3 Signs the Rehab You Are in Is Wrong for You

3 Signs the Rehab You Are in Is Wrong for You

Time magazine recently carried an online interview with Anne Fletcher, the author of a new book titled Inside Rehab. The focus of Ms. Fletcher’s book is on “the good and the bad state of care in drug rehab facilities.” She discusses several of the problems that she found in the course of an extensive study into the quality (or lack thereof) of many of the addiction rehab programs in the United States. The most positive quality that she noticed across the board was the “compassion in the field.” She observed that people who work in the field of addiction treatment “really believe and really want to help people.” Unfortunately, they are not always successful. Of the 22 million Americans who suffer from substance abuse disorders, only around 1 in 10 seek treatment in any given year. A large percentage of those who do seek treatment are unsuccessful in overcoming their addiction, and this fact tends to discourage many of the remaining 9 in 10 from taking their own steps to enter rehab. There are many different types of rehab programs available across the U.S., and some work better for certain people than the do for others. There are, however, common features that you should watch out for as a warning sign that the program you are considering using is not the right one for you:

Too Much Time in Group Therapy

One of the most widespread issues that Anne Fletcher discovered in the course of her investigation was programs that place clients in group therapy settings for excessive hours throughout the day. In fact, she found that the average program has patients spending around 8 hours per day sitting in group therapy, watching videos or listening to lectures. In the worst cases, patients were made to engage in demeaning activities such as taking turns sitting alone in the middle of a circle of other patients while the others shamed them. In others, patients were required to disclose personal secrets about subjects such as their past sexual behavior. While it can be beneficial and even therapeutic to open up about the past, the embarrassment and degradation of being required to do so in front of a group of people will usually outweigh the benefits.

Do some lean on derogatory labels?

Another common problem that Ms. Fletcher found was the prevalence of denigrating labels to describe the patients, such as “selfish” or “manipulative,” or attitudes along the lines of “addicts are always lying.” Many programs, unfortunately, take an approach that makes one wonder whether their goal is truly to rehabilitate the patient, or if they are trying to shame them into “reforming” their behavior. The best programs approach the problem of addiction from another angle, helping to build up the person’s self-esteem and confidence and recovering the best of the person in order assist him or her in overcoming dependence on drugs or alcohol.

Is it an evidence-based program, or someone’s hobby-horse?

Perhaps the most widespread problem that Anne Fletcher identified in the field of addiction treatment in the United States was a lack of evidence-based treatment and methodology. Too many of the programs out there, apparently, are operating more on someone’s idea of how treatment should work, rather than what actually does work. Narconon, in contrast, is an example of a program that relies on evidence. As proof of this, consider their recent publication, The Narconon® Program: 40 Years of Evidence of Recovery. It is a compilation of 23 separate reviews and studies into the effectiveness of Narconon over the past four decades, including the recent Narconon Arrowhead Routine Outcome Monitoring Reports. Narconon is continually seeking to improve its results, because results for Narconon means lives saved from addiction. They pursue this improvement through the use of statistics and other objective evidence, and the success they achieve in treating addiction demonstrates the importance of choosing an evidence-based program for your own time in rehab.