The 7 Things About Rehab
Believe it or not, rehab is not a punishment because of your addiction. It’s actually a privilege and a real opportunity for you to heal. Rehab is a second chance for you in life – like starting a new chapter in the book of your life. Rehab is a genuine opportunity for you to begin to really get to know yourself and what really gets your juices going in life. It’s a chance for you to look inwardly and repair yourself, at the same time as learning strategies and techniques to remain sober and substance free. The sad reality is that most addicts and alcoholics across the UK, Europe and the globe, never even get the option to attend a residential facility to help them through their addictions, and they nearly always have their lives shortened as a results. So see if you can begin to tap into your inner strength and your spirit and begin to feel grateful that you are getting this chance. Conversely, don’t sulk like its some sort of punishment either, because those of us with Addictive Illness aren’t bad people, we’re people with an illness that has become too damaging to ignore and so we’re accepting treatment for it. We’re not Bad people trying to get good. We’re Sick people trying to get Well. Furthermore, almost all the feedback from clients graduating Rehab is one of sheer joy, and enthusiasm about their experiences whilst there, and hope for their future. However, Rehab is not a luxury Health spa. You’re not going there to relax by the pool or receive massages. It’s a time of personal transformation in order to overcome a debilitating illness. Yes, the surroundings are usually very pleasant indeed, but it’s not to be treated like a Hotel. This is Private Healthcare, but you’re the patient, not the Guest. So please take your opportunity to heal very seriously and expect it to be psychologically challenging, but incredibly rewarding, healthy and healing.
Yes, indeed, you read that correctly – your drinking and drugging affects so many people around you, but yet you seem to think the problem is your own and that everyone can just get on with their own lives. More often that not, the people closest to you actually suffer more than the addict does, as they struggle to sleep or function at work, riddled with worry, concern and fear for your poor state of affairs or deteriorating health, or just because of your crazy choices made whilst inebriated, just seem to leave you in hospital or under arrest. You then brush yourself off, but the people around you are left speechless and deeply concerned. There are support groups set up, such as Al-Anon, specifically for those people concerned about a loved one with an addiction. WoW!!! Think about that for a moment – there exists meetings specifically for people who simply know someone who is an addict or alcoholic. So your addiction and you’re inability or even refusal to recover by yourself has that much power and affect on other people’s lives, that even they have to seek help for it. So remember you’re not only getting better for yourself, but for those people you love and who love you.
Rehab works – that’s a fact. But it requires so much more than just a few weeks away. It’s a myth that simply going away and detoxing for a few weeks will heal you permanently, and you’re lying to yourself if you think that you’ll be able to drink or use safely afterwards. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. After any piece of time of abstinence, your body’s tolerance recovers and then far too often we hear of people getting themselves into big problems when they try to beat their addiction again and they test themselves “one more time”. The simple fact of the matter is that once you’ve crossed the line into addiction, you’ll never be able to consume your drink or drug without impunity again. It always gets worse, never better. The only way to stop drinking is to stop drinking! The only way to stop using drugs is to stop using drugs! In most cases of a simple detox, the person is drinking and / or using again within days, if not hours! This is one of the reasons why Rehab is so much more effective and more of a permanent solution than just physically detoxing. Addiction is considerably more than just a physical compulsion to keep drinking or drugging. It’s the mental obsession that tells the addict that this time will be different, or that it’s OK to just do it one more time, or that if I manipulate myself to drinking a different brand or consume in a different manner, that I won’t be challenged any longer, that really proves that addiction centers in the mind, not the body. However, we may believe that once we’ve been to rehab that we’re fixed and everything will be back to normal again and we could be normal people again. It turns out rehab doesn’t fix you or make it all better. Rehab is to help you get better and to help empower you to be able to fix some of your life’s challenges. But when you’re an addict or alcoholic, you have to continue working on yourself. Rehab doesn’t just make all your problems go away. Rehab is there to help you get through your problems so you aren’t alone. Just like an asthmatic with an inhaler they have to take every morning, or a diabetic with an insulin gun, an addict / alcoholic has their own daily routines and procedures to manage their addiction into remission. It just doesn’t come via another drug. It comes through some behavioural changes
We can give ourselves an incredibly hard time beating ourselves up with shame and guilt of our past or experiences that have hurt us. We need to move on and stop reliving the past. Rehab is about the future and not the past, although rehab will give you the opportunity to share all of your historical pain through the therapeutic sessions. At first, when you enter rehab you may find the culture rather alien. People will be sharing their deepest secrets and this can be quite shocking initially. What you’ll come to discover, is that there’s a large amount of healing that’s experienced once you start sharing some of your history too. But don’t let your past define you any longer. Be prepared to share it, receive feedback and encouragement, and then move on – let it go. Yes, it can be scary sharing your secrets and life stories with strangers, but just know that these people are likely to identify with the feelings you are feeling and that sharing them will only help you get better and stronger in your recovery. The miracle is, that once you get into the habit of revealing your fears and pains, that so many other residents will reveal themselves to be feeling exactly the same. And it is through this unity of shared feelings that the group will help its residents to recover. It’s quite an amazing process, but incredibly healthy and healing.
