Does drug rehab work?

Is Drug and alcohol treatment effective?

Is it really worth the time and money?

First and foremost, the degree to which someone’s ability to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction is principally up to them. They will need the assistance of treatment professionals and significant others along the way, but whether they are ultimately able to achieve sobriety and sustain it is their sole responsibility. This will take becoming conscious of the fact that maintaining sobriety on a daily is their new principal priority in life.  

Given the fundamental premise that someone’s sobriety is their overall responsibility, we will first address three baseline guiding principles needed to assure maximum advantage can be derived from treatment. Then, we will outline four factors that will likely impact the degree of success someone is able to realize in their recovery.

The Three Baseline Guiding Principles Necessary in the Recovery Process

At Spirit Mountain Recovery, we ask our clients three things upon admission and then continue to emphasize when they are in treatment with us. First that they always are completely honest with us. Second, they stay open-minded about what we suggest during treatment as to the tools and path to sustained sobriety. Thirdly, they remain 100% committed to the recovery process each day for 30 days and by doing the work necessary to recover. 


In addiction there is always a lot of deceptive and dishonest living. By being completely honest with yourself and others, a client can re-establish personal integrity in their life. Honesty also fosters vulnerability which is necessary for the recovery process. Honesty is the bedrock of all healthy relationships and is a baseline principle of how one should commit to living their life.

Clients who have checked themselves into a professional addiction treatment program in Utah have not been able to recover on their own. All their best thinking about how to change their lives for the better has not worked. 


Remaining open-minded about the suggestions our professional staff will offer regarding how to recover from the life-threatening illness of substance addiction is another baseline requirement in recovery. Nothing changes without a change in thinking or behavior. By being open-minded, clients become more conscious of their condition and the steps necessary to achieve and sustain sobriety if that is their goal. 


The recovery process can only work if the individual can stay committed to doing the work necessary for sobriety to be achieved and sustained. As is often said, nothing worthwhile is ever achieved in life without consistently working hard toward your stated goal. So, the same can be said for being able to recover from a substance use addiction. Achieving and sustaining sobriety requires doing the necessary work each day to stay sober if that is your goal. 

The Four Factors That Greatly Impact the Degree of Success During the Recovery Process

Level of Care

The highest and most ideal level of care is to be treated for drug addiction at a Utah residential treatment facility. There, you are separated from the environment in which your addiction was operating. Treatment therapies and recovery regimens are best learned when practiced every day, 24/7 ideally. That is what residential care affords an individual. Especially true for those who have been unable to recover on their own.

Being treated as far away as possible from home is also recommended. Being treated far away from home makes it harder to return home should someone think of leaving treatment early. It also allows an individual to contrast their lifestyle and surroundings to that of a faraway treatment center, which also helps foster a new perspective on life. 

Length of Care

Changing long-time adverse behaviors can be challenging. It is no different with drug and alcohol addiction. These illnesses were often years in the making, and it will take at least a year of rehabilitation to change things around. If it can be arranged, residential care is the ideal level of care to get a person’s recovery more firmly started.

It is also ideal to be diagnosed and treated for any co-occurring mental health disorder that may be triggering a person’s drug usage. These would be conditions like Bipolar I and II, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, or types of psychoses. Many treatment centers advertise they have this capability or expertise, but few effectively treat these afflictions.

The length of treatment at a residential treatment center is most typically dictated by insurance companies per the terms and conditions of their policies, with intimal authorization for care usually being allocated from 5 to 21 days. After this initial residential authorization has expired, the patient is then stepped down to the outpatient level of care.  

Research has shown that the longer a person stays can help mitigate the potential for relapse with the most favorable statistics have shown that the chance of a person experiencing a relapse drops from 90% within the first year after leaving treatment to just 12% if sobriety can be maintained for at least a year. 

The Severity of the Addiction

Having been diagnosed medically or clinically with a drug or alcohol addiction or, as it is now more appropriately referred to, Substance Use Disorder (SUD), the next assessment is to classify the severity of this disorder. The severity of a person’s addiction is typically classified as severe or moderate, depending on the number of dysfunctional characteristics evidenced by the person afflicted. 

Although the term addict is severely stigmatized, it does help define those who most likely fit the description of being unable to stop using drugs or alcohol. It is thought that 12.5 to 25% of individuals who engage in drugs and alcohol will become severely addicted to them. 

These above individuals are typically referred to by Alcoholics Anonymous as the true alcoholics or, more generally, as the true addict. These are the individuals who typically are treatment-resistant, relapse frequently, and have most typically been in and out of numerous treatment centers over the years.

For those who just cannot stop the use of a drug or drinking alcohol once they have engaged the substance. The true addict. These are the clients that Spirit Mountain Recovery treats. For them, recovery will require a complete psychic change in the way they experience and process life. This is done principally through cognitive-behavioral and other evidence-based therapy combined with experiential recovery regimens. 

In other words, they transcend from their complete self-centered orientation, evidenced in their addiction to a new level of consciousness where the direction is now taken from a source greater than themselves upon whom they have come to rely. A spiritual awakening. Facilitating this transcendence for the client is a unique characteristic of Spirit Mountain Recovery.

The Professional Qualifications of the Caregiver

There are a lot of fields in the medical profession. The best Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorder treatment centers have a Medical Doctor who is also a Psychiatrist by training and specializes in treating addiction. More ideally, an American Board of Psychiatry Certified Psychiatrist in Addiction Medicine. Psychiatrists are able to assess and diagnose substance use and mental health disorders and perform medication management.

Supplementing the medical staff of a treatment center, is the clinical staff who also specializes in addiction treatment. The Clinical Director of these treatment centers is ideally a Ph.D. in Psychology or Sociology. They also can assess and diagnose substance use and mental health disorders. They also supervise the therapists who are assigned to treat clients and oversee clinical operations daily.

Therapists can be the Clinical Director themselves, or clinicians who also specialize in Substance Use and Mental Health Disorder Treatment would have at the very least a Master’s Degree in Sociology or Psychology and be licensed in their field of expertise. The highest level of therapists are typically Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) or Family Therapists (LMFT). In some states, Substance Use Disorder Counselors can also be licensed therapists.

Often the most important caregivers in treatment are the day-to-day Peer Staff. These individuals may have varied types of degrees and accreditation, or not, but most ideally, they are individuals who have also suffered from a substance use disorder in their past and have solidly recovered from this affliction. They are the daily guides that work with other medical and clinical staff to deliver substance use treatment.

Professional treatment is a team effort with the Medical Doctor/Psychiatrist, Clinical Director, ideally a Doctor of Psychology or Sociology, Licensed Therapists, and well-experienced Peer Staff all working together to deliver the highest level of care possible. One client at a time.

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