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Are all Drug Rehab Centers the Same?

It is a common misconception that all drug rehabilitation centers are the same. Centers differ in many aspects, from the cost to the guiding principles behind the treatment methods and of course, the quality of service that are offered to patients. There are many rehabilitation centers that are known for world class, luxury services, while there are those that have standard facilities but have excellent and expert personnel as well as effective rehabilitation programs. This variety is actually beneficial for patients since drug abuse patients have different needs. Personal preferences also come into play when it comes to the type of treatment that works with every patient, so having a choice in terms of treatment modalities is extremely helpful for recovery.

Types of Drug Rehabilitation Centers

Drug rehabilitation centers are classified according to their services. Centers can offer outpatient and inpatient services while there are those that offer residential services alone, requiring patients to undergo the entire length of the program within the facility itself. Some centers employ a medical approach for patients who are expected to undergo severe withdrawal, although there are drug rehabilitation centers that offer the same support without the use of pharmacological products to aid patients during the process, relying instead on holistic treatments and traditional therapies for support. Centers may also differ according to the guiding principles behind the chosen treatment programs. There are Bible-based programs that incorporate Biblical principles to the treatment, while there are programs that utilize a more modern approach that centers on pure holistic healing based on universal spiritual concepts.

Residential Centers

These centers offer the most intense forms of therapy. Patients are required to stay within the facility for the duration of the treatment. Most centers will not allow residents to leave the center to avoid exposure to any influence that may negatively affect recovery and induce a relapse. Family members are allowed to visit and family therapy may even be one component of treatment as a way to determine and treat the underlying cause of the addiction.

Outpatient Centers

Outpatient centers are treatment centers that receive patients for therapy but offer no residential facilities. Although many patients opt for outpatient centers as their source of primary treatment, outpatient centers are recommended for those who have just finished a residential treatment program and now require support as they reintegrate back to society. Outpatient centers may offer the same therapies as residential ones as well as therapies to support recovering drug abusers such as group therapy, counseling sessions, and classes designed to teach them coping mechanisms that will help them avoid relapses as they become more and more exposed to society. Local communities and churches often operate some form of outpatient, counseling program for recovering drug abusers but stand-alone outpatient centers are popular as well. Narcotics Anonymous is a good example of an outpatient program for recovering drug users.


There is still some dispute about what form of treatment is best for drug abusers. However, holistic therapies are gaining widespread support due to the absence of medications as a component of rehabilitation. Many patients want to be free of any type of drug and focus on natural therapies as a way of cleansing themselves of all the drug residues that have accumulated in their bodies. Holistic therapies also aim to treat all facets of the person, from the physical to the psychological and the spiritual.

Benefits of a Holistic Form of Drug Rehabilitation

Holistic treatments for drug addiction focus on the rehabilitation of the entire person. Most holistic treatments are based on the principle that drug addiction is the result of a confluence of a variety of factors. Underlying issues in the mind, body and environmental influences are dealt with as a part of treatment. The addiction may have stemmed from a genetic propensity for dependency, it may have stemmed from the need to avoid physical pain, or it may have stemmed from the need to avoid emotional pain. Family therapy, for example, is commonly employed for adolescent drug abusers who use drugs to escape a troubled family life. Group therapy with the family not only aims to heal the abuser, it aims to heal frayed relationships between him and his family, which could be the main or one of the underlying causes of the addiction.

Stress management techniques belong to the category of cognitive behavioral therapy which are used mainly to help patients identify, avoid and cope with situations that tend influence their abuse of drugs. Holistic treatments also employ incentives as positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs. Incentives could be the chance to see family after complying with one part of the program. Incentives are considered as a part of contingency management and therefore only employed for the hardest cases, but they often work.

Holistic treatments are different from conventional modes of treatment because there is the conscious attempt to veer away from the use of medications as a way to treat the addiction. Medications are viewed as superficial and ineffective at eliminating the problem at its roots. Holistic treatments focus on teaching abusers new stress reduction techniques that will replace drugs as the solution when they are faced with stressors. Mindfulness meditation, simple breathing exercises, cognitive behavior modification are just some of the treatments that have shown significant success in patients who have undergone holistic drug rehabilitation. Patients are free to adopt the treatment that is most congruent to their personal beliefs, increasing the chances of success for recovery.

Holistic treatment for drug rehabilitation is increasingly becoming an ideal treatment for this problem simply because it addresses the multiple factors that work together to produce the addiction. This method of targeting the main cause of the addiction can offer better chances of recovery and lesser risk for relapses since it treats the entire person, not just the specific problem. Patients come out of the program physically healthier, emotionally stronger, and better able to cope with the usual stressors that they will encounter on a daily basis.