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Are inpatient drug and alcohol treatment centers always necessary?

Can I get sober without a treatment center?

The short answer is yes and the longer answer is yes.

Now, please don’t get me wrong, thousands have received help through treatment facilities and 9 times this number or more have not. How is this?

Well, believe it or not, I work with clients who have never gone to a 12 step meeting let alone a treatment facility. On the other hand, I have worked with many who had gone to numerous addiction treatment facilities but didn’t get sober there for numerous reasons. That they relapsed quickly after treatment says it all.  Most of my clients succeed through one-on-one coaching. Why?

Firstly, I screen people thoroughly before the client and I decide to work together. They have to convince me they want it and are prepared to work hard, be honest and do home work. I’ve been around and screen well!

Next, my clients pay money. I am always shocked at how much greater the success rate is when people have skin in the game. I coached many for free and sponsored in 12 step fellowships. It always shocks me how much more serious addicts take things when they are paying.

I’m not saying that addiction treatment cannot help an addict looking for recovery. I am simply stating that treatment centers may not be necessary for every person. Following are some tips for evaluating whether or not inpatient drug or alcohol treatment can work for you.

If you want to go to inpatient drug or alcohol rehab…

1. Enter a treatment center for the right reasons

If you go to a treatment facility seeking a start to recovery, you must enter the facility (or any other recovery program) for the right reasons. YOU MUST WANT RECOVERY JUST FOR YOU.

If it is to please your wife, keep someone off your back (like the courts) of keep your job, nothing has much chance of working. Plain and simple. You have to want clean/sober just for you!

2. Research your options

All treatment centers are NOT created equal. Really do due diligence if you are considering a treatment facility. Personally, I believe facilities that over a holistic program that addresses cause and has a significant professionally lead therapy program; including group; are the way to go.

3. Skip treatment centers that are 12 step driven

If you go to a treatment facility that is 12 step driven, skip the time and expense and just go to lots of 12 step meetings; it is much cheaper.

Recovery is about intention

In the end, if you really want recovery for yourself, you’ll likely find it. A trip to treatment is not neccessary but good centers have certainly helped many!

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3 Responses to “Are inpatient drug and alcohol treatment centers always necessary?
Old Timer
7:35 pm December 22nd, 2011

I thoroughly agree with you take on rehabs, inpatient vs outpatient. For myself, I tried the 12 step route, initially and failed miserably. I then went the “28” day route which produced another failure. In desperation, after hitting my bottom, I entered a 6 month rehab in Los Angeles and found total success. For me, this was the way to go, but have found so many individuals “in the rooms” who found the 12 step NA/AA way worked perfectly…..came in, stopped using and followed the 12 step program, went to meetings and worked with a sponsor. Then there are those who go through a 28 day, inpatient program and, utilizing a 12 step program, find success this way. What I am saying is there is no tried and true formula for finding the correct program and your way of screening the individuals first is an extremely important tool in finding the “right path” for an individuals recovery journey. I had to “hunt and peck” to find my path but, it is professional like yourself who are at the forefront of helping individuals get there and stay the course……..

9:46 pm December 28th, 2014

There is a BIGGER issue here that NO ONE can wrap their minds around. Drug testing is insidiously becoming an accepted norm in ALL of society. Its just one more way we are being controlled. We even let the schools and colleges drug test our kids. For health professionals, a positive drug screen is career homicide. Notice what I said. A POSITIVE drug screen. I did not say ADDICTION. I did not say IMPAIRMENT. It could be as innocent as having gone to Amsterdam on vacation. Its perfectly legal there. No law was broken. No harm came to anyone. Same would be true if for whatever reason a health professional took one of their spouses controlled substances. Im not arguing whether either of those acts are right or wrong. No. You shouldn’t take prescription medication that was not written for you however it happens. No. It is not very becoming that your health care professional smoked some pot on their time off. It happens. A positive drug screen is a one way ticket to hell for the licensed professional. We get fired all right. Unlike the rest of the population, we can’t just pick up and get another job down the road. We also get reported or are coerced to report ourselves to the licensing boards. If we have no license, we cannot work. In the face of PUBLIC SAFETY, the professional is sent to be evaluated. {By the way, The DSM 5 has been rewritten. Caffeine is well on its way to being included as a substance of use. People withdraw from caffeine. The entire population will be diagnosed with a SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER: mild moderate and severe. There is no diagnosis for drug addiction or abuse anymore. Look it up. I encourage you. Unless you do not take umbrage with being labeled having a substance use disorder } The evaluator will diagnose the health professional with a substance use disorder and recommend ” treatment ” in a facility owned by that evaluator. If you do your homework, you will find the evaluator at some point had a substance use disorder themselves. Their dicey past record likely reveals felony convictions in addition to licensure revocation. Because of their personal experience, the former “addict” is now the expert and makes money by sending professionals through their privately owned facility. Its not the 28 days which is customary for everyone else. Health professionals, specifically physicians are the “most difficult to treat requiring a more lengthy and individualize treatment plan.” { By the way, there is absolutely no evidence in any research journal that indicates physicians or health professionals are more resistant to treatment. The former addict now expert evaluator just made that up and we are all going with that. } Once the 4 -6 months of treatment are complete, the health care professional may return to practice but must adopt a new lifestyle that is free from ANY and ALL substances. No alcohol -EVER. Attend AA meetings and incorporate the HIGHER POWER and 12 steps into their belief system. The health care professional will be subject to random drug testing 3-5 times monthly anywhere from 5 years up to the entire lifetime of remaining years they have to practice. The health care professional has no recourse. There is no where the health professional can go to dispute the allegations, diagnosis, or treatment plan. Any dispute is dismissed as “denial of the disease” . The health professional must comply with those terms imposed. PERIOD. Or not and have their license revoked. It is the equivalent of the average citizen being forced to have heart bypass surgery even though there is no evidence of coronary artery disease. If you read this and think what i am saying is a bunch of conspiracy mumbo jumbo. Think again. It is happening. Right now. Everyday. In this country. It has happened to me.

3:01 pm October 17th, 2017

I was a heavy smoker of both weed and solid cannabis been clean now for 3 weeks 2 days how long will it take to come out of my system? I’m 4ft 11in and small build very slim I’m due a test soon by my own choice need advice asap kind regards chaz

About Keith Bray

I am a Master Life Coach who is ICF certified and a certified addictions coach. I consider myself recovered from the effects of addiction (16 years) but still in recovery mode as it relates to personal growth. Professionally, I am university educated, a former corporate CEO and have been in the consulting business for over two decades. I'm a husband, father, grandfather, friend, uncle son, a trusted confidant and many other things but bottom line, I'm Keith. I hope that I can help SOME out there with ideas that will make you think deeply.