Whether we like to think about it or not, the truth is that running a drug rehab is a business. There is one major caveat to that, though: we are the only business that hopes its clients no longer need our services.
The drug rehab industry has caught a lot of flak for being a so-called revolving door—that it profits off the suffering of clients and has a low success rate with a high cost. Curiously enough, most of these critics are therapists, psychologists, and others who stand to gain more business by playing down the effectiveness of these programs.
That made us think, “ Doesn’t most healthcare revolve around that same alleged revolving-door concept?”
Take, for example, the oncologist. Chemotherapy is never guaranteed to work, regardless of how low the lethality rate for a given type of cancer may be. Is it expensive? You bet. Even when the treatment is successful, there is always the threat that the disease can return—that person henceforth becomes a cancer survivor, living under the threat that once again he or she may have to resume the fight once again.
Drug rehab programs is designed to help with the ups and downs of recovery.
Even when things seem to be going perfectly fine, regular checkups are based on the same idea. We come in whether or not something is noticeably wrong with us, pay our co-pay, and rinse and repeat, going back a few months later, regardless of any new discoveries. Does this not work off the very same revolving-door principle?
Despite what some claim (often those with limited or no experience in the matter), recovery is not a revolving door. We are elated to hear that a former client is doing well, living a functional, happy life after going through drug rehab. We hope we get these calls! We have seen people come in, and never go back out, and that is our goal with every client.
Although relapse does happen, it is not a part of recovery—relapse is the antithesis of recovery. That said, if that jaunt to the local bar or visit to the dopeman is what convinces us that we can no longer go any further drinking and using, and that the concepts outlined in our past drug treatment and rehab program were true, then it is not a waste. However, there is no reason or need to relapse simply because others have.
We all have our own experiences, and it is tragic that some people do not get the gift that we are so fortunate to get. Each person has a right to his or her opinion, but opinions are not facts, and the fact is that there are millions of us around the world who have broken free from the bonds of addiction and alcoholism by using Twelve Step-based recovery models.
Frankly, it is the best thing found to date to treat drug addiction and alcoholism. Other non-Twelve Step-oriented programs may say that the Twelve Step oriented rehabs are little more than snake oil salesmen, but at least there is a track record of success. Yes, some of these other programs may work in the short term, but ultimately, they do not have the same success rate.
There will always be critics of drug rehab programs, but none of those critics have come up with a solution that sends the clients back into the real world with the tools to help them live happily and productively without our continued help.