We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Rehab can keep you away from whatever you abuse or are addicted to for a few weeks or even months, and introduce you to various programs, but rehab cannot help build or maintain a life of sobriety and sane behavior.
Neither rehab, nor AA, nor any other program "works." The person has to "work the program," and work it as if their life depended on it. Often, it does.
The questions of whether a program or plan "works" premises a medical patient model, a passive model, as if addiction and abuse were like pneumonia, curable by the best antibiotic. They are not. You do not "go through rehab" any more than you "go through AA."
It can take a lifetime of effort to climb out of the abyss of substance abuse, and a lot of it does not feel very good at all. I have seen plenty of people make the deliberate and conscious choice to live lives of substance abuse. It's a free country. I just resent it when they do it on my nickel.
My mother has gone through 3 rehab programs. None provided long-term benefits because she didn't think she had a problem.
It didn't matter that her kids kept having interventions, or that she had strained relations with them or the grandkids. The problem was ours, not hers.
Eventually, things got better when she moved in with my sister. It seems she just missed having family around all the time and filled the gaps with alcohol.
She's not 100% 'cured', nor will she ever be at this point. But we were all aware she was using alcohol as a means of self-medicating. We just didn't know what she was medicating herself for.
Yes and no. Most people who get caught up in addictions have an addictive personality. I know people who after spending years in jail (with rehab) with no drugs or booze will in the first week out of jail seek drugs and booze and revert to their addiction. I have known others who went through rehab and were later able to "control" their addiction. That is only drinking at home in the evening or only doing the drugs at home in the evening and still working during the day and appearing to be 'normal". There is something in most addicts that makes them come back to it and that something doesn't exist for most people who are not druggies or alcoholics. Ditto for most smokers.
Addictive personality. Heh! That would be me. I stopped doing pot and cocaine 30 years back. Then quit smoking Camels (the no filter kind) 20 years ago. Stopped enjoying Tequila last year and Bud Lite last month.
Stopped all of 'em sooner or later. All you gotta' do is make that decision. A week or two of misery and life gets better.
But coffee???? Man, that caffeine withdrawal headache/migraine is a killer. I don't think I'll be tackling that one again any time soon.
I'm not sure it is spiritual emptiness. It seems that many if not all of those people unfortunate enough to have detectable mental illness such as bi-polar are very susceptable to addictions. While I suppose a strong religious belief and connection might help someone kick an addiction there is sufficient imperical evidence that it doesn't prevent one. I don't believe it is simply a moral failing either. There seems to be something in the DNA perhaps that links some people to addictive behaviour. We all know someone who smokes pot every night at home, may be successful in life but cannot and will not give up this addiction and rationalizes it as "normal" and anyone disagreeing with their "normal" as unemlightened. We all know people who drink a six pack or more every night or drink "socially" a few glasses of wine every night and think they don't have an addiction. Don't get me wrong I admire the alcoholic who has a few drinks every night in their own home and can hold a job, doesn't drive drunk and doesn't destroy their homelife with their addiction, BUT they are still addicted. Addicted but coping.
Per what the good doctor noted, you can stuff somebody into a 30 day spin-dry or court-order 'em to do meetings, but if they don't want recovery or are in denial, oh well. I find it interesting that folks introduce the "moral failing" opinion here. In the depths of my active addiction I held a job, paid my bills and so on; granted I was a lousy dad and husband, as my pursuits beyond working mostly involved getting and finding more to use, and using it. I hit my bottom at losing a promising career. My mental state was pretty bad, as I had not experienced a 'normal' range of emotions, or emotional growth, for years. I sought help from someone I knew, who had been going to AA for a long time; he knew me well and directed me to NA. That was 23 years ago.
My experience gives me a little insight into the darkness of addiction - being high gave me escape from someone I had not learned to love and care about - me. The physiological effects came later, and by then it wasn't about anything but *more*. Addiction is like that. It takes moral courage to admit you have the problem, and to work the steps to change it. I found recovery and also found that the morals and values I scraped together as a kid were still with me, waiting to be acted upon. Seems to me that "moral failure" is an unsuitable term for someone caught up in addiction, at least in most cases; I see plenty of people suffering from moral failure, in the news, every day. I'm willing to bet that not all of them are addicts.