Book Review: Inside Rehab

March 4, 2013

An alert! CMC makes a book recommendation! As providers of evidence-based treatment for substance use and compulsive behaviors, we have been heartened and encouraged by the very recent publication of a new book about the treatment field, “Inside Rehab”, by Anne Fletcher.  It is an incredible book that details almost everything you will face as you try to navigate the addiction treatment world.  She provides an exhaustive review of how things got to be the way they are (i.e., the treatment options, the philosophies), and how and why they need to change.  She cites all the relevant, up-to-date research and interviews experts who have been trying to identify and create effective ways to understand and approach the problem of substance use disorders.  She also interviews clinicians on the front lines trying to treat the problem, and most importantly, she interviews people (and their families) who have gone through the process with both success and great difficulty.

Unfortunately, we hear painful versions of some of the stories in Anne’s book time and again.  At CMC we encounter something we call “treatment trauma”, the experience many of our clients have had in treatment programs that are confrontational, not psychiatrically sophisticated, and tone-deaf to actual client needs. They leave humiliated, misdiagnosed and skeptical about getting help.  While Anne did not see any overt displays of confrontational techniques being used at the rehabs she visited, she heard many stories about it happening at other rehabs.

Thankfully, we hear the positive stories as well.  Those of life-changing moments in treatment where individuals and families are provided real options and embrace real change.  We hope her book continues to challenge the programs that need to change in order to be in line with the evidence that is available to us.  There is an array of evidence-based approaches available for programs to use; we didn’t make this stuff up at CMC. It’s been developed and tested over the past 40 years in the scientific and treatment communities, and we know what works!

And we hope that our clients and their families feel emboldened to ask the right questions and to insist that their treatment providers are up-to-date with the best techniques and approaches available to them. As you know, this can be life and death problem, and at the very least hair-raising.  Understanding options, understanding what is most likely to help, and understanding how to navigate the path, really matters. We think Ms. Fletcher’s book will help you enormously on this road.

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