Breaking it Down: Does Rehab Really Work?

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Does rehab work? That’s the question that’s typically asked, but the underlying clarification is, will rehab work for me? The answer to both questions is yes. But rehab shouldn’t be looked at as an instant “cure” or a quick solution for a long-standing addiction. Recovery is a journey and sobriety is the first step.

So, does rehab really work? Rehab works if you put in the time and effort to go through the necessary stages. Rehab works if you’re ready to face your addiction head on and want to seek treatment to help you reach sobriety. Rehab works if you decide that’s what’s best for you to overcome your addiction.

There will be days where you’ll feel better than you ever have before. It may seem like you don’t need to complete treatment and that you can leave early, but that kind of thinking can unfortunately lead to relapsing into old behaviors and habits. As you go through rehab, you’ll hopefully begin to have more good days than bad, but it’s important to follow through to see your treatment through to the end.

Common Concerns about Rehab

It’s natural to feel uncertain or even anxious about rehab, especially if you’ve never been to a rehab facility and don’t quite know what to expect. We hope to alleviate some of the doubts that may holding you back. See if you identify with any of these common concerns or questions about rehab.

#1: I don’t know if I really need rehab.

But what if you do? You may think you have a handle on your addiction. Or, if you’re a loved one of someone who is suffering from addiction, he or she may try to assure you it’s not a problem. And, sometimes it’s easy to believe that or want to believe it. If you abuse drugs but don’t see how deeply it’s affected you, it may be easy to think how you could stop anytime you want. Unfortunately, that’s not how addiction works. It handles you, not the other way around. Making the choice to get treatment can help regain control of your life and make a fresh start.

#2: I don’t think I can afford it.

Many rehab facilities offer several payment options. Whether it’s working out coverage through insurance, securing a payment plan, or discussing ways to pay for treatment in other ways, you have the support to discuss those needs with a rehab specialist. Money always plays a factor in big life decisions, but the value of rehab is worth the investment. Learn more about the cost of rehab with our helpful guide.

#3: I don’t know where to go for treatment.

There are several options available to you regardless of location. If you cannot receive treatment with us due to logistics or other reasons, we’re happy to point you on the right path to get the treatment you need. Now with the availability of technology readily at our fingertips, the research part of finding a rehab facility that works best for you is easier than before.

When evaluating if rehab works, statistics can be extremely helpful. According to data issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, of the 22.7 million Americans surveyed, who needed rehab for drug or alcohol problems under addiction classifications, only 908,000 felt they needed treatment. And less than half of this number actually sought treatment. There may never be a perfect time to seek help for your addiction but the longer you wait the greater risk you take. Our team of specialists are always more than happy to chat with you about treatment options for yourself or a loved one. Help is always available.

How to Get Started

Once you’ve made the decision to work towards a life of sobriety and recovery, it’s best to go through the withdrawal and treatment process under the care of a professional facility. Although you may think you can do it alone, either by sheer willpower or by wishful thinking, the aid of others to support you will give you a much better chance in succeeding.

People who go through withdrawal usually experience extreme discomfort and pain. Symptoms such as vomiting, sweating, shaking, anxiousness, and more, are all part of the withdrawal period. It’s not comfortable or pleasant by any means, but it’s forcing your body to change from what it’s been used to with your addiction. You have to rid your body of the drugs and toxins by retraining your body to live without them. The power of addiction is strong, but treatment, support, and strength will help you overcome it and change your life around for the better along a sober path.

It’s normal to feel concerned with treatment and wary of if rehab will work for you or not. That’s why we’re here to answer questions to help you make a well-rounded decision for your health. We’ll go through some of the main challenges people face and things people worry about before they receive care.

How Likely Is Relapse?

One of the biggest issues of the treatment process, especially detoxification, is the chance of relapse or reverting back to using drugs and/or alcohol. Again, if you choose to go through the detox and withdrawal process alone, it can be more difficult to refrain from using. Not to mention detoxing without the support of medical staff is extremely dangerous. You may be able to go a few hours, maybe even a few days. But once the side effects start to manifest, it will be hard to resist the temptation and cravings to use. It will be difficult to pass up the chance to “get your fix” on your own.

Statistics have shown there is a 40-60% relapse rate for drug addiction. However, to put that into perspective, a relapse rate in that range is similar to other chronic health conditions people may face, such as diabetes or asthma. What this means is that your body may need a longer time to adjust. You may need to switch to a more ideal environment. There are many reasons people relapse, but if it happens, it doesn’t mean the end of the road. It requires extra attention to prevent relapse from occurring.

It doesn’t mean you have failed at treatment or that it won’t work for you. You must simply try again. A detoxification program within a reputable facility will have staff and protocol to help make the experience as comfortable for you as possible. Although the goal is to stop using drugs for good, if you’re addicted, your body has grown accustomed to functioning with drugs in your system. Abruptly taking that away isn’t necessarily safe. Through relapse prevention, we provide ongoing support to help make the transition as comfortable as possible, while monitoring your health and body’s reaction to the process.

