in order to choose the right drug rehab center. Each program is unique in its approach to recovery as well as their philosophies, treatment modalities, treatment methods, length of care and cost. Take note of what is important to you and make decisions based on your personal needs. The facility you choose should have a high success rate and competent staff.


While typical drug rehabs report a success rate of 2%-20%, there are treatment programs available with success rates exceeding 70%. However, the success rate of various programs is a difficult thing to measure. Outcome studies seem to indicate an individual’s success will be determined primarily by their willingness to incorporate new concepts and ideas into their lives. When an individual enrolls into a drug rehabilitation center, they are entering into a program that will help them with all aspects of recovery. Success is measured in a number of ways and may include:

  • The average length of stay
  • Percentage of relapse
  • How long patients have remained sober
  • How many return patients are currently enrolled in the program
  • Dropout rates

Drug rehabs in the past were considered terrifying, insensitive, and brutal. Their success rates were not high and their locations did not really serve as a motivational force. Today, drug rehabs not only help in detoxification and abstinence but they now also provide wellness activities such as yoga classes, indoor and outdoor sports, meditation periods, spa treatments, and even creative courses such as writing and painting. These new drug rehabs provide a total mind and body approach to recovery. Many drug rehab centers are now situated in stress, noise, and anxiety-free locations such as the countryside or relatively more quiet urban areas.

Drug rehabs with high success rates are the only ones worth considering when looking for a drug rehab program. Their treatment is far superior to others whose graduates are unable to remain sober once they leave their program. Graduates of a successful drug rehab program have a different outlook toward life and the role they play in it. Ideally, a drug rehab not only helps the individual with their problems pertaining to drugs or alcohol, but also addresses the underlying issues that lead to their addiction in the first place.

Nearly all addicted individuals start out believing that they can stop using drugs on their own and try to stop without the help of drug addiction rehabilitation. However, most attempts result in failure to achieve long-term abstinence. Research has shown that long-term drug addiction causes significant changes in brain function that persist long after the individual stops using drugs. These drug-induced changes in brain function result in many behavioral consequences. Such as the compulsion to use drugs despite adverse cost to the individual, which is a defining characteristic of addiction.

Currently, the social education type of drug rehab, is showing success rates higher than many others. This particular type of drug rehabilitation offers treatment that is not psychiatric or medical. For many, this may be the answer to lasting sobriety. Those who have tried other forms of treatment may find that this social education model of recovery is the key to their success in recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Social education types of drug rehabs are entirely drug-free, meaning they don’t use drugs or medications to solve the problem of drug addiction. This method uses nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise, and education as key components of their services. Also, treatment provides a specific course of addiction rehabilitation which includes training in communication, full body detoxification, counseling in problem identification and solving, as well as counseling in personal values and integrity.

A rehab program of this kind will help the individual accomplish heightened moral standards and sobriety with an improved quality of life. Drug rehabs with high success rates do more than just admit addicts for treatment. They work with the person on many levels to help them find out why they became addicted to drugs or alcohol. And most important, after getting sober, help recovering addicts make a plan for how they will remain sober once they have left rehab; because RECOVERY is a lifelong process.


How many legitimate definitions of addiction are there? There are hundreds—literally hundreds

The medical dictionary describes drug addiction as a condition characterized by an overwhelming desire to continue taking a drug to which one has become habituated through repeated consumption because it produces a particular effect, usually an alteration of mental status. Addiction is usually accompanied by a compulsion to obtain the drug, a tendency to increase the dose, a psychological or physical dependence, and detrimental consequences for the individual and society. Common addictive drugs are barbiturates, alcohol, and morphine and other opioids, especially heroin.

Morse & Flavin’s (1992) definition of addiction represents the one traditionally utilized by treatment centers and substance abuse counselors. It is very good and touches all of the bases. Simply put, Addiction is a primary, progressive, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. The disease is often progressive and fatal. It is characterized by impaired control over use of the substance, preoccupation with the substance, use of the substance despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking.

