Rehab is Not a Cure for Addiction, But The First Step On the Right Path
There is a misconception that rehab is the cure for addiction. Lots of people think that once a person goes to rehab, they will come out on the other side no longer addicted to substance/s. While choosing to go to addiction treatment is a crucial first step in recovery, it is just that – the first step of the recovery path.
The Purpose of Rehab
The reason why people search for a cure for addiction is they are avoiding accepting the reality that they need treatment for their unmanageable lifestyle of addiction. Drugs and alcohol bring with it chaos, pain, danger, and fear. While the addict is unable to stop, there often comes a point where they realize their life is in jeopardy. At that point, they realize that help is not an option, but a necessity. If that point doesn’t come to them, it usually comes in the form of an intervention or court-ruled rehab. In any case, it’s a necessity.
There is no magical cure for addiction to be found in rehab; rather, addicts receive tools they need to live a sober and healthy lifestyle. No matter how serious an addiction is at the time of arrival, the individual receives a treatment plan based on their specific needs. Treatment is an important first step in recovery. It is a supported environment where the individual can focus on themselves entirely, putting triggers and their normal environment on the back burner. This is why full-time residential rehab is recommended as the first level of care.
Treatment is an important first step in recovery because it is a particularly unique environment where an individual can prioritize their health.They can put the trigger of everyday life on the back burner and really work on understanding themselves. This is why full-time residential rehab is recommended as the first level of care.
People will stay in rehab for as long as their medical, clinical, and psychiatric team thinks it is necessary. At rehab, which may last up to 30 days, addicts will have an opportunity to learn much more about themselves and their needs. During that time, patients go through hours of group therapy each day, various activities to help them cope with their addiction, and educational sessions to help them learn more about how addiction and recovery works. They also have weekly one-on-one sessions with their therapists to discuss issues that are personal to them.
Family Integration and Post-Treatment Planning
A part of addiction treatment involves the family members and loved ones of the addict. Drugs and alcohol affect not only the person using but also the people around them in a major and often destructive way. It is important for loved ones to support the individual going through rehab during the treatment process. That way they’re up-to-date and can receive tools to use down the road once the addict is out of rehab. Healing is necessary for family and friends surrounding an addict in order for everyone to move forward.
Post-treatment planning should begin while a person is in rehab so that they have a plan for what they are going to do once they complete the program. A less intense level of care, like intensive outpatient treatment, may be the best option. However, if personal commitments prevent that option, other treatment opportunities like therapy and sober livings may be a better choice.
It’s a collaborative effort between the person in recovery, their treatment team, and their family. Everyone needs to work together to come up with a realistic treatment plan that will fit that person’s needs.
Ongoing Care is Crucial
Just like a patient with heart disease needs to continuously work on their health, so does an addict in recovery. A patient with heart disease won’t just get a diagnosis, do a few weeks of treatment and walk away as good as new. Addiction, like heart disease, requires lifestyle modification and constant work to manage it and eventually get better.
The time just after a patient leaves rehab is incredibly important in ensuring that the person remains sober. After being in rehab, recovering addicts revisit the real world with the freedom to do what they want. It is up to them to use the tools they received in rehab.
The strongest suggestion for post-rehab care is that a person remains in some form of treatment, just less intensive. This allows them to have continued support while they adjust to their new sober lifestyle.
Options like sober living are great because they keep people in recovery accountable. Also, they provide support and an environment where the recovering addict is with peers and is unlikely to be alone.
A Sober Future
As months continue to pass without a relapse, it’s easier for everyone involved to breathe a little easier and stop worrying so much. However, vigilance is still key. Addiction is not necessarily something that will ever go away. However, the chance of relapse goes down tremendously as time goes by.
Recovery requires a lifestyle change, but as time progresses, it becomes a new way of life and one that people learn to appreciate. There is nothing more rewarding than sobriety.