When a person enters rehab, their main goal is to recover from their addiction. They want to be healthy and live a better life. Entering rehab is a hard decision but a brave move to make. For many people, it can also cost a lot of money and resources. But as great as rehab is, many things can go wrong. When rehab fails, a person can relapse and fall back into an addiction, a waste of effort, time, and commitment to getting better. When this happens to you, do you know what to do and who you can ask for advice? This article will give you a few tips on what to do when rehab doesn’t work.

What To Do When Rehab Doesn’t Work
What To Do When Rehab Doesn’t Work

Why Rehab Treatment Doesn’t Work

A person may fall back to addiction immediately after completing their program in rehab, or they can relapse after some time. Regardless of the situation, there are many reasons why rehab won’t work for a person. Finding out these reasons is important so you can figure out what to do when rehab doesn’t work.

Before anything else, keep in mind that addiction is a chronic disease. It is a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Although this is a cause for concern, it is a normal occurrence. So when you do go through the experience of rehab not working, do not get discouraged or give up on your journey.

Here is a list of possible reasons why rehab has not worked:

  • Entering rehab because of pressure

Your admission is not voluntary. Those people around you may have forced you to enter rehab, and you relented. An intervention is staged to bring you to rehab, and you did not know how to decline. Entering rehab is a condition given by a judge for a court case.

Whatever the situation may be, you did not enter rehab by your own choice. You go in with half a heart, and while you are there, you never warmed up to the process. Recovery is a lifelong process. It takes a lot of strength, energy, and hard work. So you have to be fully committed to getting better for it to be successful: no court orders, no pressure from family and peers.

  • You lack the support

They say that no man is an island. That is also true when dealing with recovery from addiction. You need a stable and strong support system. Without it, rehab can be a rougher road than it already is.

Addiction also hurts those that love and care about you. They may uphold the stigma surrounding people with addiction and can be heavy on their judgment. Others have experienced being entirely cut-off by their loved ones, so they won’t know where to look for support. It can be discouraging to your journey and might cause you to give up.

There are also situations where enablers of these habits surround a person. You might have people in your life that are also dealing with addiction. People who don’t understand your desire to get better tends to be insensitive to your struggle.

  • The facility is not right for you

Every person has unique problems and needs. Likewise, not all rehab facilities are built the same. The program that you entered is not compatible with you. Their treatments are not working. You don’t care about the services offered to you.

A person might have already invested so much money, so they want to stick it out for as long as possible, trying to make it work. It can cause even more issues to develop and does not contribute to your recovery at all.

Why Rehab Treatment Doesn’t Work
Why Rehab Treatment Doesn’t Work

What To Do When Rehab Doesn’t Work

After discussing the possible reasons, there are many options available when this happens. Here are a few answers on what to do when rehab doesn’t work:

1. Build a strong support system

You are as good as the people you surround yourself with. The same can also be applied when embarking on a journey to recovery. Keep those who are supportive and understanding of your struggle. It is important they respect you as a person and believe that you can get better. If they are close to you, there is a high chance of being affected by your addiction. Try to invite them to join counseling sessions with you. This can also start the healing process and make them feel like they are important to you and your recovery.

2. Be Patient and Calm Yourself

It often happens that you will feel stuck. It might seem that you are not making any progress at all. Do not get frustrated. Remind yourself again that recovery is not easy. You will encounter some bumps along the way. Calm yourself down and keep a clear mind so you can be able to think of a solution. In your journey towards recovery, you will learn to solve your problems without resorting to the use of the substance.

3. Be Honest with Yourself

It is important to recognize your strengths and capabilities. It is also just as important to acknowledge your weaknesses and limitations. Reflect on your struggles with addiction and your efforts to recover in the past. Know where you went wrong. Take note of the things you want to do better. If you have relapsed or think you have a high chance of relapsing in the future, thinking that you can handle your recovery by yourself is dangerous. Enlist the help of professionals. Consider signing up for rehab again. When you are there, you will be under their supervision.

4. Research your facility

Finding a facility that fits you perfectly can seem challenging, but it is not impossible. Being in a program or rehab facility that is not right for you can cause even more problems. Not to mention the financial burden that it can bring. Rehab might not have worked the first time, but the important thing here is you are willing to try again.

Recovery is an important stage in your life. You should put in the effort of looking into different rehab facilities in your area. Many facilities have their website. You can also make calls to discuss their programs.


To answer the question, what to do when rehab doesn’t work, it is important to first look at why it didn’t. There are plenty of options available, such as building a strong support system and researching a facility that best fits you. This is a crucial choice that you will make and can affect the course of your recovery. There is a rehabilitation program out there that would work best for you.

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