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The complexity of substance abuse and addiction problems require that an individual thoroughly pull apart and resolve all of the physical, mental and emotional causes and effects in order to achieve full recovery. This also requires that an individual learns to take responsibility for their initial and continuing drug use, which can be quite a difficult task to undertake. It is best when rehabilitation treatment seeks to empower the individual to overcome their problems with drugs or alcohol and build the self-confidence and self-respect to create a stable, drug-free future.

The Components of Successful Rehabilitation Treatment

Contrary to what some individuals may believe, rehabilitation treatment is not simply some place an individual can go to abstain from drug use. Since drug use normally begins when an individual is faced with a life problem for which they have no other ready solution, and since drug use often results in extensive physical, mental, emotional and relationship damages, the individual has to learn how to handle these problems and prevent them from causing a relapse into drug use in the future. In order to address the many causes and effects of substance abuse and addiction, some of the components of successful rehabilitation treatment include:

Individual treatment plans – There are no “one-size-fits-all” treatment plans. Not only does each individual have their own specific reasons for turning to drug use, their drug use has affected them in very specific ways. An individualized treatment plan can ensure that the substance abuser sets goals for their treatment, which can help them remain committed to their treatment.

Detoxification – Withdrawing from drugs or alcohol can be uncomfortable, painful and sometimes even dangerous. However, eliminating drugs from an individual’s body is a critical component to successful recovery.

Individual and group counseling – Uncovering the initial reason why an individual turned to drug use can help them make the changes necessary to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Individual counseling can help the individual work through this process and work out how to repair the damages caused by their drug use. Group counseling can help recovering individuals bond together and work through difficult points in treatment, supporting and encouraging each other.

Life skills education – In some cases the problems that pushed an individual into drug use were normal life challenges that the individual doesn’t understand how to resolve. Life skills education in time or money management, parenting and other skills can help an individual build the confidence that they need to handle the challenges of life without turning to drugs or alcohol.

Nutrition and physical fitness training – It is important for a recovering substance abuser to work on rebuilding their physical health and strength. Not only can this improve how they feel, it can also help them fill their time with something other than thinking about or using drugs or alcohol.

Spiritual therapy – An individual who is trying to recover from substance abuse and addiction often has to address the spiritual nature of these problems. Different spiritual therapy groups can include religious studies or classes, self-help therapy sessions and more.

Art therapy – Art is a way for individuals to communicate, and can sometimes provide the individual with a way to communicate things that they cannot describe with words. Different forms of art therapy include painting, dancing, music and more.

Animal therapy – While substance abuse and addiction can cause an individual to introvert into their own thoughts and problems, rehabilitation treatment seeks to draw the individual back out into an awareness of the world around them. Caring for another living thing through animal therapy can be very helpful for an individual who is recovering from substance abuse and addiction.

Yoga or meditation – Restoring one’s connection between mind and body can be an important part to successful rehabilitation treatment, and can be achieved through the practices of yoga or meditation. Both are disciplines that encourage an individual to focus their energy and mind, which can be a helpful ability both during rehabilitation treatment and in the future as well.

Choosing a Rehabilitation Treatment Center and Program

There are a wide variety of rehabilitation treatment centers and programs available to help individuals overcome their problems with substance abuse and addiction. Choosing a rehabilitation treatment center and program that works best to address the individual’s specific needs will better ensure that the individual will remain dedicated and committed to the program through to completion. It is also very important to ensure that the center is licensed, accredited and has high success rates, and that the center staff are well trained and experienced in resolving substance abuse and addiction problems.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends that an individual consider the following when checking out a rehabilitation center and program:

* Just because a treatment center or program worked for one individual does not mean it will work for another. Or stated another way, just because a treatment center or program failed to work for one individual does not automatically mean it will not work for another. Different treatments work for different individuals.

* Treatment is most successful when it is at least ninety days in length or longer. Individuals who agree to treatment with the idea that thirty days will be sufficient may be sorely disappointed, and may erroneously believe that rehabilitation doesn’t work.

* Effective rehabilitation treatment addresses all areas of the addict’s life.

* Rehabilitation treatment must include educating the individuals in the truth about drugs and their effects.

While each facility and program is unique, there are several main types of rehabilitation treatment.

Residential rehabilitation treatment – Often the most highly recommended and successful type of rehabilitation treatment is residential rehabilitation treatment. This type of treatment removes the individual from his normal life environments and routines, and places him in a safe, drug-free environment with around-the-clock care and support from trained, experienced addiction specialists.

Outpatient rehabilitation treatment – Not usually recommended for individuals who are experiencing intensive addictions, or addictions to extremely powerful and dangerous drugs, outpatient rehabilitation treatment provides services to individuals on a strict schedule while allowing them to return to their homes each night. An individual whose substance abuse has not dramatically affected their life and who has work or family obligations may find this an ideal treatment option.


An individual who has participated in a thorough and effective rehabilitation treatment program may still not be fully prepared for a return to their normal life environments and routines without receiving continuing support. There are a wide variety of aftercare services, including sober living facilities, continued individual and group counseling services, vocational training and education and much more. An individual who is well-prepared for the challenges that may be presented in a return to their normal life environments and routines is often better able to either overcome them, or at least to seek help in overcoming them.

Successful Rehabilitation

Even when an individual has help, support and encouragement from others, the process of rehabilitation treatment is not a quick or easy one. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence for an individual to successfully address and resolve their problems with substance abuse and addiction, and maintain their hard-won sobriety long into the future. However, the rewards are well wort