How Effective Is Drug Rehab Treatment?

How Effective Is Drug Rehab Treatment?

Many people ask how effective drug rehab treatment is before they start a rehabilitation programme. They want to be reassured that attending a clinic will help them quit the drug they have become addicted to and there is light at the end of the road.

There are thousands of people living more engaged and better lives thanks to visiting rehab. But as there is no straightforward “cure” for drug addiction this often puts people off seeking help at all, which is unfair to those dealing with drug dependency. Substance use disorder is a chronic illness just the same as Diabetes, Asthma or Hypertension (high blood pressure), the only difference is the way people view it.

When it comes to appraising the treatment of drug addiction people tend to ask if it works when what they mean is: does it cure addiction? It’s as though patients ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ drug rehab. This is unfair. Nobody says an Asthma sufferer has “failed” their treatment programme. Even the terminology is different. People with other chronic illnesses such as Arthritis, Diabetes, etc., are described as “sufferers” whereas when it comes to substances, “misuse”, “addict” and drug “abuse” are used.

These have connotations of weakness, shame or choice. Addiction is a chronic brain disease and sufferers of addiction should be treated with the same level of compassion and humility as with any other disease that requires ongoing long-term treatment.

The very nature of all chronic health problems is that they cannot be cured (if they could be they wouldn’t become ‘chronic’), but they can be treated very successfully and managed well over the long term. The same is true for drug addiction.


What Are The Success Rates?

Success rates for drug addiction treatment can vary, we need to understand certain drugs are more difficult to treat and external factors such as treatment location and treatment type can also affect the success rate.

As with any chronic disease, some people find the right treatment programme and manage their condition well. For others, they may improve for a while, but then relapse. This then requires an alternative therapy or treatment to be found to attain the optimal quality of life and minimise symptoms.

In the case of drug addiction, over 40%of patients have returned for more treatment. But, a relapse is not a failure, it just requires an adjustment to the treatment plan. The figures for addictive substance relapse may appear high, but not when compared to some other chronic illnesses.

This is why sufferers of all chronic conditions — including drug abuse — require long-term monitoring and support. The same is true for drug addiction and drug rehab programmes. Some manage their condition well with the right treatment programme, others may find a treatment that works for a while, but then relapse. The key is long term support so that treatment programmes and therapies can be tweaked at the first signs of any problems.

Data from the national drug monitoring service also shows that roughly 2/3 of people receiving treatment for Opioid addiction fully abstained from the drug or significantly improved their levels of use. So whilst drug rehabilitation certainly does not have a 100% success rate it does help the majority of people improve or totally abstain from future use.

Drug Data


Factors To Consider In The Success Rates Of Drug Rehabilitation

Success rates for drug rehab can be hard to quantify in numbers as outcomes differ for each individual based on a number of factors.

These include:

• The type of addiction: Substance abuse covers a wide range of drugs from prescription drugs through Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Heroin, Crack, etc., and some drug addictions are more difficult to treat than others.

• The length of addiction: This plays a role in the length of treatment, but all substance misuse disorders can be improved as with any other chronic disease.

• Where the treatment takes place: Residential rehab at a treatment facility (in the initial stages at least) improves success rates, as there is constant professional support and treatment for any associated mental and/or health problems.

• The treatments used: Medicated detoxification and medication-assisted rehab ease symptoms and significantly improve success rates, especially when combined with talking therapies and other treatments.

• Commitment: Long-term support from professionals, peers, and loved ones is a vital factor in successful drug rehab.


Why Private Treatment Works?

In the UK there are both free NHS drug addiction programmes and private drug rehabilitation centres. So why pay for private drug rehab when you can get it for free? The simple answer is: private treatment has a much higher success rate, taking the above-mentioned relapse rate down from 40-60% to just 20-40% in the best private drug rehab centres.

NHS drug programmes don’t offer residential addiction treatment programmes and this is a critical factor in terms of outcomes for drug addiction. In private treatment centres, patients are monitored and supported 24/7 during their stay at the rehab centre. This is a game-changer in terms of completing treatment programmes — especially during the initial and most difficult detoxification stage. Withdrawal symptoms can be managed with medication and with the constant support of rehab professionals. Trying to endure withdrawal at home (often alone) is much harder to stick to. It also includes extensive cognitive and talking therapies to break the cycles and habits behind drug and alcohol addictions.

Private drug rehabilitation also works because it provides constant support and motivation from both peers and professionals; a structured routine to avoid boredom; and a safe, drug-free environment.

NHS drug addiction programmes tend to be more generic, whereas at a private centre the treatment options are tailored to suit individual needs. It is also holistic, dealing with the person as a whole, including any associated health problems that addiction can cause and mental health.


Drug Rehab Treatment Process for Success

The right drug rehab process has a huge impact on success rates. While every drug rehab treatment is different, there are key processes that affect the outcomes, which include:

  • Drug detox: Medicated detoxification is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
  • Residential treatment: Involving a range of physical and psychological therapies. Therapy includes individual sessions with trained rehab specialists and group sessions with peers and professionals. Residential treatment for drug addiction can be short or longer-term, depending on the needs and wishes of the client.
  • Aftercare and long-term support: This usually takes place at both the drug rehabilitation centre and in the community with peer groups.

In short, while there is no cure for chronic substance misuse disorder, it can be successfully managed. With the right treatment programme and long-term support, outstanding results can be achieved.

How to access private drug rehabilitation

People often think there is a long process or that they have to go via their GP to access private drug rehab. This is not the case. All the patient or loved one(s) have to do is contact a rehabilitation clinic. It’s as simple as that. There are recovery centres located throughout the United Kingdom, all you need to do is make a call and the professional team will put everything into place. No referral is required.