Taking Intense Action in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs is the Secret to...

Taking Intense Action in Substance Abuse Treatment Programs is the Secret to Success


The best substance abuse treatment programs have a 2 part approach when it comes to treating addiction and alcoholism: one, they inspire massive action in the short term, but using intensive treatment methods, and two, they inspire long term, holistic growth.  Now this is a particularly strange combination and it is not one that is easy to come by, or implement.  The two goals can be a bit conflicting and it can be very expensive to try to implement both ideas.

In short term, residential treatment, the best path is one of intense action. For example, take the 12 step program.  If a recovering addict is going to participate in the 12 step program, is it going to do them much good to go to 2  meetings each week when they are just getting clean and sober?  No it is not.  Such an approach is almost certainly doomed to failure.  What is needed in short term recovery is massive action.  If you want decent results, the amount of action taken has to be intense.  This is why you will always hear the suggestion of “going to 90 meetings in 90 days.”  It sounds like overkill, but this is really more like the bare minimum.  Now this does not mean that you have to use a 12 step program in order to get clean.  What it means is that you have to take massive action in order to get clean.

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Now the flip side of the coin is what you do in long term sobriety.  Many people get stuck in the meetings and they use that as their ultimate, life-long solution.  In early recovery the support is great, but in long term recovery the dependence on meetings can become a liability.  How can a substance abuse treatment program inspire long term, holistic growth that is the key to overcoming complacency?  This is the challenge of the treatment center because when they have the newly recovering addicts in their program the best they can do is to inspire immediate action.

One substance abuse program that I have seen had a group each week about balanced lifestyle. At the time, I did not think this was important or relevant to my recovery, because I knew that I was desperate for massive action, not for balance.  But looking back I can see how balance in my life has now become very important.  If you take massive action in early recovery and manage to stay clean, at some point you are going to need to seek balance and growth in other areas of  your life.  The best substance abuse programs will give you the tools and the knowledge to be able to do that as you stay clean.

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