The best alcohol rehab center is the one that can do two things effectively:
1) Inspire the newcomer in recovery to take massive action early in the game, and
2) Educate the recovering addict or alcoholic about the transition into long term recovery.
So really there are two things that the alcohol treatment center must do: one is to teach the alcoholic how to get sober, and the other thing is to teach the alcoholic how to actually live sober. They are two completely different things.
Getting sober is the first task. This is the first phase of recovery that occurs from the first day of sobriety to maybe about the 90 day or 6 month mark. For some people it might even stretch out to cover the entire first year of their recovery or even more. But this stage of recovery is characterized by massive learning and massive action. Everything is changing in the life of the addict. Absolutely everything. If they do not change everything, they will relapse.
So the first stage is like a huge shock to the system. The alcoholic must change everything. In addition, they must learn how to live without drinking every day. It is a massive task at hand. The amount of learning is huge. The amount of action they need to take is monumental.
For example, a good plan of action is to go to rehab for a few weeks, then get out and go to 12 step meetings every single day, and also work closely with a sponsor and possibly also a therapist during this time. Over half of all free time during the day would be devoted to recovery. Even then, following this intense plan of action, many will still relapse. But most who commit to taking massive action like this, and can sustain it for several months–will actually do quite well. But most alcoholics underestimate the level of action needed to make this happen.
Now the second stage of recovery is what we would call “living in long term recovery.” It is not so much about massive action anymore, now it is about balance and growth. How can alcohol rehab centers really instill the importance of this long term transition during early recovery? It is a very difficult thing to do, obviously. But they can make an attempt at doing so by emphasizing:
1) Holistic growth principles.
2) Personal growth and development.
3) Spirituality and working on personal growth.