Most alcohol rehab centers are very good at giving an educational experience when it comes to recovery, but they fall short in terms of giving much “real world” knowledge and experience. The problem is that they have to keep the clients in a protected environment–so that they do not relapse while in treatment–and thus can not really expose them to “real world recovery.” Instead, the clients are in a cocoon, a safe haven that does not really reflect what will happen when they leave rehab.
It is easy to stay sober in a drug rehab center. It is very difficult to stay sober once you have left. Relapse rates are absolutely atrocious. Part of this is due to the environment that people are returning to when they leave rehab. They may have alcohol or drugs stashed at home. Or they might have friends or family members who continue to use drugs or alcohol and thus tempt them. And so on.
What if an alcohol rehab center brought the rehab to you? This is a novel idea that is one part intervention, one part rehab, and one part 12 step call. It is a radical idea but it just might work.
Take people who are involved in AA or NA. They are working a 12 step program and they want to reach out and help struggling addicts and alcoholics. Now give them a job at a rehab center and give them a special position where they take the rehab into people’s homes. Thus they could take a more proactive approach in changing the environmental factors that are influencing a person.
So the rehab worker comes into the alcoholics home. They are scheduled to have staff there for 24 hours straight, but only for maybe 5 days. This will get the alcoholic through detox (by giving them medications to stabilize them), allow the workers time to help with environmental factors (such as removing old liquor bottles and cleaning up drug paraphernalia) and also to directly help the person to start attending real world 12 step meetings. The rehab worker would take the client directly to meetings and get them involved directly with AA. The person would still have to pay for rehab. Twenty four hour staffing for 5 days straight is not going to be free, even to dedicated AA members who want to help. But the idea would probably produce significantly better success rates than traditional rehab setups where the alcoholic is completely sheltered from the outside and does not gain exposure to any real world recovery.
Just an idea. Might be impossible to work out, and the liability might be too high (in terms of detoxing someone at home, etc.).
But it’s a thought….