10 Secrets to a Successful Rehab Experience

Every day, thousands of people enter drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that there are 13,000 treatment facilities in the United States alone. Find out the 10 secrets to a successful rehabilitation experience.

Number 1: Get Treated for Withdrawal

One of the worst things about drugs and/or alcohol addiction is the withdrawal process. A formal drug detoxification program (such as at Pacific Bay) offers withdrawal treatment. Drugs change the way the brain functions, and over time, the brain becomes accustomed to steady drug use. Some withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant that they cause the addict to turn back to substance abuse just to avoid the distress. When the program offers a detoxification (detox), the rehab experience is more successful. Medications will greatly reduce the side effects of painful withdrawals.

Number 2: Treat the Person Holistically

Addiction and stress go hand in hand. A recent study found that 59 percent of unemployed men are regular drinkers, and 33% of employed workers also have drinking problems. Addiction leads to constant violence, poverty, poor parenting skills, and serious trauma. When a person is treated holistically, he/she receives support and community resources to help with a successful recovery.

Number 3: Have access to a variety of Treatment Options

For a successful recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction, a person should have access to several treatment options. A good addiction treatment program offers several forms of therapy, and possibly medications that curve cravings to drugs. People who recover keep open lines of communication with their case managers and therapists so rehabilitation is successful.

Number 4: Agree and Commit to Learning

A person who will commit to learning about addiction is more likely to not relapse. For a successful recovery, you must focus on the consequences of drug use and on the chemical changes caused by addiction, as well as learn to live with these changes. Educating yourself on addiction will lead to improved success rates. Just understanding how strong addiction is, on the chemical level, will cause a person to amend her or his behaviors.

Number 5: Participate in Therapy

Therapy is an important part of addiction treatment. Participating in therapy helps the addict understand how to control addiction, and it provides tools that are used to control cravings relapses. Lessons learned through therapy are similar to homework assignments, where reading and journal writing, which helps the addict understand the disease that is addiction.

Number 6: Follow-up with Outpatient Treatment

For a person to recover from addiction, he/she must believe that recovery is a lifetime thing. Outpatient counseling and treatment contributes to the success of recovery, and long-term success depends on follow-up care. Treatment for addiction requires a person to continue therapy.

Number 7: Develop a Support System through Family and Friends

An addict is struggling with cravings and needs motivation from friends and family. In order to offer support, families must overcome hostilities and anger related to the result of all the addiction problems. Family therapy is often needed for the addict to succeed with recovery.

Number 8: Use Support Groups

Support groups are based on a 12-step model, which was created by Alcoholics Anonymous. Support groups are based on spiritual format, which supports achievement of drug and alcohol rehabilitation. When addicts participate in support groups, they tap into a resource that allows support and recovery tools.

Number 9: Remember that Abstinence is Key

Much like other chronic diseases, addiction is a long-term condition. A person in recovery from addiction is at risk for relapse. The recovering addict must abstain for the remainder of life knowing that simple life stressors may trigger a relapse into outright addiction.

Number 10: Develop a Relapse-Prevention Plan

To prevent relapse from drug and/or alcohol use, a recovering addict needs a relapse-prevention plan. If a situation occurs that could trigger return to drug use, the addict should attend an emergency support group meeting, call another recovering addict for support, schedule a session with an addiction counselor, and/or re-enter an addiction treatment center.

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