The alcohol and drug treatment industry is enormous and highly profitable. However, it’s very competitive. To lure patients or clients, many rehabs and retreats use falsehoods and deception. When it comes to alcohol rehabs and money, it’s often more about money. Helping people is of minor concern.
There’s little regulation, deception is common, and it’s a case of caveat emptor. That is, buyer beware. Very beware!
Companies may devise new names for their programs or activities to mislead customers. Companies may claim high success rates based on virtually meaningless surveys of past clients. (How many people will honestly report that they have failed to achieve sobriety?) Some companies routinely use their own employees for testimonials as former clients. And they do so without disclosing that they are actually on the company payroll.
Some sales offices present themselves as referral services when they are owned by the rehab companies that own them. Others get a financial “kick back” for recommending some companies but not others. That’s great for them but bad for consumers.
In reality, few people need a rehab, retreat, or treatment center. Most can benefit from free or economical programs such as the free HAMS Harm Reduction network or the affordable Life Process Program. It was developed by the pioneering alcohol specialist, Dr. Stanton Peele.
Other popular options include these.
- Moderation Management.
- Women for Sobriety.
- Rational Recovery.
- Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery).
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety (Save Ourselves).
With any of these flexible programs, people can avoid many problems associated with rehabs. These include
- Unnecessary expense.
- Long travel.
- Disruption to life.
- Anxiety about living among strangers in a rehab.
Resources: Alcohol Rehabs and Money
Anderson, K. How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. NY: HAMS, 2010.
Christopher, J. Secular Organizations for Sobriety is an Effective Self-Help Program. In: Barbour, S. (Ed.). Alcohol. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1998. Pp. 128-134.
________. How to Stay Sober. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 2012.
Crandell, J. Controlled Drinking Can Help Alcoholics Recover. In: Cozic, C., and Swisher, K. (Ed.). Chemical Dependency. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1991. Pp. 218-224.
Dorsman, J. How to Quit Drinking without AA. A Complete Self-Help Guide. Newark, DE: New Dawn, 1993.
Ellis, A., and Velten, E. When AA Doesn’t Work for You. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade, 1992.
Granfield, R. Coming Clean. NY: New York U. Press, 1999.
Kishline, A. Moderate Drinking. The Moderation Management Guide for People Who Want to Reduce Their Drinking. NY: Crown, 1996.
Miller, W., and Munoz, R. Controlling Your Drinking. Tools to Make Moderation Work for You. NY: Guilford, 2005.
Peele, S. 7 Tools to Beat Addiction. NY: Three Rivers, 2004.
______. Recover! Boston: De Capo, 2015.
Robbins, J., & Fisher, D. Stopping Excessive Drinking. In How to Break Habits. NY: Wyden, 1973.Robertson, I., & Heather, N. So You Want to Cut Down on Your Drinking? Edinburg: Health Education Board for Scotland, 1999.
Rotgers, F., et al. Responsible Drinking. A Moderation Management Approach for Problem Drinkers. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2002.
Sanchez-Craig, M. Saying When. How to Quit Drinking or Cut Down. Toronto: ARF, 1993.
Sobell, M., and Sobell, L. Problem Drinkers. Guided Self-Change Treatment. NY: Guilford, 1993.
SOS. Sobriety Handbook, the SOS Way. Oakland: Lifering, 1997.
Trimpey, J. The Small Book. A Revolutionary Alternative for Overcoming Alcohol and Drug Dependence. NY: Delacorte, 2016.