It can be very dangerous to try to detox at home by yourself without any structured medical involvement. Please do not try to detoxify yourself without speaking to us first. Furthermore, every rehab, unless it says so specifically, is expecting you to arrive in a poor way. More often than not clients will arrive intoxicated and with booze or drugs on them. It is not mandatory to be drug or alcohol free before you arrive, but it is seriously encouraged. So on the one hand, do not use the excuse that you’re still high or drunk as a reason not to admit yourself. But whenever possible, do attend your admission in a state of sobriety, without being intoxicated or high / stoned. You’ll make your own process significantly simpler that way. The admission staff will be trained and experienced to make sure you are admitted safely, whatever state you arrive in. They will have proven medical best practices with which to ensure you enter a detox as safely and as comfortably as possible. This is the very first step in dealing with any addiction issues – help you into a state of abstinence as soon as possible. People are at risk of death from trying to detox from alcohol at home. It is calculated that 1 in 10 alcoholic detoxes that are un-medicated appropriately lead to tragedy. This is not the same with other drugs such as heroin or painkillers, since the withdrawal is simply deeply uncomfortable, but not at risk of fatality, unless other complications arise. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and nearly all rehabs will include detox as part of their treatment. Please do take advantage of this. Don’t try to detox yourself!
It is incredibly important to find yourself matched to the best rehab to suit your specific requirements, especially for anyone with a dual-diagnoses such as Personality Disorder, Bipolar, Depression, Autism, Schizophrenia, OCD, Anorexia / Bulimia, etc. For people with the single diagnosis of addiction, what we’ll be looking to do will be to map you to a facility which will best serve you based upon a number of factors, often including some of the following: Drug of choice or Alcohol only Class Culture Profession Gender Probation and criminal history Knowledge of the locality of the facility (or lack of) Length of Stay Budget Medical Insurance Once the choice has been made, what’s really important is that you then realise that the facility you’re at is perfect for your condition and that the most important factor for now is that you’re there, so make a good go of it. You don’t even have to be there for yourself at the beginning. You could be there because of the pressure that someone who loves you has put upon you. But what normally seems to happen is that the first week can feel like a month, and then after once you’re settled in, every week feels like about 4 days long, and you’ll soon find yourself very settled in and enjoying the whole experience.
The most important rule here is to pack whatever clothes you feel comfortable in. Do always dress appropriately and never provocatively. You’ll find you fit in much easier that way. There’s no need for your best Saturday night designer wear. You’re not there to impress anyone. Just to take care of yourself. Think to yourself, what would I wear if I was at home for the day. All the rehabs will have their own kit of things to pack so don’t worry too much about it. Just focus on comfort and practicality. There’s also likely to be a list of things you shouldn’t be taking too, such as alcohol products and aerosols, in case other residents try to drink or sniff them. Also, all rehabs will have their own rules around mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Remember, we go into rehab to get better from our addiction, not to find a new life partner or to look good. So focus on being comfortable and being yourself. Not trying to be the alpha male or the most glamorous looking girl. How would you be dressing at home? That’s the easiest rule of thumb.
Key questions for Rehab Providers
Discover the most important questions you should be asking any potential rehab provide
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