Drug and alcohol rehabilitation

Excessive drinking and recreational drug use are common on college campuses. Most students manage to maintain order in their lives despite some occasional substance use (okay, frequent substance use might be more accurate). Some students, though, traverse the fine line between the occasional keg party or joint and a serious addiction. For many, substance abuse problems don't become clear until after graduation, when they suddenly find that heavy drinking on weeknights is no longer a common practice.

If substance use is a problem for you or for someone you know, rehab may offer a way off the path toward self-destruction. Rehab is any place where an individual can go to escape the environmental stimuli associated with his or her substance abuse and receive medical and / or psychological treatment to aid in addiction recovery.

The Stages of Rehab

The three stages of rehab all focus on the notion of detoxification:

  • Medical detox. During this period, patients will experience a range of physical withdrawal symptoms that result from not ingesting the drug to which they are addicted. Conditioned to be physically dependent on the drug, the body will experience a range of unpleasant physical and psychological effects (including cravings, depression, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, involuntary muscle movement and vomiting) when the drug is no longer present in the system. A doctor will be present to ensure the patient's safety.
  • Physical detox. Once the body is free of all toxins, the focus shifts to improving overall health. Patients are taught a range of strategies for eating properly and staying fit.
  • Emotional detox. The patient participates in a series of life improvement courses. He or she is taught strategies for dealing with life and all of its complications without resorting to drugs or alcohol.

Will Rehab Work for Me?

A number of studies have attempted to discover the extent to which common rehabilitation services successfully assist abusers to beat their addictions. The best rehab programs tend to have a success rate of around 50 percent. If you're looking for a rehab program, be wary of the statistics you find on the official website of any rehab program. Keep in mind that all rehabilitation services are businesses, and some of them are more interested in taking your money than in actually helping you get better. If you see something that looks too good to be true, it probably is.

While the data is somewhat inconclusive, nearly all studies agree that the longer an individual stays in a treatment program, the more likely it is that he or she will avoid relapsing after leaving rehab. Ultimately, your success will come down to how badly you want to get sober. Rehab can give you the tools and motivation you need, but willpower is ultimately the most important facet of any recovery.

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