Recovery has the ability to completely change someone’s life. Addiction is a dangerous, lonely road, and for some people, the decision to enroll in a recovery program can literally mean the difference between life and death. The recovery process is typically not described as easy or quick. It takes time, effort, and an intentional decision to work at maintaining sobriety on a daily basis. Recovery also encompasses many aspects, from choosing where you will go for treatment, to learning about different programs, therapy options, transitioning after recovery and so much more. Let’s take a closer look at the multifaceted process that is addiction recovery.
While there are instances when rehabilitation is court-ordered, enrolling in a rehab facility in many cases is a personal choice. The experience and decision will be unique for each patient, depending on his or her addiction, whether or not detox is necessary beforehand, what type of program is ideal, cost, location and more. There are many factors to consider before enrolling into a drug and/or alcohol addiction center. Consider narrowing down your search to several facilities that may work for your needs and then asking a staff member or admissions counselor in each facility the following questions.
Choosing the best rehab for your addiction needs may at times seem like an overwhelming process. One method to help you make your final choice is to interview each facility and find answers to the following questions. Bring a notepad when viewing the center in person or speaking with someone on the phone. Be sure to write the name of each facility at the top of new page and make your notes accordingly. You will be given a good amount of information from each rehab center, and having notes available will help you make the right decision later. Here are some of the most common questions asked when researching rehab centers:
For some addicts, treatment will never be sought after if the decision is solely theirs. In fact, they may not even see how destructive the addiction is to their life, relationships, etc. In these cases, planning an intervention may be necessary. There are many steps to planning a successful intervention, and you should never “wing it.” You can even work with a professional interventionist or addiction counselor to properly structure the intervention before putting it into action.
Some of the planning steps will include confirming a substance abuse issue is occurring, knowing which substances he or she may be addicted to, what treatments are available for this type of addiction, who will be involved in the intervention (family, friends, physicians, etc.), and preparing the dialogue.
Interventions work best when specific examples are given to the addict of how their addiction is negatively affecting their life and the lives of those around them. Participants should not be accusatory in tone, but should be empathetic and supportive. Keep in mind, not all interventions will result in the addict going directly into rehab. If the intervention is successful, and the addict recognizes the need for immediate treatment, be aware that you can set up arrival for treatment beforehand with a rehabilitation center near you. This offers a quick and seamless transition from the intervention to rehab.
If you or a loved one is about to enter into rehab, you may be curious what a typical day in rehab entails. While each rehab facility has its own unique schedule, here is an overview of what you could expect:
Every addiction rehab facility will inform you of its specific therapy options, but here is an overview of therapies most often offered to patients:
Holistic and alternative therapies have become quite popular in addiction treatment, and rightly so. Many of these therapies provide an outlet for addicts to release stress and emotions without having to talk. Art, music and nature therapy are common options and a great outlet for those who are creative in these areas. Equine and pet therapies are ideal for those who love animals and can create a stable, trusting bond between an animal and the patient.
Nutrition, diet and exercise are also quite popular and necessary, as many addicts are nutritionally deficient and have not taken care of their body for a long time. Other therapies such as yoga, meditation and prayer can help bring balance and peace to the addict, and offer a time for reflection.
The idea of returning back to “normal life” can seem frightening or overwhelming to some rehab patients. In many cases, it is advised that addicts take part in a sober living home or sober living community immediately after completion of an addiction treatment program. A sober living home offers men and women a transition period between rehab and fully engaging in the real world.
Sober living homes house a certain number of residents who have completed a substance abuse treatment program and are working on maintaining their sobriety. Every sober living community is different, and will expect residents to contribute in a particular way. For example, chores or housework may be expected of everyone living in the home. A curfew may be placed on residents. In addition, random drug tests may be part of the rules, and it is expected that no residents bring or use alcohol or drugs on the property.
You may be asking what a sober living home can provide to the addict. Here the patient will still enjoy some of the amenities and treatments he or she received while in rehab, but will be given more and more freedom over time. In addition, every resident in the house is working toward the same goal – to maintain sobriety and build a new life. Because of this, friendships are formed, and support and encouragement is offered among residents.
Relapse prevention is a crucial part of the rehab and recovery process. Relapse refers to an addict returning to alcohol or drugs after a season of sobriety. This “season” could be weeks, months, years or decades after living in recovery. Every addict will have specific triggers and tempting circumstances that have the ability to lure him or her back to using drugs or alcohol. It is key for the addict to become aware of these triggers while in treatment, and he or she will learn coping mechanisms and other training techniques that can help him or her stay committed to sobriety.
Relapse prevention also includes the patient being aware of relapse signs before an actual relapse occurs. This can include feeling anxious or irritable, beginning to have thoughts of using drugs or alcohol, reconnecting with people who still use these substances, spending time in environments that encouraged substance use in the past, etc.
The goal of relapse prevention is to help addicts think and behave contrarily than they did in the past. It is also to help them build a strong support system so they have a place to turn before a relapse takes place.