Is there a Difference Between a Rehab Centre and a Treatment Centre?

While the words may be used interchangeably in casual conversation, there is a difference between substance abuse treatment and rehab. According to NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a treatable, chronic disease that can be managed successfully. In a lot of ways, addiction is very similar to chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes. It can be treated. It can be managed. But the reality of the situation is that addiction isn’t something that disappears after a short stint in rehab. It’s something you learn how to manage in a treatment center.

Exploring the Difference Between Rehab and Treatment

Generally speaking, rehabs are created by addicts and alcoholics that want to help other addicts and alcoholics. At its heart, it’s a great idea with a lot of good intentions behind it, but the unfortunate truth is that a lot of rehab centers are still focused on the idea of “curing” addiction through various activities and methods that are based solely on a few people’s experience in addiction recovery.

Despite our name, Calm Rehab is very much a treatment center in Bali, with a number of proven treatment modalities used to aid the clients’ recovery and delivered by qualified professionals. Unlike most treatment centers in Asia, we are not 12-Step based, instead we create person-centered treatment plans, some which may be based around abstinence, while others fall into the harm reduction method.

Addiction treatment has grown a lot over the years. As we’ve learned more and more about the nature of addiction and how it affects a person’s way of thinking, the focus has shifted from “curing” alcoholics to rehabilitating them. This change of emphasis from removing addiction to treating addiction may seem like semantics, but it’s important that people understand that sobriety isn’t something you gain and keep. It needs to be maintained and managed overtime.

Substance Abuse Treatment Relies Heavily on Proven Methods of Therapy

Substance Abuse Treatment

Treatment centers aren’t experimenting with different off-the-wall treatment options, they’re following a simple, proven formula to help recovering addicts get back on their feet. This all begins with getting the user off drugs or alcohol. After this, the focus of treatment shifts to repairing the damaging effects that drugs and alcohol had on the user. These two steps generally occur during detox, a process based in clinical research rather than a vague idea of “what may work” for addicts. The goal of this process is to give substance abusers a chance to rid their body of drugs and alcohol in a safe, substance-free environment before giving them the tools they need to maintain that sobriety in the real world.

After detox, treatment centers work to teach recovering addicts the coping skills required to abstain from drugs and alcohol in the future. That means building a support system, learning what to do when you experience cravings, and learning how to express emotion through healthy outlets. There are a lot of different methods that can be employed in a treatment center, but none of them are untested or unproven. Treatment specialists are bound to proven, effective methods of treatment, and that’s a good thing! People are fallible, and while personal experience can give someone a lot of insight, not every personal experience is universal. In fact, so many aspects of addiction recovery are unique to each person and what may have been beneficial for one person, can cause another to falter in their sobriety.

How to Tell the Difference Between a Treatment Center and a Rehab

There are a lot of questions you can ask a substance abuse center to determine whether they are a treatment center or a rehab. You can ask them to elaborate on any of the below topics as well. A treatment center is always going to be open and clear when answering your questions.

  • Do they offer medically assisted treatment/detox?
  • Are treatment specialists, nurses, or doctors on staff?
  • Are their methods based on the disease model of addiction?
  • What methods of therapy are used throughout treatment?
  • Can they give you a basic summary of their treatment plan?
  • Avoid substance abuse centers that use words like “eclectic”, “spiritual”, and “mindfulness” when answering these questions. These words have very little meaning and have little-to-no relation to addiction treatment.

Overall, you want to find an addiction treatment center that will answer your questions with concrete responses. They will give you actual details such as their methods of therapy and interventions. They should be willing and able to guide you through their system of therapies, while also providing the objectives of those therapies. Their explanations should paint a clear picture of how each treatment methods works together and what the expected outcome of those methods are. If they can’t do that, then you may not be speaking with a treatment center. You may be talking to a rehab.

For more information on the various treatment modalities used by Calm, or our approach to treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 


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