image: drug abuse facts

The Drug Rehab Facility


Drug abuse almost always results in significant changes in an addict's brain chemistry and body. As a result, one of the first tasks in the rehabilitation process is the detoxification of the drug addict's body by getting rid of the poisonous chemicals and toxins that remain in the drug dependent's person's body.

In spite of the fact that 100% detoxification can take months or even years to complete, a licensed drug rehab facility or hospital that features detox and rehabilitation can provide doctor-prescribed medications, counseling, medical supervision, and other types of therapy during the few hours or days of rehab when withdrawal symptoms can be painful, hazardous, and in some instances, fatal.

Drug Abusers: Common Misconceptions

When they first start abusing drugs or alcohol, virtually all addicts tell themselves that they can "handle" the usage of their drugs and can therefore quit any time they want without assistance from professionals.

Regrettably, the addiction research literature does not verify this mentality.

In fact, research demonstrates that most addicts who stop taking drugs and attempt to detoxify themselves will be unsuccessful in most instances, particularly when their long-term drug-related behavior is evaluated.


Research scientists studying the outcomes of long-term addiction have found that long after the addict has stopped his or her drug abuse, changes in the brain's functioning are observable.

Consequently, one of the fundamental issues facing most substance abusers is this: addicts who want to recover from their addiction need more than strong willpower or self-control to overcome their addiction and accomplish lasting recovery.

In fact, self-rehabilitation and self-detoxification are extremely difficult for most drug dependent individuals for many reasons, including the following:

  • The addict has to battle and "beat" the cravings for the drug to which they are addicted.

  • The addict has to conquer the withdrawal symptoms that typically take place after abruptly discontinuing the drug abuse.

  • The addict has to triumph over the social, emotional, and the physical issues that are most likely the causes of his or her addiction.

  • The addict has to adapt to and manage the changes in brain chemistry during abstinence.

Drug and Alcohol Detoxification

Detoxification is necessary in order to get rid of the poisons and the chemicals that remain in the addict's body due to his or her drug abuse.

Consequently, the first step in the detoxification process regularly centers on helping the addict safely overcome his or her withdrawal symptoms while he or she is getting rid of the toxins that remain in his or her system.

If the withdrawal symptoms are excessive, it might be added, doctor-prescribed therapeutic medications are frequently given to diminish the discomfort, the pain, and the dangerous consequences of withdrawal.

Detoxification is done in a variety of ways depending on the health of the addict, the location and extensiveness of the treatment protocol, the drugs that were abused, and the treatment team administering the therapy.

Many drug rehab facilities offer essential medical treatment to help the drug dependent individual overcome severe withdrawal symptoms.

At the upper end of the treatment spectrum, nevertheless, an extensive, top-quality detoxification center or drug rehab facility houses staff that not only help the drug dependent person overcome his or her withdrawal symptoms (typically through therapeutic drugs), but they also provide the substance abuser with counseling throughout the detoxification protocol.

This is done so that the drug addict can start addressing and working on the emotional and social factors that most probably caused the person's addiction.

Once this thorny undertaking is started and improvement has been accomplished, the addict will be more able to achieve lasting sobriety without suffering a relapse.

The Three Phases of Drug and Alcohol Detoxification

A drug rehab facility that features an extensive drug detoxification program includes the following three separate, but interrelated stages:

  1. Medical Detox. A medical healthcare professional will supervise and control the withdrawal process, thereby helping the drug dependent person complete this phase in a safe atmosphere in which complications are minimized.
  2. Psychological Detox. Due to the fact that drug abuse detox can be extremely demanding on a drug dependent's psychological well-being, a number of the better drug rehab facilities provide counseling all through the detox procedure. Due to the fact that dependency on drugs has become such a primary aspect of the addict's emotional, social, and mental lifestyle, these critical components of the addict's "world" need to be identified and dealt with in therapy if rehab is to be successful and long-term.
  3. Physical Detox. After the drug dependent's brain and body are no longer drug dependent, the addict needs to work on building up his or her physical endurance, stamina, and overall health. A nutritionist and a physical therapist can be instrumental in this process by helping the substance abuser learn how to eat a more nutritionally balanced and healthy diet while also helping him or her develop physical strength and a more healthy lifestyle. These are improvements that should go far in helping the drug dependent person successfully continue with the detox and rehab process

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

The immediate and short-term goal of drug and alcohol rehabilitation is getting the individual safely through detoxification and the withdrawal procedure in a safe, uneventful manner.

