10 Facts About Addiction Treatment

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Interesting Facts About Addiction Treatment Programs

Most of us think we know a thing or two about addiction treatment — if not from firsthand experience, from mainstream media, movies and television shows. Drug rehab is a cold and sterile place where hard-core junkies go to dry out before they are spit back into the real world; a place where the men and the women are separated (but somehow always find a way to communicate), and where a bunch of angry-looking people in washed out clothing sit in a sad circle and talk about their drug use. Right?

In reality treatment — especially at Guardian Recovery — is absolutely nothing like this. Most reputable drug rehab centers offer homestyle retreat settings carefully designed with client comfort in mind. They are heavily based in therapeutic intervention and offer clients a wide range of group sessions and workshops geared toward education, healing and prevention. Drug rehab is not somewhere that “alkies go to dry up” — it is someplace that men and women who have been struggling with a diagnosable substance use disorder go to heal. The truth about drug rehab is that it is often a crucial first step in someone’s long-term program of recovery. And when combined with a personalized plan for continuing care, it can be very effective.

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10 Facts About Addiction Treatment

While there is still a significant stigma surrounding drug addiction and drug rehab, many men and women across the country are beginning to forge a deeper understanding of what it truly means to struggle with addiction and to seek professional help. This is partially because many celebrities are coming forward about their personal battles with addiction, and partially because drug addiction rates have increased so significantly that most Americans know at least one person who has struggled with substance abuse. At Guardian Recovery we have extensive experience treating substance abuse disorders of all types and severities. We understand how devastating the disease of addiction can be, and how difficult it can be to reach out for help. We have compiled a list of 10 informative facts regarding substance abuse and drug rehab – if you have any additional questions, contact us at any point in time.

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  1. The most effective drug rehab programs combine behavioral therapies – like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and contingency management – with Medication Assisted Treatment. The most effective drug rehab programs offer a variety of crucial services to their clients that include vocational training, financial services, dual diagnosis treatment options, legal services, housing and transportation, family-oriented care and any medical services that are required. When looking for a reputable drug rehab it is important to find one that provides all of the above-listed services.
  2. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse – “Relapse rates for addiction resemble those of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.” Addiction can be effectively managed just like other chronic diseases. If a person stops following his or her treatment plan, the risk of relapse increases.
  3. If a person experiences a relapse, it doesn’t mean that drug rehab “didn’t work” – Addiction is an extremely difficult disease to tackle seeing as it affects all areas of a person’s life. It compromises physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, and leads to a wide range of serious consequences that can prove difficult to resolve. If you or someone you love has been through a multi-phased program of drug addiction recovery and experiences a brief return to old behaviors, it is important not to throw in the towel completely and deem treatment a “failure.”
  4. While the need for treatment is significant, very few people who need treatment actually receive it – According to NIDA, “In 2011, 21.6 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem, but only 2.3 million received treatment at a specialty substance abuse facility.”
  5. Medication Assisted Treatment [MAT] is often an important part of addiction treatment – especially where opioid addiction is concerned. But it is not for everyone. Medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone might be used to alleviate the more severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal or to help reduce drug cravings once detox is over so that clients can adequately focus on treatment. However, be weary of any treatment center that relies on MAT as their main form of intervention. In order for these medications to be truly effective they must always be combined with intensive behavioral therapy and with a thorough 12-step program introduction.
  6. If a client has a co-occurring mental illness, he or she must find a dual diagnosis drug rehab in order for the treatment to be most effective – Dual diagnosis rehabs treat mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder while simultaneously addressing substance abuse.
  7. Some people might not think that drug rehab is worth the cost – they believe they can simply recover on their own without professional help. Active addiction costs the US upwards of $600 billion dollars annually. If every man and woman who is currently battling addiction entered into a drug rehab program, the economic impact of addiction would be reduced considerably. Is it worth the cost? Yes. Both on an individual and societal level.
  8. In order for treatment to be effective it generally must last for 90 days -Positive treatment outcomes are highly dependent on duration. This is because it takes the brain at least 90 days to re-wire its neural pathways. The longer a person can abstain from their addictive substance, establish new habits, re-wire their brain and build a support network, the better their chances of continuing sobriety.
  9. Family involvement is a crucial component of every effective drug rehab program – The more involved the family members are, the more likely it is that treatment will be effective long-term. Not only do family members serve as a built-in support system for the individual who is receiving treatment, but many drug rehabs offer family-oriented care and actually work to treat each family member individually in specially designed therapy sessions and workshops.
  10. Drug rehab is not a cure for addiction – Men and women who participate in inpatient treatment must continue on with 12-step program involvement, individual therapy and medication management when they are discharged from rehab in order to stay sober long-term. It is important to understand that drug rehab is meant to facilitate the healing process, but it is not considered a solution to drug addiction.

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At Guardian Recovery we remain dedicated to providing men and women of all ages comprehensive and effective drug rehab services. To learn more about our program of addiction recovery, or to begin on your own personal journey of healing, contact us today


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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.


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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave


Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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