The term ‘rehab’ is simply the shortened form of the word rehabilitation and generally refers to a rehabilitation centre.  We have allheard of rehab but what does it really mean?

Rehabilitations centres are an effective route to recovery from an addiction although some rehab centres specialise in mental health disorders.  Different rehabs specialise in different addictions.  Addictions which are commonly treated by rehab centres include alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medication, gambling, food and sex.

Generally a rehab centre will treat the whole person rather than just focusing on their addiction alone.  This assists the addict to stop using and to avoid relapsing after treatment as they are given the skills required to live a healthy life.

You may be referred to a rehab centre by your GP or you may choose to find a private rehab centre of your choice.  Each rehab centre will be able to advise you of their areas of expertise so that you feel confident that you are making the right choice.  The cost of private rehab treatment can vary greatly and it is always advisable to ask for their price structures before committing to their care.

Rehab can cater for those who need or desire residential care and for those who prefer to receive treatment as an outpatient.  If you require detox it is often safer to do this in a residential environment rather than as an outpatient.

Residential rehab centres

The most usual duration for a stay in a residential rehab treatment centre is about 21-30 days.  During this period the addict receives round the clock access to a team of carers.  Residential rehab generally provides a structured programme which caters to the particular needs of the patient.  This may include detoxification, counselling, medication, psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.  Some patients may require special nutritional support during this period and this too should be catered for in the centre of your choosing. 

Outpatient rehab

Some addicts may be unable to may not be able to stay at a rehab centre on a residential basis.  For these people there is the alternative of an outpatient programme.  The most usual duration for this type of treatment is between 30-90 days.  The addict attends the clinic during the daytime or evenings to undergo a recovery programme.

What to expect after your treatment

Whether you receive your treatment for addiction as a residential patient or on an outpatient basis, you should expect to finish the treatment with the skills and techniques you require to live a life free from addiction.  But it shouldn’t just stop there as you may need help to stay ‘clean’ after finishing your rehab treatment.

Many rehab programmes offer continued assistance after you leave their care facility.  You are not just cut adrift and left to cope on your own devices.  You could be given access to telephone help or you could be assigned a co-ordinator who will be on hand to guide you as you require.

There are other successful routes to recovery from addiction such as the 12 step programme offered by Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous and other well-known addiction programmes.  

The first step to recovery form an addiction is recognising that you have an addiction.  Once you realise that the addiction exists and is having a negative impact on your life or the lives of those around you there is help at hand.  Mental Healthy has a comprehensive guide to addiction and a counselling directory for you to find the help you need.

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