For the addict who has decided to get clean, they may look at the success rate of rehab facilities and feel less than enthusiastic about their chances. When more than half of those in rehab are doomed to fail, it doesn’t give the person who needs rehab much hope.  The current fail rate sits somewhere between 50% and 90%. 

The reason why the numbers are so low has a lot to do with how addiction is perceived in this country. It also has a lot to do with how the addict perceives their own addiction. People turn to alcohol because they believe it helps them overcome a specific situation in their life. They keep running back to the bottle as they associate drinking with pleasure.

This is how most addictions start. During a troubling time in life, combined with depression and/or anxiety, we try to run two things that will make us feel better. That ‘feel good’ substance releases dopamine chemicals in our brain, which starts to change the body and the brain’s chemistry so it becomes dependent on the substance.

Admitting There’s a Problem

It was mentioned above that one of the reasons why rehab statistics are so abysmal has a lot to do with how the addict perceives their addiction. It’s difficult to succeed at something you don’t even want to do. The addiction has such a hold on their brain that they literally do not realize what they’re doing to themselves and to everyone around them.

You must ask yourself how someone can get completely drunk and still get behind the wheel of a car. The body and the mind become so dependent on the substance for pleasure that the addict cannot understand how or why they need to quit. That’s why you often hear them say, “I can quit at any time.” They’ll outright deny they have a problem at all.

This is why they often say the first step is admitting you have a problem. How could rehab be successful to someone who doesn’t even think they have a problem? If they don’t realize that their life is literally in danger, not to mention the lives of their family and even the public, then they have no reason to get clean.

Our Idea of Rehab is Wrong

Another huge problem with rehab is the stigma around addiction. Most people think it’s a willpower problem. All you have to do is quit.  What’s so hard about that?  It’s this AA culture that has permeated since the 1920s. Do the detox and when they feel like it, go to AA and hear an uplifting story of recovery.

The problem with AA, is that it’s really a guilt-based system that punishes having a lack of willpower, when willpower isn’t the main driver behind addiction. That’s the main reason why most of these centers fail to help people get clean and sober. If you don’t succeed, then it’s your fault somehow. But that’s not how addiction works.

There are no individual treatment plans that cater to the individual needs of the addict in most of these facilities. You may go somewhere for short detox, but then your throne to the wolves to fend for yourself. It’s no wonder that as much as 90% of all attempts to get clean fail.

When you live in a world surrounded by temptations, celebrations, and liquor stores, there’s no doubt that most of them will end up right back on the bottle. Then write back to rehab you go, because let’s face it, YOU’RE the reason why you failed, right? If only you had better control of yourself.

Addiction Requires Treatment

While spiritual treatment, like AA, is great at helping addicts overcome, it’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Addiction is a biological function that is sometimes passed down from generation to generation.  That’s why you’ll often see whole families struggle with the same vice. It should be treated like one would treat diabetes rather than a decision to get clean.

Like diabetes, the addict might be saddled with the disease for the rest of their life. There is no cure, but regular medical treatment via a plan designed around the needs of the addict. No two addictions are alike and each case requires a different plan of action.

It is important to find programs that are specialized exactly for the individual receiving care. Highly trained addiction experts and medical specialist are on staff to work with you or your loved one to make sure their care is unique to them.

It is understood that no two people are alike, and neither are treatment plans. At alcohol rehab centers, it is common to institute a wide variety of programs ranging from counseling, group/individualized activity, and dedicated care to make the recovery process easier.


Photo by lechenie-narkomanii from pixabay