Does at-home drug rehab work? Charlie Sheen reportedly receiving help at his Los Angeles home

Does at-home drug rehab work? Charlie Sheen reportedly receiving help at his Los Angeles home

Charlie Sheen is reportedly undergoing another round of rehabilitation to cope with his drug addiction - only this time, he's getting the help delivered to his home.

The star of the CBS comedy hit "Two and a Half Men" will reportedly receive visits to his Los Angeles home from "an expert in addiction," reports TMZ.

But does at-home rehab work?

The clearest benefit for a patient receiving rehabilitation treatment at home is that he receives all the comforts of, well, home.

But this can be a mixed blessing.

"The patient doesn't have access to the full compliment of medical services," Dr. Petros Levounis, the director of the Addiction Institute of New York at St. Lukes & Roosevelt Hospitals told the Daily News. "If something goes wrong, there are no resources available."

Making an addict feel "at home" isn't always the wisest treatment move.

"Every time you sacrifice something to make rehab more 'like home'—you are catering to the way the addict's life is currently operating," said Dr. David Moore, psychologist and author of the NY Daily News weekly column 'Addictions & Answers.'

For example, Sheen is likely to have full access to his cell phone and internet, a luxury that is usually denied to patients first entering rehab.

"The only benefit to treating Sheen at home is to control the environment so that the paparazzi has less access to what is going on," said Moore. "However, this type of 'sterilizing the environment' is simply not effective."

If the patient is still suffering from withdrawal symptoms, he may require a battery of caregivers to administer IV fluids and medication, provide counseling, and schedule around the clock visits.

This also costs a lot of money - most likely a lot more than one would spend in a traditional inpatient rehabilitation facility.

"You have to bring the hospital resources to the patient, rather than the other way around," said Levounis.

Even if the patient being treated at home has every medical marvel at his fingertips, there's one thing he's likely to miss out on - group counseling.

Sheen may be intent on avoiding the cameras but he may have trouble succeeding in sobriety if he doesn't have contact with non-celebrity addicts.

"It requires a very motivated person," said Levounis. "Part of rehabilitation is asking for help, having humility and the ability for introspection. You can't bring an AA meeting into someone's home. It's helpful if the patient is willing to leave the home for group therapy and counseling."

Is there ever a time when at-home rehabilitation is recommended over traditional treatment?

Only when the patient refuses anything else.

"When a person steadfastly refuses to come to an addiction treatment center, then this can be a successful option," said Levounis.

Moore is less optimistic.

"Take a look at Tiger Woods—he had family counselors and therapists coming to his Florida compound for his drug and sex addiction stuff," he said. "Where did it get him?"