Going to Rehab: What You Can Expect When You’re Getting Clean
You’re ready to admit that you’re completely powerless over your addiction to drugs or alcohol.
You know that you need help — and that a rehab facility is likely your best shot.
But what happens in rehab, exactly?
Is it all just 12-step programs and little else? Will you be able to succeed in this environment? Most of all, how will rehab treatment help you to maintain your sobriety once you get out?
These are all absolutely normal questions, and they show a true commitment to getting better.
In this post, we’ll tell you exactly what to expect from drug or alcohol rehab.
Read on to get empowered and informed.
The First Step: Detox:
Detox rehab is one of the most frightening — and difficult — parts of your overall recovery process.
In fact, this fear of withdrawal is why so many people go so long without getting the help they desperately need.
However, if you enter into a professional facility, you’ll get the level of care you need to detox safely. You may even be given medication to help you manage the symptoms of withdrawal.
Most importantly, you’ll be supervised, so if something does go wrong, you’ll get help and relief right away. Be aware that you may experience nausea, stomach pain, mood swings, insomnia or exhaustion, and many other withdrawal side effects.
Curious to learn more about the overall detox process?
Visit the Recovery Resource Center for more information.
Treating the Emotional Wounds:
Of course, understanding the underlying causes of addiction — and removing psychological blocks you’ve likely had for years — is a huge part of your recovery process.
You’ll likely engage in many different types of therapy.
These can range from things like classic cognitive behavioral therapy to things like horseback riding and art therapy. You’ll soon learn which ones work the best for you.
You may even receive a dual diagnosis that helps you to understand your addiction. This means that, in addition to dealing with substance abuse, you also have an underlying mental health condition.
Knowing this and getting the right treatment is a huge part of helping you to move forward.
Rebuilding Your Physical Strength:
What happens in rehab isn’t always exactly what you see on television and in the movies.
Yes, you’ll journal, have breakthroughs and breakdowns, and even go for a few walks along a beach.
But you’ll also get a little sweaty.
Often, you’re not in the best physical shape when you first enter rehab.
You’ve been neglecting and abusing your body for a long time. You may be severely over or underweight. You might have problems with nutrition, tired, or simply weak.
Physical exercise is a big part of the recovery process.
You’ll do things like yoga, pilates, and perhaps even running to gain your strength back.
Meeting With Other Addicts:
Group therapy is another enormous part of the rehabilitation process.
Connecting with other people who also struggle with addiction and are now committed to recovery is incredibly helpful. Together, you’ll all rehash the reasons behind your addiction.
You’ll support each other and hold one another accountable. You’ll share coping mechanisms and strategies. Sometimes, you’ll simply listen.
Group therapy also teaches you how to talk about your addiction to other people, and helps to reduce the stigma and anxiety surrounding these types of discussions.
Connecting With Family Members:
A huge part of many rehab treatments is meeting with your family members for the first time after you’ve gotten sober.
Often, a therapist will be there to facilitate a meeting between all of you. You’ll usually have the chance to address past wrongdoings, apologize, and talk about the level of support you may need from them in the next phase of your life.
Keep in mind that programs like Al-Anon are incredibly helpful for family members and loved ones of addicts. Just as you’ve undergone intense therapy while in rehab, your family may also have been doing the same thing.
Considering Sober Living and Next Steps:
Once you’ve completed your rehab treatment, you’ll then begin to think about your next steps.
Many people are incredibly frightened of this phase. After all, rehab is a safe and comfortable environment. It’s almost entirely free from triggers and reminders of your past addiction, like the bar you used to do drugs at.
Re-entering the real world, for many addicts, comes with a real risk of relapse.
If this is something you’re worried about, you may want to learn about your sober living facility options. This is a facility that has a set curfew every night, assigns people responsibilities like cooking and cleaning, and still has a bit of a rehab-like environment.
You’ll be able to work and visit with friends and family throughout the day but then return to a safe space at night.
What Happens in Rehab Will Help You Heal:
Above all, remember that it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about what happens in rehab.
In some cases, you may not even remember what it was really like to be sober. Yes, you’ll be vulnerable, and you’ll confront some difficult things about your past.
But you’ll grow stronger and appreciate life more as a result. Above all, know this: you are always worth it, and you deserve a happy, sober existence.
Are you interested in learning more about what to expect out of treatment? Need to know the best way to encourage a friend or family member to get help?
Keep checking back with us for more advice on recovery and wellness as a whole.
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