The “Magic” of 30 Days

“Everyone knows that you have to go off to rehab for at least 30 days. That’s what works!”

As usual, what “everyone knows” when it comes to giving up alcohol abuse is wrong. There is no magic in the 30-day regimen, quite the opposite. However, before going into that, we do note that there are a couple instances where it might help.

The first is if you are so totally out of control that you need a respite period to regroup, get some perspective, sort out your options, and be protected from whoever is driving you to drink.

Second, it will placate family, employers, judges and whoever else is on your case. In fairness, your family is probably at their wits end, would like to know you are fairly safe for a month, and hope you are being appropriately punished for all of the hell you have supposedly or actually put them through.

So much for the benefits.

On the other side, it’s unlikely you will get any actual help because the “program” is all about initiating you into the AA/12Step cult, not about ending your self-medication with actual coping skills, assessment of your overall situation, marshalling your strengths, interests, and abilities to relieve the drinking, and coming up with a process-plan to correct the imbalances in your life.

All of these are anathema to the Steppers who control 90+% of “rehab” programs and simply want to demean, terrify, humiliate, and degrade you to the point where you fit into their abusive and exploitive cult.

A hint: you don’t need to go anywhere if that’s what’s going to work for you. There are free AA meetings you can attend and get the same result. After all, 30-Day rehab is just an endless agenda of 12 Step meetings.

Let us suggest that if you need a break from the current drama you’re living, go away to a spa for a couple of weeks. You’ll be able to unwind, sort, declutter, and begin to rebound from alcohol induced depression – all for a fraction of the cost of “rehab.” And you won’t be abused, demeaned, and exploited.

Having cleared your head, you’ll then be in a better position to learn CBT, begin assertiveness training, understand and enhance whatever motivates you, learn to manage unbalanced personal and professional relationships, your diet, habits, and other peripheral aids. And you’ll do this in a private, confidential, non-judgmental, and research based individual program – one that does not require you to label yourself anything.

The question comes down to, do you want to fix the problem, or do you merely want to placate someone who doesn’t understand that the misuse of alcohol is a symptom? Remember, there is not a shred of research that supports AA’s “disease” model and, as we refer to it, the “King’s New Clothes” revolving door rehab industry.

When You Think Someone Needs To Go To Rehab

We hear from a lot of family members – including parents, spouses, siblings, children and other – that this person needs to go to rehab. How can we force them to go?

The short answer is, you can’t.

The longer answer is that you can disengage until they recognize the problem and agree to seek some kind of help. Of course, they may choose not to just as you are free to stay disengaged.

Should they decide to get some help in addressing the problem it’s critical that they choose what help they are willing to engage with.


If someone else, not matter how well meaning, “forces” the client to go to this or that “program” then failure is certain. First because most programs are AA/12 Step based which pretty much guarantees failure, but more importantly because you have assumed responsibility for the outcome.

The “controlled” individual, forced against their will, to attend a debunked program, has a vested interest in it not working and a ready-made reason, “I told you this wouldn’t work but you wouldn’t listen so now it’s your fault that it didn’t!”

On the other hand, if he or she chooses the format then they have a vested interest in success.

As is frequently the case with couples, families, even communities, this all comes down to a power struggle. While these are unavoidable from time to time, they are considerably lessened, both in number and intensity, if one simple rule is followed: “The person who has the responsibility, also has the authority.”

Translated, if you have the responsibility for fixing a problem, or loading the dish washer, you also have the authority to decide how.

Beware of anyone who wants to hand you the responsibility while they retain the authority. That does not make for a balanced relationship which is, in and of itself, a primary reason why people drink.