• Nicole Arzt

Can Sending A Client To Treatment Ever Be Harmful?

Despite millions of Americans struggling with addiction every year, research shows that only about 10% of individuals ever receive treatment. While we know that professional treatment can be extremely beneficial, it’s not an inherent cure. Moreover, sometimes even the best treatment efforts can backfire.


What’s the best approach if you love someone battling addiction? Do you stage an intervention? Do you wait for them to come around asking for help? If this isn’t the first time around the recovery block, do you keep trying for change?


Let’s get into what you need to know about sending a client to treatment.


Can Sending A Client To Treatment Really Have Drawbacks?


To simplify, yes. Not all treatment methods are created equally, and the wrong treatment facility or wrong approach can have detrimental consequences. Moreover, if someone isn’t ready for change- and has no vested interest in doing anything differently- the treatment may not be conducive. Let’s break down some of the barriers preventing recovery from being effective.


Lack of Individual Attention


Most treatment centers offer and recommend both psychotherapy-based groups and peer support groups. While group support is valuable, it may not be enough when it comes to achieving recovery.


That’s because addiction is complex and multifaceted. Subsequently, most clients need individual support and accountability during their process. They need to focus on their unique issues, and they need safety and validation during this time.


Single Approach To Recovery


Everyone needs to find their own recovery path. Unfortunately, many treatment facilities limit or downright prohibit this process. They pigeonhole clients into one model of addiction recovery. Often, they force an abstinence-based approach.


While that approach undoubtedly works for some clients, quality addiction treatment considers everyone’s needs. They understand and respect that clients have different circumstances, goals, and strengths.


Going To The Same Treatment Center Over and Over Again


Being a repeat customer at your favorite restaurant may have its perks. The chef knows you by name. The servers smile when you walk through the door.

However, these exclusive perks don’t necessarily apply when it comes to addiction treatment. Many clients return to the same facilities time and time again after relapsing. On the one hand, this decision often comes from a place of comfort. It feels easier stepping foot somewhere where you already know the staff, protocol, and expectations. On the other hand, there may be limited room for growth and actual learning.



Forced Treatment


Upholding boundaries via ultimatums can work, but they require diligence and preparation. For instance, you may no longer want to support your loved one living in your home. You tell them that they need to attend treatment- or they’re out.


This method can work. However, you must be willing to follow through with your boundary. If you don’t (or can’t), you only risk continued resentment and codependency.


Some people do get better from forced treatment. Sometimes, a person needs to be in a treatment setting to realize they have a problem and need help. However, you must have some desire- whether it’s before or during the treatment process- to want to change.


Wrong Timing


You shouldn’t wait until a problem becomes bad enough to get help. Unfortunately, many people believe that you must hit rock bottom to want to change. This pervasive misconception isn’t just misinformed; it is dangerous.


In 2018 alone, nearly 70,000 people died from a drug overdose. Therefore, waiting until rock bottom isn’t just shortsighted. It can be fatal.


If your loved one is struggling with problematic substance use- even if they haven’t experienced severe consequences- treatment can still be beneficial. In fact, many experts agree it’s better to intervene early rather than when it’s too late.


Lack of Preparation For The Real World


Many treatment centers focus on addiction recovery, but they don’t focus on how to integrate treatment with real-world challenges. This strategy often backfires. After all, it can be easy to get sober. But, it’s not so easy to stay sober- especially when you have to deal with all of life’s nuances.


Clients need support transitioning into the real world. They need to know how to manage triggers and implement healthy coping skills. In other words, they must learn how to adapt with flexibility. Without this mindset, they are highly susceptible to relapse.


Finding The Right Treatment For Your Loved One


Sending a client to treatment can feel scary- even if you’ve been to this rodeo before. You don’t want to waste your time, money, or mental energy. You also don’t want your loved one’s condition to worsen.


At The Resurface Group, we provide comprehensive family and individual support for people struggling with addiction. We offer a variety of treatment options to best suit each client’s needs. Are you interested in learning more about how we can help you? Contact us today.


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Orange County Addiction Recovery • 2900 Bristol St Suite 320, Costa Mesa, CA 92626 • Main (509) 319-0845

© 2020 by The Resurface Group LLC

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