For most people, treatment is necessary when an addiction to alcohol or drugs becomes a problem. But while treatment is effective for most, there are times when some return to drug or alcohol use after a programme of detox and rehabilitation. There are many reasons addiction treatment doesn’t work. Below we offer up a few examples.

Unrealistic Expectations

When it comes to the reasons addiction treatment doesn’t work, an unrealistic expectation is probably one of the most common. There are some individuals who expect a miracle cure for addiction when they begin a programme of treatment.

They expect their treatment programme to work wonders without them putting any effort in. However, no matter how good a programme is, it is unlikely to yield results if you are not prepared to commit to the programme and make the necessary lifestyle changes. Recovery is not something that is done to you or for you; it is something that you have to do for yourself.

Not Being Ready to Quit

Many people attend detox and rehab programmes in an effort to appease loved ones and not because they are actually ready to give up on the substance they have been abusing. If you enter a rehab programme without really wanting to give up, you are unlikely to have success.

It is true that some people who are ‘forced’ into rehab will get with the programme and will achieve success, but most in this situation will not have the right attitude going in and will effectively sabotage their own recovery, whether meaning to or not.

Spending the entire programme thinking about when it is over so that you can get back to the substance you are craving will have a negative impact on your chances of success. Unless you are prepared to work with the staff at the rehab clinic, you are unlikely to recover.

Blaming Others

Another reason addiction treatment doesn’t work is if the addict is unable to take responsibility for his or her actions. Many addicts have a blame mentality that causes them to be unable to see the truth of their own situation. They will believe that they are in their current situation because of the actions of other people or because they have been dealt a poor hand in life. They may say that the stress of their job is to blame, or that they would not be addicted if someone they knew had acted differently towards them.

Failure to take responsibility for your own addiction can prevent you from overcoming it. If you continue to wallow in self-pity, you will be unable to take control of your life and put your substance abuse behind you once and for all.

Choosing the Wrong Programme

There are a number of options when it comes to addiction recovery but for the most part, the programmes are inpatient or outpatient based. You may have decided that an outpatient programme is best for you as it means not having to be away from loved ones while you recover.

Nevertheless, if you have a severe addiction to alcohol or drugs, an outpatient programme might not be the best idea. You may struggle to avoid ongoing temptations if you are trying to recover in the real world. Unless you have a strong desire to succeed and plenty of support to keep you motivated, you may find that staying clean and sober is a struggle.

In an inpatient programme, temptations will be removed while you focus on getting better. The environment is quiet, calm and distraction-free and you will have little choice but to immerse yourself in a programme of recovery.

Having said that, the opposite can also be true. There are some individuals who believe that private inpatient treatment is the best choice no matter what. When removed from everyday life and their own familiar surroundings though, they tend to struggle to progress. Pining for loved ones and being away from home can actually hinder their progress.

Finding the right programme is all about assessing your needs and circumstances and choosing a programme to suit.

Failing to Make Lifestyle Changes

Addiction treatment is not only about helping you to quit the substance you have been relying on for a long time, but it is also about learning how to live a new healthier life going forward. This means making a few lifestyle changes.

You may have to avoid certain people and places when you return to normal living after a programme of rehabilitation. There is no point in simply going back to the same life you were living before you became addicted. Doing this will almost certainly result in a relapse.

You need to change the way you live your life and embrace sobriety. You will have to get used to sober socialising and spending time with people who fully support your recovery.

How to Make the Most of Your Treatment Programme

During rehabilitation, there are several things that you can do to improve your chances of long-term success. If you really want to say goodbye to a life of substance abuse, committing fully to the programme is the best way to achieve this.

You need to be honest and open from the very beginning. Lying to your counsellors and therapists will do you no good at all. No matter how embarrassed or ashamed you might be of things you have done while addicted to alcohol or drugs, remember that you were ill and had no control over your actions. There is nothing you can say to your counsellor or therapist that he or she will not have heard before.

In a rehabilitation clinic, you will not be judged or berated for things you have done in the past. In fact, it is the perfect place for you to practice being open. You do not have to fear rejection or recrimination. Being honest is therapeutic and necessary in terms of helping you to move on.

Another way to ensure that your treatment programme works is to immerse yourself in the programme. Listen to everything and learn from it. Work with your counsellors and therapists and take their suggestions on board. Remember that they are there to help you recover and they have the knowledge and experience to help you get the most from your programme.

Above all, be patient and do not expect to recover overnight. Addiction is a complex illness that occurred gradually. It makes sense then that it will take some time for you to get back to normal. Your brain and body must learn to get back to normal and function without alcohol or drugs, and this can take time. Just know that your life will improve when you turn your back on mood-altering chemicals. When your mind and body are clear, you will regain the ability to make good decisions and you can start to rebuild your life and your relationships. You will reduce your risk of long-term health problems and you can look forward to the future.

For more information on why addiction treatment doesn’t work and what you can do to change this, please call Oasis Recovery Communities today. We have helped many people overcome their addiction to either drugs or alcohol (or both) and we want to help you too. Call right now for information on our programmes and to find out more about how to put an end to substance abuse for good.