Drug rehab…do you really need yoga and aromatherapy?

People make enormous amounts of money providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapy to those in need, and although the vast majority of operators do run reputable facilities offering you a legitimate opportunity at sobriety, there are unfortunately some owners far more interested in banking your admissions check than spending that money on therapies and programs of value. Knowing that, shouldn’t you be concerned that a period of karate class is used as a cheaper substitute for individual therapy?

The value of peripheral programs in drug rehab

Addiction affects us on many levels, and no one as yet has a complete understanding of the totality of the disease. Traditional and conventional therapies do offer assistance to a great many, and treatments such as group support therapy, individual therapy, medication for relapse avoidance and individual therapy have proven themselves worthy and essential parts of any treatment regimen.

But more people fail than don’t.

Quality rehabs, offering intensive therapies and quality conventional care can only boast a success rate of about 40% (anyone advertising more than this should be regarded with skepticism) so there is still obviously room for great improvement. Additionally, no one form of therapy works well for everyone. We all bring our unique experiences and histories, as well as our emotional baggage with us into treatment, and what motivates one, does very little for another.

The two conclusions we must draw are that to offer the best chance of success the programming should be comprehensive and varied; and since traditional and conventional therapies do not yet offer a great likelihood of success, we need to supplement these therapies with additional forms of programming that have shown promise.

The interplay of the body, mind and soul

The complexity of the human condition causes enormous challenges for the treatment of addiction; and since addiction affects our bodies, our minds and our spirits in unique and influential ways, effective therapies need to be holistic in nature, and treat all parts of our being as one. Hard to quantify, and even to define, the influence of the soul has not traditionally affected the selection of therapies outside of religious facilities; yet our spiritual selves undoubtedly impact on our actions and our emotions…and it is in the treatment of the soul that alternative therapies such as yoga or meditation have shown tremendous promise.

Although exceedingly difficult to measure or understand, the soul does impact on success rates, and we can measure the effectiveness of certain therapies. Meditation and yoga have both been studied for use in addictions therapy, and both have been shown helpful; and as effective as group therapy in some studies.

Don’t go to yoga school for drug treatment

Ideally, you want it all. You want medications that help to control cravings, you want therapies that increase self awareness over those things that lead us to abuse, and you also want a spiritual element of programming, with classes that offer us greater peace and happiness, and by extension, less likelihood of relapse. Nothing works for everyone, and although you may find karate class a waste of time…you may not, and you may find that the intensive focus between mind and body offers something intangible yet of great value; something that may make the difference between taking that drink, and another day of struggle with the disease.

Choose a quality rehab

You do want a rehab that allows for family involvement and offers intensive one-on-one therapy, and you do want to stay in a facility that offers comfortable and private accommodations; but you may also want to consider a facility that attempts to provide a holistic experience. Spiritual programs should never substitute for effective conventional therapies, but when used as a compliment to traditional and well respected treatments, they offer you something of value.

Recovery from addiction is hard, and you need all the help you can get. The more comprehensive the experience the better chance you have at finding something that really resonates, really motivates, and is going to keep you sober when nothing else will. Don’t choose a rehab that offers karate instead of therapy; choose one that offers it after therapy.

People make enormous amounts of money providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation therapy to those in need, and although the vast majority of operators do run reputable facilities offering you a legitimate opportunity at sobriety, there are unfortunately some owners far more interested in banking your admissions check than spending that money on therapies and programs of value. Knowing that, shouldn’t you be concerned that a period of karate class is used as a cheaper substitute for individual therapy?

The value of peripheral programs in drug rehab

Addiction affects us on many levels, and no one as yet has a complete understanding of the totality of the disease. Traditional and conventional therapies do offer assistance to a great many, and treatments such as group support therapy, individual therapy, medication for relapse avoidance and individual therapy have proven themselves worthy and essential parts of any treatment regimen.

But more people fail than don’t.

Quality rehabs, offering intensive therapies and quality conventional care can only boast a success rate of about 40% (anyone advertising more than this should be regarded with skepticism) so there is still obviously room for great improvement. Additionally, no one form of therapy works well for everyone. We all bring our unique experiences and histories, as well as our emotional baggage with us into treatment, and what motivates one, does very little for another.

The two conclusions we must draw are that to offer the best chance of success the programming should be comprehensive and varied; and since traditional and conventional therapies do not yet offer a great likelihood of success, we need to supplement these therapies with additional forms of programming that have shown promise.

