Does rehab cure addiction?
If you are looking for help for an addiction problem, you are probably feeling quite desperate. Either because you yourself have an issue or because someone you care about has. You may or may not be aware that going to rehab is an expensive option. It is likely to cost around £10,000 for a month’s treatment programme. And if you can manage to get this sort of money together, you will want some reassurance that it will not be money wasted. Of course if it saves your or someone you love’s life then it is worth it. (It might even be cheaper than paying for a funeral). But will it save life? Is the success of rehab guaranteed? Does rehab cure addiction?
Does rehab cure addiction?
The short answer is a disappointing one. Addiction cannot be cured. It is with the individual for life. However the good news is that it can be treated successfully. Going to rehab CAN save a life. But success is not guaranteed. The best that can be offered by any rehab is that the prospect of recovery is dramatically improved if someone goes to alcohol rehab. Or a drug treatment centre.
What are the alternatives? Your GP may be able to give you some medication to help. Either with detox or with a view of supporting stopping (such as Disulfiram which makes you ill if you drink alcohol). Your local drug and alcohol services may be able to offer support in the form of some counselling sessions or even detox help. Or you can try the fellowship support groups. They exist to help people stop drinking or using drugs (Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous – AA and NA). All these are ‘free of charge’ to the user and a lot cheaper than going to rehab. All may offer some degree of success and all are worth a try. However none of them will offer the intensive therapy that can be obtained by going to rehab. And which may be the key to new life for the alcoholic or addict.
If someone goes to rehab and really wants to get well, then the guarantee is that they can get well. They need to be open and willing to get help. And to be prepared to go ‘to any lengths’ to get and stay well. With that attitude, they can get and stay well.
What happens at the rehab centre
In the rehab centre they will be detoxed from alcohol or their drug of choice. The physical dependency will be gone. However this is not the main battle for the alcoholic / addict. The main issue which means that they keep on going back to drinking or using is the psychological addiction. What is it that alcohol or drugs initially provided an escape from – but that now causes its own form of hell? Did it originally provide relief from stress, anxiety or depression? Did it provide escape from grief or some form of trauma? What ever it did to start with, it eventually stops doing, resulting in the alcohol or drug use now adding to the challenges of life rather than providing escape from them.
In rehab, they will look at the individual’s full life experience. They will provide tools for dealing with the day to day stress of daily life so life can be lived happily without turning to alcohol or drugs. They will look at resentments and possibly anger issues so that the individual can come to some acceptance around their life experiences to date – so that the past no longer defines them but gives them the experience they need to live their life in the future. In rehab they will get a programme for daily living that means they need never use alcohol and drugs again.
Learn more about the rehab process.
The importance of putting in the work
This is what is guaranteed – that they will receive this help so they have options. Then it is up to the individual to remain sober and clean, often with ongoing support from the alcohol clinic or drug treatment centre (and often from AA and NA too).
Alcohol and drug rehab cannot cure addiction. What it can do is offer the alcoholic or addict a guaranteed chance to live their life abstinent and the opportunity for a happy and fulfilled life.