The tragic loss of Glee actor Cory Monteith due to what was determined as an overdose on heroin and alcohol is yet another grim reminder of the sometimes unrelenting hold addiction can have. Recently some experts in the media have proclaimed that it was the treatment system that failed him, either pushing for the use of certain medications or merely pointing out that transitioning from a residential facility to “normal life” can be extremely difficult.
It is true that there is an increased risk of overdose following a period of abstinence, as a person’s tolerance level to a drug will somewhat re-set after weeks or months of sobriety. This in turn makes the same dose of a drug that much more toxic and, ultimately, potentially deadly.
Some rehabs are quick to sell their inpatient programs as being the best or claiming they have certain success rates, but rarely are any of those claims verifiable. On the contrary, it has been observed that a continued plan of treatment and recovery support systems are more prone to produce lasting results following residential care.
Recognizing that there is a problem and that something needs to be done is a first step. Planning and carrying out some form of alcohol or drug intervention to get the person into treatment is often next, but completing the rehab program isn’t the end.
Trained specialists should work with the individual to develop a transitional plan that may or may not include support systems such as sober living, outpatient counseling, groups such as AA, NA or other recovery networks, family help, work and social environments. All of these things, and more, can play vital roles in ensuring a successful recovery.