Why Most Rehabs are Proven NOT to Work.

-By A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling

Obviously, the goal of addiction treatment is to enable and sustain long-term sobriety. However, research shows that there are incredible high rates of relapse with traditional methods. The traditional methods that are largely in use originated from the Minnesota Model that was developed  in 1949.

Since then, addiction treatment has remained relatively the same, even though the last 50 years of research provided researchers, doctors and scientists with many practices and procedures that are substantially more effective.

Research suggests that many of the conventional recovery programs have around a 5-8 percent long-term success rate due to this problem.(1,2,3)

Below are a few statements from well recognized and respected researchers, doctors and professionals explaining this problem.

“Treating alcohol and other drug dependence solely through repeated episodes of detoxification and brief stabilization is clinically ineffective and constitutes a poor stewardship of personal and community resources."Addiction treatment requires "a shift that will deemphasize expensive, high intensity acute care and emphasize lower-intensity, lower cost and more enduring recovery support  services.” (William White, Senior Research Consultant at Chestnut Health Systems)

Enoch Gordis, the director of NIAAA (National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism stated:

"Our whole treatment system with its innumerable therapies, armies of therapists, large and expensive programs, are founded on hunch, not evidence and not science."

According to researchers, Cutler & Fishbain, alcoholics that did NOT use conventional acute programs actually improved more than those who did:

“Alcoholics that were not treated in clinical trials show a greater improvement. Most of the improvement which is interpreted as treatment effect is not due to treatment.” (Cutler & Fishbain: Are alcoholism treatments effective? The Project MATCH data).

Another important point to consider is the way we go about "helping" someone with an addiction.

Confrontation is a common method used in traditional recovery programs such as AA, NA and other 12 step programs. Some even use methods called "attack therapy" and "hot seat therapy."

Confrontation and "scared straight" methods not only make people feel uncomfortable, but it pushes them in the wrong direction. Research shows that the use of confrontation actually increases an individual's resistance to change. Other problematic behaviors also increase during the confrontational periods of intervention.(4)

People confronted to stop drinking, actually drank more. When less confrontation was used in recovery, the less drinking addicted individudals Eliciting Motivation To Change Printable PDF Version 3dengaged in.(5)

Revealing research goes against not only the techniques used in traditional addiction therapy, but also shows that addicts actually change on their own without the use of high-end treatment facilities or expensive recovery programs.(6)

These methods are rarely talked about. Included in the Truth Of Addiction system is a bonus ebook called: "Eliciting Motivation To Change" which addresses how those addicted acquire the motivation to change. It's probably not what you think.


1. R. G. Smart, Spontaneous Recovery in Alcoholics: A Review and Analysis of the Available Research, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol 1, 1975-1976, p. 284.
2. Thomas Prugh, Recovery Without Treatment, Alcohol Health and Research World, Fall 1986, pp. 24, 71 and 72.
3. Sehnert, 1992; Larson, 1992 “Seven Weeks to sobriety”
4. Patterson, et. al (2004). Systematic Changes in Families Following Prevention Trials. Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 621-633 and Miller, WR Motivational Interviewing