A Drug Treatment Facility Should Facilitate Transition to Long Term Recovery

A Drug Treatment Facility Should Facilitate Transition to Long Term Recovery


The most successful drug treatment facility is the one that can motivate an addict to take real action in their life.  What most drug treatment facilities do is to educate and inform a group of drug addicts about addiction and to a lessor extent, about recovery.  They do the best that they can with the resources that they are provided.  But obviously they could be taking a different approach and we can get some ideas about what works well and what does not by looking at the success stories of people who have stayed clean in the long run.

For example, consider a drug addict who is doing well and recovering in long term rehab.  What is the source of their success?  In a word, it is “action.”  They are taking action every single day, positive action that furthers their growth in recovery.

Pause for a moment and consider what action is taken in a traditional rehab setting.  Normally in rehab, the addict goes through detox in a medical ward, then sits in groups and lectures all day long, usually topped with a 12 step meeting every day as well.  This is the extent of their action.  They stay in a controlled environment and attempt to learn about addiction and recovery, in much the same way that a student would attempt to learn about algebra.

greenmeetings & events 2011
Creative Commons License photo credit: eveos

This is less than ideal. Let’s go back to the successful example of a drug addict who is finding success in long term rehab by taking action. Number one, they are not in a controlled environment, but instead they are partially out in the “real world.”  They venture out to go to real 12 step meetings and might even work a regular job or go to school.  This is a huge factor here because most addicts who leave traditional rehab are not able to make this transition, and thus they fall on their face and relapse after walking back into total freedom.

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What if an inpatient rehab took the addicts out to real recovery support groups out in the real world every single day?  What if this was their only real form of therapy?  What if this was their main strategy?  To simply take a group of addicts and–instead of telling them how to live clean–showing them what to do in the real world.  Literally taking them out into the community and exposing them to the resources that can help them AFTER they leave treatment.  This would produce better results.

Facilitate transition.

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