Struggling drug addicts and alcoholics want to know: “Will inpatient substance abuse treatment help me to stop using drugs and alcohol?”
My answer to that is a definite “yes.”
My advice is that you do whatever you can in order to get into a treatment facility. I believe this to be true even if you have previously been to drug rehab and failed to stay clean and sober.
The reason for this is because your success depends largely on your level of willingness at the time of treatment. It matters very little where you go or what type of treatment you pursue or how much the rehab costs, etc. None of that stuff matters. All that really counts is if you are truly ready to stop using drugs and alcohol or not.
With that said, I urge everyone to go to treatment. There are several reasons for this:
* Even if you are not ready to get clean and sober, there is value in attending treatment. Even if you relapse the day that you walk out, attending that rehab might be part of your path to recovery. This can happen when a seed of hope is planted in your mind for the future. You may not be ready to change just yet, but you might hear something in rehab that sticks with you. You might hear something that draws you back to recovery some day. This is sort of how recovery works anyway on a larger scale. There can be lots of connections and it can be messy and complex. But in the end it works. So you have to push yourself a bit and give yourself the opportunity to be exposed to recovery and to the concepts, even if you are not quite “there yet.” It will come. Gain exposure first, worry about results later.
* Medical detox is much safer than doing it alone on your couch at home. This is double true for alcohol, in which withdrawal can produce seizures or even death. Don’t mess around. Get professional help.
* Inpatient treatment far outshines other forms of treatment, in my opinion. The main reason for this is environment. When you do outpatient rehab or counseling, you go home to the same old house of dope or booze. The same old friends still come around, etc. Inpatient rehab gives you a clean break and a fresh start, with no distractions.
* Your options when leaving inpatient rehab are plentiful. A counselor or therapist there will likely match you up with the aftercare treatment that they most feel you need. This is important and can be better customized than if you pursue other forms of treatment. In other words, inpatient rehab is probably the best starting point for your recovery, regardless of which direction you ultimately need to take in your recovery.
* Exposure to local recovery support community is likely. This is typical in the form of local AA and NA meetings. If you attend an inpatient rehab, you will likely be attending these types of meetings, and thus have a link to recovery on the outside. The real challenge starts of course when you leave rehab, not when you get there. When you walk out the door, you want to have some options, some support, some tools to help you stay sober. Rehabs should do a decent job of introducing you to that kind of local support.
There are alternatives to inpatient substance abuse rehab, of course, but none of them offer the same advantages and level of support that you could get by going to a local rehab.