Making the Most Out of Your Time in Rehab

group therapy session

Let’s face it —even for those who go willingly, rehab can be a scary, confusing, and uncertain time in life. It’s unsettling to feel vulnerable, open and exposed. Coming off of drugs or alcohol is not always a pleasant experience,

But while in rehab we have to remind ourselves that it is through feeling this way that the healing happens.

There are some qualities and mindsets that are helpful when it comes to making the most of your stay in rehab. The following are just a few of them.

1. Have An Open Mind

If you’ve made up your mind about rehab before you even begin, you are not leaving yourself much room to grow or learn. Many people make this mistake when entering treatment. They may not want to go in the first place, so before walking in the doors, they decide that it was going to be meaningless and a waste of time. Because of this attitude, they often miss out on many opportunities including engaging with others in the group and not being an active participant. Attitude matters when it comes to treatment.

Having an open mind can help you relate to others in the group and realize that you are not alone. Having a closed mind can leave you in denial for much longer than needed, slowing your progress in recovery.

2. Connect With Others

Most often in treatment centers, you are surrounded by peers in the same position as yourself. However, people sometimes make the mistake of thinking no one else could possibly know what we are going through, so they refuse to give them a chance. They may think they are better than everyone else in the facility and have trouble forging connections with others because they only care about themselves and their feelings.

If you are willing to open up, you may find that you can better relate to people in the program, and vice versa. Even though everyone in treatment comes from different walks of life, they all have addiction in common. Through peer support and guidance that you can build up enough faith in yourself to remain sober even after leaving the treatment facility.

3. Take Care Of Every Aspect Of Your Health

When you stop using drugs or drinking alcohol, it may feel as if you took a step forward in taking care of yourself by preventing future health issues as a result of addiction. That’s because you did help yourself, and it is a rewarding feeling. However, it is also important to focus on other aspects of your health, such as physical and mental health. Finding a healthy outlet such as working out can provide a needed release and help you feel in control of something.

The same goes for mental health. It’s no secret that often those who drink and use drugs also suffer from underlying issues such as depression and anxiety. It is as important to address these in sobriety as it is to stop using drugs or alcohol. It is only through addressing all aspects of your health and well-being that you can truly take the lessons gained in rehab and apply them to a healthy life outside of treatment. According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “The process of recovery is highly personal and occurs via many pathways. It may include clinical treatment, medications, faith-based approaches, peer support, family support, self-care, and other approaches. Recovery is characterized by continual growth and improvement in one’s health and wellness that may involve setbacks. Because setbacks are a natural part of life, resilience becomes a key component of recovery.”

4. Take Lessons From Rehab Into The Real World

While in treatment, it is easy to feel safe and secure in your recovery. It is once you leave treatment that reality sets in and the hard part of recovery really begins. When you are not surrounded by peers and addiction professionals, it may feel as if it is harder to maintain sobriety. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. After finishing treatment, focus on applying what you learned there and using the tools you were given. This includes reminding yourself to avoid people and places that could be triggering, but also making sure to keep at the forefront of your mind that did just because you struggled with addiction does not mean your life is over. In fact, getting sober means your life is just beginning.

As previously stated, rehab can be scary. But it can also be successful and lead to a happy, full, substance-free life, as long as you enter treatment ready and willing.

Recovery and Recovery Support. “The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Recovery and Recovery Support.” May 17, 2019. Accessed October 2, 2019.