The long-term objective of drug and alcohol rehab, on the other hand, is to help the addict achieve long-term abstinence as he or she learns how to function more productively and more responsibly in society

Fortunately, professional drug rehab facilities are well qualified and equipped to provide quality and caring rehab treatment that helps lead to a reduction of the social, physical, medical, and emotional consequences of drug abuse.

A Time Frame for Effective Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

Research has demonstrated the fact that when substance abusers remain in rehabilitation longer than three months, they usually experience longer lasting and more productive treatment outcomes than addicts who stay in drug rehab facilities fewer than three months.

The research literature also reveals that drug dependent individuals who go through professional medical detoxification but who do not receive aftercare treatment and counseling perform about the same in terms of their substance abuse as drug dependent persons who never went through professional substance abuse rehab.

The moral of the story: effective, long-term rehabilitation means more than simply detoxifying the body of toxins and chemicals that remain in the system.

Indeed, without therapeutic drugs and intensive therapy and counseling during the entire rehab protocol and without the requisite investment of time, effort, and resources, long-term and successful drug addiction rehabilitation is not only difficult, but in most instances, impossible.

Inpatient Drug Abuse Rehabilitation

Inpatient drug rehab facilities provide education, training, counseling, drug therapy, support, and medical assistance for drug dependent individuals seeking help for their drug abuse problems.

Not surprisingly, inpatients reside "on location" for the total rehab procedure. While the length of time necessary for drug rehabilitation depends on the particular treatment approach, most quality drug rehab facilities have programs that last between 28 and 30 days and offer treatment 24/7.

Why would a person request inpatient rather than outpatient drug rehab? According to the addiction literature, inpatient drug rehab typically results in longer-lasting abstinence and more effective and productive drug abuse recovery.

Fortunately, drug dependent individuals who attend a professional inpatient drug rehab facility and take advantage of the tools, training, and educational insights they have received are usually better able to re-enter society and lead more productive and successful drug-free lives.

Outpatient Drug Abuse Rehabilitation

As the term would suggest, substance abusers who receive outpatient rehabilitation do not reside "on location" as they would in residential drug rehabilitation facilities.

Not unlike their residential counterparts, on the other hand, outpatient drug rehab facilities have treatment methodologies that are constructed to provide long-term abstinence from drug abuse.

To comment on the length of most outpatient protocols, a number of outpatient drug addiction programs proudly advertise treatment approaches that can last a number of months or perhaps years.

Outpatient drug rehab facilities use a number of different treatment methodologies including cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, insight-oriented psychotherapy, individual and group counseling, problem-solving groups, and 12-step approaches.

Outpatient drug rehab facilities vary in the types of services that they provide and in the intensity of their treatment approaches.

For instance, whereas low-intensity outpatient drug rehab protocols may offer basic detoxification and essential drug education and counseling, other more intensive outpatient drug rehab programs, especially those offering extensive day treatment, are not dissimilar to inpatient programs in terms of the services that are available and their effectiveness.

The bottom line is that regardless of the kind of outpatient program is chosen, the ultimate goal of these treatment approaches is to help the drug dependent person achieve long-term abstinence so that he or she can re-enter society and lead a more responsible, successful drug-free life.

The Drug Rehab Facility: Types of Programs

An evaluation of the various programs that are available at different drug rehab facilities reveals an extensive and wide-reaching number of programs.

The following list represents a fairly representative sample of the different drug rehab programs that are available to substance abusers from virtually any walk of life:

  • Dual diagnosis programs (addicts who struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse).

  • Specific programs for different drugs (alcohol, heroine, crystal meth, cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs such as oxycontin, darvocet, percocet, vicodin).

