Addicted to rehab

I want to thank people for their very encouraging comments and suggestions following my last post. They have really inspired me. So…I’m going to keep the blog going for a while, and I’m going to enjoy it.

Now here’s that guest post I promised you–


…by Michael A…

After going through 28 rehabs within 3 years, I now carry 3½ years of sobriety. During my recovery attempts, I fell into an unforeseeable yet common addiction. I became addicted to rehab itself, sometimes called the “Treatment Shuffle.”

My addiction started as many commonly do – partying at a young age and going too far until I needed drugs every day to feel ok with all my insecurities. By the age of 21, I was crying for help, addicted to cocaine and opioids. Thanks to my mother and her insurance, we were confident we could find affordable treatment. Researching treatment revealed an overwhelming number of drug rehab centers, most of which looked like 5-star resorts. This appeared like a nice way to step away from my broken lifestyle. Neither I nor my mom knew how to appropriately vet treatment, and I chose the one that appealed to me aesthetically. My mom was just happy I was going somewhere safe, away from drugs.

luxurious I was astonished by the luxury when I arrived, but still nervous about this life change. I was approached by a client who befriended me, giving me an education on the “how to screw the system” plan that most of the clients followed. I learned about abusing detox meds, how to act like the perfect client, and who to get real (illegal) drugs from, all within the first week.

After the detox and stabilization phase, I was sent to a less structured environment to transition back to normal life. This concept should work. However, this center, scummy rehablike many others, placed me in a low-income area surrounded by drug activity. Imagine 50 people from all over the country who just want to get high in a house where drugs are right over the fence. Most clients hopped the fence every day, got high, and hooked up with girls (it was a coed rehab). It was chaos. Being insecure, I fell right in. We’d get caught, sent back to detox, loaded up on suboxone and benzos (detox meds we’d get high on) and start treatment all over. The insurance billing cycle restarts and we would too. These types of centers benefit if you relapse because they can bill your insurance at a higher level of care.

I didn’t learn much at this 30-day treatment center. No healing took place, and all I wanted was to keep numbing my emotions with drugs. When I finished, I went to a group therapysober living house, attempted AA, but continued to relapse. I still needed some real therapy. As time continued, I met more experienced users, got into new drugs, and learned more about how to use rehabs and detoxes to support my addiction.

I played out the same pattern for about 3 years. I’d get high until I ran out of money, then go to detox for a free (insurance doc writing scriptcovered) high on opioid-benzo detox cocktails. When I really needed a reset, I would check into luxury treatment centers to get food, sleep and “work the system.” My insurance was great, and I found sober living homes that welcomed me to live there for free and get high, as long as I attended their outpatient rehab program. Treatment centers got paid for every relapse, and my addiction got worse. I knew I needed something more. I had to get away from this lifestyle of rehab hopping. There had to be something different.

By talking to people who had sustained sobriety and success in life, I heard about different approaches to recovery: Centers that were long term (3-5 months), challenging physically and mentally, and forced you to confront your traumas and action-based-rehabnegative thinking patterns. Places that used alternative approaches to therapy, such as SMART recovery, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, fitness therapy, and other critical thinking techniques to heal an addicted brain. For an analytical, physically broken person like me, this sounded like what I needed. I was guided to a place called Tree House Recovery in California, which offered this alternative approach.

When I got to Tree House, I began a routine of daily fitness therapy, team based training in the ocean that forced the pre-frontal cortex (logic & connection) to be engaged, intense motivational interviewing and therapy, and an addiction education that was more in depth than any other center had offered. It was impossible for me not to heal here. My brain got rewired, I felt empowered, and tree housebegan to love life sober. I would highly recommend exploring Tree House Recovery to get an idea of evidence-based treatment that works. This was the one that worked best for me, but I would suggest doing the appropriate research for each individual circumstance.

If you know someone struggling with addiction, whether it’s their first time looking for treatment or the 28th time, look through the options. DO NOT let someone pick the easiest route. Do not rush into the first one that will take someone. Spend the time necessary time to make this the only/last treatment needed. Ask the centers you’re looking at for their success rates, and ask how they define success. Is it graduation rates, or graduates that have remained sober for at least a year after treatment? Ask how they obtain this data and how often. Ask what methods are used for treating the biological, psychological, and societal aspects of addiction: how often and why? Most importantly, read a lot of testimonials from graduates and parents.

