Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment is Imperfect but Effective

March 31, 2008

Addiction treatment is not a quest for perfection. Many people have the mistaken notion that it is, and this leads to all kinds of counterproductive thoughts and actions. Rehabilitation and recovery are long processes that involve hard work, and there are usually bumps along the way. It’s best to know this advance so that the bumps don’t turn into roadblocks.

Expecting perfection from addiction treatment keeps some addicts from trying a rehab program at all. They decide for themselves that they aren’t good enough to be successful before they even begin taking the steps toward addiction recovery. With this negative thinking, there is no doubt that they will not be able to change their lives if they don’t even try. There is no such thing as a case of drug addiction or alcoholism that’s so severe that a treatment program can’t help.

Many people aren’t entirely successful in recovery after the first time they go to a rehab center. This doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t work. It could have provided a good foundation for the second or third round of addiction treatment. Looking for perfection causes some addicts and their families to give up when the first try appears ineffective. A more useful response is to look at what worked and what didn’t work and seek a better form of treatment the next time.

When people expect perfection from rehab, they think that they will finish the program and be “fixed”. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. The reality is that most people do relapse at some point. This type of thinking can make it worse because they may have a more difficult time moving past the relapse. A better way is to try to avoid relapse as much as possible, but deal with it quickly and effectively if it does happen.

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