Does Rehab Work?

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People who know they have a problem with drug or alcohol addiction often want to get help but aren’t sure how effective it can be. They know they have options for residential or outpatient treatment for substance use disorders, but want to feel confident before they make a commitment. Anyone wondering “Does rehab work?” can get the answer by understanding the how and the why of seeking this vital treatment.

What Does Rehab Mean?

When pondering the question “Does rehab work?”, the first thing many people want to know is what defines the word rehab. A common definition has to do with the initial treatment a person seeks once they accept the idea that they need professional help. In this case, rehab means going through the detoxification process, commonly referred to as detox. Detox rehab involves a person entering a residential program for a period of days or weeks in order to receive assistance dealing with the process of detox. 

A person who has spent a long time abusing drugs or alcohol builds up toxins related to the substances in their bodies. During the process of giving up the substances, the person typically experiences physical and emotional reactions that can be difficult to navigate. Detox rehab provides medical and psychological support to reduce and remove many of the symptoms, which provides the person with greater odds of finishing treatment and staying sober than those who try to do detox alone.

Other forms of rehab include steps that come after detox, which can include outpatient, intensive outpatient, and partial hospitalization treatment programs. These programs allow a person to attend treatment several days a week and return to their homes at night. Another type of rehab comes in the form of sober living homes, which are sometimes the next step after completing detox. Sober living homes provide a place for individuals to live long-term with other residents in recovery while they put living their newly sober lives into practice.

Does Rehab Work and How Long Does It Take?

How long rehab works depends on several factors, including how long a person has abused drugs or alcohol, how much they consumed, and what type of substance. While no set amount of time to be in treatment exists that guarantees a high success rate, experts believe that the longer a person participates in treatment, the better. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that when it comes to residential or outpatient treatment, participation for a minimum of 90 days provides the best results. Treatment for less than 90 days provides limited effectiveness, making it important that a person makes a full commitment to ongoing treatment for more than a short while. 

In short: Does rehab work? Yes, provided the person in treatment follows through by attending all necessary steps, from detox to outpatient treatment. Because about 40-60% of those who initially seek treatment for substance use disorders end up relapsing, it’s vital that they be willing to reenter treatment when necessary. Because of the commonality of relapse, part of understanding that rehab does work involves knowing that it may take more than one attempt at recovery to take hold permanently. 

Why Does Rehab Work?

Recovery isn’t a destination, but a journey, as the old saying goes. It’s not a simple matter of a person deciding not to drink or use drugs and then white-knuckling their way through urges. Rehab begins with the detox program that rids the body of deadly toxins and then continues into investigating why a person became addicted. Private and group therapy sessions in residential and outpatient programs help provide answers that lead to finding ways to sort out past life events and make any needed changes in a person’s current life. They learn to replace their addictive behaviors with healthy coping skills and build a life from which they don’t wish to be numb. 

The whole of addiction treatment typically involves pulling from more than one source to provide comprehensive care that addresses each person’s individual needs. These types of treatment can involve:

  • Cognitive-behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical-behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Support groups
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Experiential Therapy, which includes art therapy, wilderness therapy,  equine therapy, and more
  • Holistic treatment, which includes yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, and more

Does Rehab Work For Mental Health?

About half of all individuals who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction also deal with mental illness. Quality rehab programs can address both issues simultaneously, leading a person to leave treatment in better shape when it comes to both their addiction and their mental health. Often when a person learns to manage their mental illness symptoms, their urge to drink or use drugs in order to cope with them diminishes. 

Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Los Angeles

Reaching out for help for drug and alcohol addiction can feel scary. Launch Centers has helpful, understanding admissions counselors who can make you feel better about getting rehab help and changing the course of your life. We help young adults address their substance abuse and mental health issues with a program that also includes a focus on education and career concerns. 
Contact Launch Centers of Los Angeles and start a brand new sober life. Call us now to get started.

Our Team Members

Meet Our Clinical Team

  • Jess Beck, LCSW

    Clinical Director

  • Eric Chaghouri, MD


  • chloe kruskol

    Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

    Family Program Manager

  • Jose Hernandez, CADC

    Chief Executive Officer

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.


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