The question has been brought up to me recently: Can an holistic drug rehab improve your chances of overcoming drug or alcohol addiction?
My answer is a definite “yes,” but with a few qualifiers. In my opinion, an holistic approach to recovery is by far the best approach. But let’s take a closer look.
* First of all, for the most part, rehab is rehab when you consider the statistics on people staying clean and sober, success rates, and stuff like that. In other words, if you have an extremely thorough and objective study (say, one that is done by a government agency rather than by a rehab center), then you will see that most success rates for rehab visits stay pretty constant from one rehab place to another.
It is a bit of a myth in the minds of millions of people that an expensive rehab has a huge competitive edge over, say, a rehab that is set up in a homeless shelter. We secretly believe that money can solve the problem of addiction, and of course, it cannot. If you have someone who is steeped in denial and has absolutely no intention of quitting drugs and alcohol anytime soon, then there is no rehab center in the world that can possibly help the person. Period.
So just keep in mind that there is no magic rehab out there that costs a fortune and guarantees success. It does not exist, and those who try to claim that it does are lying through their teeth.
One reason that this is true is because many addicts and alcoholics will cave to pressure from their friends and family to go to a rehab, even when they have not truly surrendered fully to their disease. I know this to be true because I did it twice, and also because I work in a rehab full time and see it happen over and over again. People agree to “try and get sober” for the sake of others, rather than for themselves.
PLUS, a key thing to note is that even when someone is entirely self motivated to get clean and sober, going to an outstanding rehab facility will still not produce excellent success rates. Even among self motivated individuals, the success rate is less than 50% if you measure at the one year sober mark.
* Second, keep in mind that while the holistic approach to addiction recovery is probably the most powerful and comprehensive solution out there, it cannot really be fully absorbed by a newcomer who is in their first few months of recovery. The holistic approach makes a lot of sense for people who are living in long term sobriety, and need to fight off complacency in order to avoid relapse. But in early recovery, the holistic approach is not as useful, and may even be a liability. No, in very early recovery, you actually want more of a narrow focus on simply getting through each day clean and sober, while probably relying on group therapy or 12 step meetings to help you in this.
So ultimately, you do want to have an holistic approach to recovery, and there is nothing wrong with learning about that in drug rehab. However, just realize that there is an element of timing involved, and that most of the benefits of an holistic solution do not kick in until you have had many months in recovery. It is only then that your push for personal growth in an holistic manner will start to pay dividends, by helping you to avoid complacency and super-charging your life in recovery.
Focus on maintaining sobriety first, then push yourself to grow as you find stability in your recovery. The holistic path becomes more and more viable the longer you are clean and sober.