6. Finally, supportive social services – During this final step of alcohol rehabilitation, rehab staff help empower a patient by connecting her/him with services outside the treatment facility in order to maintain abstinence from alcohol and begin to create a network of supportive people to influence in the patients life. These services can include housing, health care, social service, child care, or financial and vocational counseling.
This quote might best sum up the topic of proclivity for acquiring a drug addiction: “Most people who become addicts are subject to a combination of risk factors.” Anything from childhood trauma and having alcoholic parents to being exposed to drugs at an early age can influence whether a person takes their first hit or their first drink. And whether addiction will develop.5
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), patients stabilized on adequate, sustained doses of methadone or buprenorphine can keep their jobs, avoid crime and violence, and reduce their exposure to HIV and Hepatitis C by stopping or reducing injection drug use and drug-related high risk sexual behavior. Naltrexone is a long-acting opioid antagonist with few side effects. It is usually prescribed in outpatient medical conditions. Naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opiates. Naltrexone cuts relapse risk during the first 3 months by about 36%. However, it is far less effective in helping patients maintain abstinence or retaining them in the drug-treatment system (retention rates average 12% at 90 days for naltrexone, average 57% at 90 days for buprenorphine, average 61% at 90 days for methadone).
A good residential treatment programme takes mental health seriously. Facility staff recognise that the mental health of patients will be impacted by treatment one way or the other. As such, they do everything they can to ensure that the impacts are positive. Remember, one of the goals of residential treatment is to treat patients holistically. That means treating them in body, mind, and spirit.
Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs. These brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.
Advances in medical research have given addiction specialists new insight into the treatment of alcoholism. However, the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report states that alcohol abuse remains the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States, despite innovations in behavioral health modification, psychotherapy, and addiction medication. The following studies and statistics reflect the power of this disease: