When someone realizes they are addicted to a substance, in most cases they will need professional help to get them sober again. Drug rehab comes in many forms but it always provides a safe space for people who are struggling with addiction to get the treatment they need to recover from their substance abuse problem. Attempting to quit alone is often dangerous and can lead to relapse for most people because they do not have the support system they need to stay sober. Entering a treatment facility gives addicts the chance detox in a secure medical environment and also receive the type of psychological help necessary to end addiction permanently. Someone with an addiction needs to reform their habits and prepare themselves physically and mentally to re-enter society. Rehab offers people the chance to learn important skills that will help them stay committed to their recovery.
The Transition from Addiction to Treatment
Addiction is a complicated issue and drug use can create a complex mental state through changes in the brain and increasing emotional problems. Because addiction can take control of a person’s life so fully, it may take years for them to realize or admit that they need help. In the time that they are experiencing a state of denial they will adopt a lifestyle and certain habits that allow them to abuse drugs as often as possible. Drug addiction can dramatically change a person’s behavior and affects all aspects of their life including work, relationships, finances, and family life. There is so much damage caused by addiction that most patients need a few months or so of rehabilitation in order to feel ready to return to normal life. They become so adjusted to their addictive habits and behaviors that they need intensive training and counseling to change their ways. The sad reality of addiction is that many people are so deep in denial that they do not choose to get help until they have truly hit rock bottom. That is the reason why treatment requires so much hard work and time to complete- because most patients have been spiraling down the path of addiction for years.
Choosing the Right Rehab
Once an addict is able to understand that they need treatment for their substance abuse issues, they must take the time to find the right drug rehab center that will best suit their needs. Depending on the type of drug they are addicted to they may try to find a rehab center that specializes in treating specific substances. Recovering from an addiction to opioids for instance, may require medication assisted treatment so they will need to find a program that offers methadone or Suboxone as an option to get through detox. A patient entering rehab will also need to consider whether they will need an inpatient program or outpatient treatment.
Choosing one of these options will depend both on how severe their addiction is and the necessity of staying at home to fulfill certain obligations or responsibilities. Someone using outpatient treatment may have a less severe addiction allowing them to live at home while attending a program at certain times during the week for recovery. Outpatient may also be a good option for parents who need to care for young children or people who cannot afford to take time off of work for their recovery. Inpatient treatment is the best option for people with very serious addictions because it will allow them to live in a treatment facility and receive professional care full time. These are the main types of programs at drug rehabs but each facility may have its own special options to choose. Another aspect that addicts must consider when entering rehab is if they will need specialized treatment for a co-occurring disorder such as depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. Mental illnesses are often connected with addiction and when a patient has both problems they will need to attend a dual diagnosis program in order to fully recover.
What Happens During Detox
Once a patient has chosen their rehab facility, most treatment programs will require that they go through drug detox before beginning their rehabilitation. Detox is an important step in the process because it allows the patient to completely rid their body of an addictive substance. For some people with less severe addictions, detox will mean fully abstaining from any type of drug use. For those with very complicated and problematic addictions, they may require medications like methadone to slowly wean themselves off of drugs so that they can recover. The average time for detox is about a week but each patient has a number of different factors that can influence how long their withdrawal symptoms last.
How long detox lasts will depend on the dose of the drug taken prior to detox, the length of time spent in active drug use, the patient’s own physiology as well as any co-occurring disorders. Because of these many factors affecting withdrawal symptoms a patient’s stay in detox can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. While going through detox each patient will experience withdrawal symptoms that can intensify over a few days until they eventually subside. For most drugs, withdrawal begins within the first day of abstaining from substance use. Symptoms can vary depending on the drug but they can often flu-like with vomiting, diarrhea or sweating, and in more extreme cases they can lead to anxiety, depression or seizures. People going through detox often become very dehydrated and have trouble sleeping at night. They require medical assistance throughout the process to ensure that they stay safe and healthy.
