Choosing a Different Path in Drug Rehab

Choosing a Different Path in Drug Rehab

By Lakeview Health
Lakeview Health
Published: June 27, 2012
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported 1.8 million admissions to addiction treatment centers in 2008. The life-changing decision to enter drug rehab is motivated by circumstances unique to each addict. Once a person is admitted to addiction treatment, there are many behavioral changes that need to be made to promote healthy, sober living. At Lakeview Health, a supportive addiction treatment staff assists the addict in changing unhealthy behavior patterns and learning healthy coping skills.

Breaking Old Patterns in Drug Rehab

Drug rehab is typically the place where addicts first begin to recognize that their choices, patterns of behavior and thought processes have been skewed terribly by drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction is accompanied by some characteristics common to all addicts. These features are often extremely unpleasant for the addict and friends and family of the addict to deal with. The unhealthy characteristics of addiction often lead to failed relationships, missed employment opportunities, health issues, infractions with the law and loss of time with family and friends. They also keep the addict trapped in the disease of addiction. Uncomfortable external situations lead the addict to look for relief and enter drug rehab.  

Some characteristics of an actively using addict are: 

  • Lying
  • Rule Breaking
  • Irresponsibility
  • Hiding
  • Manipulation
  • Emotional Unavailability

  Many of these characteristics perpetuate the addict’s substance abuse while depleting him or her of self-esteem and confidence. The addict that attends drug rehab will be challenged to make the choice to change these characteristics. It is important to select a quality drug rehab facility. Lakeview Health’ staff will help you recognize and change unhealthy behavior patterns related to addiction, decreasing the risk of relapse.  

Learning New Patterns in Drug Rehab

Telling an addict to simply stop using drugs will not work. The way to change characteristics is to look at a pattern of behavior associated with addiction and work at changing the pattern to eliminate substance abuse. Characteristics don’t change just because we want them to. Looking at the patterns of behavior associated with various characteristics will help us distinguish what changes need to take place. Oftentimes, usually in arguments, family and friends will point out the addicts’ negative behavior patterns. Once in drug rehab, the addict has already completed drug detox and is not under the influence of substances, which helps when attempting to change unhealthy behaviors.  

Here are examples of old behavior patterns and their new counterparts learned at drug rehab:


Characteristic Old Pattern New Pattern
Lying Always has to be right, shifts blame Can admit when wrong
Rule Breaking Uses illegal drugs, violates boundaries Follows drug rehab rules
Irresponsibility Slacks off, doesn’t seem serious Completes goals in a timely fashion
Hiding Avoids responsibilities Is assertive and responsible
Manipulation Acts controlling to protect addiction Uses honest and transparent communication
Emotional Unavailability Detaches from family and friends Is connected and emotionally present with family and friends

  This chart only indicates some possible behavior patterns. There are many more individualized patterns that develop from these unhealthy characteristics. Drug rehab is only the beginning of recovery from addiction and learning healthy behavior patterns will be a lifelong process for the recovering addict.  

Making the Decision to Go to Drug Rehab

Entering drug rehab is the first step towards making changes in behavior patterns. When an addict chooses a different path and attends drug rehab, he or she will follow the rules, attend all scheduled meetings and be involved with the community. These are some of the opportunities for healthier behaviors found in drug rehab. Drug rehab is beneficial in helping the addict learn new behaviors that are not self-defeating. The structure offered by a drug rehab program allows an addict to feel safe when attempting to make changes. Change takes time and practicing new behavior is essential. In a drug rehab program, the addict will have the time to practice new skills that promote sober living.