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Can Community-Based Drug Rehab Work?

When it comes to drug addiction treatment, the involvement of the community is often a considerable element. While many treatment centers incorporate community-based programs, the verdict is still out on whether these alone are enough. Addiction is a complex and progressive disease, and community-based drug rehab doesn’t always include the medical attention recovering addicts need. Let’s explore the ins and outs of community-based drug rehabilitation to figure out if they can be a helpful path toward recovery.

What is Community-Based Drug Rehab?

Community-based drug rehab is all about treatment programs integrated into the community. It includes detox, aftercare, and other non-specialists services. Community support is an essential component of effective treatment; however, it isn’t the only one. These programs help patients develop skills to help them manage their addiction better and cope with their communities’ issues. 

  • Available in the community
  • Support mobilization of community resources and participation
  • Focus on a bio-psycho-social approach
  • Primarily an outpatient setting
  • Part of continuum care
  • Integrates community health and social services
  • Voluntarily accessible and affordable 

In most cases, these treatment services are available where and when they are needed. They can be delivered in various settings, including schools, addiction agencies, the client’s home, or other service settings.

Types of Community-Based Treatments

Although most community-based drug rehabs happen in non-professional settings, some rehab centers incorporate these programs in their treatment plans. After all, the community around a recovering addict is vital for achieving long-term recovery and sobriety.

Long-term Residential Treatment

In the first place, it’s common to find these types of treatment at long-term residential treatment facilities. These programs usually follow the therapeutic community (TC) treatment model. It’s all about the patient’s resocialization and incorporating the staff, other residents, and the community around the treatment center. 

These forms of rehab view addiction in the context of someone’s social and psychological deficits. Thus, treatment focuses on developing accountability, responsibility, and socially productive life after treatment. A rigid structure incorporates activities to help patients analyze damaging beliefs, self-concepts, and destructive patterns of behaviors that might fuel their addiction. Then, it focuses on teaching new, more constructive, and harmonious ways to interact with others while working on themselves. 

Moreover, research shows that this form of treatment can help treat individuals with special needs, including adolescents, people with mental health disorders, and those in the criminal justice system. 

Group Counseling

Group therapy is a significant component of most drug rehab programs. A considerable portion capitalizes on the social reinforcement peer discussion provides while promoting a drug-free lifestyle. Research shows that group therapy, combined with individualized counseling that incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management, draws positive outcomes.

However, group counseling settings are challenging to standardize, limiting the way we track evidence and results. Group counseling led by a professional therapist can be an essential component of drug rehab. The problem arises with community-based group counseling sessions since these are usually led by recovering addicts or others in the community. 

While these group settings provide a positive and encouraging environment, they can’t address someone’s addiction’s psychological, emotional, and physical aspects. As we mentioned before, addiction is a complex disease of the brain that requires evidence-based treatment to help treat someone’s illness.

Outpatient Treatment

Also, outpatient programs often incorporate and encourage community-based rehabilitation to help recovering addicts improve their social skills and coping mechanisms. This is why aftercare support is paramount for maintaining long-term recovery and sobriety. By combining these programs into outpatient rehabilitation, patients can nurture a sense of community, feel less isolated, and prevent relapse.

Are These Programs Effective?

Statistics show that “community-based” or free-standing programs treat 53 percent of all drug abusers seeking recovery. However, most community-based drug rehab programs don’t have a standardized method of tracking any statistical progress of those receiving treatment. Community-based substance abuse treatment hopes to help people see their drug abuse as individuals and society members. How they became addicted, what sustains them in their addiction, and the primary source of motivation for “recovery” lies in their relationships and changing relationships with communities of people having similar social identities.

Perhaps the most popular community-based drug treatment programs are Alcohol and Narcotics Anonymous with their twelve-step plans. While they’re community-based programs, they’re quite successful as aftercare programs and long-term support groups prevent relapse and promote long-term sobriety. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a formidable number of how effective these types of community-based rehab programs are. The verdict remains that these programs should be part of a larger, more comprehensive treatment plan incorporating other forms of evidence-based therapies for addiction. 

In the end, the combination of medication-assisted therapy, individual therapy, personalized therapies to address co-occurring mental illness or trauma, with group therapy seems to be the key to a successful rehab program. 

Finding Help Near You

Addiction is a chronic disease, and people struggle with substance abuse for a myriad of reasons. The early stages of addiction recovery can be challenging. Coping with stress, anxiety, depression, co-occurring disorders, and other ailments can make the recovery process even more challenging. 

Finding long-term recovery heavily depends on finding a reliable support system. Enrolling in an aftercare addiction recovery program can help those in recovery find the support they need to go back to their daily responsibilities. 

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe drug addiction recovery is a lifelong journey, which is why we’re there for our patients throughout their road to recovery and well after completing treatment. Our doors are always open to offer support, guidance, and relapse prevention strategies.

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