Detox provides a method to help patients get rid of any physical dependency they may have on a drug but the next step in treatment is address psychological addiction which can be just as powerful. Each person entering drug treatment will usually receive a psychological assessment that determines if the patient has any emotional issues or even serious disorders such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. Their psychological state may change once they get through detox and will continually improve throughout rehab, however it is important to evaluate their initial issues in order to implement treatment. A person’s mental health is extremely important during rehab because they are likely to experience a lot of emotional ups and downs throughout their treatment and therapists must be aware of any underlying issues that need to be addressed. In order to leave rehab, each patient must be in good mental health after completing the program so that they can be strong and healthy enough to withstand the stress of daily life without relapsing.
Daily Life in Rehab
Each day in rehab will be structured and scheduled so that patients make the most of their time there and are not left too long on their own. It is important during this time for people in recovery to develop a routine that keeps them focused and motivated. Most programs will schedule a variety of different activities that are both educational and facilitate peer interaction. Most days of rehab will include some form of therapy including individual and group therapy. Both types of counseling are very valuable in rehab because people with addictions need one-on-one care for their mental health and they also need to develop a support network by talking to others about their experiences. Therapy gives each patient some time to learn more about their addiction and talk about problems with someone who can offer real solutions. A counselor can give people insight into their own behavior so that they understand the causes of their addiction and what steps they need to take to improve their mental health. Going to therapy can sometimes be a very emotional process but ultimately it is a cathartic experience for everyone in drug rehab treatment because they can finally open up and discuss personal problems that may have been plaguing them for a long time.
Improving Physical Health
In addition to therapy, there may be a few other activities that can take place from day to day throughout a person’s stay in rehab. Many treatment facilities incorporate programs like physical fitness and nutritional counseling. Exercise has proven to be a very effective tool in fighting addiction because it keeps the mind and body healthy, reduces stress and releases endorphins which can make people feel happier overall. Staying fit helps patients to value their health and recover from some of the physical damage that their addiction may have caused. A person’s diet can also have a great impact on their physical and mental health which can influence their recovery. Many drug addiction treatment programs offer to educate their patients about how to maintain a healthy diet so that they get the proper nutrition that they need to feel better. Eating too much processed food can make you feel lethargic and too much sugar can cause mood swings and shifts in energy. A diet that is high in natural whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat meat can keep patients more stable and improve their well-being.
Spirituality and Creativity in Recovery
Some rehab programs understand how important it is for patients to pick up new habits and learn hobbies that will keep them feeling fulfilled throughout their recovery experience. At many drug rehab California centers, patients can focus on spiritual practices like meditation and yoga which are proven to reduce stress and promote more emotional stability. Mindful awareness is a type of meditation that allows people to focus on their breath and stay more present in the moment. Meditation on a regular basis can eventually minimize mood swings and improve mental health overall. Some recovery centers also offer options like art or music therapy so that people can find healthier ways to express their emotions and tap into their creativity.
Having a creative outlet in times of stress or pain can help release tension and provide a powerful tool for healing. Playing an instrument, painting, sculpture or writing are all ways that people in rehab can express their most difficult emotions and communicate in an artistic medium. Another important part of the recovery process is sharing activities with a group and developing a social support network of people. Many of the activities in rehab are designed to increase social interaction like going on group outings, playing sports or other games and spending quality time together. Even in a private drug rehab with a smaller group of people there will still be opportunities to increase social connection. Each rehab center will have its own types of group activities but the main goal is to get patients to interact. People in rehab need to learn how to connect with themselves spiritually and mentally but they also need to be able to rely on others for help when they need a friend.
The goal in rehab is get each patient to a point where they feel ready to live a sober life on their own. The length of stay at rehab can vary depending on the program and how well the individual patient is doing in their recovery. Most treatment programs last between 28 and 90 days but many rehabs can last as long as 120 days allowing a person to work on long-term recovery for a serious addiction. The programs are designed to help people feel more prepared to remain sober on their own but in most cases they also offer aftercare so that patients can return for treatment when they are in need. Moving back home after rehab can be a scary time because people often don’t know what to expect or don’t know how they will handle their normal life without drugs. Aftercare allows them a period of time to live at home and continue to receive some counseling every week and attend meetings to keep track of their progress. Rehab centers offer resources for long-term recovery rather than a quick fix. Eventually each person who completes their treatment will be independent enough to live a sober lifestyle without any issues.
If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism or addiction,