Do certain drug abuse clinics offer better chances of success for beating addiction than others?
It’s a good question because friends and family members of a struggling addict or alcoholic do not want to send their loved one just anywhere….they want to give them the best possible chance to succeed in recovery. We know that some services are always better than others.
We know from life experience that you can pay different amounts and get different levels of service. We all know that you can pay 5 dollars for lunch or you can pay 50 dollars for lunch. And we all know that the quality of that lunch is going to differ by a great deal.
We experience this over and over again in our lives. There is always a range of quality to choose from. You can get a premium hair cut. You can buy discount trash bags that are so thin that they fall apart and are worthless.
So why would drug rehab be any different? Why would addiction treatment services be any different from this?
Could we not spend more money on “premium” treatment services? Could we not send our loved one to the very best rehab available, in the hopes that the treatment will actually be successful, and thus “fix” the person?
Can’t we just throw money at the problem?
If we had a million dollars, could we buy sobriety for our loved one?
Isn’t that enough?
If you look at some of the celebrities who have struggled with addiction, you will see that this is not the case, that money is not the answer, that you cannot buy a ticket to sobriety.
There ARE drug abuse centers that are much nicer than others. There ARE rehabs that have top notch service, the best therapists in the world, and so on. But here is the hard truth that is very counter intuitive and goes against everything we have learned about the world:
Those expensive treatment centers are no better than the cheap ones.
Why? It isn’t fair, right? You should be able to throw money at the problem and get results, no?
Look at the celebrities. Look at the wealthy. They pay $2,000 per day at luxury rehabs, but do they get better results than other rehabs? No they do not. The success rates remain the same. They remain constant across pretty much all rehabs. Places like Betty Ford and Hazelden try to claim that they better numbers, but they get tricky when they measure their data.
For example, they will take 100 clients who come through their rehab, and then measure their sobriety 6 months down the road. How many are still sober? That is their success rate.
But, they might choose to discard people who relapse if they did not follow their aftercare plan exactly. And they tend to recommend heavy aftercare, like living in long term rehab, etc.
So there are all sorts of tricks that rehabs can use to inflate their success rates. But this does NOT mean that they are better at treating addiction than other rehabs. Do not be fooled into thinking that is the case, because it is not.
So what is the answer? Where is the hope?
You cannot buy sobriety, and you cannot just throw money at the problem and expect it to be fixed.
What really matters, instead, is the willingness of the addict. Are they willing to change? Really?
Are they willing to do anything to change? Are they willing to go live at the homeless shelter? Are they truly finished using their drug of choice?
Are they ready to face their fears and face life without self medicating?
This is how you buy your sobriety. Not with money, but with guts. The person has to be utterly defeated by addiction. They have to be at their bottom. It is then that they can live a new life in recovery, regardless of where you send them to rehab.
Where you attend treatment matters very little. What matters is how willing you are to change your life. The amount of willingness and dedication that you need for this new life is enormous. It has to come from a place of total surrender. That is the only way that real recovery can happen.