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As the problem of addiction has gained public attention in recent years and become less stigmatized, people are becoming more aware of the different types of rehabilitation treatment available to addicts and their loved ones. Whether the addiction is to drugs, alcohol, gambling, binging, purging, or starvation, rehabilitation treatment involves a combination of both physical and psychological therapy under qualified practitioners. While some types of rehabilitation treatment are available to addicts on an outpatient basis, there are also rehabilitation clinics or centers which treat patients in-house as part of an intensive rehabilitation program.
Some of the best-known outpatient programs for rehabilitation treatment include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for alcoholics, and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for drug addicts. There are also companion programs for each of these groups which assist the family and friends of addicts: Al-Anon for the loved ones of alcoholics, and Nar-Anon for the loved ones of drug addicts. These programs are conducted on an outpatient basis, meaning their members attend meetings at their own convenience rather than living temporarily in a rehabilitation clinic or other facility. AA, NA, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon programs operate in various locations across the globe, and can be found in the phone book or online. In addition, many other specific addictions have their own 12-step support groups.
Rehabilitation centers admit patients into a program which is typically onsite, lasting roughly 30-90 days. In recent years, many rehabilitation centers have received public attention due to the media spotlight placed on public figures who have taken part in rehab programs. If the patient at a rehabilitation center is struggling with a substance abuse problem, one of the first steps of rehabilitation treatment is detox, which involves monitoring the patient for a set period of time while the drugs or alcohol are released from the system. Detox is often a painful process depending on the severity of the addiction, as the patient will undergo withdrawal symptoms associated with the substance he or she is addicted to.
In addition to detox and other medical components of rehabilitation treatment, therapy or counseling is also integral to helping an addict with his or her addiction. Therapy sessions typically help patients uncover events in their lives which may have prompted them to consciously or unconsciously “self-medicate” with drugs or alcohol in an attempt to regulate their emotional state. In addition to individual therapy, rehabilitation treatment may also include group therapy with other patients who are experiencing similar struggles with addiction, or family therapy, which includes the patient’s loved ones.
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