Finding Alternative Strategies for Addictions Help

Finding Alternative Strategies for Addictions Help


The best way to get addictions help is to start by attending a treatment center.  There are some other paths you could take to try and get clean from drugs but going to rehab is probably the most effective method to get your recovery kick started.  The reason for this is because it is such a concentrated amount of resources all in one place, combined with the strongest possible approach in terms of intervention.  Completely removing the addict from their usual environment and putting them in a safe place for a few weeks is a very powerful strategy.

Unfortunately, after people leave rehab, many of them will relapse almost immediately. Of those who do not use drugs right away, most of them will end up relapsing within the next 90 days or so.  Out of a group of 20 addicts, maybe 1 or 2 of them will make it to the one year clean mark.  These are not impressive numbers by any means.

What is the critical piece that is missing from this equation?  Either we have to develop and implement better recovery strategies, or it is simply up to the responsibility of the individual to follow through with their recovery plan.  In other words, we can either blame the treatment or we can blame the addict. But when we step back and look at the numbers, we have to acknowledge that most addicts–probably 90 percent or higher–are not able to stay clean and sober for any meaningful length of time (say like over a year).

Creative Commons License photo credit: marc falardeau

Now, these numbers are given our current treatment methods.  We could try to change those strategies in order to push for better results.  Why don’t we?  My thought is that we should try to change the way that we give addiction help to people, because what we are currently doing is working so poorly.  Could it really get any worse?  Not by much.  And by experimenting, we might be able to find a better solution.

For example, take the 12 step program.  Probably about 90 percent of the treatment industry is based on the 12 step model, and yet most people reject the program outright.  AA World Services stated that almost 80 percent of every person who attends their first AA meeting will leave the fellowship within a year and never return.  Although the program works for some people, most people do not do well with 12 step recovery.

Finding alternative recovery strategies should be our top priority.  To do less than this is to simply give up on thousands of addicts and write them off as being hopeless.