What is Traditional Drug Rehabilitation?

When a family searches for drug rehabilitation services to save the life of a loved one, they are faced with many choices. Inpatient, outpatient, long-term, short-term, faith-based, Twelve Step, dual diagnosis - there are many terms used to categorize all the available addiction treatment services.

There are also some programs that fall outside the boundaries of what some people would call traditional drug rehabilitation. It can be hard to know which way to go without some stable guidelines.

This article intends to define traditional drug rehabilitation and take a look at why an alternative program might be the best choice.

What are the Major Types of Service?

In general, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) describes conventional treatment this way: “In the past, traditional treatment methods for drug addiction and alcoholism have been characteristically intense and confrontational. They are designed to break down a client’s denial, defenses, and/or resistance to his or her addictive disorders, as they are perceived by the provider.”

Short-term program: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes the traditional short-term program as being based on the Twelve Step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This type of program originally treated alcoholics only but when cocaine addiction became epidemic in the 1980s, this treatment approach was used for other types of addiction. Treatment is intensive during the brief stay but it expected to be followed by lengthy involvement in an outpatient program similar to AA. In practice, many people do not receive this later care.

Long-term care: In the report Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment, NIDA describes a long-term program as one that provides 24-hour a day care, usually in settings other than hospitals. The most well-known types of long-term care, within the traditional model, is the therapeutic community. Recovering addicts who choose this program normally stay between six and eighteen months. The staff and residents provide the pressure on those in recovery to stay sober and develop a new, sober method of living. According to NIDA, this treatment can also be confrontational. Counseling and services are designed to help residents reshape their destructive patterns of behavior.

NIDA describes outpatient care as being more suitable for people who must work or those who have extensive support systems that will help them stay sober in the hours they are away from the treatment facility. Some programs may offer no more than drug education. Others may offer more intensive treatment. In this model, the more treatment and the more intensive it is, the higher the cost is likely to be.

Some outpatient programs may offer group counseling. The purpose of group therapy is to promote drug-free lifestyles and enable peer pressure to reinforce what each member is learning about living a new, sober life.

How Does Narconon Work and Why is it Not a Traditional Drug Rehab?

The Narconon program that has been saving lives for more than fifty years has a very different approach to recovery. This means that many people think of this program as an alternative drug rehab program.

mother with drug-free son

First, the basic philosophy is that a person can recover from addiction. And once recovered, that person does not need to consider himself or herself an addict. When the root causes of the substance abuse are addressed, when there is an effective way to lower cravings, when the depression and guilt are lifted and when the skills to make drug-free decisions are learned, each person has the tools to live a sober life. That is the path traveled at any one of the dozens of Narconon drug rehabilitation centers located around the world.

But this change is not something that happens overnight. It takes ten to twelve weeks or more of intense application to successfully work through these steps.

The Narconon New Life Detoxification

One essential phase of this recovery is the Narconon New Life Detoxification. This phase of recovery, completed early in the overall program consists of time spent in a low-heat sauna, a strict regimen of nutritional supplements and moderate daily exercise. This combination activates the body’s ability to flush out the drug toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body where they can stay for years. These residues have been shown to be involved in triggering cravings long after drug use stopped.

Narconon New Life Detox

Once the toxins are gone, those completing this phase talk about their better outlook and mood and how they can finally think more clearly and quickly. Most of them also say that their cravings are either greatly reduced or gone.

This type of innovation, carried throughout the Narconon program, is what makes this an alternative program. But then the results of this program are also very different from traditional programs.

The Success of Narconon

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Narconon program is that each person going through the program learns how to create his or her drug-free life. Mick, one of the recent graduates of Narconon stated it best when he said, “I found that I learned how to live a drug-free life myself, not from someone else telling me how to do it.

“I had been through so many rehabs that had not worked that I was hoping there was a different kind of program out there for me,” Mick continued. “I liked the idea of the sauna detoxification program that is part of this rehab,” Mick said. “And I liked the fact that there weren’t meetings where you talk about what you’ve done. In earlier programs, I found it was possible to be so glib that I got nothing out of the meetings.”

Find out how a non-traditional drug rehab program can be just what you are looking for.