The Rehab Center


Continued and regular substance abuse almost always results in significant changes in a person's body and brain chemistry.

Consequently, one of the first priorities in the rehabilitation process is the detoxification of the addict's body by ridding his or her system of the poisonous chemicals and their byproducts that remain.

While perfect or 100% detoxification can take months or perhaps years, licensed rehab centers and hospitals that specialize in rehabilitation provide doctor-administered medications, counseling, medical supervision, and other forms of therapy during the few hours or days of abstinence when withdrawal symptoms can be extremely painful, hazardous, and in some instances, deadly.

Alcoholics and Drug Addicts: Common Misconceptions

When they first start abusing drugs or alcohol, the vast majority of addicts tell themselves that they have control over the usage of their drug of choice and can therefore quit any time they desire on their own without requiring professional assistance.


Regrettably, a review of the substance abuse literature does not substantiate this perspective.

In fact, from a statistical standpoint, most addicts who quit taking the drugs and/or alcohol to which they are addicted and try to detoxify themselves on their own will be unsuccessful in the majority of instances, especially when viewed over an extended time frame.

Research into the effects of chronic, long-term addiction has revealed that substantial changes in the way the brain functions are present long after the addict has quit abusing alcohol or drugs.

Consequently, one of the rock-bottom realities for the vast majority of drug abusers and alcoholics is this: addicts who wish to recover from their addiction need more than strong willpower or self-control in order to accomplish successful recovery.

In fact, self-recovery and self-detoxification are exceedingly difficult for most people for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • The addict has to suffer through the withdrawal symptoms that typically take place after abruptly stopping the drug of choice.

  • The addict has to cope with and adjust to the changes in the manner in which his or her brain functions during abstinence.

  • The addict has to battle and resist the cravings for their drug of choice.

  • The addict has to overcome the physical, emotional, and the social reasons that usually underlie their addiction.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The immediate goal of drug and alcohol rehab is getting the individual through detox and through the withdrawal processes in a safe and "comfortable" manner.

The ultimate, long-range goal of drug and alcohol rehab, however, is to help the addict achieve lasting abstinence from alcohol and drug abuse as he or she learns how to more responsibly function in society.

Fortunately, professional drug and alcohol rehab centers, usually are capable of providing quality, effective rehab treatment that helps reduce the physical, medical, social, and the emotional complications of substance abuse.

Successful Drug and Alcohol Rehab: A Time Frame

Research demonstrates that alcohol and drug addicts who stay in rehabilitation longer than three months frequently experience more positive and more productive results than people who stay in rehab centers less than three months.

Furthermore, the substance abuse research literature reveals that addicts who go through medically assisted detox in an attempt to reduce the discomfort and danger of withdrawal but who do not receive additional follow-up in the form of outpatient counseling and treatment, perform about the same in terms of their substance abuse as individuals who never went through professional substance abuse rehab.

The moral of the story: successful rehab means more than detoxifying the body of accumulated drugs and alcohol.

Indeed, without counseling and medications throughout the entire process and without the necessary investment of time, effort, and resources, long-term, successful substance abuse rehab is not only difficult, but in most cases, impossible.

Inpatient Substance Abuse Rehab

Inpatient substance abuse centers offer counseling, education, medications, structure, support, and medical assistance for addicts who ask for help in dealing with their drug or alcohol problems.

Inpatients reside "on location" for the total length of the rehabilitation protocol. Although the length of time required for drug rehab may vary, most quality programs are at least 28 to 30 days long and offer 24/7 treatment.

Why would a person consider inpatient as opposed to outpatient substance abuse rehab? According to the research literature, inpatient drug rehabilitation, as compared with outpatient rehab, often results in longer-lasting abstinence and more effective and productive addiction recovery.

Fortunately, addicts who attend an inpatient drug rehab program and USE the new training, tools, and information they have received are frequently able to re-enter society and lead more responsible and productive alcohol and drug-free lives.

