Rehab Vs. Detox: How Treatment Affects Recovery Rates

Addiction is a problem that affects people from all walks of life. When someone decides that they are ready to change their lives, there are some important decisions that need to be made. The first decision to be made is what kind of support they need. These issues affect people in a variety of ways, depending heavily on what substance they are using and what type of support network they have. Users may need to go through detox, rehabilitation, or both.

Why Proper Treatment is Important
Addiction is a challenging disease to treat. There are many different treatment options, and each individual requires a unique approach. According to a study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol, and illicit drug use cost the health care system $36 billion annually. Forcing addicts into ineffective treatments simply wastes resources, as we are not providing patients with the tools needed to improve their lifestyle. According to the Beachway Therapy Center, the responsibility “falls on drug rehab centers to continue to provide high-quality, expert care and treatment.” But until every center provides a multi-faceted approach to a complex issue, it’s important to understand the implications different treatment types have for recovery rates.

What Defines Dependence?
A user is considered dependent when they are going to experience uncomfortable symptoms once they stop using. Often, addicts tend to continue to use even though they wish to stop. Because cessation causes painful physical symptoms, they believe the only relief comes from continuing to use.

What Defines Addiction?
Addiction is when a user seeks out their drug of choice because they like the feeling they get from using. Many drugs provide a high, and when users are seeking out this feeling they can be considered addicted.

Treatment Options
It is possible to be just dependent, just addicted, or both. For example, someone may become addicted to a drug after the first use. But until they have been using for a while, it’s unlikely that dependence will set it. The opposite is also possible. Somebody taking prescription opiates for pain may develop dependence, without ever seeking out the drug for the sensation it provides.

Dependence can be treated with detox. This is a medically supervised process where patients go through the physical symptoms of withdrawal. If the user is addicted, they can go through rehab. Rehab will help them learn ways to cope with their psychological craving for the drug and be given the support they need to rebuild a healthy lifestyle.

Influence of Treatment Type on Recovery Rates
For a drug user to remain clean from drugs, they need to address every factor leading to their ongoing use. Someone who is simply trying to end dependence on a drug they are not addicted to will likely have a high chance of recovery through detox only. Others may require rehab to address their addiction to a substance that doesn’t produce physical dependence.

Most of the time, addiction and dependence go hand-in-hand. Many treatment centers offer both services, providing users with a very high rate of recovery. But there is a lot of debate surrounding things like court-ordered detox. If the health care system is going to pay for a treatment, shouldn’t we ensure that the treatment is effective? The only way this can be done is by understanding the individual’s unique needs, and ensuring that treatment options are balanced to address the entire problem.