Zero Tolerance in Addiction Treatment Centers

April 1, 2008

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Drug and alcohol rehab centers have different policies regarding what happens when patients engage in substance abuse while they are there. It is somewhat of a debate over whether zero tolerance is the best method or if addicts should be given a second chance before they’re kicked out of the treatment center.

It is important to understand the policy of the rehab program that you will be attending. This is because the consequences of on-site use sometimes affect the environment of a treatment center.Under a zero tolerance policy, any patient who drinks alcohol or uses drugs while in the rehab facility will be kicked out. They are not allowed to return to that same center. This option is more likely to discourage patients from sneaking substances in, and it creates a better environment for those who are doing everything they can to stay sober. However, some people feel that it is unfair to kick people out of rehab for a single mistake when they really want to be there, because the point is to help them.

The other method is to provide some type of punishment for using drugs or drinking alcohol while in a rehab program. The individual will usually face immediate consequences upon being caught, but they are not permanently banned from the facility. In some of these places, it is easy to sneak substances in, perhaps through a visitor bringing them to the addict. This can create an awkward environment for patients who are struggling to maintain abstinence and know that others are breaking the rules. It also makes drugs and alcohol more readily available and is more likely to tempt patients to use. However, it does give patients a second chance at addiction treatment, and some people say that treatment centers should be more understanding of relapse slips.

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