  • Programs by various States and regions.

  • Relapse prevention.

  • Holistic approaches (with a focus on customizing the treatment for the whole person).

  • Teen wilderness programs.

  • Sober living home programs.

  • Inpatient programs.

  • Multiple disorder programs (for people with a number of "problems" such as drug addiction, eating disorders, alcoholism, sex and love addictions, etc.).

  • Women only programs.

  • High-profile-people programs (offering full amenities such as a daily massage, a scenic, enjoyable view, yoga and life coach, and a private room).

  • Non 12-step programs (treatment approaches that focus on a non 12-step methodology including education, individual counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and FDA approved doctor prescribed medications.

  • Self-help programs (including listings for national self-help groups, organizations, help lines, and public awareness programs).

  • Young adult programs (ages 18 - 27)

  • GLBT programs (programs for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and transsexuals).

  • Mature adult programs (over age 55).

  • Suboxone programs (programs employing FDA approved medications for the treatment of opiate dependence).

  • 12-step programs (based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model).

  • Teen only programs (age 13 - 19).

  • Outpatient Programs.

  • Men only programs.

  • Teen boot camps.

  • Adolescent programs (age 12 - 20).

  • Faith-based treatment (for instance, Christian and Jewish-oriented therapies).

Treatment Costs at Drug Rehab Facilities

The cost for drug rehab and detox is as wide-ranging as the number of different treatment approaches that are available. No matter which program is being looked into, there are, however, some basic cost-benefit factors that need to be addressed:

  • A comprehension of everything that is included in the program you choose

  • What services your health insurance provider will cover

  • What will be added later to your bill as a "fee-for-service" alternative

If you are looking for the best value for your treatment dollar, be alert to the fact that "price" becomes meaningful only when discussing the effectiveness, professionalism, and production of the program in question.

As a final point, it is worth emphasizing the fact that most insurance companies do not typically pay for treatment approaches that are classified as "educational" as opposed to programs that are covered because they are seen as "medical."

As an overall cost barometer, keep in mind that the national average for a 30-day residential drug rehab program costs between $20,000 and $30,000.

It is, however, possible to find well-known and reputable drug rehab facilities that charge $10,000 for their month-long inpatient substance abuse program.

The bottom line: with research, finding out what is available, and by asking relevant questions, affordable, quality drug rehab/detox program can be found.

Self-Payment Costs At Inpatient Drug Rehab Facilities

The following list is a sample of the self-payment costs that many inpatient drug rehab facilities

  • Residential Treatment (30 days): $8,500

  • Transitional living: $70 per day

  • Intensive Outpatient (20 sessions): $3,500

  • PROMETA (Alcohol): $13,000

  • Detox: $400 per day

  • PROMETA (Methamphetamine/Cocaine): $15,000

Note: The PROMETA treatment protocol employs prescription medications and nutritional supplements to reduce the physiological cravings that often lead addicts to relapse.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Costs

The cost for 30-day outpatient, drug rehab programs can be roughly $2,500 at the low end of the cost continuum and as much as $6,000 or more, depending on the client base, the scope of treatment, and the services that are available.

Conclusion: The Drug Rehab Facility

In the vast majority of cases, the first order of business in the drug rehab process involves detoxifying the body from the toxins and chemicals that have accumulated in a drug dependent person's system.

While "total" detoxification can take months or even years to rid an addict's body completely, a licensed drug rehab facility usually provides therapeutic drugs, counseling, and medical management and control during the first few hours or days of rehab when withdrawal symptoms can be physically overwhelming, dangerous, and in some cases, deadly.


The short-term goal of drug rehab is to help the addict get through detoxification and conquer the withdrawal process in a harm-free way.

Fortunately, successful drug rehab facilities have detox professionals who excel in reducing the psychological, medical, physical, and social effects and difficulties inherent with drug addiction.

After the drug dependent person has completed the detoxification process and conquered his or her withdrawal symptoms, the long-term goal of drug addiction rehab is to help the substance abuser attain long-lasting abstinence while helping him or her perform more effectively and more responsibly in society.