Rehabs do work if you go to the right one and follow a successful routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I got sober to succeed in life. I learned how to use my drive (once used on drug seeking) to find happiness,  to achieve excellence and follow my passions. Having an addictive disposition can be seen as an advantage in life when that “go go go” mentality is used for good. I love life today, and am fortunate I survived the “Treatment Shuffle.” 6 ½ years later, I can say success is possible.





53 thoughts on “Addicted to rehab

  1. Ira Gnesin September 14, 2018 at 4:27 am #

    Hi and thanks Michael for your post.

    I have also been down the long road of 20 something rehabs and i also know the demoralizing effects of what each failure and relapse took from me. I find it interesting how my addiction/denial adapted to my life of rehab. The defense systems became so complex by adopting all the recovery knowledge i had gained in all the treatment centers. By the time i came to my last treatment center, everything was so complicated, i had an answer for everything, i knew this and i knew that. I had studied counselling at one stage and that didnt help either, i knew what was happening within the counselling team and used “their” knowledge against them. I was splitting the team often and creating another exit for myself to continue with the using life.
    Like you I had learnt lots about all the other pharmaceutical drugs on the market. Subs, methadone, benzos and and and…I had reached new lows. Withdrawals broke me, in the vulnerability of being physically broken, all the smoke settled. I saw all the chaos, all the loss and broken relationships came to the surface. I wanted to end it all, not off myself but end the using. I was so deep in the chase and the fear of detox that i couldn’t see what was real. The process in the rehab changed, i gave the program my everything and funny enough i now work as a counsellor at the same rehab a few years later.
    Seems like rehab at the right time, with the right people, doing the right things is the way it goes for those who get and stay clean.

    thanks again for the post

    • Shaun Shelly September 14, 2018 at 5:31 am #

      Almost any supportive and collaborative therapeutic process at the “right time” works. When people are motivated to change, they change. They may need a ‘temporary scaffolding’ to quote Marc, but they will make changes. sometimes a change of scenery can help.

      With the exception of people with significant mental health issues, most people will self-resolve when the equation of “use” “don’t use” repeatedly falls towards “don’t use” side (this is a complex equation with many intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

      What does NOT ever work is confrontation, breaking people down, predicting failure, removing autonomy and the like.

      What really interests me is not the people who want to change but those who have no intention or desire to stop despite the health impacts of using drugs rendered significantly harmful due to prohibitionist policies. How do we assist those people to survive and reduce the impacts of illicit drugs. I think the answers are pretty clear, but the policy makers would rather let people die.

      • matt September 14, 2018 at 10:53 am #

        Nobody likes being told what to do and being judged for it when you don’t. Nobody. Ever. So how is that supposed to work? All it does it get some people rich faster at the expense of the lives of people who are desperate and vulnerable. There has to be a shift and it has to come from us— the people who understand it at the most visceral level….

      • Ira Gnesin November 20, 2018 at 1:54 am #

        100% Shaun, the breaking people down is a no no in my book. Why break “broken people” down even more.
        The only thing i can think within your interests is harm reduction, we obviously cant make people to stop using so i guess all we can do is try make it safer so that one day they will come to a point where they might want to stop using. Our worldly systems are designed to fail addicts. People say that recovery from addiction is so rare (not sure of the percentage) but its not only addiction that is the problem but the way addicts are treated. This war on drugs unfortunately is more a war on addicts and with that the governments are sending people to their graves.

      • Ira Gnesin November 20, 2018 at 1:58 am #

        I also feel majority of treatment centres are so “problem” based, that they create a stigma that addicts carry about themselves, often followed by internal breaking down of ones self…shame….guilt…im bad etc…
        I believe moving towards a system that focuses on solutions and how to actually take action within those solutions would change alot in the industry.
        Solution driven treatment…

    • C. Frustrated September 15, 2018 at 11:39 am #

      My thoughts on the subject of rehab addiction with the little bit I read. AA,NA,.CA and any other A became an addiction for me and let me tell you, it was not healthy. I can’t read right now because I’m in the middle of dram in my life. My son wth A.D.D. has received another referral falling
      iut” in

    • Mike Johnson November 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm #

      I’ve been through the same thing. I think I have all the answers. Now in a rehab in Ottawa working on rewiring my brain.
      Reading Marc Lewis’s book has given me the insite I’ve been looking for.
      His vision is so bang on. Now I am excited for change and I am building off my self worth. Getting high on finding ways not to use. I enjoy reading all the opinions….thank you

  2. Rita September 14, 2018 at 5:03 am #

    In the ocean. Hm. Some sunbathing increasing vitamin D levels? Vitamin D fights inflammation. It perhaps fights brain inflammation as well? Brain inflammation increases addiction risk. Plus physical exercise, no pollution beside the ocean.

