Drug rehabilitation facilities comprise a vital component of the nation’s solution to the problem of substance abuse. If these establishments are not up to par, the efforts of the law enforcement and drug testing components of the war against illegal drugs will be wasted.
While it is encouraging that many such facilities have been established throughout the country, the rate at which they have sprouted up is also cause for concern. Being a largely unregulated business, the “addiction treatment” industry suffers from quality control issues. A considerable number of these establishments employ methods that border on pseudo-science.
It is not unlawful for people in a free country like ours to throw their money away on snake oil remedies and fanciful beliefs. However, when the prominence of these unwarranted cures causes people to forgo valuable help that would otherwise be their first option, then we have a serious problem.
Assuring quality among drug rehab centers throughout America is an extremely tall order: It may even be impractical to ensure quality without having to padlock a good number of establishments. There are a number of valuable pointers to bear in mind to improve drug rehabs and how they are run.
Drug Rehabs: What Can You Do to Improve?
1. Never forgo hard science
Drug rehab centers should adopt holistic outlooks to treatment and be open to various approaches that may contribute to the overall well-being of their patients. These so-called humanistic principles that regard the patient as a total person who needs spiritual as well as mental and physical healing will not hurt. They can only be harmful if they constitute the totality of the treatment and rehabilitation in the facility’s program and displace actual scientifically-founded methods.
There is undoubtedly much testimony and anecdotal evidence that exists on miraculous cures occurring in people at rehab centers who completely turned themselves around when they surrendered to a higher power. It is, however, not the sort of thing one should count on or hope for when being treated at these facilities. Even clerics who pray over these patients encourage the correct and compliant use of the medication employed at treatment facilities to help patients overcome their chemical addiction.
2. Praise the Lord, and pass the medication
The belief that the only way to kick the drug habit is to quit cold turkey is both archaic and potentially harmful. Many patients suffering from substance abuse or addiction are in need of appropriate detoxification medicines for long-term, stable recovery.
Sadly, changes in local legislation are still direly needed to provide access to such treatments for all patients suffering from opioid addiction. At the same time, not all treatment facilities are legally and technically equipped to provide such treatment. There are still rehab centers that subscribe to the abstinence-only model of substance withdrawal irrespective of the specific circumstances of their patients.
Apart from the inefficacy of a purely cold turkey approach, there are real dangers to be worried about. There have been instances of death in patients who overdosed immediately upon leaving the treatment facility as they were never informed of the role of maintenance medication in reducing their mortality risk.
3. Consider more outpatient treatment
Allowing patients to go home to their families and communities has been proven as a more effective approach in drug rehab than requiring them to remain in the facilities for the duration of their treatment. In the case of opioid abuse, outpatient maintenance with appropriately administered drugs such as buprenorphine or methadone has been shown to reduce mortality by at least half.
It is important to disabuse ourselves of the image of the perfect drug rehabilitation program being one that is conducted entirely in a resort or spa-like facility that famous rehabilitating celebrities are associated with. Complete recovery involves reintegration into one’s life, and not merely being kept off drugs while in the custody of a treatment center.
4. Enforce real standards
Developing and abiding by national standards of care would go a long way in rationalizing the drug rehab efforts of institutions throughout America. Patients and anybody who desires to overcome a substance abuse problem should never be shortchanged in the therapy and even diagnosis made available to them.
Drug tests should only be limited to the reliable products that are FDA approved and CLIA waived. Check out the Ovus Medical site to learn more about these tests and the many issues surrounding drug rehabilitation.