High expectations lead to low disappointments. Expecting a few months of treatment to fix years of psychological and physical damage is a high expectation. When people have the expectation that treatment will be the only work they have to do on their addiction for the rest of their lives, they are disappointed when, at the end of treatment or right after treatment, they experience cravings, emotional difficulties, or poor decision making. Addiction is a chemical dependency as as well as a habit. Recovery is a lifelong process of building new habits, taking care of the body, and improving decision making in all areas. Treatment is the beginning of a journey, building the platform of recovery and a foundation for change. While treatment is a solution to many problems, it is not a solution to all of them. Recovery is a daily commitment to work. These are some of the reasons treatment “doesn’t work” for some people.
- Treatment didn’t last long enough: Anecdotal and empirical research is finding that the longer one spends in treatment, the better chance they have of staying sober. Long term treatment offers more structure, healing, therapy, accountability, and responsibility. Working through a gradual step down process of treatment increases independence and responsibility slowly as changes in therapy focus change, as well as life skills and relapse prevention tools. Short bouts of treatment can be caused by changes in insurance benefits, leaving treatment early, or choosing a short term program.
- The program didn’t address co-occurring issues: Most cases of addiction and alcoholism are co-occurring with other mental health disorders, trauma, compulsive disorders, or impulse control issues. Only treating addiction and alcoholism, the chemical dependency, is not effective treatment. Commonly, addiction and alcoholism are the result of co-occurring mental health disorders. In order to effectively treat the root cause of addiction, thereby having the greatest chance of long term recovery, it is necessary to treat all present disorders and issues.
- You weren’t ready: Willingness is an important factor in for recovery from addiction. The term “willingness” is controversial because the brain damage caused by addiction can be so severe that it compromises the brain’s ability to be willing or be able to demonstrate willingness. However, there has to be a level of readiness and commitment to treatment. A simple, yet sad truth about addiction is that you have to be done drinking and using. If you are not convinced that you need to stop your current lifestyle, chances are you will not be motivated to do so. Treatment might not be effective if you aren’t interested in learning to stay sober.
We want your treatment and recovery experience to be as effortless and empowering as possible. Our dynamic family of experienced recovery professionals serves to help guide your recovery experience from start to finish. For information, call us today at 800-910-9299.