Success in addiction recovery centers never comes easy. People would love to believe that someone can just be whisked away to rehab, and they will magically be changed when they leave. The truth is that getting the most benefit out of an addiction recovery center actually requires that the individual do most of the real work after they have left rehab.
If you picture someone who has stayed clean and sober for, say, 3 years, what was their stay in rehab that kicked it all off really all about? Well it may have set them up for success, yes….but looking back after staying clean for 3 years, that 28 days in rehab (or even less) is like a tiny blip on a map….it hardly even registers. Any addict who has entered into long term recovery can just look back at treatment and see how truly small it was, how it was such a tiny, almost insignificant part of their overall recovery.
Now this is not to say that rehab is worthless, or that you should not attend one. I am merely pointing out that for someone who has left rehab and found success in long term recovery, the actual work–the actual real work of staying clean and sober–did not start until the day that they walked out of treatment.
Of course, addiction rehab centers attempt to prepare you for this moment, and they do everything that they can to insure that you do not relapse. Every group attempts to get you one step closer to the solution, and every meeting is an attempt to show you how relapse prevention actually works in the real world. But the fact remains that most addicts and alcoholics walk out of rehab and end up using again within 30 days or less. The numbers are just not all that great.
Of course, anyone can greatly improve their chances of achieving long term sobriety after leaving rehab by:
* Following suggestions from the therapists in treatment, and actually doing the footwork that they suggest you do. Most people are too lazy to actually follow through with this sort of introspection and soul searching, but it is vital for continued success.
* Taking positive action every day in your recovery.
* Forming new friendships in recovery by attending meetings on a regular basis, talking with others in recovery, sharing with a sponsor, and so on. Network with positive people, not with old friends who still use.
One possible alternative to regular rehabs that are spiritually focused is holistic treatment for addiction. There they have a slightly different approach to long term recovery, with holistic health and personal growth being more of a focus, rather than a spiritually driven program that is mostly comprised of 12 step meetings. Holistic rehab makes sense for anyone who is looking to stay sober in the long run, because holistic strategies tend to favor long term sobriety rather than short term gains. For example, an holistic approach would focus on overall health, including fitness and nutrition, as being part of an overall approach to recovery. Most programs are more short sighted than this and only focus on spiritual growth.