How To Make Addiction Treatment Work, Why Do So Many Fail?

how addiction treatment work

Nobody likes to talk about drug addiction, or drug treatment, or drug treatment programs. That’s pretty obvious, right?: Drug rehab doesn’t exactly make for pleasant cocktail party conversation, and addiction isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. But here’s the kicker: If you want to beat drug addiction, you’ve got to talk about it. And if you’re going to know about drug treatment, you’ve got to ask.

Let’s be clear on this much: At any drug treatment center, you’re always your own best friend. Drug treatment works if you want it to work; in the end, drug rehab is successful when its patients make it so. Getting sober is a personal thing when you get down to it, and no holistic treatment centers can help you beat addiction if you’re not ready to play an active role in the fight.

And how do you get active? First, you’ve got to learn: about drug addiction, about drug treatment, about what makes one drug treatment program or drug treatment center different from the next. Drug treatment isn’t compatible with ignorance, after all, and getting better is mostly a function of your understanding of the healing process. Think of it like this: You can’t fight what you can’t see. If you’re serious about overcoming addiction, you’ve got to understand it and understand how to beat it.

None of this is easy: not drug addiction, not drug rehab, not drug treatment. Getting sober takes work, and vigilance, and the sort of steel-hard resolve that won’t come unless you cultivate it. But the fact that it’s hard doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it, and the success of a drug treatment program at a drug treatment center is more than worth any costs that might be entailed by it. If you or some you care about has succumbed to addiction, you know the status quo isn’t acceptable: You know things have to change; you know you need drug rehab.

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably already heard it a million times: You can’t beat drug addiction without drug treatment. No way, no how: If you want to get better, you’ve got to go to drug rehab at a drug treatment center; if you’re going to overcome drug abuse, you’ve got to get help along the way.

But here’s the deal: It’s one thing to know the truth about drug treatment, and drug abuse; it’s quite another to understand why the truth is what it is. And it’s the second part of that equation; frankly, that’s most likely to save your life: In the fight against drug addiction, you’ve got to play an active role in your healing. No one can play an active role in any process if he doesn’t understand the full scope of the thing itself.

And so: Why? Why can’t you beat drug addiction without drug treatment? Why does getting better mean checking yourself into drug rehab at a drug rehab center? Why, if you want to overcome drug abuse, is it so vital that you get help along the way?

The short answer is that drug addiction is a disease. Not a choice, not a personal failing: an illness, same as cancer and diabetes are diseases. Think of it like this: A cancer patient can’t eliminate his tumor. A person with diabetes can’t regulate his insulin levels. And a drug addict can’t foment his sobriety. Addiction treatment doesn’t work like that, no matter how much anyone would like it to. 

On the contrary, you do need help to beat drug abuse, and you do need drug treatment if you want to get sober and stay sober. But that’s not bad news, by any stretch of the imagination, because drug treatment does work, and drug addicts do get better in drug rehab centers. Is it hard to be optimistic when you’re mired in the depths of drug abuse? Yes, of course. But remember: There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dim and distant it might seem. There’s a way out of the darkness, provided you have the eyes to see it and the courage to follow it. There’s a way to fix what’s wrong with you, but only if you want it to be fixed, and only if you’re strong enough to admit you can’t do it on your own.

For your sake, for the sake of the people you love: Don’t let another day go by without starting the drug treatment process. Drug addiction won’t wait. Neither should you.

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