  3. Shaun Shelly September 14, 2018 at 5:10 am #

    There is not a single well designed study that supports the idea that rehab, and particularly 28-day rehab with twelve step facilitation, makes any improvement on the rates of spontaneous resolution of dependent, habituated drug use. There are a number that show that it can be iatrogenic and, as in the case described above, delay resolution.

    It also amazes me that in the field of ” ‘addiction’ ‘treatment’ ” (both deserve inverted commas – and eye roles – as does the term), interventions that reduce mortality and harm are vilified or even illegal, while ‘treatments’ that increases mortality and risk are promoted. Who is in denial?

    • Michael A September 14, 2018 at 10:16 am #

      Well said. The harm reduction approach is backed by a lot of money and studies. And as it does decrease mortality temporarily, it perpetuates the cycle of addiction even more. These unsustainable approaches may help someone when there are no other options, but learning how to truly heal the brain is possible, and needed now more than ever.

      • Shaun Shelly September 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm #

        You have missed my point. Abstinence based treatment increases mortality. Harm reduction is essential in a prohibitionist setting. The brain is not ‘damaged’ in ‘addiction’. It is operating optimally for the circumstances and motivation the particular individual experiences. The ‘healing’ id learning new areas of motivation and increased salience beyond that of the drug. To be ‘addicted’ is part of the human condition.

        • Michael A September 17, 2018 at 10:49 am #

          Shaun, I must have missed that point because to me that makes no sense. How does putting a band aide on addiction seem more effective than addressing root causes and ridding the brain’s necessity for chemicals? From experience, maintenance drugs did not help me heal or address what caused my addiction to drugs, all it did was prolong my suffering. Humans can find healthy addictions in life, sure, but while addicted to drugs and alcohol the brain is not optimized, as you say. It has distorted thinking and the survival instincts are focused on drugs. I understand it’s not possible for everyone to get the right help, and I do see the benefit in maintenance drugs helping save the lives of people who have no other resources. however, I have never met anyone that has successfully completed a maintenance program and went on to live a healthy clean life after… no, they need treatment to get off of those drugs. Addiction to drugs is a symptom of an internal problem that can be addressed and overcome with the right amount of work and guidance.

          • Shaun Shelly September 22, 2018 at 8:35 am #

            Well, I respectfully disagree with almost everything:
            1) you cannot rid the brain of the need for chemicals, otherwise you would die.
            2) the brain may well be optimised by a dependence – some people function better on certain drugs
            3) maintenance programmes do not get ‘completed’ – they are indefinite and people can decide to stop them or go on and off as they wish.
            4) people ween off agonists all the time
            5) I know many dependent heroin users, former users, methadone users, buprenorphine users, methamphetamine users etc who live health and clean lives (they shower almost daily)
            6) habituated dependent drug use is usually a function of undue salience + learned response. Undue salience is due to the drug meeting some need, and that is often due to external factors that impact on the individual. So I agree that these need to be addressed.

            • Michael A September 25, 2018 at 10:38 am #

              Thanks for the detailed and clear response. It seems like an educated an experienced one at that. It’s interesting to hear this point of view. I don’t think this should be the first go-to for treatment. Why not try to be completely clean and healthy? With the right treatment I think that’s possible for anyone: overcoming addiction without medication assistance. I tried methadone for nine months, suboxone for a year, antidepressants and mood stabilizers for years… I didn’t find success until I attempted treatment with absolutely zero meds. Getting sober with no medicine was the greatest decision of my life.

              • Marc September 25, 2018 at 4:03 pm #

                Hi Michael. I think you sometimes conflate “your” path to health with “the” path to health, with health conceived in the broadest possible sense. Just staying alive is a lot healthier than dying with a needle in your arm. But Shaun’s response points to a much broader array of outcomes and means for achieving them. People are very different, and so are their social, political, and financial environments.

                It’s helpful to imagine this diversity and to recognize that your path may not be ideal or even possible for other people in other circumstances. It’s also important to try to avoid gravitating to a normative formula that expresses a moral “best”. This may be quite unintentional….it can be the result of years of almost inescapable brainwashing. Still…in trying to help others, we need to be aware of our own assumptions and where they come from.

      • Carlton September 25, 2018 at 10:16 pm #

        Shaun, Michael, regarding the terms, “spontaneous resolution” and “Heal the Brain”.

