Can rehab really help you to stop drinking? Of course it certainly can, and many people have managed to stop drinking alcohol and begun a new life by going to rehab. On the other hand, alcohol rehab fails for a great many people too, and in fact the vast majority of people who do attend treatment will end up drinking again….most within just a few weeks of leaving. So how can you insure that your stay at an alcohol treatment is worthwhile?
Getting the most out of alcoholism rehab
If you are going to rehab then here are some suggestions that will allow you to make the most of your stay there. It does not do much good to get sober, spend a bunch of money and time on treatment, and then end up drinking again right after you leave. No one wants that and so here are some suggestions based on what has helped other people to maintain sobriety through rehab:
1) Stay for the full duration – it is almost always a mistake to leave rehab early. Almost every single person who leaves rehab before their “time is up” regrets doing so and ends up drinking again. It is like a sure shortcut to relapse. If you are authorized for 14 days, then stay for 14 days. On a side note, if they suggest more time for you, or can get you more time, take it. Your goal should be more treatment, not getting home as soon as possible. While you might miss family and friends while you are there, your odds of staying sober generally increase the longer you stay. Many people make the excuse that they are homesick and this makes them want to drink. Don’t fall for that logic trap. You need to stay in treatment for as long as possible if you really want it to work for you and help you stay sober.
2) Follow through with aftercare recommendations – I once went to a prestigious 28 day program, but I was not willing to follow through on their aftercare recommendation. This was a huge mistake on my part because I relapsed instantly after leaving. Now granted, I probably was not ready to really quit drinking in the first place at that time, but you know you are headed for trouble if you are planning on ignoring their post-treatment suggestions for you. Do what they tell you to do and you will greatly increase your chances of staying sober.
3) Participate and open up – If you stay pretty much passive and don’t open up during treatment, you’re not going to get much out of it. Open up in the groups and participate during your stay there. If you are naturally shy, force yourself to at least make small bits of progress on this. You don’t have to make a 30 minute speech and tell your whole life story. But if you can even force yourself to share just a little, it can have a huge impact on your recovery. And, it can open the door for future growth as well.