The following article, Is Your Son or Daughter Worse After Going to Rehab?, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Is your son or daughter worse after going to rehab? I know I was. I was mandated into a drug and alcohol treatment center in 1989 and I struggled horribly after my 18 month mandated stay was over. The reason for the struggle? I, and thousands like me each year, adopt the powerlessness narrative they impose while you attend and learn their “treatment”.
Know this – no good comes from convincing people they no longer have free will. No good comes from the lie that a disease of addiction is what drives an individual’s use. No good comes from telling the lie that the “alcoholic” or “addict” will struggle with cravings for the rest of their life, and their only relief will come in the form of endless recovery meetings and repeated rehab stays and perpetual therapy. No good comes from the myth that people called addicts and alcoholics cross a line into the abyss where they no longer choose their use, but are forced to use drugs and alcohol by some internal flaw or moral failing or fictitious disease. Simply put, your son or daughter continues to struggle needlessly because they are being taught misinformation that leads them on an endless and painful goose chase, fighting a bogeyman, called addiction.
After I realized that I was in better emotional shape before I went into treatment than when I got out, I made the decision to find out why. What part of the rehab charade caused me to feel so hopeless the day I graduated? That single goal – to find the answer to that question – resulted in the 31 year research project and the publishing of the book entitled, The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap. I finally found the answers I was seeking.
Here is what myself and my team of researchers found out:
-Addiction is not a disease.
-Addiction is not chronic or progressive.
-Addiction is not a relapsing brain disease.
-The self-image and label of alcoholic and/or addict are extremely harmful to the person and to moving past an addiction.
-Some people prefer heavy, habitual and risky substance use – and that preference can and does change when you provide the facts.
-People create long-lasting change in their lives when motivated by the pursuit of a happier existence – they struggle to create long-lasting change if they are motivated by pain or harsh consequences. Your source of motivation matters!
-Success is knowing that you are free and happily choosing what you see is best for you. Being coerced or forced into abstinence based on fear or ultimatums won’t be a successful path. The numbers don’t lie on this fact.
-Everyone should question drug effects – in short, substances DO NOT do the marvelous things we think they do. This knowledge is important.
-Recovery is the same trap as addiction – it ties you to past use, when in fact, you could leave it all behind you and move on without recovery.
-Substances don’t pharmacologically relieve emotional stress, trauma, depression, or anxiety; you do that (even when drunk and high).
-All choices – all of them – are made in the pursuit of happiness. This includes heavy substance use.
-Just because heavy substance use might result in pain and tragedy, does not mean it wasn’t a chosen habit on the front end.
-You are NEVER caused or compelled to use substances, you have personal reasons for using them. Causes and reasons are two very different things.
-Trying to replace a drug habit with other activities is different than simply moving on from a drug habit. We prefer moving on.
-“Getting wild” while drunk and high is a learned cultural activity, there is no pharmacological cause of misbehaving when using drugs and alcohol. That’s all you. In research, we call this the “license to misbehave.”
These and many more myths and truths are discussed in The Freedom Model. Here is the good news – the truth does indeed set one free. Once you are exposed to the facts based on science and credible research, your child or spouse can then make their own decision on abstaining or moderating their use. And they can do so easily. Most people move on from the addictions, and live wonderful, successful lives. But that doesn’t typically happen if the motivation for change is coerced and fear-based as it is in treatment circles. It’s time for a change in the addiction-help world. That change is happening every time a person learns they are in control and always have been, and that a substance has never been in charge.
Substances don’t think, they don’t have motives, they don’t addict people. And with this fundamental starting point, a person can explore the truth and truly move on, and they can do so without rehab or recovery.
If you or someone you love are ready to break free from the addiction and recovery trap and move on, call us at 888-424-2626.
For more information about The Freedom Model go to TheFreedomModel.org
Mr. Mark Scheeren is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the St. Jude Retreat, as is co-author of The Freedom Model for Addictions, Escape the Treatment and Recovery Trap, the original Non-12-Step approach for people who struggle with serious substance use issues. Mr. Scheeren and his staff of Researchers and Instructors have helped many thousands find permanent solutions to their drug and alcohol problems.
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