        A persons feelings of desire/affection/cravings, etc., can change spontaneously when a profound realization occurs about something.

        For instance, a young neighbors feelings of love for the changing colors of the leaves in the fall, were profoundly and forever changed when she learned the colors are caused from a severe lack of nutrition due to the change in the weather.

        Profound and spontaneous realizations like this can also occur to an addict too.

        The term ; ”Heal the Brain” makes sense when the frequent use of a substance is changed, but I think realizations of some sort, occur first, before the re-routing of the brain begins to change.

        For example, I think a percentage of former addicts could look back and notice that the many relapses they had were similar, because their feelings had not changed much.

        But the later relapse was different, and I think its because “realizations” of some sort occurred, spontaneous or otherwise.

        The feelings or desire/craving/relief that the substance produced can change to feelings of limitation and restriction when using the substance again, and this happen naturally, like with that young neighbor above.

        A study of this could shed more light on understanding of both addiction and recovery.

        • Shaun Shelly October 3, 2018 at 7:53 am #

          Indeed Carlton. An emotionally charged event in one’s life can bring about apparent instant change of behaviours – religious conversion often results in ‘overnight change’.In reality, the event is probably the result of significant pre-change contemplation that suddenly comes together in a significant moment. The motivation for change increases, and change happens, and is held in place by a new purpose or focus of attention, and the brain kind of catches up, laying down new pathways.

          • Carlton October 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

            Yes, I used this simple analogy at Recovery meetings;

            The basket of a Hot Air Balloon does not move as the balloon is being filled, and then it does suddenly, almost”Instantaneously”

            But it was not “Instantaneous”…the prepping-time and filling the Balloon preceded it.
            This analogy can help certain people stay motivated despite the inevitable forward and backward steps during the recovery process.

  4. matt September 14, 2018 at 6:05 am #

    Thanks for this Marc. It’s something I’ve had to think about a lot recently. What is this hyper-focused habituation and where does it come from? I think addiction and recovery are a two-way street; just as it was hard to imagine how I got myself so deep in the pit of despair at the depths of my addiction, it was equally unexpected when my perspective flipped, and I realized, “I don’t have to do this to myself anymore.” “Addiction” is not about what you do, but why you do it. Good, or bad. And beyond all the semantic wrangling and theoretical “smoke and mirrors and bullshit”, everybody gets into this in different ways for different reasons. Everybody’s recovery is gonna look different– and that’s just a fact. It’s an amazing opportunity to discover who we really are, and what’s really important to us that often gets squandered on techniques to squash a socially stigmatized behavior…and often justified in the name of capitalism.

    “Addiction”, at its root, is about survival. It’s about feeling safe; it’s about feeling part of your “tribe” again. “Recovery” is too. It’s about love and connection and shared experience— not reprimand and punishment. We need to develop treatment systems, and train professionals and society at-large how to do this. Everybody is addicted to something; it’s just a matter of degree and severity of the consequences. It’s time we looked at it for what it is: a phenomenon of human behavior and an adaptive response looking for certainty in a world gone mad. [dramatic emphasis mine]

    • Michael A September 14, 2018 at 10:38 am #

      Exactly! Being part of a tribe is in our instincts. Isolation is a killer for people struggling with addiction. It perpetuates the cycle over and over again. “I’m sad so I isolate, I isolate so I’m sad, I use because I’m sad..” and so on. Connection is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success, and not just in recovery, in life as a whole.

    • Marc October 3, 2018 at 12:59 am #

      Matt. This little essay is a gem. I didn’t have anything to add, so didn’t add anything. But it’s worth reading — for anyone who hasn’t yet — and it links well to my next post.

  5. Angela Nolan September 14, 2018 at 8:12 am #

    Michael, I will attempt to be gentle here. Do you have any idea how privileged you are to have gone to (WHAT!?!?!?) 28 treatments in three years? Do you realize how few people have that opportunity – especially women and minorities who live in inner cities and who are literally in survival mode on a daily basis? Your story is more affirmation that treatment does not work and that gobs of money are being made on people like you, whose myriad trips to treatment increase insurance costs for all of us.

    I’m glad you’re sober, but like Shelley, I believe it’s because you decided to change and not due to one treatment being superior to another. Maybe that was the last treatment your insurance was going to pay for? There should be a limit of about 2-3 treatments and then you’re on your own. That’s when we sink or swim.