Outpatient Substance Abuse Rehab

Alcoholics and drug abusers who receive outpatient rehabilitation do not reside at the drug rehab center as they would in an inpatient drug rehab facility.

Similar to their inpatient counterparts, outpatient alcohol and drug abuse programs are formulated and implemented to provide long-term abstinence from alcohol and drugs.

In fact, a number of outpatient substance abuse programs last a number of months or even years.

Outpatient drug rehab approaches utilize a number of various treatment techniques including problem-solving groups and 12-step programs, as well as other "specialized" approaches such as insight-oriented psychotherapy, family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and individual and group counseling.

Outpatient substance abuse rehab programs vary in the intensity and the kinds of services that are offered.

For instance, whereas low-intensity outpatient drug and alcohol abuse rehab programs may provide little more than detoxification and minimal counseling and drug education, other outpatient substance abuse programs, such as those offering intensive day treatment, can be comparable to inpatient programs in terms of effectiveness and services offered.

In the final analysis, no matter what type of outpatient program is chosen, the ultimate goal of outpatient substance abuse rehab is to help the addict recover from his or her addiction so that he or she is able to re-enter society and lead a more successful, more responsible drug and alcohol-free life.

Alcohol and Drug Detox

The goal of detox is to rid the body of the poisons and chemicals that have accumulated due to alcohol o drug abuse.

As a consequence, the first step in the detox process typically centers on helping the dependent person safely overcome his or her withdrawal symptoms while his or her body is ridding itself of the alcohol and/or drugs that remain.

If the withdrawal symptoms are excessive, moreover, doctor-prescribed medications are often given that help reduce the pain and the damaging and the potentially deadly symptoms of substance abuse withdrawal.

Detoxification is carried out in a variety of ways depending on the extent of the protocol, where the treatment is undertaken, the general health of the substance abuser, and who performs the detox procedure.

Many detox centers provide basic medical treatment to help the dependent person avoid severe physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

At the high end of the treatment spectrum, however, a "comprehensive" detox or rehab center will not only help the individual manage and cope with his or her withdrawal symptoms (usually via doctor-administered medications), but they will also provide the alcohol or drug addict with counseling throughout the detoxification process so that he or she can start addressing and working through the emotional and foundational causes that most likely led to the individual's dependency.

Once this is rigorous task is undertaken and progress has been made, the substance abuser will be more able to achieve long-lasting abstinence and recovery without suffering through a relapse.

Three Stages of an Alcohol and Drug Detox Program

A thorough substance abuse detoxification includes the following three separate, but interrelated, phases:

  1. Medical Detox. A medical practitioner will supervise, control, and manage the physical withdrawal symptoms, thereby helping the substance abuser complete this stage in a safe atmosphere that contains few, if any complications. Contrary to the opinions of many, if not most people, interestingly, a thorough, comprehensive medical detox can last several days.

  2. Psychological Detox. Since substance abuse detox can be extremely demanding on an addict's psychological health, many of the more effective and professional detox and rehab centers provide addicts with counseling throughout the overall detoxification procedure. Due to the fact that the dependency on drugs has become such an intrinsic part of the addict's social, mental, and emotional makeup, these critical components of the addict's life need to be identified and worked through in therapy and in counseling if recovery is to be effective and long-term.

  3. Physical Detox. Once the substance abuser's brain and body are no longer dependent on drugs, he or she will need to work on building up his or her physical health. A nutritionist and a physical therapist can be helpful during this stage, helping the alcohol or drug abuser develop physical stamina while eating a balanced diet, both of which will go a long way in helping him or her continue and succeed through the rest of the detoxification process.

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers: Types of Programs

A review of the different types of programs that are available at various rehab centers is almost overwhelming. The following represents a fairly extensive list of the many different rehab possibilities that are available to virtually ANY addict:

  • Sober living home programs.

  • Women only programs.

  • Non 12-step programs (treatment approaches that focus on a non 12-step methodology including education, individual counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and FDA approved doctor prescribed medications.

