Many struggling addicts want to know if they should go to a center drug rehab, or simply seek out other avenues for addiction help. For example, they might go to outpatient treatment, or attend counseling on a weekly basis, or simply go to 12 step groups. Others might find group therapy meetings that may be able to help them get clean and sober. There are alternatives to a drug rehab center, but are any of them going to really give the same quality and level of care that you can get from inpatient rehab?
My opinion is that no, you can not get the same quality of care from these alternatives, and that if you are really desperate, you should find a drug rehab center to attend. This does not mean that the other alternatives are useless, or that they do not have a place in your recovery program. The idea here is that inpatient rehab is going to be the most powerful and effective option for most people as they are struggling to get clean in the first place.
There are a few reasons that a center for drug rehab is a more powerful option in early recovery:
1) Safe environment – inpatient treatment offers a safe and controlled environment, where there will be no temptation to use drugs or alcohol. How many of the alternatives can offer this protection? Pretty much none of them. If you are able to walk around in freedom on the outside, then there is going to exist temptation to use your drug of choice. Being in treatment removes this temptation, at least temporarily. True, anyone can walk out of rehab and go grab a bottle from the store at any given moment, but this option becomes more distant as the addict stays in the secure environment and starts to absorb recovery lessons. It becomes like a different world, and the thought of relapse becomes more distant. Of course it is a different ball game when the person walks out of rehab, and that is what they are attempting to prepare you for.
2) More treatment options – inpatient rehab can offer the best of multiple treatment strategies. For example, they might have 12 step meetings, counseling, therapy sessions, group therapy, and so on….all at one drug rehab facility. And they might offer outpatient counseling to those who are finished with inpatient. So you can find what works well for you and get the help that you need. All of these treatment options can be found all in one place.
Short term residential is almost always the best jumping off point for early recovery, because they can refer to so many other relevant services. They can even direct you towards mental health services if that is what you require.