    I do appreciate your sharing your story. People need to know this kind of bullshit is going on and people are dying from it. I highly recommend that you read “Chasing the Scream: The First and Final Days of the War on Drugs” by Johann Hari. That book could provide you with a more realistic view of what’s going on out in the bigger world where 28 treatments is about the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever heard and should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.

    • Michael A September 14, 2018 at 10:33 am #

      Angela, I completely agree with you. In my 3rd treatment center I learned my insurance had a policy referred to as the “forgiveness policy.” This policy allowed me to attend as many treatments as I wanted to, back to back, as long as my premium was payed. Today I work closely with treatment centers and other people in recovery, and everyday I feel terrible that me, others like me, and corrupt treatment centers have caused so many changes in insurance policies that deny thousands of people everyday from getting the help they need. I was privileged. You’re right about that. These inauthentic treatment centers knew that, and took advantage of people in my situation.

      I do appreciate you saying this. There should be a known limit. That would change the mindset of entering treatment for people. I think the limit should be circumstantial, and should give greater coverage to treatment centers that can prove their success (performance based reimbursements).

      I disagree with one part of this. I did not enter my last treatment center ready to change, and I had plenty of coverage left. There are superior treatments out there. I think it is an absolute necessity for the survival of this epidemic for people to realize that. It’s more than the cliche that people change when they’re ready. That mindset kept me (and others) close to death, because I was never ready. I needed to be confronted, I needed to get physical, I needed real world healthy living, I needed my thinking patterns completely changed, I needed friends, and I could not do any of that on my own. Only one treatment center taught me what I needed, and I’ve been sober ever since. It is crucial for people to go to the right treatment center. People expect a service at rehab, and they should get it. It shouldn’t be solely on their readiness. There needs to be a seed of hope, and a superior rehab will use that until the client succeeds. I know this to be true.

      • Beth White September 15, 2018 at 12:45 am #

        How refreshing; an intelligent and respectful discussion about ‘addiction’ (agree with the quotation fingers) and ‘rehabilitation’ that does not get hijacked (yet) by devotees of one particular ‘fellowship’. But I noticed your statement, ‘People expect a service at rehab..” and I don’t know if I agree. In my experience most people expected nothing and got what they expected. Most people where I was (state-run) were told what to do, what to think, to sit down and shut up and like it. Many people don’t have a clue what to expect or what to demand or if they are getting bad service. I wanted to explore the reasons I was doing what I was doing. I wanted to do the work. But I was treated more like a prisoner. At the place I went the attendants ruled the roost, not the clinicians. They were so busy running around giving our restrictions and infractions at the drop of a hat that after a while I was becoming a nervous wreck and all I wanted to do was run away so I could drink again. One of the things you mentioned that caught my eye was a place that taught “critical thinking techniques’ and I couldn’t agree more. in my experience they taught ‘sheep-following’ techniques, or one-size fits-all problem solving and thinking techniques. Anyway, loved following the discussion

        • Michael A September 17, 2018 at 6:04 pm #

          Beth, I understand and that makes sense. I went to treatment to get help. I wanted help. I didn’t know what that was, but I knew I needed it. I rarely found something that was actually beneficial. If I had a more common disease and went to the doctor for treatment, and he said well heres a book on how to treat it, you have to do the work.. that would be unacceptable. I think addiction treatment needs to be viewed the same way. Of course there has to be a willingness, but even the smallest amount of willingness can be turned into success with the right approach. A therapist has to understand each client and treat them accordingly, you’re absolutely right about the one-size-fits-all approach not being efficient. Its’ unfortunate that state ran facilities seem to have such an approach as stated, I hope resources can be allocated to fix this epidemic at all levels, especially for those who do not have the resources to go to private facilities.

    • C. Frustrated September 16, 2018 at 8:34 am #

      Agreed Angela. Until I wanted to change, no Rehab was going to help. I too was able to find drugs in the rehab, play the perfect client role….Ive not been to 28. Only 3. One in 1987…my parents sent me. I got kicked out for fraternizing. 2006, my marriage was at stake. And 2009 ,I was court ordered. After my divorce, RN license taken away and jail time my addiction continued. Then, one day I woke up. I still struggle at times but I’m over every substance but 1. That’s occasional. Only because I’m being kept busy by a few people in my home and sober life. Not much time for my other life. It only works if one wants it. Just like quitting smoking cigarettes. I enjoy them and there isn’t a program that will help me quit because I don’t want to.

