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detoxRecovering addicts often refer to a favorite drug as the best friend they ever had, until it became the worst enemy they ever had. The grip of substance abuse and dependence is hard to break, but it is not impossible. Millions of recovering addicts attest to the success of inpatient detox programs, and the secret lies in finding the right one.

Americans have a high regard for things that work. Common expressions like “Yeah, that’ll work” and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” show that people judge a product or service by its ability to perform a function successfully. Inpatient treatment works for many reasons, including two that are especially important:

  • immediate availability of assistance
  • no access to drugs


Understanding the Supportive Value of Inpatient Detox

Inpatient treatment for detox provides a setting that is constantly monitored by professionals who can handle serious complications that often occur in the process. By preventing the ability of a patient to access addictive substances, inpatient treatment allows recovery to proceed as smoothly as possible.

Different kinds of addictive substances are known to produce varying reactions, depending on many factors, and some are unpredictable. Withdrawal from alcohol dependence differs from other drugs, including these:

  • prescription medicines
  • stimulants
  • sedative hypnotics
  • anabolic steroids

Substances produce effects that may vary with each user, requiring tailored treatment in detox, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). As a department of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA has the responsibility to help America’s communities deal with the impact of mental illness and substance abuse. The agency has shown that treatment produces results in helping people recover from substance use disorders.

Success in treating addicts at inpatient detox centers depends on many factors, and professionals are prepared to manage a patient’s progress in recovery. Risk to health is increased when an addict attempts to detox without guidance and professional support.

Comparing Drug Treatment to Other Medical Conditions

A study reported by The Telegraph, a British publication, revealed that half of all surveyed patients who are supposed to take medicine for high blood pressure fail to do so. WebMD cites another study that shows the poor compliance with medical advice by asthma patients, with about 45 percent failing to take medications.

Consequences of failing to follow medical advice are well known, and they also show that relapse is often a consequence of struggling with health issues. Inpatient detox treatment gives an addict a chance to recover, just as medical protocols give heart and asthma patients a chance to manage their health concerns.

Assessing the Scope of Drug Abuse

The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports statistics that show drug use among various segments of the population. Young adults are shown as high abusers of prescription medicines, including pain relievers, anti—anxiety drugs, and ADHD stimulants. Some reasons include the desire to get high or to study better. In 2010, overdoses from prescription drugs resulted in almost 3,000 deaths among young adults, more than the total from cocaine and heroin combined. A survey by SAMHSA revealed these statistics:

  • more than 23 million people age 12 or older needed treatment for drugs in 2009
  • drug abuse affects more than nine percent of people who are age 12 or older
  • more than 40 percent of admissions to treatment facilities were related to alcohol
  • heroin addiction accounted for 20 percent of admissions

Addictive disorders vary according to the individual involved, spanning all age groups and segments of the population. Experts acknowledge that no one has a “magic bullet” for addiction treatment, but research shows that inpatient detox can produce successful results.

Finding an Effective Treatment Program

Accepting the idea that detox is not something to attempt alone is an important first step toward recovery. Some guidelines that indicate good practices include these:

  • use of treatments based on scientific evidence

Incorporating proven techniques regarding motivation, incentives, resistance, and problem-solving skills reflects the incorporation of scientific practices.

  • provision of a tailored program for each individual

One size does not fit everyone in shoes, rings, or detox treatment. Matching the unique challenges that face each patient with the right services is a mark of a successful facility. Some facilities offer other services in addition to drug treatment, including family therapy, job training, legal services, and others when needed.

  • ability to adapt treatment to meet changing needs

Ongoing assessment allows a professional to adapt a program to provide varying combinations of treatment methods. A treatment level that adapts to changes in a patient’s needs shows careful monitoring and flexibility.

  • adapting length of program to match patient needs

Addicts need to understand that recovery is a process that takes a long time, often requiring numerous periods of treatment. Some patients may require a number of months to achieve significant results. A reliable program monitors progress and offers guidance for maintaining recovery.

  • managing expectations

Finding a detox treatment provider that understands that relapse is likely to occur and that it does not mean failure is essential. Recovering from a long-term illness is expected to take time.

Accepting the Need for Professional Help

No one faults a person who has diabetes or hypertension for seeking professional assistance. The first step toward recovery is often the hardest one, admitting that the problem is too big for a person to handle alone.