What To Do If You’ve Been to Rehab Numerous Times


the rehab revolving door

Many, if not the vast majority, or rehabilitation facilities have been built around a traditional 12-step, abstinence-only program. While we take an unbiased approach to any and all treatment modalities, there is a growing body of evidence that this approach doesn’t work for everyone. A 2012 report from the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia) has come to the conclusion that many addiction programs do not utilize a progressive, science-based approach that has been statistically shown to be effective in research studies, and that “only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge of what works.”

“It’s not for me. It’s not for everyone. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, and it didn’t fit me.”

Chances are, if you identify with this quote, you have given treatment a go one or multiple times. This is an unfortunate reality when it comes to seeking help in a country overrun with a massive opioid and addiction epidemic — in order to help the most people, a standard archetypal approach is necessary to cater to a large population. On the flip side, however, there is another issue: not everyone falls into a standard archetype. While the idea of accepting you are not special and the same as everyone else is pioneered in the disguise of “learning humility,” we must also face the reality that there are people who simply do not fit into the standard approach. This is a very dialectic approach — yes, we are the same, but also yes, we are different. In this light, we see many rehabilitation facilities with a large client to staff ratio, and many clients falling through the cracks and not receiving the attention they need. One of the things we specialize in is knowledge of rehabilitation programs (and how to find them) that have the breathing room to deal with addicts on a smaller staff to client ratio and a sense of open-mindedness. We also work with each client along the way, and are on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week for coaching and mentoring services.

This systemic inability to address individual needs often leads to what many have referred to as the “rehab revolving door.” This is when an alcoholic or addict has gone to treatment numerous times with little to no results. One of the ways to counteract this spin-cycle, if you will, is recognizing the fact that long term treatment has better success rates. Long term treatment such as sober living and IOP programs are a serious commitment, however, and not everyone has the luxury of participating in one.

There exists an equal number of effective programs across the country as there are addicts who swear by abstinence-only 12-step programs. The problem lies within the inability to address individual needs, however, as evidenced by the fact these programs aren’t effective for everyone. Many times this happens because such programs have yet to be established financially, leading to a deficit in resources for patients. Sometimes, they simply just don’t see a need for it as well.

Forty to 60 percent of people treated for alcohol or drug dependence relapse within a year after discharge, according to a study published in 2000 by the Journal of the American Medical Association.