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What Is A Voluntary Rehabilitation Program – And Is It Right For Me?

For people struggling with addictions of all kinds, seeking help through a qualified rehab program is the first step toward long-term recovery. And for most, going into rehab is a personal choice – a decision made out of a motivation to have a better, drug free life. In other cases, “voluntary” rehab isn’t entirely voluntary – but it can provide the same positive outcomes.

What is Voluntary Rehabilitation?

People typically make the choice to go into an inpatient or outpatient rehab program because of pressure from people in their lives, or circumstances caused by addiction. They’re motivated to complete rehab and eliminate drugs from their lives in order to regain health, repair relationships or improve other aspects of their lives. But not everyone comes to rehab in this way.

Substance abuse often leads to involvement with the criminal justice system or other court-related entities. When that happens, the courts can apply legal pressures to direct someone into treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, either as a condition for resolving a legal issue, or as an alternative to prison time. The courts can make rehab a requirement under circumstances that can include:

Voluntary Rehabilitation

Those with drug offenses may be able to choose rehab as an alternative to prison time.

  • Regaining custody of children
  • Reinstating a drivers license after a DUI
  • Resolving a domestic violence charge
  • Getting parole or probation after a drug-related offense

Entering a rehab program under these conditions is “voluntary” in the sense that a substance abuser is offered the opportunity to choose rehab over less desirable options such as steep fines or prison time. If a substance abuser chooses to complete a rehab program rather than face other consequences, they – or their program – are required to document progress and completion of the program.

Substance abusers who are placed in an inpatient or outpatient rehab program as a result of some kind of legal pressure are treated like any other patient, with the same rights and obligations. They can choose to quit the program or refuse to participate in various aspects of it. But if they do, they face the original consequences.

Kinds of Voluntary Rehab Programs

Depending on individual circumstances, people with addictions can be referred to inpatient or outpatient rehab treatment, and in most cases they can choose the facility they prefer. That includes the option of private rehab, if an individual can afford to pay for it or has insurance to cover the cost. For people with limited finances, government funded rehab programs are available too.

The success of voluntary rehabilitation depends on matching an individual with the right program for his or her unique situation. Someone with co-occurring mental health issues would benefit best from a rehab program designed for people with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse. A parent seeking custody of children might do well in a program focused on working with families, or a rehab designed for women with children.

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Does It Work?

Studies on approaches to drug and alcohol addiction treatment reveal that people who complete voluntary rehabilitation programs as a requirement of, or alternative to, legal action tend to have outcomes as good as, or better than, those who choose rehab for reasons of their own. These people typically:

  • Stay in treatment longer
  • Have higher rates of participation in therapeutic activities such as counseling and groups
  • Have lower rates of relapse after treatment
  • Commit fewer crimes than those who don’t go to rehab

The success of voluntary drug and alcohol rehab also affects communities, which have seen lower rates of crime and diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS when the courts push strongly for rehab as a legal condition.

Voluntary rehabilitation may not seem completely voluntary – but the added legal pressure can motivate people to stick with rehab and commit to long-term recovery. Whatever path you take to rehab, getting professional help for addictions is the first step toward a drug free life.

Are you facing legal trouble because of your addictions? Do you need answers right now? We’re here to help. Contact us at 800-681-7369 for the solutions you’re looking for.