What Rehab Success Means

Man after recovery on the beach

At what point has a drug addict in treatment achieved rehabilitation? How can you gauge real success with treatment? And what, really should be the outcome of any good drug rehab program?

Some consider that rehabilitation has occurred when the person has made it through the process of withdrawals and is no longer experiencing the overwhelming compulsion to get his or her next fix. The problem with this view, of course, is that the fact that a person is through withdrawals does not by any measure mean that he or she has broken the emotional addiction to drugs or alcohol, or has learned how to handle the stress and pressure which most likely drove the person to substance abuse in the first place. Another common idea of rehab is that all an addict needs to do is attend a 28-day rehab program, after which he or she should be in a stable position from which to move on in life. This cookie-cutter approach may work for some, but in all too many cases, it produces results which are indifferent, to say the least.

Furthermore, there are those who hold the view that rehabilitation is an ongoing process, one which has no end in sight. The most that a person can expect to achieve in rehab, according to those who share this viewpoint, is to be a recovering addict, a person who has to cope with his or her addiction and live with the idea that he or she has a disease or some type of moral failing.

What Constitutes ‘Good’ Rehabilitation

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has weighed in on the discussion of what constitutes rehabilitation. They define recovery as “[a] process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” The Narconon drug rehab program works toward a final result that is very much in line with this definition of rehabilitation. Narconon students achieve full and meaningful rehabilitation through a combined approach including both a physical and a mental/emotional address to addiction. Students begin the program with an initial detox phase to get through withdrawal, but they also continue with the sauna program, a regimen of healthy diet, nutritional supplements, moderate exercise and spending time in a dry heat sauna to sweat out accumulated toxic residues left from years of past drug use.

Next, a Narconon student completes numerous exercises called Objectives to bring his or her attention more into present time and to increase perception of the external environment, while also studying a series of life skills courses that serve to increase ability and confidence for handling people and situations in life.

What Happens in the Narconon Rehab Program

As an example of how the Narconon program achieves its goal of rehabilitation for the people who seek help at any of the Narconon centers located throughout the world, consider Ken’s story.

Ken was addicted to cocaine, crack cocaine and alcohol. Many alcoholics end up using cocaine because its stimulant effects serve to counteract the depressive effects of alcohol, making it easier for them to operate in life and to consume more alcohol. His addiction had alienated him from his family to the point where he says that he did not want to talk to his parents, his children or anyone else. “My addictions were making my life spiral completely out of control.”

All this changed when he checked into the Narconon Arrowhead treatment center in Oklahoma. He had made the decision to turn his life around and found that the staff at the Arrowhead center were very helpful and willing to work hard to assist him in achieving his goals. Ken states that the sauna detox was his favorite part of the Narconon program, saying that it got rid of his drug cravings and make him feel like he was young again. “This is when I first realized that this program really does work!”

After completing the counseling and life skills courses and graduating from the program, Ken said that Narconon helped him to feel like “a whole new man, a whole new dad, a whole new son, a whole new everything.” He says that the tools he learned in Narconon prepared him to return to life in the outside world with confidence that he can stay clean. Stories like Ken’s occur every day at the dozens of Narconon centers located on six continents worldwide, and they have been since the program was founded more than 50 years ago.

To read Ken’s full story go to: http://www.narconon.org/drug-rehab/centers/arrowhead-testimony-ken.html


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.