One of the reasons why drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs work is that they force change. Patients must either follow their rules or face the consequences, which will eventually mean leaving if they continue to step out of the boundaries.
The rules are set in place for the addict’s own benefit, as well as that of the other patients. If they could change their life without being forced to, they already would have done it. If addiction was simply a choice, then we would have no use for treatment centers at all.The forceful change of rehab programs is usually essential to get the ball rolling. This is true from the starting point of detox, when the addict has no access to drugs or alcohol and as they learn the skills that are necessary for recovery. Almost no one is able to overcome drug and alcohol addiction without professional help. However, it’s not possible or even preferable to force a transformation on an addict permanently. Sooner or later they will go home and have more opportunity to make their own decisions regarding substance abuse once again. Hopefully they will continue to receive the support of loved ones and addiction professionals, but they must take more responsibility.
At some point, the addict must choose to make changes rather than being forced to. This is essential for long-term success. It is usually easier and more beneficial if they make the choice early in the process, preferably deciding to go to a rehab center on their own. However, addiction treatment can still be very effective if the addict wasn’t thrilled about going in the first place. When the addict makes the decision that they want to create a positive transformation in their life even after they leave rehabilitation, there is the opportunity for long-term recovery.