I’ve often wondered whether rehab really works. Is it worth all the money and effort expended? I took a look at that this weekend in Sunday Styles and learned the following: "Optimism, it turns out, is one of the main things offered at rehabilitation centers like Promises, the luxurious Malibu retreat for patients suffering from alcohol and substance abuse where Ms. Lohan now lives. Much harder to come by is evidence that these programs work. The quiet truth in the upper-crust rehabilitation industry is that $49,000 a month may buy lots of things — including views of the Pacific, massage therapy and blue-ribbon chefs. But whether it buys sobriety is very uncertain. Reliable statistics about drug rehabilitation as a whole are hard to come by, and are near impossible to isolate for the luxury-level rehab programs that attract so much attention in the news media…..Government studies suggest that drug treatment does reduce drug abuse — a sprawling, vague term for the vast catalog of substance-related ills — by 40 to 60 percent. But government studies also suggest that 80 percent of addicts will relapse after treatment. And experts in the field seem to agree that the success rate for rehab programs, most of which are based on the 12-step therapy created by Alcoholics Anonymous, hovers somewhere between 30 percent at best, and below 10 percent at worst." (Here the rest.)
In the meantime, I’ve received some interesting reader mail on the topic. Here’s a couple of thoughts: "For a change, your article was well-balanced informative, and fair. It was especilly enlightening, however inadvertantly, in illuminating what the recovery business is all about. It’s not about addiction, methods, success percentages, hope, support, reaffirmations, or any other fascade these unregulated, unsupervised, and private rehab centers offer and/or present – it’s all about one thing only. Money. As usual, candy coated- arrogance-dipped, ego-infused, money-loving, blathering "experts" talk alot and have nothing to say. If their words offered anything of value, the centers would be near empty."
and this, from a recovering alcoholic:
" I am an alumnus of Promises. I completed 30 days residential treatment on New Year’s Day 2005. I then completed a 30 day stint in a "sober living home," owned by Promises. During this time I completed out-patient follow-up treatment. The entire time I was subjected to random, bi-weekly urine analyses. I have never met Mr. Rogg, but I did see his shiny new Range Rover on the campus. Yes, it is a business, a lucrative one at that. And I am grateful for its existence. It is now over two and a half years later and I can say with pride I am still sober. I have not relapsed. Not once."