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  • Writer's pictureMartin Polanco

Why Traditional Rehab is So Hard

Originally posted September 26, 2016

Going to rehab is a huge step in anyone’s life. The choice to get help is never easy, yet doing so has the potential to be life changing. With more people becoming addicts every day, the need for treatment that works and offers the lasting change is vital. Unfortunately, traditional rehab often falls short of delivering what people require to sustain permanent sobriety.

While most traditional rehabs mean well, many simply don’t offer what addicts need to truly heal. The majority of traditional rehab centers are built around the 12 Principles as outlined in well-known addiction treatments such as AA. But, as many addicts have found, these steps don’t work for everyone. Rehab isn’t a one size fits all, although it’s largely approached as such.

For those seeking treatment for addiction in the US, the 12 step program is used in eight out of ten treatment centers. Using an approach that doesn’t work for everyone leaves many people at a loss on exactly where to go to find treatment that works. If almost every treatment center is outlined on the same modality (that doesn’t work for everyone), this leaves a lot of people in the dark. And, as most addicts and the people that love them know, addiction is a really dark place to be.

Traditional rehabs that are largely based on the 12 Principles outlined in AA, can often feel suffocating to those looking to escape the confines of their addiction. By diligently following rules laid out by an alcoholic in the 1930s, addicts are still being governed by the “laws” set in place almost a hundred years ago. And these rules that are pretty much set in stone can be extremely easy to “break” …especially under the pressure of trying to live a sober life.

Defining Addiction

Because addiction was once seen as a behavioral problem and not an underlying issue of mental health, there’s been a stigma attached to addiction for years. Addiction is seen as somehow a fault of a person’s character, not a result of deeply internalized mental or emotional issues. It’s this “fault of character” mentality that traditional rehabs are based upon. With an attitude concerning addiction that is extremely outdated it’s all but impossible for people to find the success they’re seeking when they enter into a traditional rehab program.

However, traditional rehabs are often the only option for many individuals. Add to that the fact that 40-60% of all people that attend rehab end up relapsing within the first year. According to psychiatrist and former head of

the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Mark Willenbring, “The idea of changing the life course for people with severe, recurrent forms of addiction through a time-limited intensive transformative rehab is a fatally flawed relic of ancient times. What other chronic disorder do we treat that way?”

This is a good question, and one that many dedicated to offering addiction treatment that works have asked themselves time and time again. It’s no wonder that different options for addiction treatments, aside from traditional reha

b centers, are becoming more widespread. While there are a few treatment centers scattered throughout the US, they represent a small minority of available alternative addiction treatments.

What is the Answer?

Many people are seeking ways out of addiction that would make traditionalists question exactly how they expect to run the course of treatment without the 12 steps and treatment modalities that have withstood the test of time. The problem here is that these treatment options haven’t withstood the test of anything. The truth is they’ve failed many people, and left them in the same place they began.

This is why many people who have become affected by addiction are turning towards alternative treatments that approach addiction in a totally different way. Ibogaine has become one of the most popular alternatives for those seeking help with addiction, treating addiction through not the 12 steps, but with powerful plant medicine that has shown to be unprecedented in helping people move past their pain.

And pain is exactly where addiction stems from. It’s not the problem of the individual or something “wrong” with their character, but rather an accum

ulation of past memories and traumas that must be covered up by the use of drugs or alcohol. Here is where traditional rehabs fall short…and where Ibogaine is successful. Without lo

oking at the fundamental reasons behind someone’s addiction, there isn’t a treatment that’s ever going to work.

Ibogaine, however, works like no other addiction treatment available…and picks up where traditional rehab leaves off. The psychedelic nature of Ibogaine allows an addict to uncover the memories that have kept them prisoner to addiction and helps them better understand why they’re in the place they are. There’s no admission of being powerless over addiction because, with Ibogaine, one realizes their power is held within.

It’s vital to release the trauma that someone’s addiction is attached to. Traditional rehabs don’t even come close to scratching the surface.. There are other options, and when seeking treatment for something as multi-faceted as addiction it’s best to weigh out all the possibilities in front of you. To decide against traditional treatment could be the best decision someone could ever make.

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