Last Updated on June 14, 2023
Rehab is like a drug college for young people. I have noticed this time and time again with adolescents and young adults entering rehab. They go to rehab for a marijuana addiction for example and while there they get a crash course in all the different drugs. They obviously don’t learn this from the staff, it is the other clients they learn it from.
While I personally attended rehab in my younger years as well as worked in them as I got older I noticed that young adults all want to be the “worst” addicts. They sit together exchanging war stories, “no man, you don’t understand how bad I was…” each person grinding their teeth itching to tell their own drug story to top the story of their peer.
What is the harm in this, you may ask? From what I have seen the individual that goes in with a marijuana or alcohol dependence, for example, gets made to feel less-than, like they don’t qualify as a “real” addict.
Unfortunately, the relapse rate in the first year is something around 90%. That means that the individual going into rehab for marijuana addiction will be made to feel less then for his/her addiction, will learn the whole gambit of other drugs available, as well as make lots of new connections in the drug world (via peers in rehab), and he/she statistically only has a 10% chance of staying sober. Therefore, on the 90% chance that they DO relapse, they are now well educated about all the other drugs that are out there and, in my experience, will seek them out.
I do not know why professionals in the rehabilitation industry are not doing more to address this problem. If you ask any tech, in any rehab, they will verify what I’m saying. I am not sure how to combat this, separating individuals based on their drug of choice may be a good start.
It also points to why working with a sober companion or sober coach at home can be more beneficial and eliminate, what is in my opinion, unnecessary risk of being exposed to potentially toxic peers.
If you would like me to explain anything further please email me. I am happy to answer any questions.