Making mistakes and poor decisions are part of being human and imperfect. Unlike many things in life, it's practically guaranteed we'll all do something that we'll later wish for a do-over because it led to family problems or even legal troubles.

Rehabilitation treatment ("rehab") is a current trend for celebrities and some facing legal issues to make amends and better themselves. Sometimes it's used for less honorable purposes, like ducking the limelight, or shifting blame for a criminal act.

Whether it works for you depends on your motivation and goals for seeking treatment.

Why They Sought Treatment

Celebrities and other high-profile individuals often go through rehab after making poor decisions, often ones that threaten their careers or pose criminal penalties. For example:

Why Enter Rehab?

The only person who can answer the question is the person who actually makes the choice to enter rehab. In the high-profile examples above, it seems pretty clear that rehab was selected as a ploy - a damage control tactic:

  • Weiner says he wants rehab to help him be a better husband and overall person. But, it also helps him avoid the limelight at a time when he's facing calls for his resignation and the collapse of his political career
  • Clearly, Lohan entered rehab with the hopes of getting a light sentence for the probation violation
  • Tiger was almost certainly concerned about the loss of his marriage and millions of dollars in endorsements, which could hinge on morals' clauses in his contracts

It's for the Not-So-Famous, Too

Everyday people use rehab, too. For example, an unfaithful spouse may seek therapy or treatment to save the marriage. Also, it's not uncommon for courts to sentence people convicted on drug- or alcohol-related crimes to undergo rehab. Like Lohan's case, it could be part of probation, or part of a larger sentence.

Anyone faced with potential jail time or other criminal sanctions may use rehab as damage control, too. For example, someone charged with a domestic violence offense may voluntarily enter rehab or treatment. It may convince a judge or jury that the accused isn't a violent person, wants to learn from the mistake and avoid repeating it.

Does Rehab "Work?"

Again, the answer depends on the person, but it also depends on the goal.

Damage Control

So, if your only goal is to salvage career or financial well-being, or to get a judge to go easy at sentencing you for a crime, rehab works if you actually get it. It does work, but you have to be careful.

Lohan's antics before, during and her after her voluntary commitment to rehab led to a second, court-ordered rehab stint. Ultimately, her probation was revoked and she faced other criminal charges. Damage uncontrolled!

And rest assured, not every person facing criminal charges gets off the hook or a lighter sentence by voluntarily entering rehab. Judges and juries aren't gullible and know how to measure a person's character.

Personal Goals

Goals like becoming a better spouse, family member or human being are very personal. It takes more motivation and effort than the damage control ploy. With hard work and the right rehabilitation treatment, though, there's no reason why rehab can't work in these situations, too.

Next: Is rehab right for your situation?

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Tagged as: Criminal Law, rehab help, criminal lawyer