Teaching Addicts to Recover at Drug Abuse Rehab Centers

Teaching Addicts to Recover at Drug Abuse Rehab Centers


Most drug abuse rehab centers are good at inspiring clients to take a modest amount of action in early recovery.  However, this is not really enough to produce good results in the long run when it comes to addiction recovery.  Let’s take a look at what is really required in order for addicts to overcome drug addiction after leaving a rehab center.

Short term recovery

Treatment centers do an alright job at producing decent short term recovery results. But they do not really do a fantastic job of it. The key is in getting the client to take massive action.  What typically happens is that the rehab center will throw a lot of stuff at the client, and will actually try to get them to take massive action.  For example, they will encourage the client to attend 12 step meetings every single day, and also encourage them to attend intensive outpatient groups, and maybe attend counseling sessions as well.  In other words, the rehab center may very well be attempting to create a very busy agenda for the addict who is leaving rehab.  Keep them busy and inspire them to take massive action.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Symic

Unfortunately, what happens is that most addicts do not follow through.  Sure, they stay clean and sober through inpatient rehab….but then when they leave, do they really attend 12 step meetings every single day?  Do they get a sponsor and follow up with them and work the steps?  Do they put in the massive amount of work that is really necessary to stay clean?  Most addicts do not.

Is this really the rehab centers fault?  Probably not.  But if they want better results, then they will need to find a way to inspire massive action and better follow through.

Long term recovery

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Drug rehab centers do a decent job of producing long term recovery strategies, but ultimately they fall a bit short here, too. For example, consider a heroin addiction rehab that teaches a class on “balanced lifestyle” in order to try and help addicts find long term recovery.  Is this really the right timing or focus for addicts in early recovery?   Not hardly.  What addicts in early recovery need is a laser like focus on the massive action that will keep them clean in the short term.  But at some point, they need to consider the idea of balance and personal growth in their life, when they start to transition into long term recovery.  Rehab centers must find a way to deliver this information in a way that helps make the transition more successful.

So teaching addicts to live a clean life in recovery will always be a challenge because:

* The nature of addiction can include the element of self sabotage and self destruction.  Many addicts will find a way to screw up their recovery just so that they can use their drug of choice again, and they may even be doing this subconsciously!

* Early recovery tactics do not work well for long term recovery.  Meetings and group therapy are not as useful at 5 years clean as they are at 5 months clean.  We have to evolve to maintain recovery, and that is difficult to teach to newcomers.

* Recovery is complex, even though people promise that it is simple.  In truth it is not simple; addiction is complicated, so is the solution.  You cannot transcend this simply by wishing it to be so.

But all hope is not lost.  People can and do recover every day, it just takes a lot more hard work than what most people initially expect….

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