There are many terms to describe a place that provides a supportive environment for substance and alcohol abuse — a drug and alcohol rehab center, a drug treatment center, an alcohol rehabilitation center, a substance abuse treatment center. In most cases, these terms refer to a kind of residential addiction treatment center, although programs which involve intensive rehabilitation for outpatients and programs for day treatment or day/night treatment programs, also exist. A day/night program, for example, is a kind of center which offers many of the services of a residential treatment center, however, it uses more than one location to accomplish this goal. During the day, there’s group therapy and counseling in one location, while the actual residence is separated for the night. All have a goal to provide essentially the same service.
No matter what the name of the facility, all intend to provide a place that’s safe and supportive to the patient suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Generally, outpatient drug rehab programs are designed for those people who have already been through a residential drug treatment, or whose addiction to drugs and alcohol is less severe, regardless whether that person is addicted to drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, heroine, meth, crystal meth speed, or other opiates such as Vicodin, morphine, methadone, or Oxycontin.
Outpatient programs may also be recommended when the drugs are already out of the patient’s system — that is, after the patient has gone through detoxification or detox. Detox may be performed at some hospitals or at residential treatment centers, usually using a variety of drugs to bring the person’s body back to normal, through a variety of methods. For example, there’s opiate detox for heroin addiction, detoxification and substitution therapy for opiate addiction (which often uses treatments such as Subutex, Suboxone, Buprenorphine, and others). It’s recommended to go through a residential program first before an outpatient program, largely because the person must have some degree of separation from his or her drug or alcohol addiction. The person must be stable and able to function in an environment that’s uncontrolled.
Drug and alcohol rehab centers have been around for a little over a hundred years, from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. In the early days, though, they were known as “asylums” and the disease known as addiction and alcoholism were not recognized as a disease. It was considered a mental disorder not so different from schizophrenia or other types of psychoses. For this reason, many rehab centers have an association with mental health hospitals and treatment facilities. Even now, drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehab programs have a relationship with the treatment of mental health; in some cases, the treatment is combined in a dual diagnosis treatment center, because addiction problems may in fact be the result of people seeking solutions to a mental health issue, such as bipolar disorder.
In the 1950s, the concept of alcoholism and drug addiction as a disease arose, a concept which took time to become accepted. It’s growth came about side by side with the growth of twelve-step recovery programs which have its roots in the best known such program, AA or Alcoholics Anonymous, which originated in the 1930s.
Today, the field of addiction treatment, consisting of drug and alcohol rehab centers — has grown tremendously, most of which are based on the 12-step program. No matter what they’re called –alcohol rehabs, recovery centers, drug treatment programs, etcetera — they are intended as a place where people can find help in a safe environment.
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