Substance Abuse Treatment Experts Offer Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Rehab
The substance abuse treatment experts at Summit Behavioral Health in Massachusetts share their insights on how to get the most from rehab for continued sobriety
(press release: summitbehavioralhealth) // New Jersey // Maria Ulmer MA, LMFT, CAADC | Chief Clinical Officer
Making the decision to go to rehab for an alcohol, drug or any substance abuse treatment is difficult, even when you know that it is what you need. When living with addiction becomes more painful than asking for help to get sober, you know that you are ready, but that still doesn’t mean that it’s easy.
You will probably be able to list many reasons to not go to inpatient treatment – it takes time away from your family, work or school, and your daily life. Perhaps you have children that have to be taken care of, or you feel like you haven’t reached the negative consequences that necessitate a stay in residential rehab.
The truth is, there are many benefits to inpatient treatment over other types of treatment. It’s especially necessary for people who have tried over and over on their own to stop drinking or using. When you are at that point in your addiction, it’s very hard to achieve sobriety on your own, professional help is your best chance for long-lasting recovery from addiction.
When you attend inpatient treatment, you will receive a lot of information, coping skills, relapse prevention techniques, and support. It’s complete immersion in a recovery lifestyle. It can be overwhelming, but there are some simple areas to focus on that will help you get the most out of your stay in rehab, whether it’s for 30 days or longer.
First, let’s look at why residential treatment is beneficial for drug or alcohol addiction.
Benefits of Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
Residential addiction treatment has been found to be the most effective way of treating substance abuse. It provides the best foundation for continued sobriety. Your schedule in rehab will be full and busy with educational classes and lectures, therapy, recovery meetings, psychiatric care, and other addiction-related activities. Those are the fundamentals for recovery. Additionally, you will find the following benefits to checking into inpatient rehab:
Medically supervised detox – If you arrive at treatment with drugs or alcohol in your system, you will receive a medically supervised detox. It is much safer and more comfortable than trying to suffer through withdrawal on your own.
Sense of community – You will be surrounded by people who are struggling with the same things you are. Bonds form quickly in rehab, and you will be supported and understood throughout the process.
Individual and group therapy – Therapists will meet with you one-on-one and in a group setting to help you understand your addiction and its triggers. You will hear other addicts share their stories and be able to share yours.
Psychiatric care – Many addicts have underlying mental health issues or disorders. In treatment, you will be evaluated and receive psychiatric care and medication if needed.
24/7 support – You never have to feel alone in treatment. There is support around the clock for you. Many employees, therapists, doctors, and nurses who work in rehab facilities are in recovery themselves and are a great support for patients.
No distractions – Because you are completely separated from your daily life, you are able to focus on you and your recovery. It may seem inconvenient to be away from everyone and everything in your outside life, but being free of those distractions is actually one of the biggest benefits of inpatient treatment.
Time for recovery – Early sobriety is hard. Having at least a month in rehab gives you the time to establish a routine of recovery and provides a better foundation than other types of addiction treatment.
Aftercare – Most rehabs have an alumni group that you can be a part of after you complete rehab. This is a great help when you are reentering your real life.
Making the Most of Your Stay in Rehab
Recovery is hard; it takes a lot of work, self-awareness, and openness to achieve. Inpatient treatment can be made easier, though, when you embrace a few key concepts before, during, and after your stay. Practicing these will help you get the most out of rehab and your ongoing recovery.
When you begin recovery, there may be many things and ideas that are foreign to you. You will also likely have thoughts and feelings bubbling up that you have been drinking or using to keep at bay. When you are willing to embrace the ideas and emotions as they happen, without trying to avoid them or hide, you will open yourself up for more healing.
One of the common things you hear about addicts is that they lie. And that’s true. So it’s often difficult for addicts entering rehab to be honest. They have become accustomed to lying to minimize or hide their addiction, to avoid negative consequences, or in an effort to deny their addiction – even to themselves. When you’re in rehab, honesty is so important. It’s the only way that therapists and other staff can help you and strengthen your recovery. Remember that everyone who is there is in the same boat as you. There are people who have thought, said, and done the same things as you, so there is no judgment.
The more you practice acceptance in rehab, the easier the work will be. Accepting that you need help for your addiction is a huge step in the right direction. As thoughts and feelings that you have worked to avoid or numb with your drinking or using begin to surface, being accepting of them rather than fighting or denying them, will help you with forgiveness (of yourself and others) and emotional sobriety.
You are already more courageous than you think – asking for and accepting help for your addiction is one of the bravest things someone can do. Continuing to take steps in the right direction, despite the fear you are likely to experience, is what true courage is about. Getting the most out of your stay in rehab requires that you keep doing the hard work, even when you are afraid. It’s hard, but you will be amazed with the results.