With the recent news of drug and alcohol problems among several celebrities, including Whitney Houston and Lindsay Lohan, it  brings to mind the concern over the effectiveness of drug and alcohol treatment centers. We often hear in the news of the frequent check-ins to these places, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. You may wonder why these celebrities are in the revolving door and why they pay large sums of money for swank accommodations, but they never seem to get better. Here’s why.

First, and most importantly, they are often involved in an affluent lifestyle where drug and alcohol use is prominent. When someone around them decides that they have a problem, they are told to check themselves into drug or alcohol rehab. This is not their choice, but the act of taking advice from someone else. If they don’t want to fix the problem – or even admit that they have one – the chances of them succeeding are slim to none.

The next step in drug and alcohol treatment centers is admitting that you are powerless over drugs and alcohol; that it is a disease you cannot change, but must learn how to cope with every day for the rest of your life. This is not a hopeful outcome. In fact, many drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities will tell their “patients” that only 1 in 10 will successfully maintain sobriety for quite some time. This is discouraging news. Rather than giving them the tools of social education that they need to overcome their problems that are wrapped up in drugs or alcohol, they are told that they are likely doomed to failure. As a result, they seldom succeed.

At Saint Jude Retreats, we have a completely different philosophy – one that works, whether you are a celebrity or not. When someone is ready to admit that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol and they want to make a change, we can help. However, it must be the individual’s decision, not someone else’s. We do not pin the idea of powerlessness and hopelessness to their success. When people are given the information, education and tools to change, they can – and do — live a life free of substance use by taking charge and making wise choices. This applies to the everyone, including celebrities.

This brings us to the third issue of typical celebrity drug and alcohol rehab. The accommodations are swank. They are expensive. In truth, the facilities are no different than the local hospital or drug rehab center where many people without fame and fortune turn for help. The message of powerlessness, disease and probable failure is the same. The main difference is that the local hospitals and drug rehab centers do not have swank accommodations with high thread count sheets and high-dollar meals. At Saint Jude Retreats, we offer comfortable surroundings, confidentiality and nutritious food that tastes good. We provide a program that works for people who are willing to exercise their power of choice to create a change that results in life-long sobriety.