The Importance of Staying Medication Compliant After Rehab
Any form of rehabilitation is difficult if the patient doesn’t cooperate with their physician and the prescribed procedures for recovery. This is particularly true for any type of drug or alcohol rehabilitation, where patient cooperation and participation is a critical factor in successful recovery.
The relapse rate for drug use after rehabilitation is between 40% and 60%, primarily due to lack of patient participation in their own recovery after drug rehab.
There are many steps to maintaining health and continuing recovery after any form of drug rehabilitation. Every one of these steps focuses on the same theme: responsibility.
Patients need to actively participate in the recovery process in order for it to be effective. Active participation requires patients to watch for signs of relapse, change bad habits, and follow the instructions of their physicians. Ignoring that last requirement is one of the most common ways that patients relapse after drug rehabilitation, especially when it comes to staying medication compliant.
Perils of Medication Non-Compliance
Medication non-compliance is a major problem throughout all fields of medicine. Roughly 50% of all prescriptions are never completed or never even filled at all. This rate remains constant through nearly all fields of medicine, include drug rehabilitation recovery after pharmacotherapy rehabilitation.
There are many reasons patients may choose not to take the drugs, even when they are serious about recovery, including concerns about side effects, cost of drugs, or even simple forgetfulness.
Whatever the reason, medication non-compliance is the leading cause of re-hospitalization among the mentally ill and is similarly one of the most common direct causes for relapse in drug rehabilitation patients.
Medication compliance has been proven to increase treatment success rates, decrease criminal activities, decrease use of opiates, and increase the overall survival rate of the patient. In the simplest of terms, patients that take their prescribed medication live better, longer lives and are less likely to relapse to abusing drugs.
Encouraging Patient Participation in Health and Recovery
Effective drug rehabilitation is an incredibly difficult road for any patient. Full participation is an absolute requirement for maximum effectiveness. Patients need to be encouraged in this at every step of the process, especially after drug rehabilitation is complete.
For physicians, encouraging patient participation means gaining the trust of the patient. Patients that trusted their physicians or felt involved in the decision making process of their treatment were 5% more likely to stay medication compliant than those that weren’t. It may seem like a small percentage, but since non-compliance practically assures relapse, especially after pharmacotherapy rehabilitation, it is critically important.
The other main way to encourage patient participation, is by encouraging patients to create a strong support network of friends and family. This is already a post rehab step recommended by nearly every drug rehab recovery program, which means it is simple to include that support network in the process of obtaining medication and confirming that it is taken regularly as prescribed.
Medication compliance and patient participation are just two of many factors in successful recovery after drug rehabilitation, but they are two of the most critical. As such, they should be emphasized continually from the start of any drug rehabilitation program and reinforced constantly during follow-up appointments and by support networks. That emphasis and reinforcement is an effective technique for increasing patient recovery success rates.
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