Why do people go to drug and alcohol rehab?
Why do people go to drug rehab and alcohol rehab? There may seem to be an obvious answer to this question. They go because they are alcoholics and addicts and they need to stop drinking and / or using drugs and get well. This is true.
However, behind this more general answer lies a much more complex one. Some of the reasons people come into rehab are given below.
Why do people go to drug and alcohol rehab? To comply with a court order
It is quite rare that sentenced criminals go to a private alcohol or drug rehab. Although you may have heard of cases in which the sentence given involved going to rehab. In order to address an alcohol or drug addiction. This may be because they get sent to one of the very few state funded rehab places. In addition, private drug and alcohol rehab usually involves paying considerably in excess of a four figure sum each week. And few of those presented with a court order are in a position to pay for it.
As a result of an upcoming court case / drink driving / driving under the influence
Having finally been caught driving under the influence. Or having behaved under the influence in a way that has got the attention of the police. Some finally accept that they need to go to rehab. If only to show the court that they know they have a problem and are willing to get help for it. This is not a good reason to go to rehab. As it does not necessarily mean that the individual is really ready to stop drinking or using. But it does generally go down well with the courts. If those with a court case hanging over them choose to go to rehab. It will often result in a more lenient sentence or penalty being imposed
Being afraid of the health consequences
Many heavy drinkers live in constant fear of damaging their liver, heightening their risk of cancer, developing internal bleeding etc. In reality more alcoholics die from the effect on their mental health than from liver damage or internal bleeding. Though of course some do damage their physical health to the point of dying from their drinking. If a doctor tells them they have a fatty liver / liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis or are in danger of developing ‘wet brain’, for example. Then this can lead to them deciding to stop drinking and to book into rehab.
This is a common reason for going to rehab. Maybe the alcoholic / addict thinks their drinking and using is not that bad. But the people who love them are very worried about their habits and the fact that this can make their mood volatile, the behaviour bad. And that they are unreliable and generally emotionally unavailable. Addiction is a family illness and it is often the family members who are more affected than the alcoholic/ addict. Who selfishly continues drinking and / or using, causing chaos – and who is blissfully unaware of this (or not wanting to see it).
Wanting to save a relationship
An extension of the above is when the partner decides enough is enough and they are no longer willing to stay in their relationship with the alcoholic / addict. An ultimatum is given resulting in the individual going to rehab in an attempt to keep the person they believe they love with them
Wanting to save their job
This is self explanatory. Many alcoholics are high achievers and have done well in their careers. When their drinking intrudes on their performance at work and the signs are clear that their drinking is affecting their career prospects and might even mean that they lose their job, then they might finally decide to address it.
Finally being beaten and reaching rock bottom and really wanting to stop
This is the best reason to go to rehab. Those who really are beaten by their addiction and are on their metaphorical knees, desperate for help, are most likely to go through the programme successfully and never go back to their old habits again.