The Rehab Mill

Published on May 27, 2016 by in Success Stories



Pretend you know nothing about drugs or medications.  Pretend you know nothing about addiction or rehabilitation.  Just for a second.  Look at something from a different point of view.

Joe has a problem:  He doesn’t like the way he feels.  He discovers when he puts a substance into his body, it changes that feeling and then he likes the way he feels.  Joe concludes that while the substance didn’t change the problem, it changed the way he feels about it.  So he keeps doing it.  A lot.

At some point this “solution” stops working so well and also presents a whole different kind of problem.  When he doesn’t use the substance, he really doesn’t feel well.  Hence the new problem:  He must continue to do this in order not to feel sick.

Joe understands this can’t go on.  He can’t always find this substance.  It’s expensive.  Other people disagree with him taking it.  It’s hurting his body.  It’s causing more problems than he originally had.

He’s told there is a good way to fix all of this.  There is a place he can go, with people who will show him how to conquer this.  So he goes in hopes he will get help.

When he arrives, he is told he must stop taking the substance that he’s been taking.  He agrees.  They give him other substances, so that he doesn’t feel so bad through the withdrawals.  These don’t work quite as well, but they “help”.

However, the original problems in his life are still there; these problems he originally started taking his substance to “solve”.  There are also a lot more problems which have happened as a result of his “solution”.

He talks about these things with the people at this facility.  They say he is depressed, anxious.  He knows that.  They tell him the way to solve the depression and anxiety is… take these substances which will change the way you feel about your problems.

At that point, Joe is faced with the same faulty solution he had before, with the only difference that the substance he is being given is written on a prescription pad and the substance he took before, he bought from someone off the street.

What I have just described to you is the modern format of substance abuse treatment.  Many people may disagree, or feel this is a generalization.  Or say there are many other complex, medical factors involved and this is an over-simplification.  Or there are psychological factors and changes in brain chemistry and drugs are needed to treat drug addiction, etc.

It is challenging and somewhat “out of the box” to view that these complexities arise out of an unwillingness to confront the fundamental error behind the logic of treating substance abusers with more drugs.  Taking more or different drugs cannot be the answer to drug addiction.

I didn’t always feel this way.  As a former addict, I believed replacing illicit drugs with other, legal chemicals was the answer.  It was just easier and not to mention, the popular solution.  Five inpatient treatment centers later, I began to have doubts.  I had been given everything from antipsychotic medications to antidepressants.  Prescriptions for sleep, anxiety, depression, manic episodes, cravings.  I took drugs that resulted in my having violent reactions if I took a specific illicit drug.

I always viewed drugs as the answer.  My reality was I just couldn’t feel good or normal without taking something.

Then I tried something different.  I found a rarity.  A form of treatment which did not subscribe to the industry standard.  They helped me get off of all drugs, and more importantly they got me through the withdrawal symptoms and discomforts I ran from and always tried to avoid.

Then, they helped me solve the factors in my life and problems within myself that caused me to feel bad and depressed in the first place.  As a result, I felt good and didn’t need a drug to get through life.  I was myself.

Thinking outside of the box:  Which treatment seems not only more logical, but more humane?


Writen by guest blogger Joseph Kertis.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Joe has worked at Narconon New Life Retreat for the past five years, since his relocation to Louisiana. In 2014 he became a Registered Addiction Specialist then a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor to better assist someone through the recovery process. As the Rehabilitation Services Supervisor and Family Liaison, he interacts with all Narconon clients and their families throughout their stay.

One Response to “The Rehab Mill”

  1. Janice says:

    Thank you for a very informative article. This is why Jim and I liked the narconon program. Thank you for all of your help while Brian was at narconon. You and the other members of the staff are so caring. Thanks again for all of your kindness.

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