How Drug Rehab Can Change Your Life
By: Lakeview Health
Published: August 21, 2019

Rehab. You’ve heard the term, you probably have your preconceived notions about what it is (and what it isn’t), and you may even know people who have been to treatment themselves. Maybe you’ve also been to rehab in the past. While rehab isn’t a magic cure for addiction, it can and does change lives every day. A successful treatment episode can help free you from the perils of your addiction. Moreover, it can give you the tools, resources, and support you need to accomplish your future goals. Are you interested to see how rehab works and how it can change your life? Let’s unpack what all prospective clients and their loved ones should know.

Rehab Provides Structure and Routine

Addiction, by nature, tends to be overly chaotic and unstructured. You don’t know what each day will bring. Maybe you start each morning promising that today is the day you’re going to stay sober. And, perhaps, you do well for a while. Until the withdrawal effects hit. Until the cravings strike. Until you’re faced with stressful people, situations, and environments. Rehab offers a sense of structure and discipline throughout the day. You will be expected to comply and adhere to the treatment facility’s rules and policies. You will need to participate in various groups, therapies, and outings during the week. Contrary to some misconceptions about structure and routine, these elements actually promote a happy and healthy lifestyle. People tend to benefit from a sense of predictability. Knowing what to expect each day can help you stay accountable. After leaving rehab, most successful clients continue to maintain their sense of structure and routine. They may engage in specific morning and evening rituals that promote their recovery. They may commit to specific meetings or appointments each week. Having this predictability can mitigate some of the uncertainty and discomfort in early recovery.

Rehab Offers Professional Support and Guidance

Getting sober often takes a village, and just because you’re off the drugs and alcohol doesn’t mean you will necessarily feel confident moving forward in your life. In fact, most people tend to feel shaky, uncertain, and insecure while navigating those first few days and weeks in recovery. Professional support makes a tremendous difference. Maybe, you’re still feeling ambivalent about your sobriety. Perhaps, you aren’t sure if you “have what it takes” to be able to manage all these new changes. Professionals understand how addiction works. They have the academic and clinical or medical background to help you feel supported throughout your journey. They can provide you with the resources and tools you need to feel better prepared as you navigate this new life.  In addition, many rehab centers have support staff that are recovering addicts themselves. Each person on your treatment team plays a valuable role in aiding your recovery. These members collaborate to ensure you are receiving the support and help you need. Your treatment team may consist of:

  • Psychotherapists/social workers
  • Case managers
  • Group facilitators
  • Treatment technicians
  • Psychiatrists and medical doctors

This team works with you every step of the way- from your first day entering into treatment throughout your aftercare. Ideally, you will build a trusting relationship with them and feel confident and comfortable in reaching out to these individuals for support and guidance.

Rehab Shows You That You Are Not Alone

Addiction tends to feel isolating and shameful. Maybe, you are the only one you know who is struggling with these inner demons. Maybe, you have been rejected or criticized over your struggles. Perhaps, the guilt and shame are so immense that you don’t know how to talk about your feelings with others. In rehab, you will be surrounded by others who have similar experiences. It doesn’t matter your age, socioeconomic background, or even your drug of choice. All addictions can feel demoralizing and debilitating. All addictions can be progressive and result in life-or-death circumstances. Feeling supported and comforted by your peers can feel invaluable. You will feel encouraged to be vulnerable. You will feel inspired to listen and help others. Finally, you will laugh and connect with fellow clients in a new, sober light. It’s no surprise that many people make lifelong friends in their early recovery experiences. Recovery doesn’t happen in the throes of isolation. It occurs when you feel connected and motivated by the presence of others. It happens when you learn to release your guard, trust others, and lean on their support to keep moving forward.

Rehab Teaches You How to Cope with Cravings & Triggers

In the early stages of sobriety, it’s not uncommon to experience intense cravings to drink or use. You likely feel restless and uncomfortable. If you struggle with depression or anxiety, these symptoms may peak and escalate. And, if you’re medically detoxing, the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms alone can make anyone want to relapse. Learning how to cope with cravings and triggers is paramount for long-term success. It’s not a matter of if you will experience these issues- it’s a matter of when. Preparing for how you will manage them is critical. Cravings tend to fluctuate in early recovery. At times, they may feel so intense that you can’t focus on anything else. Other times, you may not experience them at all. However, you will need to have an arsenal of healthy coping skills to prepare you for when the cravings emerge. Rehab will provide you with many different coping skills. You will learn to practice and implement these techniques into your daily living. By making them a routine part of your life, they become more second-nature. That reinforces your likelihood to use them when it matters the most! Triggers are also common in early recovery. In the beginning, it may seem like anything can trigger the thought to drink or use. Some triggers, like a difficult phone call back home, are obvious. Others may be far more insidious and unexpected. They can be as simple as listening to a particular song or wearing an article of clothing. Learning how to anticipate and manage these triggers will help you feel more prepared and confident in your recovery.

Rehab Can Help You Stabilize Your Mental Health

Do you struggle with suicidal ideation? Have you experienced concerning psychotic symptoms? Do you believe that you could benefit from therapy or medication? Rehab doesn’t just help stabilize you from your addiction. It also provides medical, psychiatric, and clinical services intended to help you with co-occurring issues related to your mental health. Experts agree that solely focusing on substance use (without addressing your mental health) doesn’t work. In most cases, this approach backfires. That’s because, when you fail to address other medical or psychiatric issues, you don’t learn how to manage these symptoms when they arise. Because these symptoms can complicate or exacerbate your overall well-being, they can jeopardize your recovery. Rehab focuses on the entire mind-body connection. You will learn how to improve all areas of your life. That includes eliminating problematic substance use, but it also includes strengthening your physical and emotional health.

Rehab Boosts Your Confidence

Many people arrive at treatment feeling broken and beaten down. They feel ashamed for what they have put themselves and their loved ones through. They may feel hopeless or helpless about their recovery. However, if you stick with your treatment program, you will likely experience a profound transformation. You start to regain some of their confidence back. You begin to feel more proactive in taking care of themselves. Supported by professionals and peers, you no longer feel “crazy” or “broken.” Confidence and self-esteem are essential cornerstones of treatment. Although you may not like everything you did in your past, you do need to feel optimistic in moving forward. You do need to feel a sense of self-worth to trust that you can tolerate the obstacles life may throw your way. Fortunately, rehab provides many resources, tools, and techniques that help restore your confidence. In groups and therapies, you’ll learn healthier ways to manage destructive thoughts and behaviors. You’ll be able to harness more gratitude and abundance in your life. As a result, you’ll feel happier (and more secure) after completing treatment.

Final Thoughts

Rehab can undoubtedly change your life. It can provide you with valuable resources and support that you cannot get anywhere else. Likewise, it fosters a sense of encouragement and empowerment. You are not alone, your condition is not hopeless, and you are not a failure! Having the willingness to ask for help is the first step. At Lakeview Health, we know that addiction can feel paralyzing. However, we also believe that you can recover from your struggles no matter how impossible they may seem. Contact us today to learn more about how we can best support you. We’re available 24/7 to answer your questions and support you on your journey!.