What is the key to finding beneficial addictions treatment in order to beat drug abuse or alcohol problems?
I have a couple of theories about drug addiction treatment because I have been through several treatments myself, some of which worked and many of which did not. I also work full time in a drug rehab center these days and I see a lot of people come and go, all of them working different programs, going through different therapies, trying different things, and so on. Some stay sober, some relapse. I see the ones who relapse because they eventually come back to get more treatment.
So what is the key to finding treatment that works for you?
I would say there are a couple of key ideas that I have learned over the last decade:
* If you are not willing to try any form of treatment, then you are still in denial and you are nowhere near recovery or getting the help that you truly need. If this is the case then all that can really happen is that you would keep using your drug of choice and experiencing more pain and misery because of it. As a true addict or alcoholic, you will have brief periods where the drug is fun again for a moment, but these moments will be fleeting and become few and far in between. Denial will make you cling to the good memories and block out the fact that most of your life is now miserable, in spite of the drugs or the alcohol.
* If you are willing to get some form of help, your level of willingness might be measured by the intensity and duration of the treatment that you are willing to endure. In other words, if a counselor suggests that you need long term rehab, and you are not willing to go, then you are probably still in denial and will continue to use drugs. This is not to say that everyone with a drug or alcohol problem needs long term treatment, it just means that those who are unwilling to go the extra mile in recovery are probably not fully surrendered yet, and will thus experience poor results, regardless of what type of treatment they select.
* These are the basic forms of addiction treatments, from least intensive to the most intensive:
Inpatient residential treatment
Long term treatment
What I would suggest is that anyone who is considering getting some help for their addiction, is to start with short term residential treatment. This will include detox if it is necessary, followed by a few days to a few weeks in a residential program. That is a good starting point and there are many reasons why I suggest that people start there. One reason is because the therapists there who work with you will be able to refer you to whatever level of aftercare they believe to be the most appropriate for you. So maybe they feel that your addiction is not so bad, and you might do well to follow up with some counseling visits. Or maybe they believe that you need serious help, and have tried and failed many times in short term recovery, so they might refer you to long term rehab. Whatever the case may be, going to short term rehab gives you the luxury of having a professional help get you to the help that you need the most.
The main key is to be persistent, and not to give up. If you try something and you end up relapsing, try something else. Try 12 step meetings. Try various rehabs. If you are serious about wanting change in your life then sheer force of will can produce good results eventually, so long as you stay open minded.