The interplay of the body, mind and soul

The complexity of the human condition causes enormous challenges for the treatment of addiction; and since addiction affects our bodies, our minds and our spirits in unique and influential ways, effective therapies need to be holistic in nature, and treat all parts of our being as one. Hard to quantify, and even to define, the influence of the soul has not traditionally affected the selection of therapies outside of religious facilities; yet our spiritual selves undoubtedly impact on our actions and our emotions…and it is in the treatment of the soul that alternative therapies such as yoga or meditation have shown tremendous promise.

Although exceedingly difficult to measure or understand, the soul does impact on success rates, and we can measure the effectiveness of certain therapies. Meditation and yoga have both been studied for use in addictions therapy, and both have been shown helpful; and as effective as group therapy in some studies.

Don’t go to yoga school for drug treatment

Ideally, you want it all. You want medications that help to control cravings, you want therapies that increase self awareness over those things that lead us to abuse, and you also want a spiritual element of programming, with classes that offer us greater peace and happiness, and by extension, less likelihood of relapse. Nothing works for everyone, and although you may find karate class a waste of time…you may not, and you may find that the intensive focus between mind and body offers something intangible yet of great value; something that may make the difference between taking that drink, and another day of struggle with the disease.

Choose a quality rehab

You do want a rehab that allows for family involvement and offers intensive one-on-one therapy, and you do want to stay in a facility that offers comfortable and private accommodations; but you may also want to consider a facility that attempts to provide a holistic experience. Spiritual programs should never substitute for effective conventional therapies, but when used as a compliment to traditional and well respected treatments, they offer you something of value.

Recovery from addiction is hard, and you need all the help you can get. The more comprehensive the experience the better chance you have at finding something that really resonates, really motivates, and is going to keep you sober when nothing else will. Don’t choose a rehab that offers karate instead of therapy; choose one that offers it after therapy.

How to know if you need rehab…try to quit!

I don’t think that everyone needs rehab, but I know that a lot of people do, I and I was one of those people…twice! But I do think that people should try to quit on their own if at all possible. If you can’t it tells you a lot about the strength of your addiction, and ultimately helps to get you sober.

So how do you start?

Step one…try to stop on your own!

If you know you have a substance abuse problem, but aren’t sure just how bad things really are, there’s one great way to find out…try to stop. A lot of people with alcohol and drug abuse problems just get tired of the consequences of their use, and the lack of enjoyment that so often comes with prolonged abuse, and want to make a change…and a lot of people can. It won’t be easy, and you will need to be committed, need to have a plan for sober activities, and need to set a goal of a certain period of sobriety; but if you can quit for a month or more, you’ll find every further day just a little bit easier, and you’ll have avoided what will have proven to be an unnecessary period of rehab.

For anyone who has developed an addiction or physical dependency to drugs or alcohol, cold turkey willpower is rarely enough; but if you find that even making your best personal efforts to quit alone doesn’t work, you still may not need to enter into a residential treatment program.

Step 2, get help, but stay at home

The next step up in therapeutic intensity is outpatient drug treatment. Available options include participation in Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, finding a local community peer support group, or meeting with a therapist or psychologist once or more a week. Sometimes just getting some professional advice and some professional assistance in relapse prevention gives you enough of a boost to allow for sobriety and prolonged abstinence; and millions find the fellowship and support of 12 steps meeting such as AA or NA an effective path to a better life without abuse. If that doesn’t work…

Step 3, last stop…quit messing around and get into rehab

If you try to quit on your own, and you try some form of outpatient therapy, and still you cannot control your use behaviors; you at this point need to start considering the benefits of prolonged and residential therapy at a drug or alcohol rehab. For people with serious and long lasting addictions histories, for people with a limited sober support network and for people with a dual diagnosis, little else seems to offer much promise. A drug and alcohol rehab offers the most intensive therapies, an enforced period of clarity inducing sobriety, and enough nutritional and health programming to get you feeling a lot better before the month is through.

Rehab is expensive, and better private rehabs can charge up to $20 000 or more per month, but if nothing else has worked for you, you have two real options, either pay the money, or keep abusing drugs or alcohol! Rehab is expensive, it does require of you to take leave from work and family, and it certainly does disrupt your life; but when an addiction has reached the point where nothing else seems to help, its time to forget about your external responsibilities, to forget about the costs, and to concentrate on getting healthier.

I’ve done the three steps to sobriety myself

I’ve went through this three stage process myself, and found that step one (willpower) didn’t help much, and this may say something about my personal strength, but I prefer to think that it says more about the persistence of and difficult in tackling an addiction. From step one failure, I started in at AA, and got myself a therapist, and this helped a lot, and I was able to quit for a while…but once again, I soon found myself right back at it. My wife and family eventually convinced me to stop fooling around, to stop worrying about the money, about the time away from work, and just do what I needed to to get healthier. I may have resisted further, but it became pretty clear that I was going to lose my family unless I took some action, and that was enough to get me into a rehab program, for 28 days of therapy.