The DSM IV (1994) relies on symptoms for its definition. The DSM says that addiction, or dependence, is present in an individual who demonstrates any combination of three or more of the following symptoms (paraphrased for simplicity), occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

  • Preoccupation with use of the chemical between periods of use.
  • Using more of the chemical than had been anticipated.
  • The development of tolerance to the chemical in question.
  • A characteristic withdrawal syndrome from the chemical.
  • Use of the chemical to avoid or control withdrawal symptoms.
  • Repeated efforts to cut back or stop the drug use.
  • Intoxication at inappropriate times (such as at work), or when withdrawal interferes with daily functioning (such as when hangover makes person too sick to go to work).
  • A reduction in social, occupational or recreational activities in favor of further substance use.
  • Continued substance use in spite of the individual having suffered social, emotional, or physical problems related to drug use.

The following conceptualization of addiction has proven to be understandable and meaningful to a lot of people, both professionals and lay people alike. It suggests that there are reliable, concrete differences between Social Users of alcohol and drugs, Abusers of alcohol and drugs, and Addicts, or those addicted to alcohol and drugs. The categories break down as follows:

    • Social User: One who uses alcohol and/or drugs simply to enhance the pleasure of normally pleasurable situations. The social user experiences the following:
      • No negative consequences;
      • No surprises or unpredictability;
      • No loss of control;
      • No complaints;
      • No thoughts of or need for limit setting.

  • Substance Abuser: One who uses to enhance pleasure and/or compensate for something negative, such as physical or emotional pain, insecurity, fear, anger, etc. The substance abuser experiences some or all of the following:
    • Occasional negative consequences that are not repeated;
    • Limit setting that is adhered to;
    • Promises that are made and kept;
    • Complaints are heard and dealt with.
  • Addict: One who uses to celebrate, compensate, or for any other reason, legitimate or not. The addict experiences some or all of the following:
    • Negative consequences are recycled;
    • Limit setting & promises to self or others are broken;
    • Complaints are denied and/or not heard;
    • Reliable symptoms of addictive disease become more evident. Reliable symptoms include those listed under the DSM IV definition of addiction and others, expressed as follows:
      • Continued use despite negative consequences;
      • Loss of control, as in more use than planned (broken limits);
      • Unpredictability, as in use despite plan not to use (broken promises);
      • Compulsivity/preoccupation in thinking;
      • Denial; Use of defenses to maintain denial;
      • Build up of (or "break" in) tolerance;
      • Remorse & guilt about use or behavior when using;
      • Memory loss, mental confusion, irrational thinking;
      • Family history of addictive behavior;
      • Withdrawal discomfort (physical, mental, emotional, and/or psychological

A key point of drug addiction is not being able to control the use of the substance or to stop using it. There is a certain pressure, an almost irresistible need to use the substance. To be able to determine if somebody is addicted, the person must meet certain conditions that have been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO), amongst others.


Alcoholism is the addiction to or dependency upon drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages.[1] Since the late twentieth century, it has been considered an addictive disorder. It is characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, usually to the detriment of the drinker's health, personal relationships, and social standing. Like other drug addictions, alcoholism is medically defined as a treatable disease

According to recent studies, approximately 53% of adults in the United States have reported one or more of their close relatives has a drinking problem and/or suffers from alcoholism. Alcoholism is a chronic (long-term) health problem with serious consequences. People who suffer from alcoholism are obsessed with alcohol and cannot control how much they consume, even if it is causing serious problems at home, work, and financially.

Long-term alcohol abuse produces physiological changes in the brain such as tolerance and physical dependence. Such brain chemistry changes maintain the alcoholic's compulsive inability to stop drinking and result in alcohol withdrawal syndrome upon discontinuation of alcohol consumption. Alcohol damages almost every organ in the body, including the brain, because of the cumulative toxic effects of chronic alcohol abuse, the alcoholic risks suffering medical and psychiatric disorders. Alcoholism is the cyclic presence of tolerance, withdrawal, and excessive alcohol use; the drinker's inability to control such compulsive drinking, despite awareness of its harm to his or her health, indicates that the person might be an alcoholic. Questionnaire-based screening is a method of detecting harmful drinking patterns, including alcoholism. People suffering from alcoholism are often called "alcoholics", and usually suffer significant social stigma, sometimes more for women than for men.

