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[ Opinion ]

A Luxury (Rehab) Problem

While addicts have similar characteristics such as self-medicating to hide from pain, denial, the inability to express emotions, anxiety, depression, etc., every addict is an individual with different needs. It is for this reason that the majority of Luxury Rehabs have a client-centered focus whereby they don’t treat every client exactly the same. People have different mental health issues; different experiences, be it trauma or otherwise; come from different backgrounds, religious and cultural; have different sexual orientations; etc.

My approach about ridding oneself of resentments would be different with someone who was abused versus someone who wasn’t. Someone who has social anxiety may need a different type of counselling than someone who is an extrovert. I could go on and on.

The problem, as I see it today, is that Luxury Rehabs are confusing client-centred with client-directed. By client-directed I mean the client tells you how he wants his treatment to go. To me this is just plain wrong. I went to treatment because I didn’t know how to stay sober – I eventually found out I didn’t know how to live. If the treatment centre I went to allowed me to decide what I needed I have not doubt I would not have remained sober. The counsellors, therapists, nutrionists, etc. at the Luxury Rehab treatment centre are the experts. The client is not.

The sad fact is that Luxury Rehabs is a big business and private facilities are vying for clients. This means that sometimes the client’s best interests are put on the back-burner in order to either attract the client or ensure she stays in treatment. I understand that allowances have to be made but sometimes these allowances are taken too far. This type of treatment practice is becoming more prominent in the Province of Ontario, Canada. In Ontario the addiction Luxury Rehabs business has no government regulations whatsoever and the current provincial government has no plans bring any in. There are organizations, such as the Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellors Federation (CCACF), that have been formed to bring about a standard in the industry however these organizations have no official government recognition. Their standards are not enforceable by law.

The biggest Ontario scandal to date surrounds the most financially successful addiction organization – Addiction Canada.  It was found guilty of fraud, whereby it had two men posing as licensed doctors. The sad thing is this company is still up and running. Who knows what damage has bee done. But I digress.

A common characteristic that addicts have is the belief that, “I’m different from you”, “that may work for you, but it won’t work me”. This is distorted thinking. My best thinking got me to Luxury Rehabs therefore my best thinking cannot be relied on. I had to change my toxic behaviours/thinking in order to get and stay well. The most dangerous disorder an addict can suffer from is that of terminal uniqueness. By giving into this disorder we are allowing toxic behaviors/thinking to continue and condemning the addict to failure.