It worked for a while, although I eventually found myself using again, and this time I just skipped steps one and two and went straight back to rehab for another pass at what I still needed to learn about sobriety; and I am now happy to boast of years of sobriety, and hopefully never again another month at rehab. Recovery is an option, and continuing abuse should never be. Take care of yourself; get as much help as you need to beat your addiction, and live a better and happier life of sobriety.

I don’t think that everyone needs rehab, but I know that a lot of people do, I and I was one of those people…twice! But I do think that people should try to quit on their own if at all possible. If you can’t it tells you a lot about the strength of your addiction, and ultimately helps to get you sober.

So how do you start?

Step one…try to stop on your own!

If you know you have a substance abuse problem, but aren’t sure just how bad things really are, there’s one great way to find out…try to stop. A lot of people with alcohol and drug abuse problems just get tired of the consequences of their use, and the lack of enjoyment that so often comes with prolonged abuse, and want to make a change…and a lot of people can. It won’t be easy, and you will need to be committed, need to have a plan for sober activities, and need to set a goal of a certain period of sobriety; but if you can quit for a month or more, you’ll find every further day just a little bit easier, and you’ll have avoided what will have proven to be an unnecessary period of rehab.

For anyone who has developed an addiction or physical dependency to drugs or alcohol, cold turkey willpower is rarely enough; but if you find that even making your best personal efforts to quit alone doesn’t work, you still may not need to enter into a residential treatment program.

Step 2, get help, but stay at home

The next step up in therapeutic intensity is outpatient drug treatment. Available options include participation in Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, finding a local community peer support group, or meeting with a therapist or psychologist once or more a week. Sometimes just getting some professional advice and some professional assistance in relapse prevention gives you enough of a boost to allow for sobriety and prolonged abstinence; and millions find the fellowship and support of 12 steps meeting such as AA or NA an effective path to a better life without abuse. If that doesn’t work…

Step 3, last stop…quit messing around and get into rehab

If you try to quit on your own, and you try some form of outpatient therapy, and still you cannot control your use behaviors; you at this point need to start considering the benefits of prolonged and residential therapy at a drug or alcohol rehab. For people with serious and long lasting addictions histories, for people with a limited sober support network and for people with a dual diagnosis, little else seems to offer much promise. A drug and alcohol rehab offers the most intensive therapies, an enforced period of clarity inducing sobriety, and enough nutritional and health programming to get you feeling a lot better before the month is through.

Rehab is expensive, and better private rehabs can charge up to $20 000 or more per month, but if nothing else has worked for you, you have two real options, either pay the money, or keep abusing drugs or alcohol! Rehab is expensive, it does require of you to take leave from work and family, and it certainly does disrupt your life; but when an addiction has reached the point where nothing else seems to help, its time to forget about your external responsibilities, to forget about the costs, and to concentrate on getting healthier.

I’ve done the three steps to sobriety myself

I’ve went through this three stage process myself, and found that step one (willpower) didn’t help much, and this may say something about my personal strength, but I prefer to think that it says more about the persistence of and difficult in tackling an addiction. From step one failure, I started in at AA, and got myself a therapist, and this helped a lot, and I was able to quit for a while…but once again, I soon found myself right back at it. My wife and family eventually convinced me to stop fooling around, to stop worrying about the money, about the time away from work, and just do what I needed to to get healthier. I may have resisted further, but it became pretty clear that I was going to lose my family unless I took some action, and that was enough to get me into a rehab program, for 28 days of therapy.

It worked for a while, although I eventually found myself using again, and this time I just skipped steps one and two and went straight back to rehab for another pass at what I still needed to learn about sobriety; and I am now happy to boast of years of sobriety, and hopefully never again another month at rehab. Recovery is an option, and continuing abuse should never be. Take care of yourself; get as much help as you need to beat your addiction, and live a better and happier life of sobriety.

Naltrexone proven beneficial for people with a genetic history of alcoholism…for others, not so much

There are four drugs currently FDA approved for the treatment of alcoholism, and of those four, naltrexone and acamprosate are the most commonly prescribed. A recent multi disciplinary study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Addiction, The COMBINE study, has shown that naltrexone does influence a small but still significant betterment in relapse rates, but acamprosate was ineffective.

But researchers out of the Yale University School of Medicine say that such a gross understanding of the effectiveness of the drugs is actually misleading, and to truly use these drugs effectively, we need to have a better understanding of how well they work on distinct subgroups of alcoholics.

In controlled laboratory studies, the Yale researchers examined the comparative effectiveness of Naltrexone on two distinct subgroups of alcoholics, those with a family history of the disease, and those without a genetic background of alcoholism. The drinking levels of the two groups were compared on a number of different dosage strength of naltrexone.

