What is useful about alcohol addiction rehab in helping a struggling alcoholic to make real changes in their life? What are the key components of rehab that allow a person to change? What is the magic ingredient, what actually happens in a rehab setting that can allow a person to overcome their addiction to alcohol?
First of all, there is no real magic in rehab, other than the fact that you have a team of people who are dedicated to seeing the alcoholic through to sobriety. It is not so much a miracle or a secret method but more of a simple brute force approach. This refers to the environmental factor of having a safe and drug free environment. Take your alcoholic, sober them up under medical supervision, and then basically keep them in a facility that is tightly controlled with no drugs or alcohol available to them. This is the extent of the secret, for the most part. You are keeping them clean and sober for a few short weeks through control of the environment.
The second part of the mystery of rehab is in the therapy. Can you rehabilitate the alcoholic through therapy, educational lectures, and group support? Yes you can, though this method is not as universally effective as we would hope it to be. In other words, using this traditional approach to addiction recovery does not produce any sort of success rate that is worth bragging about. In fact, the vast majority will still fail to stay clean and sober for a year after leaving rehab.
One of the big secrets of alcohol rehab is the 12 step program of AA. Most rehabs rely heavily on this. You introduce the alcoholic to AA and you bring AA meetings into your facility every day. If the alcoholic can be convinced that they should follow up by attending AA meetings after they leave rehab, then this can go a long way in helping to insure their sobriety. Of course, many people do not warm up to the 12 step program as their ultimate solution, and even those who do can have a tendency to relapse at times. Basically, there is no sure fire method for instructing people to keep sober, and most rehabs rely on AA to be a part of their ongoing solution. For better or worse, this is the current system, and it does work for some people.
A final part of the solution might be aftercare. What does the alcoholic do after rehab? What are their daily actions and habits? These are the things that will allow them to stay sober over the long haul. If rehab can inspire new action on a daily basis, then this can be a part of the long term solution and inspire real change.