In my 30 years of working with addicts and alcoholics I believe they suffer from one major problem: a sense of entitlement.
Many addicts come to us with the idea that we're a fine resort or hotel. Some expect a private room, dinner service, private counseling. Because they're paying a small fee ($135.00) a week they have the idea that they shouldn't have to volunteer or be responsible for cleaning their living areas, or seeking outside employment.
Granted that many of them are in their early to mid-twenties and never had to fend for themselves, it's understandable that they wouldn't know how to care for themselves. Some of them have no idea of how to make a bed, fill out a job application, do laundry, cook, or clean up after themselves. Their parents spoiled and coddled them - trying to be their friend instead of teachng them how to live in the real world.
So rather than stick around and learn that life is sometimes tough and that there are responsibilties associated wth surviving on this planet, they leave and start using again. Probably with the hope that things will be different this time. But I'm here to tell you that a relapse never makes things better for more than a few minutes. I've never had anyone return from a relapse and tell me how wonderful things were out there on the streets.
No matter how tough our childhood or upbringing has been we can decide to be a different human being if we choose to. But we need to make that choice. Most of those who succeed at TLC are those who lived a tough life.
We might have been homeless, spent years in prison or jail, been molested or abused as children.. But if we succeed it's because we looked into the mirror and identified the source of our problems. And the source is us. We're the masters of our fate, Unless we have mental issues we're in control of our lives. We're responsible.
Yes, many of us were abused and neglected. But that was the past. To succeed today you must open your mind and heart and realize that this is the only moment our creator has given us.
We must use it to our betterment - or lose it.