Why Alcohol Rehab Fails and How to Make Sure You Don’t


It’s pretty safe to say that patients attending residential alcohol rehab centres really do not want to think about failure. After all, confidence and optimism play critically important roles in the recovery process.

That said, to make the mistake of assuming rehabilitation is infallible is to significantly increase the likelihood of relapse. Likewise, to pretend that relapse doesn’t happen and cannot happen to you is a good way of raising its likelihood.

As is the case with most things, the key lies in being balanced and realistic with the reality of addiction recovery. The better you educate yourself about the process in general, the better the position you are in to make real progress.  Likewise, the better your understanding of some of the more common mistakes made along the way, the more likely you are to avoid them yourself.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick rundown of six reasons why rehabilitation fails, in order to help ensure that your own treatment program does not:

1. Thinking It’s Easy

First of all, if you enter into a course of rehabilitation with even the slightest idea that it’s going to be easy, you can forget about it. This is one of the biggest mistakes made by many of those entering rehab of the first time, who assume that the whole purpose of regimented rehabilitation is to have others take care of the hard work on your behalf. Sadly, it isn’t. Instead, the professionals are there to help and support you through the process, though it is ultimately up to you to get the job done. You must be willing to put in the required efforts or there is really no point bothering at all.

2. Thinking You Can Rush It

It’s understandable that anyone entering into a course of addiction treatment would ideally prefer to make the fastest possible progress and recover as quickly as they can. Nevertheless, attempting to speed up any course of treatment doesn’t tend to be a good idea. In fact, it is a great way of making things take even longer than necessary, or perhaps bringing everything to a grinding halt. Whatever the speed and intensity of the treatment program you have been provided with, this is the speed the professionals recommend for a reason. By attempting to rush things, you only stand to hinder your progress.

3. Thinking There’s an End Date

Despite the fact that there may be a date upon which you are discharged from the residential rehab facility, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this is the completion date of your treatment.  If anything, it is actually day one.  For many recovering addicts, there really is no such thing as a completion date as the process is on-going and indefinite. It’s when you believe your recovery process to be ‘complete’ that you are most likely to fall back into bad habits.

4. Thinking You’re Free and Clear

Likewise, another common mistake made by so many recovering addicts is finding themselves in a position where they have made such incredible progress that they now believe they are free, clear and under control. Consequently, a recovering alcoholic may believe that there is no harm in having ‘just a couple’ of drinks, while a recovering drug addict may feel that they have made sufficient progress to justify a mild hit. Unfortunately, this constitutes the kind of first step towards relapse that almost always results in full blown relapse.

5. Thinking You Can Go It Alone

There are many reasons why recovering addicts often make a conscious decision to somewhat isolate themselves and go it alone.  In some instances, it is simply a case of pride – they do not want others to see them or have any input while they are recovering. In others, it may be more a case of shame, overconfidence or any number of other reasons. But what rings true across the board is that if you attempt to go it alone, you immediately make the entire recovery process exponentially more difficult than it needs to be.

6. Thinking You Know Best

Last but not least, there will always be times along the way when for any given reason you find yourself are not exactly enamoured with the advice the professionals provide you with.  You may think that you know best and that in this particular instance they have no idea what they are talking about. As such, you may go your own way.  Unfortunately, given the fact that you yourself are not an experienced professional in the subject, anything you do that goes against professional recommendations are only stands to harm you.


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