Drug rehabilitation (often drug rehab or just rehab) is an umbrella term for the processes of medical and/or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and so-called street drugs such as cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to cease substance abuse, in order to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused, especially by extreme abuse.
Drug rehabilitation – both physical and psychological
Drug rehab tends to address a stated twofold nature of drug dependency: physical and psychological dependency. Physical dependency involves a detoxification process to cope with withdrawal symptoms from regular use of a drug. With regular use of many drugs, legal or otherwise, the brain gradually adapts to the presence of the drug so that the desired effect is minimal. Apparently normal functioning of the user may be observed, despite being under the influence of the drug. This is how physical tolerance develops to drugs such as heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, nicotine or alcohol. It also explains why more of the drug is needed to get the same effect with regular use. The abrupt cessation of taking a drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms where the body may take weeks or months (depending on the drug involved) to return to normal. As for personal life, it’s next to impossible to find loved one doing substance abuse repeatedly.
Addiction is a disease to be treated in a hospital. Psychological dependency is addressed in many drug rehabilitation programs by attempting to teach the patient new methods of interacting in a drug-free environment. In particular, patients are generally encouraged or required not to associate with friends who still use the addictive substance. Twelve-step programs encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. Many programs emphasize that recovery is a permanent process without culmination. For legal drugs such as alcohol, complete abstention—rather than attempts at moderation, which may lead to relapse—is also emphasized (”One drink is too many; one hundred drinks is not enough.”) Whether moderation is achievable by those with a history of abuse remains a controversial point but is generally considered unsustainable.
Various types of programs offer help in drug rehab, including: residential treatment (in-patient), out-patient, local support groups, extended care centers, and sober houses.
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