Should You Go to Drug Rehab Treatment for Your Addiction or Alcoholism?

Should You Go to Drug Rehab Treatment for Your Addiction or Alcoholism?


Many struggling addicts and alcoholics want to know: “should you go to drug rehab treatment for drug or alcohol addiction?

The answer is not necessarily a straightforward “yes.”  Let’s take a look at some options first.

First of all, if you can afford rehab or have the funding or resources to attend, then you should always start with detox and inpatient treatment, in my opinion.  There are several reasons why this is almost always the best route for just about any given situation.

If you don’t have piles of cash on hand, then you might be able to pay for inpatient treatment with:

1) Private insurance.

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2) Medicaid (if you have it).

3) Government funding (if you qualify for it).

Now if you do not have Medicaid OR private insurance, then chances are good that you might qualify for some sort of government money to pay for most or all of your stay at treatment.  Unfortunately, treatment is not free, and so the most important thing that you need to figure out in advance is how it is going to be paid for.  Once you secure funding then the process is relatively straightforward: you show up for rehab and you check in and do what they suggest.  Follow through and your life will get better.  Ignore the suggestions and your life will likely stay on the same track.

Starting out with inpatient rehab has one other key benefit as well: it is the most intensive option that serves as a springboard to less intensive options.  What does this mean?  It means that after you leave short term rehab, you will likely be referred to outpatient treatment, 12 step meetings, counseling, or therapy of some sort.

So in other words, if you start with inpatient treatment, you will likely end up with another form of care after you leave there.  It is generally the “best of both worlds” because you get a more thorough assessment of your true needs while you are in rehab.

Of course there are other options.  I realize that not everyone wants (or needs) to go to drug rehab right off the bat.  Certainly if you have never tried to stop using drugs or alcohol in the past, then you might not want to start by checking right into an inpatient facility.  There are reasons not to jump the gun of course, with the main one being that rehab can be quite expensive in some cases.

So, what are the alternatives?  Some of the options include:

1) Twelve step meetings – though this option may not work for everyone, there are many addicts and alcoholics out there who have skipped formal treatment services altogether and got clean and sober by simply attending AA or NA meetings.  The level of support that you can get from daily meeting attendance is pretty awesome, especially when you consider the price of such support (essentially zero if you have no money to contribute through donations).

This option does not work for everyone but it is better than nothing, and for anyone who is both desperate and serious about sobriety, then it may be all that is needed.

2) Counseling – I personally started with counseling as a means to try and achieve sobriety, but it did not work for because at the time, I was not serious about changing my life.  That said, counseling or weekly therapy sessions might be enough for you, if you happen to be highly self motivated and live in a relatively supportive environment.  Some people cannot just go see a therapist once a week for an hour and expect to turn their life around, while others might be able to pull it off.  If this does not work for you, you might try a more intense form of treatment.

3) Outpatient treatment – This is just like going to rehab except you do not eat meals or sleep there overnight.  In my opinion it is a somewhat flawed solution for just about any given individual and their situation, unless they happen to have a near perfect life outside of their substance abuse problem.  Most people need more intense therapy than what outpatient provides, and they also need to be temporarily removed from their drug or alcohol using environment for a period of time.  This is what makes inpatient rehab more effective than outpatient in most cases.

Pick a solution and try it out.  If it fails, pursue more intense therapies next time.  Inpatient rehab is probably the best solution in almost all cases.  Good luck!


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