  6. Marc Pellicane September 14, 2018 at 8:37 am #

    How about fantasy land!!!!!!!!! I did the Florida thing for a while. Went to rehab, got in a halfway house. Relapsed. Went to another halfway house in the middle of Drug central. Was playing basketball with all these Haitian guys who wanted to sell me cocaine. It’s a scam. It’s a revolving door. It’s total insanity. I got away from the recovery culture and learned how to live. I drink moderately and my life is 1000% better than when I kept calling myself and alcoholic and an addict. Stop with that sick mindset.

    • Gary September 14, 2018 at 11:07 am #

      It took only one exposure to treatment for me to get it, however, it was mostly due to where I happened to be in my life that made it possible. One thing that makes a whole lot of sense to me is something said by Jiddu Krishnamurti…”The Root of Psychological disorder begins with the Self”. Once I removed this sense of myself, with “my” problems, “my” poor life, it was only then that things got better and better. It’s a way of seeing without a need or search for “happiness” more about awareness of what actually is. More about the realization that everybody hurts and perhaps look for their own escapes.

      “A Mind Made Up” is a powerful thing in that it can bring a clarity like no other exhausting any excuses about what needs to be done. “Change” as they say is an Inside Job!~

      • Michael A September 14, 2018 at 12:27 pm #

        This is great information Gary. A victim mindset only sets us back. I had to learn this before I could heal as well.

      • Donnie Mac September 14, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

        “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
        Jiddu Krishnamurti

  7. Tim Arrigo September 14, 2018 at 9:03 pm #

    I am a certified drug and alcohol counselor with over 10,000 hours in the field. When it comes to this subject I have experience and feel obligated to share this. The statement “maybe you’re not done” or “they aren’t going to stop until they’re done” needs to be understood appropriately. Due to the over saturation of treatment programs and their need to support themselves as a business, programs often are eager to take in any client that says, “I need help”. This seems ethical from an objective lens. From my experience many of these clients do not want to continue to suffer by using drugs and alcohol, but rather are not prepared to receive the healing necessary to fully recover (i.e. take full responsibility for their life and play a role). If you know anything about substance abuse/ dependency you hopefully are aware that root cause MUST be addressed. There is a predisposition to addiction that is centered and rooted in large and small traumatic experiences that were not met with sufficient self-soothing or adaptive copping strategies. Because of the neurological effect these experiences have, and the stress/ painful emotions they produce; if an individual does not rely on interpersonal coping skills (learned early in life from caregivers) or familial support (because of emotionally unavailable caregivers etc), then the first time they use substances their brain makes a profound connection with these substances-as they mitigate stress and release an influx of dopamine. Therefore the brain sees this behavior as a solution to stress management, emotional regulation and self-soothing. Without simultaneously addressing ROOT cause and simultaneously teaching effective CBT/ DBT/ REBT strategies, an individual remains with a high propensity for chronic relapse. With that being said: a client does not choose suffering. What you are seeing is a negative schema produced by several attempts at healing at facilities that are inept at treating the root cause AND the personality. This can’t be treated with kid gloves. Treatment staff MUST be as invasive as the trauma itself in a loving and supportive way, and cut through the manipulative and defensive personality type. Most of the clients are enabled by businesses with inadequate approaches and therapists/ interns who attempt traditional therapy techniques. What we are seeing is a codependent and toxic relationship between people who are not ready to take responsibility for their life because every treatment experience has yielded the same result AND treatment programs who enable this by not addressing it. People go to treatment which in and of itself is a form of disassociation just like using drugs and alcohol. And they also get secondary gains from it through the validation and praise from their families. Would you try to get help if you had no clue why you got high and every experience in treatment yielded the same result (relapse) because treatment programs never educated you in regards to neurobiology or addressed root cause/ effective coping and your dysfunctional personally type? I didn’t think so.. We need to advocate for programs who treat this effectively and help people receive the healing they deserve.

    It’s great to see and be able to work with programs like Tree House Recovery who are addressing this appropriately and ethically. Thank you Micheal A for sharing your story. I hope this can help others understand how some treatment programs contribute to the phenomenon of “rehab repetition”.

    • Marc September 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi Tim. I agree with most of what you say and the gist of your remarks about addressing root causes. I disagree a bit on the generality you ascribe to timing and the role of dopamine. I think that even troubled kids with insufficient opportunities or skills in emotion regulation don’t necessarily plunge into an addiction (with a fountain of dopamine) the first time they try some drug or other. Rather, I think the addiction grows, and the shift from failed attempts at self-regulation to regulation via substances can be slow or gradual, as well as sometimes quick and sudden. And of course, you can become very stuck once that shift is sufficiently practiced and reinforced, whenever it locks in.