Characteristics of Alcohol Abuse:

  • Continued alcohol use resulting in negative consequences in life major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substance-related absences, suspensions or expulsions from school; or neglect of children or household).
  • Recurring alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine).
  • Recurring alcohol-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for alcohol-related disorderly conduct).
  • Continued alcohol use despite persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or made worse by the effects of the alcohol (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication or physical fights).

Characteristics of Alcohol Dependence:

  1. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    • A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    • Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.
  2. Withdrawal, as defined by either of the following:
    • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol (refer to DSM-IV for further details).
    • Alcohol is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  4. There is a persistent desire or there are unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.
  5. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol or recover from its effects.
  6. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use.
  7. Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or made worse by the alcohol (e.g., continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption).

Some Interesting Facts:

  • In 2002, U.S. alcoholism statistics reported that 2.6 million binge drinkers were between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • More than 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year. Direct and indirect causes of death include drunk driving, cirrhosis of the liver, falls, cancer, and stroke.
  • Women are more likely to die of cirrhosis of the liver and violence caused by alcohol abuse and die 11 years earlier than their male counterparts.
  • Across people of all ages, males are four times as likely as females to be heavy drinkers.
  • Those who are most vulnerable to excessive alcohol and drug abuse are young adults between the ages of 18-25.
  • 3.1 million Americans -- approximately 1.4% of the population 12 and older -- received addiction treatment for alcoholism and alcohol-related problems in 1997; treatment peaked among people 26-34.
  • Numerous studies suggest a significant relationship between work stress and the development of drinking problems.
  • Currently, nearly 14 million Americans, 1 in every 13 adults-abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. Several million more adults engage in risky drinking patterns that could lead to alcoholism.
  • In a survey of 18 to 24 year-old current drinkers who failed to complete high school, nearly 60 percent had begun to drink before the age of 16.
  • 7.5% of Americans employed in full-time jobs report heavy drinking, defined as drinking five or more drinks per occasion on five or more days in the past 30 days; 6.6% of part-timers and 10.8% of unemployed workers also report heavy drinking; across all three categories, heavy drinkers are most likely to be found in the 18 to 25 year old age group.
  • According to one study, almost 11% of 8th-graders, 22% of 10th-graders, and 27% of 12th-graders report binge drinking (five drinks in a row in the last two weeks).

Ironically, in spite of the fact that basic alcohol information such as the negative consequences of abusing alcohol has been known for centuries, alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency continue to damage and devastate human lives in our "aware" and "enlightened" society. Indeed, to substantiate this statement, one merely has to observe some of the appalling alcohol abuse statistics and alcoholism statistics described above.

For most people who drink, alcohol consumption is a pleasant experience. This is especially true when they drink in moderation while engaged in social activities. Moderate alcohol use can be defined as having up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. In most instances, drinking in moderation is not harmful for a majority of adults. However, a large number of people simply cannot drink alcoholic beverages because of the problems they encounter when drinking. In fact, recent reports show that approximately 14 million Americans abuse alcohol or suffer with alcoholism.

How can some people drink responsibly while others drink to the point of losing their health, their family, or their job? There are no simple answers to this question. Drinking problems are attributed to many interconnected factors which include genetics, how you were raised, your social environment, and your emotional health. Drinking is so common in our culture and the effects vary so widely from person to person, it's not always easy to figure out where the line is between social drinking and problem drinking. Taking an honest look at why you drink may help you figure out which side of the line you fall on. However, it is important to remember the bottom line is how alcohol affects you. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, you have a drinking problem.