Why drug rehab can fail

Creating effective addiction treatment programmes is an ongoing process and we never stop learning. When treatment does not work, it is vital that we look at why and what could have been done differently. That way we can plan our treatment programmes better and ensure maximum results.

Drug rehabilitation is one of the most effective methods of helping people recover from addiction. However, there are many stories about people who have entered rehab on a number of occasions or have visited a number of rehab centres trying to find one that works. Entering a rehab programme does not guarantee that the client will achieve long term sobriety, but it can show them the way. However, there are a number of factors that can make recovery difficult.


Some people expect to enter a drug rehab programme for a week, get their bodies clean and walk away fully cured. However, addiction is not so easy to treat. Long term addiction affects the chemistry of the brain, which can take a long time to fix and many addicts will never fully recover. Many think that the hard work begins and ends with rehab, but this is only the first step towards a long and difficult road to recovery.

Wrong or standardised treatment

Everybody is different and there are many different reasons why addiction can develop. Understanding the individual and their underlying issues is vital to providing a treatment that works. Some rehab facilities even use outdated or short term treatment options. Effective drug rehab should use dual diagnosis treatment to address underlying mental health issues that could be contributing towards addiction.

Here at Cassiobury Court, all of our clients are assessed prior to admission to create a personalised treatment plan to maximise the chances of recovery.


Willingness from the client to change their life will always maximise the chances of recovery. Whilst rehab programmes can help those who are in denial or do not want to be there, it makes the process a lot more difficult. Many are also unwilling to open up about difficult issues in their life. This can lead to some clients faking their way through treatment or checking out early. Many will enter addiction treatment with a defeatist attitude or low self-esteem, which it difficult to take new ideas on board and make an effort.

Looking back at managing expectations, some think that hard work is not as important post treatment. This leads to over confidence or complacency, which can result in relapse.

Poor support

Addiction recovery is a difficult process and is made easier by the love and support from friends and family. Many addicts will leave rehab and continue to spend time with other drug users, where temptation and peer pressure is rife, which can result in relapse. Alternatively, some loved ones will try and be supportive, but the disregard the needs of the addict. This can take the form of not taking their requests seriously or drinking or using in their presence.

At Cassiobury Court, we offer an extensive aftercare service, providing continual support to our clients as well as introducing them to local support groups.

Severity of illness

As with many illnesses, the earlier the treatment begins, the higher the chances of success. Some of the biggest barriers to treatment include denial and low self-esteem. These will get greater over time as addiction takes hold and it will be more difficult find the motivation to recover. Many people think that treatment is not possible until the addict has reached “rock bottom”, which could not be further from the truth.