      I do like your image of a codependent relationship between clients who aren’t ready to change and treatment personnel who don’t have the tools to help them. That’s a very useful formula, and I fear it’s extremely common.

      Thanks for your contribution.

  8. Terry John McGrath September 16, 2018 at 8:11 pm #

    what is “sobriety” anyway ??

  9. Carlton September 17, 2018 at 10:33 pm #

    Michael A, so in hindsight, how would you consider the period of addiction you experienced, and then the freedom from the addiction that followed?

    There are now a number of Models for Addiction and Recovery, and curious if in hindsight, what you make of it now.

    • Michael A September 18, 2018 at 11:28 am #

      Carlton, I would love to respond accurately. I’m not sure I understand exactly what you are asking.

      • Carlton September 20, 2018 at 1:10 pm #

        Hi Michael,

        Sorry for the poor wording on my part, but basically,

        What model of addiction most “fit” with what you experienced?

        • Michael A September 25, 2018 at 10:44 am #

          Ok I think I understand: The model of addiction that I was taught and made sense to me to overcome my addiction was this: Some of us have a genetic predisposition for addiction, once unlocked, we have an addicted brain. Our lymbic system now thinks it needs drugs to stay alive, and the prefrontal cortex is tricked into rationalizing this to keep the lymbic brain happy. The prefrontal cortex basically stopped performing the way it should. Understanding this, and learning how to rewire my brain back to an optimized, healthy state through CBT, REBT, Mindfulness, Physical Activity, and living a fulfilling lifestyle, is what got my mind back to a state that does not desire drugs or alcohol. Hope this answers your question, let me know if theres anything I missed.

          • Carlton September 27, 2018 at 8:27 am #

            Michael, thanks for the reply and clear description.

            In a way, it helps show that particular models of Addiction can “make sense”, and can be “believable’ to different people.

            No one model is necessarily ”the “only” or “right” model.

            Interestingly, a persons beliefs about their Addiction and Recovery may be more of a deciding factor for them, than medical or scientific facts and evidence.

            This in itself may throw more light on understanding Addiction and what is currently referred to as “Recovery”.

  10. bobjames October 1, 2018 at 11:39 am #

    This is very bad that mostly boys and girls are involve in taking drugs and make a habit of taking drugs. This is too much dangerous.

  11. john timber October 1, 2018 at 6:43 pm #

    I had Healthcare with my job and entered the Priory for a while. I was recently divorced and estranged from my children. I checked out and continued to drink myself into oblivion…..for 18 years! It was a sort of self-harm…..I was punishing myself for something I didn’t know I’d done. Perhaps I’d spent too much time in work and neglected family life? I hadn’t drank excessively whilst married and working (Operations Director – Automotive)…..long hours and a fairly brutal job. It’s been 18yrs since seeing my children. They were 11 and 13 the last time I saw them. I hope my ex-wife and children are happy and well but I’d dearly love a reconciliation with my children and an armistice with my ex-wife.

    Inspiration and motivation to stop boozing cannot come from others. I woke up one morning and without any plan or decision, I stopped. No-one talks about ‘backbone’? I went through withdrawal on my own. Then, I went through weeks of feeling frail and paranoid. I felt worthless as I did the inventories of damage and losses. Slowly my health improved and I started feeling a bit more positive. After a couple of months I was feeling really robust and wanted physical and mental challenges. The third stage had began: I was ready to face the world, ready to resurrect old hobbies, even ready to consider resurrecting my career, etc. But ennui (frustration with the boredom) is a peculiar emotion. Ready for anything…..but too lazy to get up and make it do it or make it happen! Rehab and all the other support mechanisms seem to mollycoddle the alcoholic/drug addict……they’ll let support personnel wipe their bottoms if they’re so foolish! Backbone is crucial! “If the mountain won’t go to Mohamed…..” Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. One shot!

  12. Tim Anderson November 9, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

    I guess being addicted to rehab means being addicted to sobriety. Cool post!

  13. Rehab December 16, 2018 at 11:07 am #

    Hi Tim Anderson,
    A great informative post you have shared on this page about the Addicted to rehab cost but My addiction started as many commonly do – partying at a young age and going too far until I needed drugs every day to feel ok with all my insecurities. By the age of 21, I was crying for help, addicted to cocaine and opioids. Thanks to my mother and her insurance, we were confident we could find affordable treatment. Researching treatment revealed an overwhelming number of drug rehab centers, most of which looked like 5-star resorts. This appeared like a nice way to step away from my broken lifestyle. Neither I nor my mom knew how to appropriately vet treatment, and I chose the one that appealed to me aesthetically. My mom was just happy I was going somewhere safe, away from drugs. otherwise it may be effected on the nerves of a brain .

