9 thoughts on “Drug treatment: How many times will you go to go to rehab before you realize it isn’t working?

  • September 3, 2015 at 10:05 am

    It is a very good conversation, the insurance companies, government, and individuals are all looking for and trying to identify evidenced based treatment to get to quantifiable positive outcomes from treatment. Having tried recovery on my own, through various forms of treatment and 12 step programs, I cannot say whether I would be where I am today without any of those steps in my journey. I can say without the later I would not have 15 years of long term recovery or any chance of sustaining it.
    I do not think you violated any tradition I have read, as you never publicly identified yourself as a representative or spokesperson for any particular 12 step program.
    What you said by long term observation what has worked for you and millions like you, that is real and quantifiable.
    I do know that their are for profit and not for profit rehabs. Some good, some bad.I do know that the science and standard of treatment models today are based on a minimum of 90 days of treatment. I do know that of those that commit themselves to a model of treatment that may include detox and residential or outpatient treatment that includes committed active involvement in a 12 step program that the length of long term recovery increases dramatically over those that participate in only detox and shorter residential or out patient treatment.
    12 step programs work and as you point out specifically AA works because they change the nature of how we live for ourselves and the world around us.
    The discussion should be about not only what works, but removing the shame and stigma that still exists regarding the diagnosis and discussion of the disease and or any other disease of the brain, which are still so misunderstood by the public at large.
    As far as I know the first step of any 12 step program is self diagnosis, the principle behind that step is honesty. If Honesty prevails then more people will find what has worked for you and me and for those that are interested in profit over outcomes honesty is their issue in the first place.
    Thank you.

  • September 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Christine, I’m not mad but I wish you had gone further; this is just the “tip of the iceberg”. Thats not to say I believe 100% everything you said; I think it takes a more thorough conversation to see all the variables. I’ll say this, many people are using rehabs for vacation, a break, camp, instead of jail or some other stupid reason and many in “the business” are capitalizing on this for huge profits. I do believe however that there is value in good ethical treatment because (not over and over again) but in order to help people get an understanding of the disease and accept or at least get information on where professionals see them in the stages of addiction. Not that you cannot change your life by walking into a 12 step or other support meeting but it takes a certain determination (willingness) and amount of information (honesty) on yourself and the disease to sustain recovery. Treatment can help with that and Recovery does happen with or without it; I just think good treatment can make it more attainable for some. On the other hand, people are coming into “the rooms” in greater numbers today and many early on in the stages of addiction; spurred on by overdoses, courts, family and fear. Many of them are not anywhere near the level of desperation we were or with half the willingness to change. Without a willingness to change and the ability to be honest about your situation all the treatment in the world will not help. Add to that the number of opportunists that have made a mockery of what many of us professionals see as quality “treatment”and you have the situation I believe you began writing about; too many people going to treatment too many times and getting little out of it. If nothing changes , nothing changes but the biggest difference I want to make clear is that it isn’t a problem with treatment but a problem of what people have done to treatment. Unfortunately people have also made a mockery of meetings in any parts of the country; they haven’t come for recovery but to pray on innocent newcomers and thats also not a problem of 12 step recovery but of what people have done to it.

    • September 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Submitted on 2015/09/03 at 3:44 pm | In reply to Michael.
      You are absolutely correct. The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that rehab takes away some of the personal responsibility needed to get sober. It’s one thing to get in a van and have someone drive you to a meeting after spending a day working on yourself in an environment where you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to eat for dinner and another thing to drive and drag yourself to a meeting after working all day, making dinner, doing a load of laundry and making sure the kids’ lunch are made.


  • September 3, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    My comment/reply will be pithy; Thank you. And I want to give you a hug.

  • September 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    All I have to say is this lady has lost the plot
    She is part of the old generation
    The generation of mistakes

    Addiction is not a disease
    This world and the corrupt system it promotes, is the disease….

    Love and understanding will only ever help a Addict make the right choice…
    Too many people on this earth are depressed and lacking motivation…

    The problem here is helping an addict plan for tomorrow and stop living by day….

    I’ve done the rehab thing, and I left because The Rehab taught me that the reason I am in this situation is because you haven’t learnt how to control your drug use.
    I was basically taught that it’s ok to shoot heroin on Friday as long as you put the needle down on Sunday and go back to work on Monday…
    Moderation is the key….

    Have a listen to this radio discussion online.
    I have attached the link below.
    I’m moving to Portugal….


    • September 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      The best reason to move to Portugal is because they have free rehab – not because they decriminalized drugs.

  • September 3, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    How are you violating tradition 10, 11, 12? I haven’t been to a meeting in a while because people stopped talking about alcoholism and more about the disability checks. People also uses rehab for a homeless shelter. I work in a detox and see it all time. However, in the Kansas City area we don’t have any luxury rehabs. But people also come in here truly wanting help and willing to listen if it is only one out of ten then it is worth it. The frequent flies in rehab perhaps, just aren’t willing to stop and don’t want to change. And they don’t want to leave their supposed “friends”

  • April 29, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    You are exactly right Christine. Then again, mainstream recovery has conditioned the addicted to believe that relapse is just part of treatment. Unfortunately and sadly, that doesn’t help the people struggling with addiction. Instead,generates more revenue for the addiction recovery industry.


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