Many people don’t know what to expect from addiction treatment.
By Constance Scharff Ph.D.
Posted Apr 21, 2016
There will be an extensive intake. A high quality treatment center is going to want to know a lot about you, particularly all thedrugs you have recently been using. Tell the truth. The intake staff will not judge you, but they will provide this information to the physician who is overseeing your detox. The doctor needs to know which drugs you are using and in what amounts to make your detox as safe and comfortable as possible.
Your bags and person will be searched. You’d be surprised how many people bring drugs with them into rehab. Your bags and person will be searched to keep all individuals in the facility safe.
Privacy is limited. Though you might think you’re going to have a lot of alone time, that’s not how addiction treatment works. Your days will be tightly scheduled, packed withpsychotherapy, exercise, adjunctive therapeutic activities, meditation, and so on. If you share a room, which most people do in treatment, you will not find a lot of time to yourself. This change will take some getting used to, but the good news is that with group activities comes support.
There is little down time. Treatment is not a vacation. You will not have hours to sit by the pool, write in your journal, or take strolls along the beach. There is some time for those activities, but most often, you will be engaged in therapeutic activities designed to help you overcome your addiction. That said, weekends, when most professional staff like therapists and doctors are off, can be less scheduled. Use that down time to rejuvenate and take care of yourself.
You will be expected to follow rules. Addicts are some of the world’s elite rule-breakers. In treatment, you will be expected to conform to the facility’s rules. The more you follow the rules, the more you will earn privileges and the more you’ll get out of the treatment experience. The more rules you break, the more restrictive most institutions become before finally asking an individual to leave.
High end treatment centers will be comfortable. If you pay for luxury, you will get it. The high end treatment centers offer organic gourmet food, regular massages, and top-notch hotel-like accommodations. Some have concierge services that will bring a hairdresser or manicurist in to pamper you. In a few facilities, residents can even bring a small dog. But remember, rehab is still an addiction treatment experience, not a luxury hotel, and while comfort may help by keeping you from being distracted, your purpose in treatment is to overcome your addiction.
You have an incredible opportunity to change your life. Most people who need addiction treatment never get it. Those who do may have only one opportunity to go. Take advantage of everything available to you. Rehab is your chance to change your life. Take it!