It works for some…a disaster for others

The researchers were pleased to see that naltrexone did have significant betterment effect on the hereditary alcoholics, and the higher the dose given, the less these alcoholics drank. Contrarily, the drug did not work for those without a family history of alcoholism, and when given in higher does, these alcoholics even drank more!

The study leaders conclude that naltrexone may have more value than limited success rates calculated from large field trials may indicate, and with a better understanding of the effects of the drug on different sub groups of alcoholics, the drug may be prescribed in a more targeted and more effective manner.

More research is clearly needed

Hopefully, as researchers gain a broader understanding of the different manifestations of subgroups of alcoholic use, treatments in general will evolve to better match the needs of the individual alcoholics. The results of the study indicate a promising role for naltrexone, and it’s obviously very beneficial to know that when prescribed to non hereditary alcoholics, it seems to worsen the problem! The study further indicates how powerfully influential the genetic component to alcoholism is, and although still poorly understood, many of the secrets to effective treatments may well emerge as scientists better understand the genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

There are four drugs currently FDA approved for the treatment of alcoholism, and of those four, naltrexone and acamprosate are the most commonly prescribed. A recent multi disciplinary study sponsored by the National Institute on Alcoholism and Addiction, The COMBINE study, has shown that naltrexone does influence a small but still significant betterment in relapse rates, but acamprosate was ineffective.

But researchers out of the Yale University School of Medicine say that such a gross understanding of the effectiveness of the drugs is actually misleading, and to truly use these drugs effectively, we need to have a better understanding of how well they work on distinct subgroups of alcoholics.

In controlled laboratory studies, the Yale researchers examined the comparative effectiveness of Naltrexone on two distinct subgroups of alcoholics, those with a family history of the disease, and those without a genetic background of alcoholism. The drinking levels of the two groups were compared on a number of different dosage strength of naltrexone.

It works for some…a disaster for others

The researchers were pleased to see that naltrexone did have significant betterment effect on the hereditary alcoholics, and the higher the dose given, the less these alcoholics drank. Contrarily, the drug did not work for those without a family history of alcoholism, and when given in higher does, these alcoholics even drank more!

The study leaders conclude that naltrexone may have more value than limited success rates calculated from large field trials may indicate, and with a better understanding of the effects of the drug on different sub groups of alcoholics, the drug may be prescribed in a more targeted and more effective manner.

More research is clearly needed

Hopefully, as researchers gain a broader understanding of the different manifestations of subgroups of alcoholic use, treatments in general will evolve to better match the needs of the individual alcoholics. The results of the study indicate a promising role for naltrexone, and it’s obviously very beneficial to know that when prescribed to non hereditary alcoholics, it seems to worsen the problem! The study further indicates how powerfully influential the genetic component to alcoholism is, and although still poorly understood, many of the secrets to effective treatments may well emerge as scientists better understand the genetic predisposition to alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

What’s Detox Like in a Christian Rehab?

I get asked this question a lot, and it used to surprise me until I realized how little a lot of people knew about how a Christian drug or alcohol rehab really operates. Christian drug and alcohol rehabs run a spirituality based program in which an addiction is considered a malady of the body, of the mind, but most importantly of the soul; and treatments for best effect need to tackle the unique issues of all three areas of our being.

Christian rehabs emphasize the power and wisdom of God’s love throughout recovery; and through a study of the scriptures, recovering addicts are grounded in timeless wisdom and learn how their problems are the problems of the ages. Through study of the bible, Christians in recovery gain a powerful work of long term reference against temptation and abuse.

Why pray to a "higher power" when you can pray to Jesus Christ?

Actively praying together also feels a lot more natural to Christians than praying to some obscure "higher power" as in AA based programs. And through individual prayer and meditation with Jesus Christ, and through shared prayer sessions with other addicts in recovery, we take some of the strength offered by God as our own, and ask Him to lead us into better lives of service, and away from the harms of a drug or alcohol abuse. Healing the spirit is the true way out of addiction and the only way to a lasting peace and better life of sobriety, but the realities of the body and mind cannot either be ignored, and Christian rehab never abandons what has proven effective from secular rehabs, and never abandons norms of medical science in the treatment care of participants.

A Christian detox is just like any other form of detox…

So a Christian detox runs a lot like any other form of detox. The Lord gave us doctors and medications for a reason, and we would be foolish to risk our health by ignoring His gifts. Detox occurs under the supervision of medical personnel, and all available medications and medical care are used to ensure that detox progresses as safely and as comfortably as possible. Other therapies are used, and you’ll see the latest addiction and therapeutic science applied in a Christian Rehab as you’ll find it in a secular facility. But while most rehabs leave treatment at the body and mind, only Christian rehab heals the area of our being that needs the most help and assistance towards a better life of sobriety, and a lasting peace in the service of family, of Church and of the Lord.

