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Why Rehabilitation as a Form of Discipline May Not Equal Success

What happens when person is at an all time low and is facing legal troubles because of their addiction? Depending on their personal record, they could be facing a jail sentence, perhaps some hefty fines and community service to follow. Maybe some AA meetings. Regardless, prison is no place to overcome addiction, but it happens to many who lose their way. Addiction help should be in a peaceful place, not a cell. When treatment is forced upon a person, the chance of recovery can be greatly reduced if their mind is not ready to start the healing process. However, a forced placement in a drug treatment center is better than a jail cell. But the fact remains that a person must be willing to face the challenges of overcoming addiction. Without the desire to be well, the addict is simply going through the motions.

Addiction help is futile when the person does not want to be treated. Many times, people enter rehabilitation because of intervention from family or friends or even because of a court order and do not wish to start a recovery program. They may not think they have a problem to be solved or they are simply not ready to say goodbye to their addiction(s). Drug treatment can only work when the person wants it to. There are those that walk through the doors of a treatment center apprehensive and uneasy, but open up and accept their desires to become sober after admittance. This is completely normal. Those who enter treatment to avoid jail or to stay in the good graces of their friends, family or to keep their job after a failed drug test that have the largest chance to relapse after their drug treatment has completed. Even after-care therapies offer little addiction help to those not committed to recovery.

Are there ways to get a person who may be a bit obstinate to listen to the words of a loved one and accept they are on a path to destruction? It is the support the addict feels from the outside that will help  once drug treatment begins. The people who relapse are sometimes simply not interested in addiction help. They also may have not faced their inner demons, as emotional therapy during drug treatment is just as important as working through the chemical dependency issues. When you are face to face with an addict and honest and supportive, your words can be very powerful. When you stage an intervention with someone to convince them they need treatment, let them know you will be there for them through the entire process, even afterwards. Vista Taos Drug Treatment Center puts a heavy emphasis on the importance of family and friends during therapy.

We read the news and see the celebrities who were caught and face legal problems because of addiction. Instead of sending them to jail, they are almost always referred to drug treatment. Then we read again when they are once again facing a judge due to a relapse incident that got them into more trouble. The forced sentence of rehabilitation indeed is better than jail because it does keep non-violent offenders from filling our prisons, a problem that is in desperate need of a solution. In 2007, Senator Lerblance passed a bill to help the overcrowding of the prison system in Oklahoma. Instead of offering more parole or probation, $309 million dollars was spent to add thousands of extra beds for offenders. The non-violent offenders, which often includes people with drug charges could save $30 million annually if handled in a different way. Rehabilitation could be the answer for many of them.

Any person looking for addiction help should be treated as a person, not a criminal. Those that are unsure of what a treatment center might hold for them could be greatly helped by a friend or family member to coerce them in the right direction. Drug treatment may not be successful if forced, but an unwilling addict at the start does not always mean addiction therapy is a loss. If you have a drug problem and are ready to receive help, reach out. There are people out there who care. It may be a co-worker, friend or family member, but someone is there. Talk to them about your fears; ask for their support during this life-changing process. When there is the want to recover, then there is the possibility for success

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos is our top priority. Each person admitted to our program will be given a PCR Covid screen upon entry and subsequently will follow our isolation protocol as we await the results.
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