People who are trying to get clean and sober and having problems doing so should definitely consider going to rehab treatment in order to achieve this goal. This is generally going to be the best course of action for the struggling addict or alcoholic. There are other things you could do instead, but most of these options will not work as well for you. For example, a person might simply start attending 12 step meetings such as AA or NA, and try to stay clean and sober that way. But this is generally pretty tough to do when you are “on the outside,” and being in treatment gives a number of advantages over this. For example:
1) In rehab, you get support from others. Both counselors and your peers are there to support you in treatment. On the outside, you may have no support at all or even negative support in the form of people tempting you to use drugs and alcohol. Generally, a big part of early recovery is going to be the people we associate with and the people who influence us. We are trying to make major life changes and one of the most powerful methods for doing that is to associate with different people.
Most of us were surrounded in our addiction by others who used drugs and alcohol as well. This was a natural progression in our life. We sort of have to undo that if we are to get clean and sober, and find more positive influences in our lives. Rehab allows us to do that quickly and easily.
2) Temptation is limited in treatment or rehab – because it is a controlled environment, there is no temptation to use drugs or alcohol while you are in rehab (at least no immediate temptation). It is so much easier to stay clean when there are no drugs or alcohol around, believe me! If you are stuck on the outside, then there are drugs and alcohol everywhere, and the temptation can become overwhelming at times, simply because you know the option is there for you. Removing that option is almost the entire point of treatment.
3) Rehab provides the baseline of abstinence for recovery – you need a few weeks clean and sober to even get your bearings in early recovery. This is the big payoff from going to rehab. You get to dry out and get your head on straight and then evaluate what you want to do with yourself in recovery. Staying clean for a few weeks is necessary to even get thinking straight again. Rehab provides you with this clarity through helping you to stay sober for a while. Then you can better decide how important sobriety is to you.
If you can quit drugs or alcohol on your own, then by all means, do so. But if you are struggling to give them up and you need help, then ask for help and check into a rehab center. You will give yourself a huge advantage in doing so, and greatly increase your chances of staying clean and sober in your recovery.