Addiction Treatment, what works?

“Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change, but pretty soon… everything’s different.”

– Calvin and Hobbes
Over the years I have heard many “theories” on addiction treatment what works and what doesn’t.  Back in the 60’s and 70’s the belief that heroin addicts can not recover they are addicted for life.  They would move them from heroin to a drug much worse on an individuals body and life methadone.  During the 80’s crack epidemic the rumor was crack heads can’t recover!  Then the tide began to swing as people began to realize that recovery works.  So the courts, probation departments, parole, and other law enforcement professionals began to mandate participation in recovery programs such as mutual support groups like AA or NA.
Unfortunately, this was a mistake as well.  the term mutual is a two way street.  AA and NA are not professional counseling centers.  They are recovered and recovering people that support each other in their quest for recovery.  They suggest steps of action and share their experience, strength and hope with each other in order to overcome their addictions.
So what works?  research indicates that the most important factor in addiction treatment is “TIME”.  Sure treatment centers love to toss around success rates and point to their approach as the best and most innovative but the truth is the most important factor comes down to time.  The magic number is 90 days!  Ninety days away from the rat race in a controlled and semi-controlled environment free of temptation.
During the ninety days individual therapy, group therapy, education on the how and why of recovery and addiction are essential.  If you want to recover or better stated if you do not want the pain that addiction offers take the time to build the foundation that will lead you to joy and freedom, the recovered life!