Does Rehab Work?

does rehab work
Now, more than ever, drug rehabilitation has become a necessary service in our society. Opiate abuse is off the charts, cocaine is still being smuggled into the country through our ports and southern borders, ecstasy (Molly) is used and abused in most major cities, and synthetic drugs created in China are easily ordered online and delivered to your doorstep in a discreet package.

Basically, drug use across the board is a major problem and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping. As a result, the need for drug rehab has skyrocketed in an attempt to undo the epic damage and chaos drugs have caused addicts and their families. But, with all the pills, medications, and quick-fixes meant to handle addiction, does drug rehab really work?

While an addict is in the depths of their addiction, they create a lot of heartache, contempt for their behavior, fights, arguments, despair, and create a sense of hopelessness for themselves and their families. After everything comes crashing down on top of them and the addict looks up out of the deep, dark hole they’ve created for themselves and reaches for help, the family gives a sigh of relief.
“Finally, he’s admitting he has a problem.”
“She wasn’t fooling anyone.”
“I’m so glad we can get him the help he needs.”
The family then scrambles to find the best treatment center they can find and once they’re sold on one, the addict is quickly packed up, put on a plane, and according to the family, embarking on a journey to handle their drug problem and start their life fresh. With hope in their hearts and an optimistic outlook, the family can sleep again at night, not fearing their son or daughter, mom or dad, won’t survive the night.

After all this optimism and positivity, nothing is worse than a loved one relapsing after treatment. The family never expects it. All their hope of the future and warm feelings go out the window and it’s back into crisis mode. Like nothing ever changed. So, the family either re-admits their loved one into the same treatment center they were just discharged from or looks for a different center.

“Maybe he’ll get it this time”
“She wasn’t ready the first time. Now, she’ll definitely want to get clean.”
So, the addict goes back into treatment and tries to figure out where everything went wrong. Thirty days go by, the addict is feeling good again and promises to their family they’ll stay clean. Then, the unthinkable happens. After 3 weeks in a halfway house, they’re kicked out for failing a drug screen. Rolling their bags down the street and confused how this happened again, they make a desperate call home to let their family know the bad news.
What happens now is some families make a blanket statement:
“Maybe rehab just doesn’t work.”
does rehab work

That feeling is understandable. In their world, rehab doesn’t work. They’ve sent their loved one to treatment twice and both times, they were let down. Both times, they had hoped the treatment center would handle their loved one’s issues, only to have them relapse within weeks or months of finishing the program. And both times, the addict desperately wanted help but just couldn’t hold it together.

The family can do one of two things at this point. They can stop helping the addict and have the idea “rehabs don’t work” or they can find an alternative to the type of treatment they’ve been trying and continue doing everything they can to help their loved one.

Here’s the thing… most people don’t know there is an alternative to traditional treatment. My parents and I thought the only type of treatment out there was 12-step based treatment. It’s the most common type of treatment and usually, it’s the first type of treatment families find when they first start looking for rehabs. So, in our world, this is how you get someone clean. You either got with the program, or you didn’t. No one ever thought to look for an alternative treatment approach.

It wasn’t until I failed rehab for the 6th time, that my parents came to the realization either rehab didn’t work or I just had no desire to get clean. Completely at wit’s end over my having relapsed yet again, they stumbled upon an interventionist’s website, called her and to their surprise, she told them about a complete alternative to 12-step. It was a program they had never heard of before and it sounded completely different than anything I’d ever done before. They presented it to me as their last attempt at helping me. So, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, I got on a plane and attempted rehab one last time.

It worked and I’m many years sober.

So, the question “does rehab work?” is the wrong question to ask. The right question to ask is “Will this type of treatment help my loved one?” All addicts have different needs when it comes to a rehabilitation program. Not every rehab can handle each addict’s needs and, unfortunately, not all rehabs help 100% of the addicts it treats. The important thing to realize is there are many different approaches to substance abuse treatment. The fact of the matter is there are options and an addict isn’t relegated to only one type of treatment. Any family who’s had a loved one repeatedly fail treatment, needs to find a different approach to handling their addiction instead of trying the same thing again and again, expecting a different result. Rehab does work. You just must find what works best for the addict.

For a free consultation, call Narconon Suncoast today at 877-850-7355


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 11 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.