What Makes for an Effective Drug Addiction Program?

What is it that makes a drug addiction program effective? There are tens of thousands of drug addiction programs around the world. But, as an example of drug addiction program failure, in the US, only 40% of those entering drug rehab programs are going there for the first time. The other 60% may be there the second, third—or even tenth—time.


To be effective, drug addiction programs must address the three major factors that keep a person locked in addiction. These factors are depression, guilt and cravings.

Alleviating Depression

Some drug rehab programs simply find ways to overlay these factors with some kind of coping mechanism or worse yet, medication. In many rehabs, recovering addicts are prescribed anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants to keep them from feeling the anxiety or depression that is a natural extension of addiction. The loss of one’s control to addiction, and all the losses that follow months or years of dishonesty and criminal acts—if only the continuous buying of illegal substances—the loss of hope and love and optimism are enough to create anxiety and depression in anyone. Masking those emotions is not an effective method to get an addict out of addiction.

Overcoming Guilt

Guilt results from all the times the addicted person knows he or she put the drug habit before spouse, children, work and future. Perhaps there were times that other people became addicted because of their association with the addict or perhaps he experienced any of the terrible effects of addiction like overdoses or physical damage to self or others. Guilt is a natural result of addiction and the addictive lifestyle.

Eliminating Cravings

Cravings are a terrible curse for the addicted person. If not for the cravings perhaps she could rise out of the other effects and get sober. But addictive drugs create sharp, intense and driving cravings to use heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, alcohol, ecstasy and a long list of other drugs. It is perhaps impossible for the person who has never been addicted to fully understand this compulsion.

When a drug addiction program can lift these effects off the addict, then there can be hope for a sober future. This is what the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has been doing for more than forty years. Starting in Los Angeles over four decades ago and then spreading around the world, now addicts can have hope of a lasting sober future in Russia, Mexico, Taiwan, Europe and dozens of other countries in all corners of the globe.


The Narconon program is long-term and residential. The program itself offers each addict methods of addressing these three factors and overcoming their effects. When guilt, depression and cravings are alleviated and when the addicted person achieves a drug-free outlook on life and an interest in the present and the future once again, then lasting sobriety can be achieved.

When you need help eliminating these three factors of addiction for yourself or someone you care about, find your closest Narconon drug addiction program by contacting our international office. Find out how you or someone you love can find the help they need to achieve a lifetime of sobriety.