Why would you want to go off to residential treatment?

“Going off to rehab” has become such an ingrained part of our culture that almost no one ever stops to question why anyone would choose to do this. After all, if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, “everyone knows” it’s what you do!


Frankly almost no one needs to “go off to” residential rehab, even if it worked, which it usually doesn’t!

As usual, the research is clear, 85% of the people checking into rehab are alcohol abusers, not alcohol dependent “alcoholics”, and even those who are dependent aren’t helped beyond a modest detox and stabilization period that can be a lot more effectively achieved in other, better, cheaper, safer settings.

So what’s going on here?

The short answer is that traditional “Minnesota Model”, 12-Step/AA based treatment has nothing to sell you that isn’t available for free at dozens of locations near you.

That’s right. If you are one of the roughly 3%-5% of people for whom AA is a workable solution, you don’t have to pay for it!

Do what we suggest – go to a few different meeting – they do vary greatly – and see if it’s a good fit for you. You’ll know very quickly if it is for you. And if it is, you have just found yourself a free treatment program and saved yourself tens of thousands of dollars.

Otherwise, do you really want to spend tens of thousand of dollars for “treatment” for a condition “alcoholism” that you don’t have?   A “treatment” with an effectiveness rate of under 5% under the best of circumstances? And acquire a life long label that will haunt you for the rest of your life?

Nope. We wouldn’t either. Especially when research-based options are available that address the real problems. Solutions that are private, affordable, effective, personal, confidential, and permanent!

More information? Check out Mary Ellen’s always popular Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Sent My Brother Off To Rehab

Then give us a call!

For our Readers in Alaska, The Yukon, and other Intense and Isolated Environments.

Over 25 years of living in rural Alaska (“The Bush” – Aniak, Pt. Hope, Rampart, Seward, Kodiak) gave me a lot of insight into why alcohol problems occur there – and how to resolve them. Summers in Northern British Columbia, The Yukon, and Northwest Territories told me that the underlying problems cut across geography and, sometimes, cultures.

What did I learn about myself and about you?

First, we’re not exactly normal folks to start with. After all, most of us came from somewhere else and, frankly, “normal” folks don’t move to Alaska or the Canadian North. Even those of us born there, like  my Inyupik children, didn’t exactly grow up in typical western communities.

In the psychological profile world, the middle of the “bell shaped curve,” the part that makes up normal, is missing.

So, who are we? Pretty much the extremes. The smartest, and dumbest, the sickest, and healthiest, the best and the worst, the most and least interesting.

And why do we abuse alcohol?

In that, we have many of the “normal” reasons – loneliness, boredom, anxiety – but also a few less common ones.

One of the most common questions I would be asked during my years in Alaska was how I managed the isolation.

I’d reply that the isolation was easy – it was the enforced intimacy that was tough!

Geographic isolation in tiny villages and small towns means everyone is forced to know way more about friends, neighbors, relatives, and enemies that anyone wants to. Further crammed together by climate (think 8 people in a 15′ x 20″ cabin with the temperature at minus 50 degrees and only a couple of hours of dim daylight) and you’ll begin to get the idea.

In these cases, alcohol helps to achieve an isolating cushion from one’s immediate surroundings, a weird degree of privacy.

Of course other factors also feed the abuse of alcohol. Rural and coastal Alaskans were first exposed to alcohol by whalers, prospectors, and the military. Guess whose patterns they learned, adopted, and handed down as appropriate?

Others, far from “home” and the constraints of family and community, abuse that freedom.

Many villagers find alcohol abuse an acceptable excuse to depart from cultural norms and act out aggressively, sometimes violently. And no one gets called on it because this week is “your turn” but next week may be mine!

For others the abuse is even more situational – it’s what I do when I’m “in town” away from the village or off the boat from the Bering Sea, or…..

But it still all comes down to the same thing. Temporary and dangerous escape from the usual miseries that we can’t seem to figure out healthy, permanent ways to escape.

That’s where we come in. We’ve been there, done that. We got a grip, got a life, and left alcohol abuse behind. You can too.

For more information, click on Help for Alaskans (and other Northerners), then give us a call and come to the only program in the U.S. or Canada, that actually understands and loves the North, its peoples, cultures, conditions, and solutions.

Links to Success:

Yes, We Work With Couples

Smart Women and Alcohol Abuse

“How Can You Possibly Cure My Years of Alcohol Abuse in Just 5 Days?”

The Real “Steps” to Overcoming Alcohol Abuse