Questions About Treatment?
The vast majority of addiction treatment facilities adopt the 12-Step model of recovery. (I’ve seen estimates as high as 95%, though I can’t vouch for their accuracy.) Accordingly, this section describes 12-Step treatment.
What happens in treatment? What are its goals? What’s the treatment model? How does it work? How well does it work? What are 12-Step programs all about and how do they address addiction?
These are some of the typical questions people contemplating treatment ask.
Often these questions are accompanied by fear and anger. For patients, there’s the terror of withdrawal, the anxiety of knowing they’re about to go through very painful detox. There’s the existential dread of anticipating life without the drugs that were the solution to all their problems. There’s fear of having to go from one extreme, using drugs all the time, to the other, no drugs ever again. There’s fear of losing one’s very personality and apprehension of life becoming unbearably dull, devoid of fun.
Often, especially for those who don’t go voluntarily, there’s also tremendous anger. Many addicts vow they’ll never go to rehab, a function of the deep denial and the intense shame of addiction.
Families and friends are usually angry. Considering how active addicts act — lying, stealing, cheating and endless manipulation — they have a right to be. But loved ones are also often afraid. Afraid treatment will fail. Afraid they won’t know how to help. Afraid they’ll do or say something wrong which will send their “problem” loved one back into addiction.
The following articles de-mystify treatment to address these fears and the anger addiction provokes.
The other articles in this series are: