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The Biggest Lie in Residential Rehabilitation Exposed

Lisa Taylor
Lisa TaylorAddiction Counsellor

There is an awful lot of information out there regarding residential rehabilitation for alcohol. We provide a lot of it here on the website. Unfortunately, there are far too many people struggling with alcohol who do not seek treatment because they are overwhelmed by all the information and unable to separate the truth from the lies. We want to help by exposing one of the biggest lies in residential rehab for alcoholics.

What is that lie? It is the blanket statement that residential rehab works for everyone who enters it. It is simply not true. There are far too many factors that go into successful recovery that go above and beyond the treatment programmes offered by rehab clinics. We will outline just five of those factors here.

1. Willingness of the Alcoholic to Get Well

Regardless of whether a person chooses outpatient or residential rehabilitation to address an alcohol problem, the number one factor with the greatest influence on success or failure is the willingness of the alcoholic to get well. Many of the clients who fail to succeed with residential rehab do so because they drop out of the programme. Why do they drop out? Because they mistakenly believe:

  • they do not need rehab
  • treatment providers don't know what they are doing
  • they cannot exist without continued drinking
  • alcohol consumption really isn't harming them
  • alcohol is the solution to their problems rather than the cause of them.

An alcoholic or alcohol abuser does not have to hit rock bottom before successful treatment is possible. But the individual must want to get well if he or she is to do so. In this regard, alcoholism is no different from any other medical condition. For example, a person who does not want to recover from cancer will not put a lot of effort into following a doctor's instructions or undergoing uncomfortable radiation and chemotherapy. Likewise, the alcoholic who does not really want to get well will not put a lot of effort into therapy.

2. Treatment Approaches

For far too long, residential rehabilitation for alcoholism has relied on a one-size-fits-all approach. Clients at some clinics, especially those run by the NHS, are herded into large groups and provided with nothing more than counselling and prescription medications. Such an approach does not work well for one obvious reason: people are different.

The difference with the clinics we work with is one of treatment approach. Each of our residential rehabilitation centres offers bespoke treatment programmes that are individualised to each client. Yes, there is plenty of group support and counselling. But clients are offered other therapies designed to address their unique requirements. Every client is treated as an individual with his or her own path to success.

3. Qualifications of Treatment Providers

If you were to see a medical professional for any other physical condition, you expect treatment providers to be suitably qualified. The unfortunate truth is that there are some rehab clinics operating without an entirely trained staff. While they may employ a licenced doctor or nurse, therapists and counsellors may not be appropriately trained for the task at hand. Improperly trained staff greatly hinders recovery.

Once again, the residential rehabilitation clinics we work with are different. Each of our clinics employs only properly trained and specialised professionals. From doctors to nurses to therapists, they are all more than qualified to provide appropriate care to clients.

4. The Need for Aftercare

Statistics show that the majority of alcoholics who relapse do so within the first year of receiving treatment. The reason is simple: recovering alcoholics who do not have access to ongoing treatment and support are more likely to succumb to the temptations that led to their drinking problems originally. Any rehab clinic worth utilising understands this and addresses it by providing appropriate aftercare.

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Aftercare significantly reduces the likelihood of relapse in the first year. What is aftercare? It is a selection of ongoing support and counselling services that recovering alcoholics can utilise for as long as it takes to maintain permanent sobriety. It can include everything from individual counselling to 12-step work to diet and nutrition.

5. The Scope of Care

Lastly, the scope of care provided by a residential rehabilitation facility goes a long way to determining whether or not the client succeeds or fails. For example, there are 'economy' rehab clinics that attempt to save clients money by providing only a seven-day detox period followed by a week or two of counselling. Likewise, there are luxury clinics that charge tens of thousands of pounds for nothing more than an extended holiday with a few alcohol therapies thrown in.

Make no mistake about it; recovering from alcoholism is a challenging proposition requiring a lot of effort and hard work from everyone involved. Any rehab clinic whose scope of care does not involve thorough and comprehensive therapies is one that is not positioned to succeed. This is not the kind of clinic we refer our clients to.

Residential Rehab that Works

Not every residential rehab programme works for every client who enters it. However, the clinics we work with employ proven strategies that are effective for the largest number of people who truly want to overcome alcohol problems. Our clinics employ trained professionals utilising proven therapies and medical strategies coinciding with the latest developments in alcohol recovery.

If you are struggling with alcohol, we want to challenge you to consider rehabilitation. It may not have worked for you in the past, but any failure you have experienced may be due to one or all of the factors listed above. Let us work together to correct those things. Your willingness to get well can lead to success if combined with the residential rehabilitation facility that utilises proven treatment approaches, employs qualified and trained professionals, provides comprehensive aftercare and offers an entire scope of care that is appropriate to your requirements.

We are an independent advice and referral service connecting alcoholics and their families with treatment providers. We have access to clinics, counsellors, charities and other treatment options throughout the UK. All of our services are free and completely confidential.

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