Is it worthwhile to go to a drug free rehab? Not a free drug rehab, though that can be useful if you cannot figure out how to afford rehab. Are there major advantages to going to a treatment center where they do not use medications at all?
To be honest I am not sure that any such places really exist. The need for medication in treatment is always going to be there, and most people have at least some medications that they require for healthy living anyway. The idea of a completely drug free rehab really does not make a lot of sense.
For one thing, there are some drugs from which withdrawal would be dangerous without medications. Alcohol is the primary example of this. Coming off of alcohol without any medication is dangerous and can actually be fatal in some instances. People can die from not getting medication when detoxing from alcohol. So it would not make sense to have a drug free rehab unless they did not offer detox for certain drugs (or at all). You have to have medication in some cases, it is not optional.
Now obviously, any rehab that is any good is going to have a strictly controlled environment in which there are no drugs or alcohol allowed, except for in the hands of a competent medical staff. This should go without saying and of course people will always try to sneak things in from time to time. The only way to prevent this is for each new client to be searched upon entry. To insure a drug free rehab, you have to make sure that drugs are not being brought in. The only way to do this is with comprehensive search.
As far as treating addiction and alcoholism goes, you can see a continuum in care where some people prefer to use lots and lots of medications, whereas others prefer to use very little. For example, an alcoholic could use a medication such as Campral to try and reduce alcohol cravings, while someone else might reject the idea of taking a medication such as this. When treating opiate addiction, some addicts might want to try the idea of drug therapy and maintenance, so that they will take a synthetic opiate on a regular basis after they leave treatment, in the hopes that they can avoid using their drug of choice. Others see this replacement strategy as being more of a problem than a solution, and so they do not support the idea. What is important of course is that the individual finds a strategy for recovery that works well for them.