Christian rehabs are available throughout the Nation and the world, they are as safe and medically sound as any other form of rehab, and only a Christian rehab offers the guidance and love of Jesus Christ to addicts so desperately in need of the strength of the Lord.

I get asked this question a lot, and it used to surprise me until I realized how little a lot of people knew about how a Christian drug or alcohol rehab really operates. Christian drug and alcohol rehabs run a spirituality based program in which an addiction is considered a malady of the body, of the mind, but most importantly of the soul; and treatments for best effect need to tackle the unique issues of all three areas of our being.

Christian rehabs emphasize the power and wisdom of God’s love throughout recovery; and through a study of the scriptures, recovering addicts are grounded in timeless wisdom and learn how their problems are the problems of the ages. Through study of the bible, Christians in recovery gain a powerful work of long term reference against temptation and abuse.

Why pray to a "higher power" when you can pray to Jesus Christ?

Actively praying together also feels a lot more natural to Christians than praying to some obscure "higher power" as in AA based programs. And through individual prayer and meditation with Jesus Christ, and through shared prayer sessions with other addicts in recovery, we take some of the strength offered by God as our own, and ask Him to lead us into better lives of service, and away from the harms of a drug or alcohol abuse. Healing the spirit is the true way out of addiction and the only way to a lasting peace and better life of sobriety, but the realities of the body and mind cannot either be ignored, and Christian rehab never abandons what has proven effective from secular rehabs, and never abandons norms of medical science in the treatment care of participants.

A Christian detox is just like any other form of detox…

So a Christian detox runs a lot like any other form of detox. The Lord gave us doctors and medications for a reason, and we would be foolish to risk our health by ignoring His gifts. Detox occurs under the supervision of medical personnel, and all available medications and medical care are used to ensure that detox progresses as safely and as comfortably as possible. Other therapies are used, and you’ll see the latest addiction and therapeutic science applied in a Christian Rehab as you’ll find it in a secular facility. But while most rehabs leave treatment at the body and mind, only Christian rehab heals the area of our being that needs the most help and assistance towards a better life of sobriety, and a lasting peace in the service of family, of Church and of the Lord.

Christian rehabs are available throughout the Nation and the world, they are as safe and medically sound as any other form of rehab, and only a Christian rehab offers the guidance and love of Jesus Christ to addicts so desperately in need of the strength of the Lord.

The price of drug rehab….How much it really costs!

Most drug rehab centers don’t want to give accurate pricing information within their promotional materials for one important (to them) reason, and that is they’d much prefer to get you on the phone, and give you a bit of a sales pitch while they give you the information.

Which is fine, as they are in the business of helping people, but also exist to make a profit, and they only make money if you walk through that door; but it does make it harder than it needs to be for people just trying to make the right choice, and at a time in life when they may not be well equipped to deal with the extra stress of a major financial decision.

Here is a general guide to the prices of rehab

Better private drug rehabs:

$20 000 and up per month.

These drug and alcohol rehabs are the best in the Nation, and should offer an outstanding level of care. You should benefit from excellent therapies, including a very high level of individual counseling with a trained psychologist or therapist. You should also enjoy a beautiful and tranquil setting, private and even luxurious accommodations, nutritionist directed meal programs, great peripheral programs such as yoga, meditation, massage, and excellent sports and gym facilities. These rehabs are the most expensive, but are also generally the best. All rehab is hard work, and never a vacation, but at first glance these facilities more closely resemble a resort or 5 star hotel than a treatment environment.

Standard private rehabs:

$10 000 and up to close to $20 000 per month

Private rehabs in this price range make up the bulk or rehab facilities offering services in America today. These facilities in general (and there are low quality exceptions) offer a standard of therapeutic care that will nearly match the more expensive rehabs, but you will not likely get the same intensity and frequency of individual therapy (which is important). The environment, accommodations and facilities will be less impressive, and you may not have as private or luxurious an experience.

Non profit and public rehabs:

0$ up to close to $10 000 per month

Most non profit publicly run facilities are set up for people without the means to fund a private stay. There are some excellent public and non profit facilities, but they generally suffer from some funding constraints. They will not offer as much individual therapy, the allowable stay may be shorter, and there may be a waiting list for admission. The facilities and environment tend to be more institutional, and the accommodations rarely private. These facilities’ operate with the best of intentions, but live under continual budget strain and shortfall. There are too many people that need low cost help, and not enough beds or professionals to give them all the care they deserve.

