For the most part, substance abuse rehab centers are probably the best solution we have right now for drug or alcohol addiction. They are not perfect by any means, and the failure rate can be pretty high based on what most people believe it actually should be. But the statistics don’t lie, and getting clean and sober is tough. People do still recover, of course, but it is a tough gig. Helping people in treatment centers is not easy.
But, going to rehab is still the best thing we got going.
Getting the break you need from continuous drug or alcohol addiction
Most addicts and alcoholics are trapped in a cycle, and this has a LOT to do with their environment. They use drugs and alcohol in the same ways, every day, because of the people, places, and things that they associate with.
They have built a life up around using drugs and alcohol and so their environment naturally perpetuates their addiction. They designed it this way!
So part of the solution is ultimately to remove yourself from that environment, at least temporarily.
If you stay at home and attempt to stop using drugs and alcohol, your chances are pretty slim that you can make it work. This is especially true if you use or drank with other people in your life. So going to rehab can make a big difference in terms of your environment.
Uncovering a need for therapy in drug addiction treatment
One of the crucial things that you might learn in treatment is that you need help outside of just chemcial dependency.
For example, say that your addiction was fueled or propogated due to abuse issues that you have in your past.
In such a case, going to treatment could open your eyes to the fact that you need some additional therapy in order to deal with this stuff.
Part of your long term sobriety is to clean up the wreckage of your past. This includes both damage that you did, but also some of the bad stuff that might have happened to you too. If you have resentment issues or even emotional problems due to your past, then that is something you need to deal with eventually.
People who never even go to treatment might never see a need to deal with this stuff, and it could affect them negatively for the rest of their lives.
So going to treatment can help expose areas of your life than need work.
Finding connections that might be helpful in recovery
You meet people in treatment that are trying to recover.
Some might become friends, some might end up going to meetings with you, some might stay in contact with you, and so on.
Most of them will relapse. But those who “make it” can become part of your support system.
Just going to rehab exposes you to so many people who can be part of your recovery.
Learning a bit about yourself and what you need to do to stay clean and sober
Most treatment facilities will have you do some form of self assessment, whether that be through the 12 steps of AA or otherwise.
This assessment is important because it shows you part of what you need to do in order to maintain your recovery.
For example, I learned when I was in rehab that my main unhealthy coping mechanism that I used was to engage in self pity. This prevented me from taking positive action in my life, because I preferred to sit around and just feel sorry for myself instead.
I lived for decades doing that, but not realizing how much it hurt me. I never saw how it held me back. But when I was in rehab, the groups, therapy, and exercises we did helped me to uncover this weakness.
These days I have a solid plan for overcoming my tendency toward self pity (Hint: it is all about gratitude!).
Without rehab, I would have missed some of these details about myself, and it would have weakened my recovery.
Getting an aftercare plan from a substance abuse treatment center
One more reason that going to substance abuse rehabs make sense: they give you an aftercare plan.
This might not sound like much, but actually it is your whole recovery, really.
When you walk out of treatment, the real test begins. What are you going to do, today, in order to stay clean and sober?
What are you going to do, today, that builds up positive things in your life for the future?
This is what a strong aftercare plan provides: it is a roadmap to success in early recovery.
The fact is that most people who leave treatment end up relapsing at some point. The people who have a good plan in place AND follow through on that plan are the ones who stay clean and sober.
The people who leave rehab and just sort of drift along, not really making significant changes–those are the people who relapse. And honestly, this group is probably 90 percent or higher.
So the challenge to you is this:
Be the person who goes above and beyond and starts taking positive action every day.
Be the person in the 10 percent who actually follow through with EVERYTHING that the therapists and counselors tell them to do.
If you are that person, your life will be incredibly awesome in just a few short years or even months from now.