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3 Arguments in Favor of Rehab

3 Arguments in Favor of Rehab

If you want your life to change, you have to change it

If you are deciding whether or not to go into a rehab facility, you are weighing a lot of factors. For the best outcome of treatment, you will need to prepare, commit and be willing to work with the program and its therapists. Before you get to that stage, how do you even know if going to rehab is the right step for your life in San Diego? The following are three reasons why going to rehab can be helpful:

  1. You want to get your life back – You are the only person who can make you better. “Rehab is not a passive process,” writes Richard Tait for Psychology Today.[1] “Recovery doesn’t happen just because you are ‘there’ in the treatment facility. You’ve got to be an active part of your life transformation. If you want your life to change, you have to change it. Addiction is a behavioral disorder, so you behave your way into a new life. Take advantage of every activity your treatment center has to offer. You never know what’s going to have the most meaning for you until you try it.”
  1. Medical help is often needed – Addiction is not just a weakness; it is a disease. There are proven ways that can help you break away from your addiction. Some may involve medications and therapies. These are things you cannot access on your own.

Medication and behavioral therapy, especially when combined, are important elements of an overall therapeutic process that often begins with detox followed by treatment and relapse prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)[2] says. “Easing withdrawal symptoms can be important in the initiation of treatment; preventing relapse is necessary for maintaining its effects. And sometimes, as with other chronic conditions, episodes of relapse may require a return to prior treatment components.”

NIDA notes that a “continuum of care that includes a customized treatment regimen — addressing all aspects of an individual’s life, including medical and mental health services and follow-up options can be crucial to a person’s success in achieving and maintaining a drug–free lifestyle.”

  1. It works – Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that treatment can help patients addicted to drugs stop using, avoid relapse and successfully recover their lives.[3] NIDA lists some of the principles of effective treatment:
  • Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
  • No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.
  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
  • Counseling—individual and/or group—and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
  • Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
  • An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
  • Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.
  • Medically assisted detox is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse.
  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
  • Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously as lapses during treatment do occur.
  • Treatment programs should assess patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk–reduction counseling to help patients modify or change behaviors that place them at risk of contracting or spreading infectious diseases.

But Not Everyone Gets Treatment

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older). Of these, only 2.6 million—11.2 percent of those who needed treatment—received it at a specialty facility.[4]

What to Look For in a Program

If you are considering and able to go into rehab, the following are some things to look for or to avoid when deciding where to go for yourself or a loved one.[5]

  • Do a thorough investigation of the facility and the program. What are the credentials of the staff, and who will be the point person with your loved one?
  • How long is the program, and what is its mission statement?
  • What do they specialize in?
  • How informed or kept up-to-date with your loved ones’ progress are you going to be?
  • Are you required to attend family therapy sessions, and if so, what is the agenda?
  • What does the aftercare look like? What do they suggest? Do they offer an outpatient program of their own?

It’s Up to You

Addiction is like any chronic illness, which the management requires ongoing care, writes Dr.

Joseph Nowinski Ph.D.,[6]  “including lifestyle changes and a degree of vigilance.” If you would like more information about what is important in choosing a rehab facility, call our admissions coordinators 24 hours a day, seven days a week at our toll-free helpline.

We can help you regain a sober lifestyle in San Diego.

[1] “Eight Best Ways to Make It through Rehab,” by Richard Tait, July 31, 2015, Psychology Today,

[2]  “Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction,” The National Institute on Drug Abuse, revised September 2009,

[3] Id.

[4] “Treatment Statistics,” National Institute on Drug Abuse, revised March 2011,

[5] “Choosing the Right Residential Rehab Program,” by Carole Bennett, Psychology Today, July 7, 2014,

[6] “Rethinking Rehab,” by Joseph Nowinski Ph.D., Psychology Today, Dec. 15, 2014,