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Drug rehabilitation is sometimes thought to be an unsuccessful venture. This is because the usual success rate of a rehab program runs around 25%. As dismal as that number seems, it explains why so many people go through the rehabilitation process over and over again before they finally reach the point of stable sobriety. It also leads one to question the value of the whole idea of drug rehabilitation. The truth is that properly done rehabilitation IS successful and the only reason it's considered otherwise is that it's seldom done properly.
When a person has been dabbling in drug abuse long enough, a change takes place in their nervous system as well as in most systems in their body. This change occurs slowly; the body doesn't easily alter in any fundamental ways. But over time and with repeated use of the drugs, newly formed pathways in the brain become more and more prevalent. Short-cuts to pleasure become preferable to the natural ways of achieving satisfaction. Every time the drug is used, these changes set in more firmly into the body and the nervous system. The drug abuser's new, drug-centered actions become the usual.
Drug abuse alters the user's body in other ways. One of the liver's many functions is to break down and eliminate toxins. But the rapid consumption of drugs to which most druggies subject their bodies puts an unbelievable stress on all the actions of the liver. With alcohol, it's a 24 hour a day job to break the drug down and save the life of the drinker. The result is that some of the other functions of the liver can be neglected. But damage is occurring. And because the liver has the ability to regenerate itself, symptoms of liver damage may not appear until damage to the organ is quite extensive.
The dug abuser's thinking processes are also changing. Thought patterns are altered and things that formerly brought pleasure to them seem passe and banal. This can be a much more rapid change than the physical change and the factors that go into this alteration are many. New friends who also use the drug(s) are sought out and admired during the initial period of abuse. Their whole way of looking at the world around them often changes and the new world is more exciting, colorful and accepting than the old, normal world. This is attractive to the new drug abuser and they feel as though they've taken a step upward, rising above their former peers in awareness and understanding. They're seeing life from a new perspective and it looks to them to be a superior perspective, one from which they can see their environment in more depth and clarity.
Of course, this is a false and drug induced consideration that the person shares intimately with his or her new druggie buddies. As time goes on and more drugs are used and more fellow druggies are met, the now more experienced drug user is sinking more and more deeply into this shame world he is creating. This world is also insulating the user from reality. Comments like, "What's so great about reality?" "What good is being straight if the world is so boring and colorless compared to the world when I'm high?" demonstrate the new perspective. Anyone who mentions the negative effects of this new life-style is seen as not quite with-it. They don't see life as "deeply" and are pitied for their lack of depth. Sharing these types of feelings with their circle of drugged friends builds a sort of mutual admiration society and adds to the individuation and isolation from the non-drugged world. "We see the truth these poor 'straights' are just not aware enough to see."
Unfortunately, most drug rehab programs don't understand or know how to deal with these issues, so we see the low averages of recovery success.
All of these factors must be addressed for a rehabilitation program to be effective on the majority of participants. The recovering addict must also understand them fully and with the proper treatment can overcome their tendencies to cause cravings and relapse.
Rather than choosing a treatment facility randomly, or simply picking a name from the phone book, contact a rehabilitation counselor who has the experience to guide you and/or your loved one toward a solution to these issues and you will improve the chances of a successful recovery immensely.