The Development of Rehabilitation Throughout the Years

HHRC-Men and women sitting in a circle during group therapy, talking

Drugs have been overused for hundreds of years throughout the world, and their effects have been felt for the same amount of time. Since the invention of drugs, there have always been some who misused them, leading to full-fledged addiction and the plethora of adverse effects that come with it. Drug treatment programs began to emerge as addiction’s physical and mental health consequences became recognized. As a result, drug treatment centers in the United States have a history dating back hundreds of years.

The Evolution of Rehab 

Humans and their predecessors have had alcohol to drink for as long as fruit has withered on branches; recovery history goes back further than we would believe.

Opium poppies have bloomed for thousands of years, Cannabis may have been used in the rites of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and tobacco use may be over 7,000 years old.

Addiction isn’t a new phenomenon. Addiction therapy is also not new.

However, addiction therapy and the nature of recovery have altered dramatically since rehab was founded. Addiction therapy approaches were treated differently by the brains of each age, and the alternatives offered to the modern-day patient battling with drug use disorders and mental health difficulties have substantially improved.

Addiction experts today actually stand on the shoulders of giants, and it may be easier to understand how sophisticated 21st-century therapies are if you know how they started.

The Beginnings of Rehab 

The terrible reality of addiction therapy is that addiction was not always treated since it was not always considered as a sickness.

Addiction, according to Aristotle, was a “incontinence of will,” which meant that people who struggled to moderate their substance use were considered as lacking in character.

Scientists and scholars eventually recognized that even the most moral and upright people had difficulty controlling their drinking and drugging. Physician Benjamin Rush was the first person to talk about addiction in the context of a disease.

Rush’s intoxication remedies may make us giggle; the doctor advised producing vomiting in inebriated folks by “thrusting a feather down the throat” to ” stimulate a puke.”

Dr. Rush also suggested cold-water baths, bloodletting, instilling negative feelings (guilt, humiliation, and rage) in the addicted person, and even flogging as “rehabilitation punishment”

Surprisingly, these correctional rehabilitation techniques did not always succeed (indeed, some patients may have had to go see a different doctor after seeing Dr. Rush). However, nearly 100 years after Rush’s death, addiction therapy advanced once again: the world received its first real rehab.

Jazz and Methadone: The First Rehabilitation  Program

In the 1930s, the federal government established the first drug treatment clinic in Kentucky.

Someone passing by the US Narcotic Farm could have heard the lovely sounds of free-flowing jazz wafting over the freshly-cut hay and newly-harvested crops that decorated the location. Because the academics behind America’s first rehabilitation wanted to learn more about opioid addiction, and jazz musicians were among those who received professional addiction therapy,

Individuals like Sonny Rollins and Chet Baker (early 20th-century rock and roll icons) spent considerable time at the US Narcotic Farm to understand their addictions and discover how to best fit into the environment around them.

The Narcotic Farm featured some unique (by today’s standards) tactics; patients were urged to work hard and, in some circumstances, play music for as long as 6 hours a day – allegedly, idle hands do the devil’s job.

Furthermore, patients were compensated with Morphine in return for their involvement in addiction tests.

This chapter in addiction treatment history might suggest that art and being busy can help one reorient and enjoy their lives. While rewarding patients with Morphine may not be an effective treatment method, many people in recovery could still benefit from their sharpened creativity and possibly some well-deserved rewards to manage withdrawal symptoms and face the challenges of starting a new, sober life.

“Tough Love” Therapy with Synanon 

The 1950s saw a new era in addiction therapy, with Synanon, a now-defunct cult, advocating for various revolutionary approaches to addiction treatment. Their technique was creative; nonetheless, it was also harsh and represented a sad chapter in treatment history.

According to Los Angeles magazine, a fundamental component of Synanon’s therapy technique “became known as Games or simply the Game, where members would gather in a circle and call others out on their secrets, dishonesties, and hypocrisies.”

In other words, group members would want to humiliate their countrymen, a tactic known as “tough love.” This technique demonstrated Synanon’s toxicity; eventually, members would be forced to make highly personal — and occasionally violent — decisions at the demand of the top leadership.

Synanon, in some ways, signaled the end of a challenging phase of addiction treatment; the following decade covered, the 1990s, prepared the foundation for contemporary treatment standards.

The 1990s: A Different Kind of Recovery 

“Recovery advocates who helped birth contemporary addiction therapy in America expressed worry in the 1990s that something had been lost through the professionalization and commercialization of addiction treatment,” according to an essay published in the Addiction magazine in 2007.

Finally, it became clear that addiction science should enhance the treatment and life trajectory of a person suffering from drug use disorders and mental health issues rather than a more comprehensive, pharmacological-therapy complex.

Numerous new ideas have appeared on the scene, with science, empathy, and open-mindedness at the helm. That brings us up to the present day — and the treatment choices accessible to anybody attempting to manage drug use disorders and mental health concerns in our fast-paced world.

Rehabilitation for criminal justice also proliferated during this chapter. Prison time can discourage future criminal behavior so rehabilitation in prisons were added on top of the serving time by providing vocational training or wellness programs.

Luxury Rehab and the Future of Rehabilitation 

The medications and therapies offered to those seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction or mental health issues reflect the best of prior techniques developed throughout history.

Patients may now benefit from the best that practitioners like Dr. Rush have to offer (without the questionable directives). Adventure therapy can be founded on exposure to the elements, such as cold air and water, and exhilarating physical difficulties.

Additionally, art and music therapy, such as that done at the Narcotic Farm, has advanced further than ever before; patients may now utilize their creativity to control mood and create meaning that securely exceeds any feeling of fulfillment that drug or alcohol use may have offered.

Finally, group therapy, such as that done at Synanon (with the aspect of peer support but without harassment), can provide essential psychological support to anybody in recovery who needs a buddy or a listening ear.

The “fresh” recovery of the 1990s — a mission based on the uniqueness and goals of each person undergoing treatment — has reached a whole new level in the current format of advanced rehabilitation systems that adopt every method for patient recovery; numerous program offers round-the-clock care, caring attitudes, and individually tailored accommodations.

Experience the Best Rehab Program with Us 

You never know which therapy approach or treatment center will be ideal for you unless you try it. If you are suffering from a drug use disorder or a mental health issue, speak out today and call a treatment provider that can answer your questions and offer you with a road map of prospective treatment alternatives for free.

Haven House Recovery is one of the best choices for rehab centers in Nashville, TN to start your path to rehabilitation. For men, our rehab center in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, follows a 12-step, Christian-based rehab approach. Our staff is committed to creating a supportive, caring, and loving atmosphere. Call us right away!