Coming to treatment has always been a hard threshold to cross – but more so now… Working in treatment for a long time, I’ve experienced greater consumer wariness.
People are more hesitant to send their loved ones to treatment and people who are looking for treatment are more hesitant to come. I think one of the reasons is the discourse about addiction, treatment and recovery has hit the mainstream, and one of the things that has come out is that the success rate of treatment is like, 15%.
But why are success rates so low? Several reasons:
– Poor treatment. Treatment that’s not set up well & doesn’t understand the various personalities of the population they’re working with and their underlying conditions and problems. Like a bad mechanic.
– Shady treatment that just isn’t trustworthy. Meaning their intention wasn’t to figure out how to help people recover. Their intention was to make money. That type of intention can be disasterous.
– The nature of addiction and recovery. The nature of addiction is… it’s chronic. It is not a problem that can be solved with an event. It’s something that has to be worked with over time.
A good analogy to understand why treatment success rates are low is to think about something like the gym. My guess is you’re going to see like ten, fifteen percent success on those goals of fitness of people who signed up for memberships. Right?
Recovery is the same way. Recovery is similar to a muscle you have to exercise consistently. Lots of people will sign up for something that they won’t follow through with. It’s the really hard part of treatment and recovery.
It’s this mysterious question of the will, why some people have the will to change certain parts of their lives and other people don’t, and honestly it’s not a place where we have good answers.
Many times we just wait for people to be ready to change, but if you have a loved one or a spouse, or kid who is – shooting heroin – you really don’t feel like you have the luxury to wait around for them to change.
So people intervene, and people are in different stages of readiness for change, and there’s not an easy solution for that.
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