If you're exploring drug treatment options for yourself or a loved one, you've probably come across several 12 Step rehabs already. These traditional drug treatment centers often work in partnership with medical detox facilities, and because substance use disorder is often classified as a medical condition, they also accept payment from medical insurance providers. However, that doesn't mean their methods are scientific, effective, or even harmless.
12 Step style programs are so common (they account for over 90% of the programs in the US) that you might not be familiar with any other approach. Before you enter a drug treatment program, make sure you know what to expect. The following five consequences are common experiences for drug users who choose 12 Step programs.
It's called drug treatment for a reason. You go to rehab to "treat" the medical "disease" of addiction. 12 Step programs revolve around the concept of addiction and identify participants as "addicts" who will be afflicted for the rest of their lives. They ask you to depend on them to avoid a "relapse", and they remind you that drugs will always tempt you, so you'll always need to rely on a "higher power", group therapy, or a personal sponsor.
You may succumb to this self-fulfilling prophecy of cyclical drug use. Instead of working toward a long-term solution, you'll be equipped with several short-term solutions that may or may not work for you, so your odds of using drugs again are higher.
Traditional drug programs ask patients to submit to a "higher power". If you aren't spiritual or don't practice a monotheistic religion, this isn't just ineffective; it's downright discriminatory. They also ask participants to attend mandatory group meetings, and the demographics don't always represent their communities. If no one shares your sexuality, gender, religion, or race, you might feel marginalized or threatened.
12 Step programs often leave participants feeling alienated, defeated, and hopeless. As soon as they leave rehab, some people start using drugs again immediately. This habit escalates so quickly because they were taught that drugs will always be more powerful than them, and addiction will always affect them. They decide to give in and let the destructive behaviors consume them believing there is really no reason to try to get to change. Some people find that they are consumed by the thoughts of drugs and deprivation with 12 Step methods and feel driven by "uncontrollable cravings". In addition, if they have detoxed during their stay and decide to use after rehab at their previous level of drug use, the chance of overdose increases as the bodyâ€™s tolerance has decreased back to a pre-use level. If someone uses a drug at their old dose they needed to get high they can overdose on it now because their body can't handle the amount of drug in their system as it did.
In addition to drug addiction, a rehab center might decide you have bipolar disorder, depression, or another psychological condition. Co-occurring disorders are easy ways for rehabs to guarantee insurance coverage and inflate the cost of your care, because you now require psychiatric counseling and medication and ongoing aftercare.
When you enter drug treatment, you make your substance use a permanent part of your medical history. Rehabs also provide those records to multiple third parties, including insurance providers, rehab staff members, and even claims processors that work on behalf of insurance companies. Your medical and insurance records, which may reflect your drug use history, may even be subpoenaed in certain cases if you're facing legal issues ranging from custody and divorce battles, property settlements, criminal and civil matters, professional reputation or licensure concerns. Even having one's medical or insurance records leaked inappropriately is unfortunately too common in today's all access society.
Saint Jude Retreats provides a non-profit, private pay confidential experience for those who wish to deal with a substance use issue once and for all. There are no medical or clinical records made so none can ever be leaked or subpoenaed. Our staff doesn't spend its time on notes for insurance reimbursement but with you. You have complete control at all times of your workbook and text and you can keep or destroy it at the end of your stay as you wish.
You have the right to respect and confidentiality as you go through your process of change. It is deeply personal and yours alone and we respect your journey. If we can help you with working through your substance use issue, please call us today.