As part of rehab, you’ll receive detox treatment that will be monitored to ensure you have medical care immediately available should there happen to be complications. You will also have access to a support staff that can help you through this tougher time. It may be difficult, but focus on how you’re making a positive difference for your future. You are actively changing your situation to create a more promising life for yourself, and that’s matters.

Rehab Works When You Don’t Detox Alone

Rehab can only work if you go through the proper steps, the first being detoxification. This is where the recovery process truly begins because it requires ridding your body of the drugs and toxins your body is withholding. Nothing else can start until you have gone through the detox process.

Withdrawal is a challenging time to go through alone. That’s why we strongly recommend seeking your detox treatment in a place of security and support. If you come off drugs too quickly or if you don’t attend to your withdrawal symptoms in the correct way, you have the risk of doing even more damage to your health and putting yourself in an unsafe position.

The body can be unpredictable in the way it reacts to strong change. Just as addiction is something that developed over time, true emotional sobriety will take time as well. Without starting the process from the beginning, your body won’t be able to heal in the way it needs to. Rehab helps you get through this challenging first step.

Take the first step today and speak with a treatment specialist.
(888) 325-1995

Rehab Works Through Inpatient Treatment

Through inpatient treatment, you’ll begin to learn about all aspects of what makes rehab work. Detox is one major component, but it’s not the only one that impacts your recovery. Inpatient treatment does not always immediately follow detox, but it’s an effective next step because you’ve already dedicated yourself to addressing your addiction and working through to the next steps in recovery.

If you choose inpatient treatment, there are options of where you can go. Many people select a facility that’s outside of where they currently live to help detach themselves from their old environment. The thought of “peer pressure” may seem juvenile, but when addiction is involved, anything can manifest as a temptation. It’s best to avoid it at all costs when possible.

Inpatient treatment is also your opportunity to learn about addiction as a disease… You will attend group and individual therapy, both designed to help you feel supported and open to talk about the challenges or problems you face in your life. This is important because usually once those are identified, your “triggers” can be found as well. Where does your addiction stem from? What leads you to want to use? Are there any specific feelings that cause you to want to use more than others, such as stress or anger?

What causes you to want to get high is not the same reason another person might choose. Your story may be similar to others you might meet or read about, but it’s not the same. You are unique, which is why your treatment has to be customized to meet your pacing and recovery journey.

This means some people will go through detox, inpatient treatment and into after care and recovery in 30 or 60 days, while others may stay longer, seek more treatment, or relapse and return for care. Your timeline will depend upon your personal needs and the time it takes you to hit the major milestones in recovery. None of these are the “right” way to go through rehab and none of them mean rehab is working or not working. If you are going through the stages and making efforts of improvement, rehab is working. Try not to mistake setbacks as a failure, because they are definitely not one in the same.

How to Make Rehab Work for You

Maybe you’re still not convinced of how rehab can work for you. It’s not an easy process and there will be tough days, but set yourself up for success by taking the right steps and accept the help of others who want to see that success for you. Here are a few things that may help rehab work more effectively for you:

  • Mark your progress. In rehab, your health is monitored and milestones are tracked in order to know which step of the program you’re at, but your own personal accomplishments should be noted either in a journal, jotted down on a piece of paper, or written on a sticky note placed on your mirror. Celebrate the wins.
  • Be open to help. It can be tough for anyone to ask for assistance, but in rehab you have to be open to the care provided for you. That includes everything from medical treatment to in-person counseling sessions. You always have a choice in how you act and what you choose to share or not share, but be open to receiving help. You’re not meant to go through it alone.
  • Find a place that’s comfortable. This goes for your actual chosen rehab facility but also when you’re part of inpatient care as well. Where do you feel your most peaceful? Is it yoga class? Is it on a walk by yourself? Or, do you better feel progress being made when in the company of others? There are parts of rehab that will not be as comfortable because it’s about big changes, so find that one spot where you feel ultimately secure when you need a few extra moments to yourself.
  • Believe. Part of the reason you enter rehab is the hope that you will achieve sobriety. You don’t know for certain it will happen or that it will work. You just want it, so you believe it can.

Rehab does work. It has for millions of people and continues to work for millions more today. It is a treatable disease and one you can recover from for good. You deserve a chance to change your life for the better and say goodbye to your addiction permanently. At Above It All, We’re here to help you get started whenever you want to take that first step.

Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.
(888) 325-1995


The Treatment Center. Does Drug Rehabilitation Work? March 21, 2016.

Health and Safety Executive. Don’t Mix It a Guide for Employers on Alcohol at Work. Sep, 2011. Accessed March 22, 2016.

National Center for Biotechnology Information. 5 Major Treatment Issues and Approaches. 2005, Accessed March 24, 2016.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. What to Do If You Have A Problem With Drugs: For Adults. Jan. 2016, Accessed March 23, 2016.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs. Jan. 2016, Accessed March 24, 2016.

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