  • Programs by various States and regions.

  • Dual diagnosis programs (addicts who struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse).

  • GLBT programs (programs for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and transsexuals).

  • Relapse prevention.

  • Inpatient programs.

  • Suboxone programs (programs employing FDA approved medications for the treatment of opiate dependence).

  • Teen wilderness programs.

  • Men only programs.

  • Young adult programs (ages 18 - 27)

  • Multiple disorder programs (for people with a number of "problems" such as drug addiction, eating disorders, alcoholism, sex and love addictions, etc.).

  • Outpatient Programs.

  • Faith-based treatment (for instance, Christian and Jewish-oriented therapies).

  • High-profile-people programs (offering full amenities such as a yoga and life coach, a daily massage, an enjoyable scenic view, and a private room).

  • Self-help programs (including listings for national self-help groups, organizations, help lines, and public awareness programs).

  • Mature adult programs (over age 55).

  • Teen boot camps.

  • Holistic approaches (with a focus on customizing the treatment for the whole person).

  • 12-step programs (based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model).

  • Teen only programs (age 13 - 19).

  • Adolescent programs (age 12 - 20).

  • Specific programs for different drugs (alcohol, heroine, crystal meth, cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs such as oxycontin, darvocet, percocet, vicodin).

The Cost for Treatment at Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centers

The cost for alcohol and drug addiction detox and rehab is as varied as the number of different possible programs that are available.

Keep in mind, nevertheless, how imperative it is to know precisely what is included in the program you select, what services your health insurance provider will pay for, and what will be added later to your bill as a "fee-for-service" option.

If you are searching for the best value for your treatment dollar, keep in mind that price only makes sense in terms of the quality, effectiveness, and outcome of the program that is selected.

As a final note, be alert to the fact that most insurance companies do not typically pay for programs that are considered to be "educational" as opposed to those that are "medical." Fortunately, most of the educational programs, fortunately, can be paid for via the major credit cards.

As a broad guideline, it is worth pointing out that the national average for a 30-day detox/rehab inpatient program costs between $20,000 and $30,000.

Conversely, one particular well-known drug rehab facility advertises that it costs $10,000 for their 28-day drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.

The moral of the story: shop around, ask questions, use good decision-making, and you can probably find a quality detox/rehab program that you can afford.

Self-Payment Costs At Residential Rehab Centers

The following represents some of the self-payment costs that can be found at a variety of inpatient rehab/detox facilities:

  • Detox: $400 per day

  • PROMETA (Alcohol): $13,000

  • Transitional living: $70 per day

  • Intensive Outpatient (20 sessions): $3,500

  • Residential Treatment (30 days): $8,500

  • PROMETA (Methamphetamine/Cocaine): $15,000

Note: The PROMETA treatment protocol uses prescription medications and nutritional supplements to reduce physiological cravings so that instances of relapse are significantly reduced.

The Cost for Outpatient Rehab Programs

The cost for 30-day rehab/detox outpatient programs can be as low as $2,500 and as high as 6,000 or more, depending on the program, the services offered, the client base, and the scope of treatment provided.

Conclusion: The Rehab Center

One of the first priorities in recovery from addiction is to detoxify the body from the toxic chemicals and their byproducts that are in an addict's system.

While "total" detoxification can take months or perhaps years, licensed rehab centers provide medical supervision, counseling, and medications during the first few hours or days of abstinence when withdrawal symptoms can be physically unbearable, dangerous, or in some instances, fatal.


The short-term goal of drug rehab is to help the addict get through detox and surmount the withdrawal process.

Fortunately, professional drug rehab done at detox centers usually helps minimize the medical, physical, social, and the psychological complications of drug abuse.

After the drug and alcohol abuser has gone through the detoxification process and overcome his or her withdrawal symptoms, the long-term goal of alcohol and drug rehab can start: helping the addict achieve long-term abstinence while helping him or her function more effectively and appropriately in society.