What’s the Difference Between
Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation?

Nowadays addiction treatment and rehabilitation are two totally different concepts, and if you, or a loved one, want to completely overcome addiction to live a drug-free life, it is vital that you understand them both.

Addiction Treatment:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Addiction is a treatable, chronic disease that can be managed successfully.” This agency compares addiction to chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease. To say the ‘disease’ can be ‘managed’ implies that it will not be overcome, it will simply be brought under control to some degree.

This is a change of emphasis from rehabilitation onto treatment only, and with that shift came the pharmaceutical ‘handlings,’ to help ‘manage’ addiction. There are now drugs used to treat drug addiction, these are usually methadone and buprenorphine.


Methadone and buprenorphine are both synthetic drugs similar to heroin and morphine. They are manufactured to provide less of a euphoric high when used. However, there are two major downsides to using these drugs. One is that there are no regulations on how long these drugs may be administered, and it seems to be acceptable to keep patients on them indefinitely. The second is that a person who is hoping to get their life back to normal, doesn’t achieve it as they are still in fact addicted to an opioid.


Unfortunately, not many recovery programs talk about rehabilitation. At Narconon centres around the world, this is the entire focus.

Rehabilitating a former drug user involves first getting the person off drugs, then repairing the damage done by the drugs and the addicted lifestyle. This includes physical detoxification, replenishing nutrients to get the body back up to normal strength, helping the person find relief from guilt after neglect or emotional pain from broken down family ties, responsibilities, health and/or careers. It also means teaching life skills, to enable the person to live a happy and sober future life—able to overcome the challenges that will come along.

Happy girl

It may sound like a lot, or even too ambitious, but here at Narconon UK and around the world in all of the centres it can be seen, week in and week out. We know that someone can reach full sobriety, regain their personal integrity, self-respect, trust and go on to lead a happy, healthy and sober life.

I hope you can fully see the difference between the two, why addiction treatment should never be misunderstood for true rehabilitation, and why only true rehabilitation will enable a person to fully get their life back on track.

Call us
to become drug free for good.


Narconon UK

Welcome to Narconon United Kingdom At Narconon, we are dedicated to one thing: helping you overcome addiction for good. Part of what makes this possible is the Narconon environment. Every detail has been taken into account to give you the stability and comfort to help you free yourself from addiction and rebuild your life without drugs.