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Preparing for Rehab

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Preparing for Rehab

 Preparation has been cited as key to achieving most things in life.  This is also recognized as true for people seeking to enter a drug rehab program.  Professional drug treatment can forever change the trajectory of a person’s life in myriad ways beyond the hard task of overcoming addiction. For this reason, preparing for rehab and can maximize the person’s overall experience.  The following are five essential things every individual should know before starting treatment for addiction:

  1. The success of treatment is highly dependent on the level of commitment that the patient has to the recovery process. Numerous studies indicate that individuals who enter into drug rehab with a positive and cooperative attitude achieve the greatest success in terms of long term sobriety.  Resistance to the people and processes that are designed to help you to restore normalcy to your life depletes vital energy and hinders the recovery process.  
  2. Be specific about what you hope to achieve. Wanting to be sober by the end of the program is an expected outcome and the primary objective. However, setting life affirming goals such as to improve communication, relationship and stress management skills or to learn how to incorporate good self-care habits into everyday life and working towards those will expand interest and provide valuable tools for ongoing growth long after the rehab program is completed.   
  3. Don’t leave your family and friends out of the process.  By getting them involved in your recovery they can become an effective source of support once you return home and come face to face with the issues of daily life and the potential for relapse. Find out from the treatment facility if they have family counseling programs.  This help the people in your life to better understand the addiction and equip them with the appropriate support techniques that will not sabotage your sobriety goals.
  4. Know as much as you can about the facility you choose for your recovery.  Since all treatment centers are not created equal, it is important to know a little more beyond the fact that the center is board certified and licensed. Have a good understanding of the type of programs that are offered. For instance, is the center equipped to provide around the clock during the medical detox procedure and emergency medical care when necessary?  Do they conduct a thorough physical and psychological evaluation to determine if there are any medical conditions or underlying mental issues to be addressed? If so, do they offer dual diagnosis treatment, which is critical for people suffering with mental illness and addiction?  Also, based on relevance to your care needs, ask about customized treatment, sensitivity to religious, cultural, gender and sexual preference as well as linguistic competence.   
  5. Detoxification is not rehabilitation so be prepared to fully participate in the complete drug rehab program.  Many people falsely assume that once they have gone through the drug detox process they can take it from there and often cut their treatment short.  This is a prescription for failure.  While detox help substance abusers to overcome the physical component of addiction it does not fully address the neurological impairments caused by chronic drug use. Therefore, to achieve the maximum benefits of drug rehab, it is important to complete the program.  

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:“chronic exposure to drugs of abuse disrupts the way critical brain structures interact to control and inhibit behaviors related to drug use.” As a result, habituated drug use eventually erodes a person’s self-control and ability to make sound decisions, while producing the compulsive desire to take drugs. Recovery programs must therefore address these behavioral issues to adequately modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use. They are also beneficial when they improve the individual’s life skills to handle stressful circumstances and environmental cues that can trigger intense craving for drugs. A comprehensive continuum of care that integrate behavioral therapies with medications is therefore necessary to help to achieve recovery and the best opportunity for sustainable sobriety.

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