Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

Drug Rehabilitation Techniques

It is extremely unfortunate that drug addiction is so common these days. The ease of attaining illegal drugs has become all too simple, leading to more and more people becoming addicted to narcotics. As unfortunate as this rise in drug addiction is, there are several options to help people rehabilitate. The support groups available along with the rehabilitation facilities are helping to get people clean every day.

Drug addiction doesn’t just refer to illegal substances. It also refers to pain killers, alcohol, and any psychoactive substance. The street drugs that are what people will become addicted to include cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and amphetamines. Most know that each of these drugs can have a negative effect on one’s ability to perform daily tasks if taken; however, they may not realize just how much these drugs will affect one’s ability to think rationally. Once addicted, the person cannot function without the drug in their system; they become dependent upon the drug to work. The drug addiction will make the addict do unthinkable things just to get their next high, and their life is no longer their own; the addiction controls it.


The idea behind drug rehabilitation is not to just get people off needing drugs as a necessity but to help them return to everyday life. Although it is not easy, becoming clean is the goal of every patient that heads into drug rehab. This is not the only goal; they will be looking to avoid any relapse once the rehabilitation is complete. This is accomplished in a variety of different ways. This is a step by step process; let us take a look at these steps.


The first step of drug rehabilitation is to ensure no narcotics or alcohol in the system. This is often referred to as detoxification or detox for short. During the detox, the patient is often subjected to several withdrawal symptoms. It is the withdrawal symptoms that will often cause people to give up on rehabilitation. The withdrawal symptoms that a patient may suffer may include:

  • mood swings
  • anxiety
  • body aches and pains
  • fatigue
  • excessive hunger
  • shakes and sweats
  • nausea and vomiting
  • delirium
  • depression

These are just a few of the many withdrawal side effects that a patient coming off drugs may face. During the detoxification process, the patient may need intravenous fluid replacement, nutritional supplements, and even pharmaceutical therapy.

Social Detox

Not only must the patient have no traces of drugs in their system, but they will also need to make a change to their social life. Avoiding the people and areas where taking the narcotics was a norm is imperative to prevent any relapse. The most effective form of social detox is to use group therapy and one on one counselling. When people take narcotics, they can experience a stage of high, which is a moment of euphoria. This high is what captures drug users and what they become addicted to. If the recovering addict is surrounded by people who are still getting high, they may be persuaded to do so by their stories.


Environmental Changes

The environment that is selected during drug rehabilitation makes a significant difference to the success of the recovery. The environment that is set when attempting a drug rehab needs to be ideal for sobriety. The decision of which domain to select should be based on the symptoms one is suffering from, inpatient or outpatient. An environment where people are using drugs on a regular basis will make it easy for the drug recoveree to fall back into that life. Living in a drug-free residence in an area where drugs aren’t easily accessible will be imperative to avoid any reuse or relapse.


If you are suffering from the following symptoms, then inpatient rehab is more suitable:

  • The patient is bipolar or has psychological or medical disorders.
  • Any previous drug or alcohol withdrawal issues in the past.
  • Patient is experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms or health issues related to the addiction.
  • There is a chance that the patient is likely to relapse because of the environment they will be residing in.

If the patient exhibits the following symptoms during their rehabilitation, then an outpatient rehab is suitable:

  • The withdrawal symptoms that the patient experiences are mild and can be controlled. The patient is not having outbursts due to the lack of drugs.
  • When the patient is willing and able to hold down employment.
  • The environment is suitable for recovery from drug addiction. The person won’t have access to drugs or be in a situation where medicines are made readily available.


Studies have shown that the patient will be more likely to have a successful rehabilitation if they stay longer in the treatment facility. Those who leave and return to the same environment they left have a higher chance of relapsing.


Avoiding a Relapse

When going through drug rehabilitation, the biggest fear is that the patient relapses. A drug relapse occurs when the patient exhibits previous behaviour and reuses the substance they were rehabilitated from.


To avoid a relapse, the sufferer will require support from the right group of people. They will need to prevent an environment that gives them the urge to reuse or be pressured into doing so. This may take a complete change of their lifestyle and even a drastic move to a different area. Drug rehabilitation is almost like hitting reset on life; this may mean that a whole new group of friends and, in some cases, the avoidance of a family member.


If the patient does not have the right support once they have finished their rehabilitation, a relapse could occur. Once the patient has relapsed, they will fall back into the life that leads to addiction to drugs. This lifestyle will often result in serious health issues and may lead to severe problems, including death. Ensuring that the right drug rehab is selected for the patient and that the full rehabilitation process is completed will help prevent any relapse.


Photo by Vinicius Wiesehofer on Unsplash