A Film Review of “The Business of Recovery” and Tips to Inspire Hope
by Rickard Elmore, Interventionist and Treatment Strategist™
I recently watched, “The Business of Recovery”, a film that poses ethical concerns and criticizes the existing problems that unfortunately are all too common within the practices of the addiction and mental health treatment industry. The film brought up startling statistics of low success rates in conventional recovery methods and laid bare the likelihood of corruption in a money-driven system, but left these concerns largely unresolved. It offered no vision or suggestion for any kind of immediate solution. Regrettably, this movie left me feeling that when it comes to treatment and recovery, there is no hope. That was until I had the opportunity to speak to the film’s Producer Greg Horvath
. He clarified to me that one motivation for this unsettling examination of the treatment field was to present the importance of setting a standard of science-based treatment practices. Asking for more regulations and qualifications of professionals that would have science and accountability at its base. The film points out that treatment providers often make claims of 80% or higher success rates, but without scientifically evidence-based tools
to back them up, those numbers lie within the realm of imagination. The film suggests that science is the best way to determine beneficial treatment practices, however it only offers the public a best guess as what to do next with their life-threatening problems. Unless viewers of this film are well-versed in the ins and outs of addiction and mental health treatment, it is highly likely they will leave the film screening with a greater sense of fear and confusion about whether or not treatment can offer a solution, or if effective treatment even exists.
The truth is that finding reputable treatment that works is possible. In my extensive experience, what I’ve found is that treatment for addiction and mental heath is a process not an event. Provided with the right tools
and circumstances, many people will get better over time. Sadly, what is also true is that some people do not find their way into a life of successful recovery. In answer to the concerns brought up by “The Business of Recovery” film, I’d like to offer a few takeaways to help individuals needing clarity on how to find their path to recovery:
- Make a commitment to recovery. All addiction and mental health treatment starts with you and your own resolve to make positive, life-affirming change in your life. For some it can be a difficult road, with the right services you can and will find success.
- Find a professional who understands not only the specific problem or difficulties you are dealing with, but also engages with the latest and most up to date science and research as it relates to the problem. To find reputable treatment, investigate to find out a treatment center’s expertise, services and the credentials of the medical and clinical staff.
- There is no “quick fix” or singular way of recovering that works for everybody. You are an individual with your own unique past, background and specific biological, psychological, and socio-environmental factors that contribute to your addiction and mental heath concerns.
Each area needs to be looked at and addressed – So for instance: support groups can be greatly beneficial in creating accountability and offering community, but if you suffer from a chemical imbalance that causes depression, meetings don’t provide what might need to be a medical solution. The key is to look at the whole picture of who you are and what you need and find what works for you.
- Don’t give up, and don’t allow shame or self-judgement to cause you to give up. No matter who you are, what you’ve done or what you have been through, you deserve to find a way not only into recovery, but into a life of health and happiness. It will take effort, it will take flexibility and it will take personal growth. Remember, recovery is a process — stick with it.