You get what you pay for

Price does not tell the whole story, and the best non profit is surely better than the worst of even the most expensive of private rehabs; but in general, you can expect to get what you pay for. You should be prepared to make a substantial investment in your sobriety, and if you have good insurance coverage, or can afford the entrance fees, you should look at entering into the best rehab you can reasonably afford. If you can achieve sobriety, the long term savings are immense, and sobriety is far more than a financial decision and benefit anyways.

Ideally, you have some form of insurance coverage, and if so your insurance carrier should be obligated to cover a substantial portion of the costs of your stay. It’s always wise to check with your insurance company to find out what you are entitled to, and as well to ensure that any rehab under consideration accepts your provider, and better still, will handle the payments through them directly. You also may have the option of credit financing a stay, should you be unable to cover the costs as an upfront payment; and some facilities may also work with lower income participants to arrange for a reasonable total cost and payment schedule, and you should inquire about the availability of such programs.

If you cannot afford a better private facility, any treatment is better than no treatment, and you should simply choose the best available option within your budget and get help as soon as possible. Because many public drug rehabs have waiting lists, it’s a good idea to enroll for entry as soon as possible. Get the best you can reasonably afford, and don’t wait another day before making a commitment to change and to a better life of sobriety!

Most drug rehab centers don’t want to give accurate pricing information within their promotional materials for one important (to them) reason, and that is they’d much prefer to get you on the phone, and give you a bit of a sales pitch while they give you the information.

Which is fine, as they are in the business of helping people, but also exist to make a profit, and they only make money if you walk through that door; but it does make it harder than it needs to be for people just trying to make the right choice, and at a time in life when they may not be well equipped to deal with the extra stress of a major financial decision.

Here is a general guide to the prices of rehab

Better private drug rehabs:

$20 000 and up per month.

These drug and alcohol rehabs are the best in the Nation, and should offer an outstanding level of care. You should benefit from excellent therapies, including a very high level of individual counseling with a trained psychologist or therapist. You should also enjoy a beautiful and tranquil setting, private and even luxurious accommodations, nutritionist directed meal programs, great peripheral programs such as yoga, meditation, massage, and excellent sports and gym facilities. These rehabs are the most expensive, but are also generally the best. All rehab is hard work, and never a vacation, but at first glance these facilities more closely resemble a resort or 5 star hotel than a treatment environment.

Standard private rehabs:

$10 000 and up to close to $20 000 per month

Private rehabs in this price range make up the bulk or rehab facilities offering services in America today. These facilities in general (and there are low quality exceptions) offer a standard of therapeutic care that will nearly match the more expensive rehabs, but you will not likely get the same intensity and frequency of individual therapy (which is important). The environment, accommodations and facilities will be less impressive, and you may not have as private or luxurious an experience.

Non profit and public rehabs:

0$ up to close to $10 000 per month

Most non profit publicly run facilities are set up for people without the means to fund a private stay. There are some excellent public and non profit facilities, but they generally suffer from some funding constraints. They will not offer as much individual therapy, the allowable stay may be shorter, and there may be a waiting list for admission. The facilities and environment tend to be more institutional, and the accommodations rarely private. These facilities’ operate with the best of intentions, but live under continual budget strain and shortfall. There are too many people that need low cost help, and not enough beds or professionals to give them all the care they deserve.

You get what you pay for

Price does not tell the whole story, and the best non profit is surely better than the worst of even the most expensive of private rehabs; but in general, you can expect to get what you pay for. You should be prepared to make a substantial investment in your sobriety, and if you have good insurance coverage, or can afford the entrance fees, you should look at entering into the best rehab you can reasonably afford. If you can achieve sobriety, the long term savings are immense, and sobriety is far more than a financial decision and benefit anyways.

Ideally, you have some form of insurance coverage, and if so your insurance carrier should be obligated to cover a substantial portion of the costs of your stay. It’s always wise to check with your insurance company to find out what you are entitled to, and as well to ensure that any rehab under consideration accepts your provider, and better still, will handle the payments through them directly. You also may have the option of credit financing a stay, should you be unable to cover the costs as an upfront payment; and some facilities may also work with lower income participants to arrange for a reasonable total cost and payment schedule, and you should inquire about the availability of such programs.

If you cannot afford a better private facility, any treatment is better than no treatment, and you should simply choose the best available option within your budget and get help as soon as possible. Because many public drug rehabs have waiting lists, it’s a good idea to enroll for entry as soon as possible. Get the best you can reasonably afford, and don’t wait another day before making a commitment to change and to a better life of sobriety!

Pharmaceutical companies are making millions on the sale of unapproved drugs

As much as the pharmaceutical companies might argue for greater self regulation as a way to streamline the approvals process and reduce the expense to the consumer (while creating greater profits as well) certain unsettling reports about the industry as a whole should raise serious questions about the industry’s ability to self regulate.

