Why Addicts Need Rehab

Girl sitting in her room and worry about drug addiction

In 21st century America, drug and alcohol abuse is becoming more common, perhaps more common than it ever has been before. We are faced with a drug addiction epidemic, a crippling nightmare that has caused more than twenty-four million Americans to become hooked on drugs and alcohol. At this time, about fourteen percent of the U.S. population of adults, seniors, and teens are addicted to some form of substance, be it an illegal narcotic, a prescription drug, or alcohol.

But even though a quarter of one-hundred-million Americans are heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol, only about one in ten addicts ever actually gets the help that they need through an addiction treatment center. Why is this? Some believe that addiction treatment is relatively unattainable, or that treatment centers are too few and far between, or that treatment facilities are always too full and too overrun to be able to help everyone who needs help.

The Reality of the Addiction Treatment Gap

According to a report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse based out of the Columbia University: “The vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care. Only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works.”

To back up that concern, Thomas McLellan, co-founder and lead researcher on best practices for drug and alcohol addiction treatment at the Treatment Institute in Philadelphia, had this to say about the “treatment gap” as it is called:

“There are exceptions, but of the many thousands of treatment programs out there, most use exactly the same kind of treatment you would have received in 1950, not modern scientific approaches.”

“There are exceptions, but of the many thousands of treatment programs out there, most use exactly the same kind of treatment you would have received in 1950, not modern scientific approaches.”

Author and addiction expert, Anne M. Fletcher, wrote about the flaws of traditional addiction treatment, the classic, thirty-day model that isn’t long enough, can’t treat enough people to really make a difference, and which uses pretty outdated and no longer applicable technologies to attempt to rehabilitate addicts in the 21st century. She said that: “People with serious substance abuse disorders commonly require care for months or even years. The short-term fix mentality partially explains why so many people go back to their old habits.”

Expert opinion is pretty well aligned on this point. Yes, addicts need rehab, but they need inpatient rehab that lasts. By this is means that addicts need several months to get clean, not just a few weeks.

Why Rehab is a Must

The simplest answer as to why addicts need to go to rehab is simply because rehab is the key, singular effort that will help the addict overcome the morass of their addiction on their own. This is to say that addiction is not something that just goes away by itself, and an addiction is so consuming and so, seemingly all-powerful that this is something that the addict can almost never tackle effectively on their own. They almost always need help.

Narconon Rehab Program Detoxification

Rehab is a must for struggling addicts because it takes the tools one can get in rehab, plus the time spent in rehab detoxing off of drugs and alcohol, plus their own personal incentive and desire to get clean, all to overcome the beast that is an addiction. This is not something that will go away with just personal effort alone.

When addicts are trying to get help for a drug habit or want to get clean for good, their best shot at doing so is with inpatient rehab. But more specifically than that, it has to be inpatient rehab on a long-term basis.




After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.