No one can dispute the prevalence of substance abuse on a global scale, and no one can dispute the fact that the social and economic impact of alcohol and drug abuse is devastating. It doesn’t just contribute towards crime in all forms; it also contributes towards domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, the spread of blood-borne diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C, and destroys families.
Substances of choice
Some of the most commonly abused substances worldwide include crystal meth or methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and alcohol. Drug dealers are becoming more resourceful in making these substances easily available, not only to adults, but also to young children of school-going age. As a result, pre-teen addiction is becoming a significant problem in various parts of the world.
Addiction is not selective; anyone can be become an addict. Whilst the percentage of drug users may vary according to social or economic divide, no sector of society is granted immunity from the problem. The on-going global recession is not making things any easier, either. Many people turn to drugs to escape the misery and depression that result from long-term unemployment. However, maintaining addiction costs money, which adds to users’ financial difficulties and which often results in addicts turning to crime in order to afford their habit.
What is substance abuse rehabilitation?
Alcohol and drug rehabilitation relies on different treatment programmes to address a user’s particular dependency.
There are many drug rehabilitation programmes. However, despite the fact that addiction is treatable, not every treatment succeeds. This is because addiction is made up of so many different facets that the treatment itself cannot be generalised, it needs to be tailored to meet the individual needs of every addict.
Achieving sobriety is by no means a small feat; it requires the user’s commitment, as well as family support. There are a number of self-help organisations that provide on-going long-term support for addicts in recovery. There are also many post-rehab facilities that accommodate those who do not wish to return back to the environment that facilitated their addiction in the first place. These are people who have completed primary and secondary treatment and who are in the process of working through a recovery programme.
The want for change is as important as the change itself
What always needs to be remembered is that addicts have to want to change because change won’t happen by itself. The journey to sobriety begins with recognizing the problem. With the right help, an addict can be made to understand the impact of their addiction on the people around them.
Research also shows that the best likelihood of success is when inpatient treatment exceeds 30 days with odds improving substantially after 60 or 90 days. This is why an extended care community is essential, as it provides a healthy, low-stress post-treatment environment for as long as recovering addicts need. These communities help recovering addicts maintain their recovery lifestyle, and equip them with the tools to better cope with the stressors in life that could otherwise cause a relapse.
The road to recovery may not be a short one, but with the right help in the right environment, success can is that much more attainable.
Eleni Hoplaros writes for a Cape Town-based post-rehab treatment facility, which provides the care and support necessary to maintain substance abuse treatment programmes that were started in in-patient rehabilitation centres.