The key to doing well in residential treatment for drug and alcohol addiction is to go into it with an open mind. While this may sound a bit cliche it is absolutely true. Anyone who is not going into rehab with an open mind and a willingness to try new things is going to end up relapsing very quickly.
Why is this the case? Because of the nature of addiction and denial. When an addict is in denial, they are basically still hanging on to the idea of control. They think that they can figure things out for themselves, or that they can still somehow control their drug and alcohol use. The evidence is overwhelmingly against them, as they have proven time and time again that they cannot control their drug use. They are out of control and they need help. Denial is simply thinking that they could actually decide to get more serious and somehow produce better results in attempting to solve their own drug problem. Denial is thinking that they can do it on their own; that they can fix their own problem.
I think it was Einstein who said that a problem cannot be solved at the same level it was created. This concept seems to hold very true for recovering addicts and alcoholics who are struggling to become clean and sober. There is a natural urge to try and simply cut back, cut down, exercise self control, and somehow get the problem back under control. None of this stuff works for a true addict or alcoholic and that is what makes residential treatment necessary in some cases.
When you surrender to the disease of addiction and agree to check into rehab, you are becoming willing to accept a new solution into your life. Not your solution, but a solution. There is a big difference there and that is why you have to be open minded in order to succeed in rehab.
The addict or alcoholic is completely baffled. They cannot solve their own problem. Sometimes they think they can, because they may have brief periods of sobriety, but this never lasts. They always end up screwing up again eventually. This is a clear indicator that they need professional help in order to change their life. And this means accepting a new solution for how to live, a solution that they learn from someone else. It has to be that way because the addict cannot solve their own problem…they are stuck in a trap, stuck in a cycle that they cannot escape from by their own thought processes.