There are many advantages to residential treatment centers that some addicts will have a tendency to overlook at first. The fact that they are overlooking this is not so much because they are blind to the benefits of rehab, but more so because they are paralyzed with fear and cannot bring themselves to take the plunge that involves changing their entire life.
In order for rehab to be effective, it has to produce massive changes. This means that it has to inspire lasting change and a real focus on daily habits that create positive, ongoing change in the life of the addict or alcoholic. Obviously, it is not enough to simply stop drinking and using drugs. And anyone who has been around the 12 step program for a while can tell you that it is also not enough to simply hang around the meetings for a few days each week and pay them lip service, saying the things that everyone “wants to hear.” This is not going to cut it in the long run. Many addicts will fool themselves for a while, because they will work a real light program for a while–real “surface level” recovery–and they will stay clean with it for a short time. But it won’t last. It does not last unless they can dive a bit deeper into recovery and take massive action. This is the key to success in recovery: depth. It has nothing to do with which program you choose, and everything to do with how deeply you embrace recovery.
Some people get confused when choosing a residential treatment center, thinking that one philosophy of recovery is better than the others, or that only one path in recovery can possibly keep them clean. It is more important to understand that “all roads lead to Rome” and whatever program you choose has the power to produce good results, as long as you put your heart and soul into the program. The details are not important. What is important is the dedication, the willingness, and the conviction with which you attack recovery.
Positive action is pretty much universal. So are the basics of recovery. You can’t put drugs or alcohol into your system and you have to take positive action in order to avoid doing so in the future. You basically want to build up a positive life of action that leaves your old addictive ways in the dust. Help others and create something in your life that is worth living for. This is the way to finding meaning and purpose in recovery from drugs and alcohol. It is only after taking massive action and finding these positive actions in your daily life that you can learn to be clean and sober for good.
Rehab can help get you there, of course, but it is not the ultimate solution. It only points the way to the solution.