Is It Best to Go Away from Home for Drug Rehab?
The decision to enter drug rehab seldom comes easy considering the trouble and turmoil that leads to this point. The choices a person has to make will likely go against his or her inclinations as drugs have all but warped the brain’s decision-making abilities. With so many drug rehab options available, it can be tempting to settle for the most convenient option, which may indeed work for some.
In general, two types of treatment programs exist: residential and outpatient with residential being the more intensive of the two. Residential programs operate as live-in facilities whereas outpatient programs allow clients to live at home and schedule treatment sessions around their existing schedules. The truth of the matter is whether or not it’s best to go away from home for drug rehab has more to do with a person’s situation than how any one program operates.
While the physical effects of drugs set the drug abuse cycle in motion, it’s the psychological effects of drugs that drive the addiction cycle. Once addicted, the perceived “need” for a drug’s effects becomes just as demanding as the body’s dependence on its effects.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction develops out of a diseased chemical environment inside the brain. In effect, addiction functions in much the same way as a chronic disease, such as diabetes and asthma.
As with any chronic disease, the severity of one’s condition determines the course or level of treatment most needed. Likewise, the severity of a person’s drug problem should determine whether or not it’s best to go away from home for drug rehab.
Factors to Consider
Length of Time Using
Most every addictive substance produces psychoactive effects, altering brain chemical processes over time. With each dose, the brain becomes more tolerant of drug effects, and in the process undergoes certain structural changes on a cellular level.
With ongoing use, drugs have a cumulative effect on brain function, weakening brain cell structures and creating chemical imbalances throughout. After a certain point, the brain’s chemical system comes to rely on the drug’s effects to function normally.
For these reasons, someone who’s abused drugs for months or years at a time will likely need to go away from home for drug rehab since the brain can no longer regulate bodily processes as normal without the drug’s effects.
Frequency of Use
Certain drugs, such as heroin and cocaine produce short-term “high” effects, leaving users wanting for more. Consequently, people addicted to these types of drugs tend to use more often.
As brain tolerance levels increase, users will likely increase their dosage amounts along the way in order to keep experiencing the drug’s desired effects. These practices set the stage for serious physical and psychological problems to develop.
Frequent drug use also creates a pattern of behavior that breeds its own patterns of thinking and feeling. These effects impact a person’s psychological make-up to the point where his or her life outlook becomes dependent on the drug’s effects. Someone in this condition should seriously consider residential treatment options.
People suffering from chronic medical conditions may turn to drugs as a means for gaining relief from uncomfortable symptoms. A person can also develop medical problems from frequent, long-term drug abuse.
In both situations, the drug treatment process takes on a new complexity as the symptoms brought on by a medical condition can make it that much more difficult to stop using drugs. Medical problems also tend to lengthen the treatment duration as ongoing medical treatment will likely become part of the recovery process.
In cases where drug abuse causes physical problems to develop, relapse episodes inevitably lead to health problems. Under these conditions, it’s best to go away from home for drug rehab.
The brain chemical imbalances brought on by ongoing drug abuse can wreak havoc on a person’s psychological well-being. Emotional ups and downs happen more and more often, which only feeds into a person’s desire to use drugs.
After a certain point, chemical imbalances in the brain create ideal conditions for psychological disorders to develop. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, psychological disorders commonly associated with chronic drug abuse include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Depression disorders
- Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder
- Amnestic disorder
- Mood disorders
The combined effects of addiction and psychological dysfunction make addiction recovery all the more challenging as these two conditions feed off one another. In effect, the symptoms of one condition aggravate the symptoms of the other making it especially difficult to stop using drugs. Anyone struggling with mental health problems on top of an addiction requires the level of care provided by residential programs.
Presence or Absence of a Support System
People working through substance abuse problems require ongoing support and guidance in recovery. Even after a person completes detox and overcomes the body’s physical dependence on drugs, the psychological aftereffects of addiction remain intact, according to Harvard Health Publications.
Without a healthy support system to turn to, the risk of relapse runs considerably high. This means, any number of situations and circumstances can trigger the urge to use drugs. As temptations to use drugs can happen at any time, a healthy support system is an essential component of the recovery process.
Unless a person has a healthy support network in place at home, it’s best to seek out residential treatment care.
During the course of a developing addiction, gradual changes develop within a person’s lifestyle. As drugs take on a greater priority, users start to neglect other important life areas to make more time for drug use.
More often than not, the negative consequences brought on by drug abuse prompt the decision to get needed treatment help. These consequences develop out of the addiction lifestyle.
According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, residential drug rehab takes place within a structured treatment environment where those in recovery can develop the type of lifestyle that makes continued abstinence possible. Residential programs offer a range of treatment services including:
- Behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Support group work
- Drug education and counseling
These services help addicts work through the underlying issues that drive drug-using behaviors while helping them develop healthy coping skills for managing daily life on a drug-free basis. Unless a person has the mental and emotional wherewithal to implement a drug-free lifestyle on his or her own, it’s best to go away from home for drug rehab.