Over 23.5 million Americans are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Addictions affect lives, ruin finances, and exacerbate abuse, violence, and mental disorders such as stress and anxiety – but somehow only 11% of addicts ever seek out treatment. This disparity is fueled not only by the difficulties of recognizing problems with substance use, making time to seek out help, and handling the financial responsibility of getting help – but also due to preconceived notions that rehab doesn’t work. Many people fail to get help because they believe that no one can help them, they are an addict and will be forever – and if they attend, they will just slip up and eventually relapse. While it is true that relapse is common and some people consistently fail to benefit from rehab, there are often reasons behind their inability to get help. Understanding these reasons will help you to make the best decision for your or a loved one’s rehabilitation, so that you can find a solution that works.
Unwillingness to Quit
Quitting a substance is a long and difficult process that requires a great deal of personal motivation and willpower. This means that even if someone goes to rehab for a good reason, such as saving a marriage, keeping their job, for family, etc., they won’t likely succeed unless they have personal motivation. If you go to rehab for someone else and you still believe for yourself that you don’t really have a problem or that you’re fine as you are, you likely won’t be able to push yourself to learn and make it through recovery.
Precontemplative behavior is the process of not seeing that you have a problem. Here, you likely see your drug or alcohol use as controlled, something you can stop at any time during use, and not harmful. Because continued drug use often relies on self-deception, many people who are coerced into rehab by friends, family, or government are in this stage. Unfortunately, you cannot motivate yourself to work for your recovery if you don’t yet see a problem, which causes many people to use as soon as they leave care.
Failure to Get the Right Treatment
While there are many types of rehabilitation treatment, not all options are equal. For example, the most basic drug rehab programs are little more than recovery homes with minimal medical supervision and possibly unlicensed staff. Even some licensed psychologists will treat addicts like addicts rather than like people with complex problems and emotions behind their addiction and this can hurt your ability to recover. Choosing a quality program with licensed medical staff who understand that addiction is caused by multifaceted psychological problems will help to ensure that your treatment is successful.
Inability to Work with a Program
Most programs are not easy to start, many require dropping personal beliefs or preconceived notions, and many are difficult and demanding. For example, many people quit 12-step programs because they are unable to recognize a higher power, even if that higher power is spiritual and not religious. Most therapy programs will require you to confront unpleasant truths, new ideas, and painful concepts, and you must do so to work through it.
Inability to Seek Out Help
Most people need help. Seeking out help during recovery and after it can make the difference between maintaining recovery and relapse. To that effect, most rehab programs offer a considerable amount of group therapy and many will help you to find and join a 12-step or other self-help group after completing the program. Studies show that attending group therapy can help you to stay clean by providing motivation for change, accountability, and support from friends and like-minded individuals.
No Follow up or Changes to Their Life
Most people don’t become addicted because they have a great life. Yet, many people expect to be able to leave rehab and pick up their life exactly as it was before without problems. This often leads to a repeat of the same issues and stress, leading to relapse. It is important to identify the factors behind drug or alcohol use which you can then use to learn what to change so that you can be happy and maintain recovery outside of rehab.
Failure to Learn Coping Skills
Leaving rehab means dealing with cravings, facing triggers, and possibly being offered drugs or alcohol. Learning coping skills which will help you to deal with this and to maintain recovery as you adapt back to life. Coping skills for stress, anxiety, relationships problems, your specific triggers, presence of a drug, etc., are all crucial to helping you to stay clean or sober outside of rehab.
Expecting an Instant Cure
While many people go into rehab hoping for the best, many expect too much. Unfortunately, there is no instant cure, no way to make addiction just go away, and you will have to work through cravings and problems once you leave. Rehab is designed to give you the tools to take control and get your life back, but you do have to work for it.
Getting Help that Works
Substance abuse treatment has the capability to be highly effective when approached and given in the right way. This requires a change of perspective and approach from the addict as well as a flexible and motivational approach from the treatment center. Treatment programs must be tailored to the patient, must treat the substance abuser as an individual with problems rather than as the sum of their addiction, and must work to address medical, psychiatric, and social problems as needed by the patient. Drug and alcohol rehab has every chance to succeed providing you:
Stay in Treatment – While it should seem obvious that you must stay in treatment, many people actually leave within a few weeks of signing up. This is especially true for outpatient programs, where it is easier for recovering addicts to simply drop the program. Leaving stems from frustration, cravings, slip-ups, and even disagreement with the course, but ultimately results in not getting treatment and not recovering. Your goal should be to stick to the program and if you have problems with a therapist or specific person in your program, talk to someone and have the program changed.
Want to Get Clean – Getting clean requires personal mental effort and dedication and you have to want it. While many inpatient rehab programs include motivational courses and programs designed to help you move from precontemplation to aware of your problems – you have to want to get clean on your own. Your rehab program should offer a custom program designed to treat your specific problems and issues, so that you can recover.
Safe Withdrawal– Full detox is necessary to stay in treatment and benefit from it, because you cannot learn the life or coping skills necessary to recover while abusing drugs or alcohol. This means a full medically supported detox, a withdrawal program to help you recover safely, and if necessary, medication such as methadone or buprenorphine which will help to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Your rehab center should offer full medically assisted detox as part of the program.
Relapse Prevention – Cravings will be a problem for you when you leave rehab, especially when you leave an inpatient facility. Slipping up one or two times is perfectly normal for most patients, and will remain normal so long as you discuss it with your therapist and see it as a setback, not the end of your treatment. Your rehab center should offer a comprehensive relapse prevention program so that you can get help, seek out people to talk to, and continue to learn about yourself. Many rehab programs will connect you with 12-step or other self-help groups to facilitate this.
Therapy – You should receive comprehensive therapy designed to help you change your behavior, recognize problematic behavior, and cope with bad situations. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most popular and effective solutions. Therapy should work to identify your personal problems, the reasons behind your substance use, and your triggers, so that you can work to develop coping mechanisms.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy – Many rehab centers now offer motivational enhancement therapy or a therapy such as DBT which specifically focuses on helping you to find and retain motivation to stay clean or sober.
Family Therapy – If you have a family or relatives, it is important that you and your family go through therapy together. This approaches drug or alcohol use in the context of family, and helps you to work out problems in the family, issues that may have been caused by drug or alcohol abuse, and relationships.
Group Therapy – Group therapy allows you to share your experiences with a group of like-minded individuals, so that you can inspire others with your progress, be inspired, and be held accountable for your actions.
Coping Skills – Learning coping skills is crucial to maintaining recovery after leaving rehab. Your treatment center should help you to learn to deal with cravings, learn how to handle stress, learn to minimize stress, and learn skills that will help you to improve your life and your relationships with others. The extent of these skills will depend on the rehab facility, but they are crucial to long-term recovery. While many people fail to benefit from rehab, it is often due to either choosing the wrong rehab center or to personal problems and lack of motivation. Rehab can help you to get clean or sober and to stay that way by giving you the tools to make it happen, but you must pick the right center. Doing your research, choosing a facility with licensed staff, and choosing a facility with the therapy and treatment programs that can help you to recover is essential to getting the most out of rehab. However, it is also crucial that the person undergoing therapy want to change – so that they can work towards getting their life back. The Oceanfront Recovery Addiction Treatment Programs can help you or your loved one through the process of recovery from substance abuse addiction or alcoholism. Our experienced clinicians focus on bringing the underlying causes of addiction to the surface with a modern and effective addiction treatment program. Contact us at Oceanfront Recovery today for a confidential assessment with no obligation.