Most notoriously of recent months is the oxycontin settlement, where executives in the company were found guilty of misleading doctors and the general public about the dependency risk of oxycontin, and just last night on CNN was another report about troubling drug company practices.

Apparently, there are massive quantities of medications sold throughout the country everyday that have not yet been approved by the FDA as safe, and some of these drugs have been on the market, consumed and available for some time.

How can this happen?

Through the FDA drug approval process, when drugs apply to begin testing for approval, they are issued a 10 digit tracking number. Problematically, this same 10 digit number is used by pharmacists selling the drug, whether or not they have been approved. What has happened is that doctors and pharmacists mistakenly believe that since the drug has the FDA number and is available for sale, that it has passed FDA testing as safe; when this is too often not the case.

A knowing disregard of the law

But although doctors and pharmacists may claim legitimate ignorance, obviously the manufacturers of the drugs are well aware of the status of each and every drug they market, and well aware that they are selling what is reported to be over 65 million filled prescriptions worth of these illegal drugs each year. Obviously this is not the FDA’s finest moment either, but the fact that pharmaceutical companies are knowingly exploiting a previous lack in enforcement on the sale of unapproved drugs for profit is shameless, and seriously damages their credibility as a self regulating industry.

Prescription drugs currently contribute to a massive abuse and addiction problem, and we may need to tighten regulation and control ever further on the production and sale of drugs, and obviously those in a position to profit from the sale of these drugs cannot be relied on to act ethically, or with the best interests of the public in mind. The money to be made in the pharmaceutical industry is enormous, and while the vast majority in the industry are likely conscientious and moral people, there are obviously enough that will engage in questionable practices–risking the safety of consumers–that the industry as a whole cannot be trusted to act with integrity.

As much as the pharmaceutical companies might argue for greater self regulation as a way to streamline the approvals process and reduce the expense to the consumer (while creating greater profits as well) certain unsettling reports about the industry as a whole should raise serious questions about the industry’s ability to self regulate.

Most notoriously of recent months is the oxycontin settlement, where executives in the company were found guilty of misleading doctors and the general public about the dependency risk of oxycontin, and just last night on CNN was another report about troubling drug company practices.

Apparently, there are massive quantities of medications sold throughout the country everyday that have not yet been approved by the FDA as safe, and some of these drugs have been on the market, consumed and available for some time.

How can this happen?

Through the FDA drug approval process, when drugs apply to begin testing for approval, they are issued a 10 digit tracking number. Problematically, this same 10 digit number is used by pharmacists selling the drug, whether or not they have been approved. What has happened is that doctors and pharmacists mistakenly believe that since the drug has the FDA number and is available for sale, that it has passed FDA testing as safe; when this is too often not the case.

A knowing disregard of the law

But although doctors and pharmacists may claim legitimate ignorance, obviously the manufacturers of the drugs are well aware of the status of each and every drug they market, and well aware that they are selling what is reported to be over 65 million filled prescriptions worth of these illegal drugs each year. Obviously this is not the FDA’s finest moment either, but the fact that pharmaceutical companies are knowingly exploiting a previous lack in enforcement on the sale of unapproved drugs for profit is shameless, and seriously damages their credibility as a self regulating industry.

Prescription drugs currently contribute to a massive abuse and addiction problem, and we may need to tighten regulation and control ever further on the production and sale of drugs, and obviously those in a position to profit from the sale of these drugs cannot be relied on to act ethically, or with the best interests of the public in mind. The money to be made in the pharmaceutical industry is enormous, and while the vast majority in the industry are likely conscientious and moral people, there are obviously enough that will engage in questionable practices–risking the safety of consumers–that the industry as a whole cannot be trusted to act with integrity.

The Dangers of Alcohol Advertising, and What We Can Do About It

There is no doubt that alcohol marketing campaigns work, and beer and spirits companies would unlikely invest billions of annual dollars in intensive print and TV campaigns if they didn’t reap dividends. These same companies can (as far as I’m concerned) argue until they’re blue in the face that they advertise solely for market share and brand awareness, and while this motivation undoubtedly exists; they also advertise heavily as a recruitment tool, and to convince every emerging generation of prospective consumers about just how cool, handsome, beautiful, athletic and sexy alcohol can make you.

I mean, just how much does a television commercial of bikini clad women and rippled torsoed men enjoying an (intoxicated?) beach volley ball game tell us about the taste of a drink?