  14. Suzanne Storrie December 19, 2018 at 8:14 am #

    John Timber. I’m glad to hear you were successful in ceasing drinking alcohol, after deciding this path. I have really enjoyed reading all of the posts in this feed. I do want to note that there is danger of seizure and death when a regular heavy drinker of alcohol stops drinking suddenly. People need to be aware of this fact. Gradual reduction is recommended for alcohol, or a few days of medically assisted detox. Thanks for all this info sharing everyone.

  15. Camille Devaux January 28, 2019 at 6:07 pm #

    Admitting that you are struggling with an addiction is a great start. This is a wonderful way to make sure that you are getting the help that you need. My sister might like knowing this as she looks into getting an addiction recovery service.

  16. eye mask February 7, 2019 at 8:29 am #

    Hi rehab,
    The fireworks and loud bangs during the holiday:
    You can also help emergency responders on the 4th by keeping the intersection of Belmont Ave and Bellevue Pl. E. clear for emergency vehicles. In recent years, the intersection has become a popular spot during 4th Festivities, which is problematic as it’s also a direct link between Lakeview and South Lake Union. Please help police keep the street clear this year.

  17. Ridley Fitzgerald February 19, 2019 at 6:56 pm #

    It’s great to know more about rehab and overcoming addiction. I like how you said that the place you went to had a daily fitness therapy program. From what I’ve experienced, working out can really help curb an addiction, so that makes sense.

  18. facebook March 11, 2019 at 8:47 am #

    If you’re in the honeymoon period of your relationship (the first 1-2 years of seeing each other), you probably can’t get enough talking, touching, and being with your significant other. Your partner’s hands-on time may be double our projections, assuming 4 nights per week. On the other hand, if you have kids, it may be half that or 1 night per week due to the rugrats’ ability to launch spaghetti (actual pasta) all over your house, leaving you constantly cleaning up after them.

  19. facebook March 11, 2019 at 8:48 am #

    If you’re in the honeymoon period of your relationship (the first 1-2 years of seeing each other), you probably can’t get enough talking, touching, and being with your significant other. Your partner’s hands-on time may be double our projections, assuming 4 nights per week. On the other hand, if you have kids, it may be half that or 1 night per week due to the rugrats’ ability to launch spaghetti (actual pasta) all over your house, leaving you constantly cleaning up after them.

  20. facebook March 11, 2019 at 8:52 am #

    If you’re in the honeymoon period of your relationship (the first 1-2 years of seeing each other), you probably can’t get enough talking, touching, and being with your significant other. Your partner’s hands-on time may be double our projections, assuming 4 nights per week. On the other hand, if you have kids, it may be half that or 1 night per week due to the rugrats’ ability to launch spaghetti (actual pasta) all over your house, leaving you constantly cleaning up after them.

  21. Sam Li March 11, 2019 at 5:41 pm #

    I love what you said about conversing with people who have maintained sobriety throughout the course of their lives. Residential addiction treatment requires the aid and understanding of others in order to for it to work. If I had a loved one that was addicted to any form of substance, I would make sure to contact a medical center that has a reputable treatment service.

  22. Immigration attorney April 24, 2019 at 12:17 pm #

    Described by a former resident as “a charming inn,” Ledgehill was originally renovated as a corporate training center to four star hotel standards. Nine clients sleep in private rooms, furnished with queen-sized beds and en-suite bathrooms. Treatment and housing occur together at the farmhouse, and the property covers more than 110 acres of fields and woods to be explored. Miles of beaches and shorelines are also close by, providing plenty of opportunity to reconnect with nature.

  23. rusian brides May 20, 2019 at 1:58 pm #

    Depending upon the drug or alcohol addiction rehab program that you choose and your specific treatment needs, you may participate in some or all of the therapies listed above. Some programs offer more services that patients can choose to participate in. If you would like more specifics about a weekly routine in an addiction program, directly contact the program that you are considering and they will be able to answer any questions you may have

  24. rusian brides May 20, 2019 at 1:59 pm #

    I want to thank people for their very encouraging comments and suggestions following my last post. They have really inspired me. So…I’m going to keep the blog going for a while, and I’m going to enjoy it.

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