State and local governments often offer rehab information and resources for local facilities and programs through their substance abuse or behavioral health divisions; the organizations to contact can be found through the Directory of Single State Agencies (SSAs) for Substance Abuse Services. In addition, the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) provides an online search engine that can provide guidance to those seeking a facility.
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.† It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control, and those changes may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs.11
Of those treatment methods that are medically approved, not all are equally effective in terms of providing the best possible basis for a permanent recovery. It’s generally agreed that residential rehabilitation – “rehab” – is the best approach to treating addiction, and has consistently delivered the highest rate of success. Of course, every addict is unique and responds differently to different types of treatment, different therapy models, different medications et cetera; however, the medical and therapeutic staff at rehab have experience of working with countless individuals and their expertise can be invaluable when it comes to optimising your own journey to recovery.
Drug addiction isn’t always an instantly obvious problem; it often starts small. In fact, drug addiction sometimes begins with simple recreational use, or a “one-time” experiment, trying something new, or even a prescription for a much-needed painkiller after an accident or surgery. The trouble is that for some people—the ones who become addicted—the use of the addictive substance becomes frequent and a necessity.
Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs are based on science, evidence and our experience of what works best in helping people get sober and stay sober. Hazelden Betty Ford pioneered the field’s leading approach to addiction treatment and we continue to evolve and advance the use of evidence-based treatments in order to provide our patients with the best opportunity for lifelong recovery from substance use disorder. Some of the evidence-based treatments our clinicians use include: What happens in rehab?

Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself "treatment," but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications (SAMHSA, 2014). In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
While detox is often looked upon as one of the most difficult aspects of the recovery process, addicts aren’t in the clear once they make it through withdrawal.5The real work of recovery takes place post-detox in the therapeutic portion of treatment. In therapy, both individual and group, recovering addicts uncover the root causes behind their substance abuse, helping them to address these issues so they don’t cause them to return to substance abuse at a later date.3
Stimulants, such as tobacco, cocaine or prescription amphetamines, stimulate the brain and nervous system, causing increased alertness. Depressants, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, slow activity in the brain and nervous system, causing relaxation. Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, drastically disrupt the way the brain and nervous system communicate, causing hallucinations. Rehab: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
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