The old adage of abstinence which is believed to be the key to staying alcohol and drug free is hardly the most successful successful route from what I can gather, although, certainly the easiest, by far.

It is said that the only way to lead the clean and sober life addicts dream of is by abstaining completely from the drug of choice. Of course, this is made simpler by seeking help of a therapist or a licensed drug counselor.

There are countless amounts of dry rehabilitation centers all over that provide treatment according to your budget, lifestyle or type of discipline you prefer or deem necessary for a successful recovery.

These treatment centers can range in length from 28 days to upwards of 2 years, if court ordered for a more serious offense accompanying the drug use.

According to studies, treatment facilities that run liberty an 90 days and are more beneficial due to symptoms that can take up to a year or two to fully subside if the user was using heavily over a longer period of time.

These centers allow more time for complete recovery, “complete” being somewhat loosely used as people have different views of what a successful recovery looks like.

CRTC, a court ordered treatment facility, is at the very least 6 months long and is able to keep residents at the facility for up to 2 years if they feel it is beneficial.

It is more like jail than your stereotypical treatment center but is less harsh leaving than bars and locks out at every right turn. It is described as a correctional facility with an underlying treatment component.

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are followed as they are with a majority of treatment centers but they have a mandated curriculum that includes classes such as Trauma and Anger Management, courses that are usually required by the court, anyway.

Treatment centers such as this claim to have a 75% recovery rate but since being successfully discharged from the facility, I have not been able to find any factual statistic. Imagine that. How do they measure successful recoveries?

Is it by keeping up with residents overall quality of life or is it by the number of residents that keep it hush, hush and avoid another stay in county jail, or worse?

I’ve been there, the drug user or the “drug addict”, as they told everyone they were, just by being there. It didn’t matter whether it was a first time offense with less than a gram or a offense that was one Martin Lawrence and Will Smith would be envious of, with or without corpses being used as luggage.

I mean, to each their own. I personally had a smaller amount but received the same treatment and was given the same punishment.

Only, and it is necessary I mention I had a longer stay than the typical 6 months. Mine was closer to 8 due to me hitting a wall, literally, a tile wall.

But, instead of viewing it as progress, I mean, what is the alternative to a wall, they said I needed to take a more “grown-up” approach to coping with my anger…exactly! With that said, it was an experience I will never forget.

I was provided with a foundation to rebuild on that is hardly comparable to what would have been received elsewhere. My point, even with all the knowledge provided to the residents, a slightly high number of them end up with new charges right out of the gate.

The remaining numbers catch charges at a later date, test positive for drugs during the half decade they are required to spend on probation, or manage to stay in control of it enough to be considered a social or recreational user.

Let me give you some facts to compare being in control, and socially using to. Almost all of drug users/addicts will use within weeks of being released from a 28 day rehab. A majority of overdoses happen to those same users, mainly due to the thought that the same amount can be handled as before.

So, summarizing all that information leads me to this conclusion. We are taught in these “you should consider yourselves lucky to be even considered as a resident” rehabs that slip ups will happen but it’s the way they are handled.

We use to use drugs to hide from our problems, to mask any emotion that we think may even begin to surface. We’d use at an astonishing rate, smoke or shoot until you physically can’t.

The ones with one or two positive drug tests and the alleged social users are leading mostly healthy and productive adult lives. The problem seems to happen when you have the power happy people that preach that it’s either complete perfection or complete failure.

“Honey, you slipped once, pack your bags for prison [while I light this glass pipe behind my desk.] Your habits are just unacceptable and a danger to me, I mean the community.” The name of the woman that gave the quote will stay anonymous due to her position of authority.

Who would succeed at anything if 100% perfection was the only acceptable solution?