Alcohol advertising leans heavily on subliminal implications that using alcohol makes life more fun, and those people that use it live somehow more charmed lives than those that don’t. And those subliminal messages do seem to hit home with the consumers that beer and liquor companies’ value most…teens soon to join the legal market, and very likely already consuming. High school students, who were heavily exposed to beer or liquor advertisements when polled about the attributes of people who used alcohol, responded that drinkers were more likely to be attractive, wealthy and successful than non drinkers…which is surely far removed from any kind of reality. High school kids also responded that viewing beer or liquor ads made them want to try drinking, and 77% of parents polled believed that alcohol advertising was significantly influential in their children’s lives.

So what’s the answer?

There are two fundamental answers to advertising that encourages the use of a dangerous and harmful (but legal) drug. The first is to greatly reduce or even ban the marketing of alcohol, and the second is to mandate or fund a heavy campaign of counter advertisements. An alcohol counter advertisement is a public service ad that counters the promotional nature of a marketing spot with sobering and accurate information the dangers of alcohol, the health risks of drinking, or the societal costs of alcohol abuse. The intent is to create a more balanced and accurate perception of the dangers versus the pleasures of using alcohol.

Experts agree that counter advertisements work, and counter advertisements used against tobacco usage have proven effective. While the will exists to create and display the ads, the barrier is money, and all public service groups combined command nothing close to the advertising budget of even a single massive brewery. The National Alcohol Tax Coalition has the answer to that problem though, and they estimate that by raising the price of a single drink by only a dime, more than 4 billion dollars a year could be raised to fund effective and accurate public service alcohol counter advertising campaigns.

I don’t believe that prohibition is ever the answer, and I’m not even sure that companies selling a still legal product should be denied the right to market their wares; but due to the massive societal destruction wreaked by alcohol, I do believe that these alcohol promotions cannot be allowed to go unanswered. We need to make sure that kids and teens are getting a balanced and accurate picture of the realities of alcohol use.

Write to your State and Federal elected officials and demand that for every Bud ad, we get a grieving mother after a drunk driving fatality, and that for every beer beach party spot we also learn about the dangers of alcohol and brain damage.

There is no doubt that alcohol marketing campaigns work, and beer and spirits companies would unlikely invest billions of annual dollars in intensive print and TV campaigns if they didn’t reap dividends. These same companies can (as far as I’m concerned) argue until they’re blue in the face that they advertise solely for market share and brand awareness, and while this motivation undoubtedly exists; they also advertise heavily as a recruitment tool, and to convince every emerging generation of prospective consumers about just how cool, handsome, beautiful, athletic and sexy alcohol can make you.

I mean, just how much does a television commercial of bikini clad women and rippled torsoed men enjoying an (intoxicated?) beach volley ball game tell us about the taste of a drink?

Alcohol advertising leans heavily on subliminal implications that using alcohol makes life more fun, and those people that use it live somehow more charmed lives than those that don’t. And those subliminal messages do seem to hit home with the consumers that beer and liquor companies’ value most…teens soon to join the legal market, and very likely already consuming. High school students, who were heavily exposed to beer or liquor advertisements when polled about the attributes of people who used alcohol, responded that drinkers were more likely to be attractive, wealthy and successful than non drinkers…which is surely far removed from any kind of reality. High school kids also responded that viewing beer or liquor ads made them want to try drinking, and 77% of parents polled believed that alcohol advertising was significantly influential in their children’s lives.

So what’s the answer?

There are two fundamental answers to advertising that encourages the use of a dangerous and harmful (but legal) drug. The first is to greatly reduce or even ban the marketing of alcohol, and the second is to mandate or fund a heavy campaign of counter advertisements. An alcohol counter advertisement is a public service ad that counters the promotional nature of a marketing spot with sobering and accurate information the dangers of alcohol, the health risks of drinking, or the societal costs of alcohol abuse. The intent is to create a more balanced and accurate perception of the dangers versus the pleasures of using alcohol.

Experts agree that counter advertisements work, and counter advertisements used against tobacco usage have proven effective. While the will exists to create and display the ads, the barrier is money, and all public service groups combined command nothing close to the advertising budget of even a single massive brewery. The National Alcohol Tax Coalition has the answer to that problem though, and they estimate that by raising the price of a single drink by only a dime, more than 4 billion dollars a year could be raised to fund effective and accurate public service alcohol counter advertising campaigns.

I don’t believe that prohibition is ever the answer, and I’m not even sure that companies selling a still legal product should be denied the right to market their wares; but due to the massive societal destruction wreaked by alcohol, I do believe that these alcohol promotions cannot be allowed to go unanswered. We need to make sure that kids and teens are getting a balanced and accurate picture of the realities of alcohol use.

Write to your State and Federal elected officials and demand that for every Bud ad, we get a grieving mother after a drunk driving fatality, and that for every beer beach party spot we also learn about the dangers of alcohol and brain damage.