Substance abuse is everywhere. On average, 33.8 million Americans use illicit drugs every month. Nearly 140 million Americans drink alcohol, including 2.3 million children.
The dangers of substance abuse disorder are substantial. Thankfully, there are many ways a person can receive treatment. One is by going to rehab.
Despite the value of going to rehab, few people do it. They don’t know what rehabilitation entails. They may have seen a television show about it and confuse that depiction with reality.
Understand some basic things about rehab and you can improve your mental health today. Here are nine.
1. You Must Consent to Go to a Rehabilitation Center
Your doctor or your family cannot decide on their own to send you to rehab. They can encourage you to do so. They can engage in practices like an intervention, laying out a case for why you should go to a center.
Under some circumstances, a court can send you to a center. You must be convicted of a crime, or your family and friends must petition to them.
These commitments are rare. Nearly all people who go to rehab go of their own volition.
Your life is in your hands. Whatever your substance abuse disorder may be, it is a good idea to get experienced help for it.
2. You Do Not Have to Tell People You Are Going
Drug addiction is stigmatized. Many people regard people who are on drugs as immoral and dangerous. Addiction is a brain disease, not a moral failing, but many people don’t understand that.
If you are uncomfortable telling people what you are doing, do not tell them. Talk to your boss and get time off of work. Then head out to a treatment center.
If you want to talk to someone before heading out, you can find someone anonymously. Many centers offer their own hotlines as well.
3. Your Treatment Plan Is Personalized
When you get checked in, you will receive a consultation from a doctor. They will examine your medical records and discuss treatment options with you.
They may ask you personal questions about your life, including questions that seem unrelated to your drug use. You should provide full and clear answers. They are determining what therapies will be best for you.
In addition to a medical examination, you may receive psychological and psychosocial assessments. These assessments take time to administer. But the treatment team is evaluating how you function with people and how you see yourself. They want to assess your skills, then tailor their techniques for your abilities.
4. You Can Remain in Contact With Your Safety Net
Though you are not living with your family, you can stay in touch with them. You can give them a phone call, send them an email, or see them through videoconferencing software. You can also have them visit you at the center.
If you don’t want to contact someone, you don’t have to. It can help you maintain focus on your treatment. But many people feel homesick while receiving treatment, so know that you can reach out to people when you want to.
5. You Can Receive Treatment for Multiple Conditions
Nearly eight million Americans have a mental disorder and a substance abuse disorder occurring simultaneously. Some people use substances in order to treat the symptoms of their mental illness.
Treatment centers can provide support for substance use and mental illnesses. During an initial consultation, a doctor can conduct a dual diagnosis. They can run tests determining if you have another mental condition.
They can then run therapies that will treat both. During talk therapy, a therapist can work with you regarding traumatic memories. Those memories can trigger PTSD and substance use.
6. You Will Receive Treatment Through Several Therapies
Substance abuse treatment is multi-faceted. People receive multiple therapies to address the different ways that addiction impacts the mind and body.
Many people receive medications. Some pills reduce withdrawal symptoms, while others block receptors in the brain that cause craving.
Many people engage in talk therapy. They talk with a psychiatrist one-on-one, addressing the main causes of their addiction. They then talk in a group about their lives and what they can do to deal with their drug use.
But these are not the only therapies. Art therapy helps people explore their emotions and develop introspection. They can use painting or drawing as a catharsis, getting out feelings that drive them to drugs.
Equine-assisted therapy takes place on horses. By learning to ride and maintain them, people learn personal responsibility and boundaries.
7. You Will Encounter Other People
Your treatment plan may not include group therapy. You may spend a lot of time alone or with doctors.
But you will be in an environment alongside other people. Some of them may have severe mental disorders. Others may have survived abusive experiences.
You do not have to talk or be friends with everyone. But be prepared to talk with people from different backgrounds than yourself.
You may engage in conversations or activities you find uncomfortable. Know that you are not alone. The other person you are engaging with is likely uncomfortable as well.
Develop the best rapport you can with others. They are looking for support, and not just from staffers. You may be able to make friendships that will last beyond your stay.
8. Your Treatment Can End at Any Time
If you want, you can pull out of treatment. You can go to a different center, or you can stop all procedures.
Your treatment team may set a time limit. They may help you detox, give you a few coping mechanisms, and then send you on your way.
9. But Treatment Is Long-Term
You may stay in the treatment center for a few days. You may be there for several months.
However long you stay, your treatment for substance abuse disorder will last longer. You are not “cured” as soon as you walk out the door. You will need to continue therapy and monitoring yourself.
Your treatment team will help you develop strategies you can use after you leave. You should practice and modify them as time goes on.
You can return to the center or go to a new one whenever you want to. Know that people are there to help you.
What You Should Know Before Going to Rehab
Going to rehab is a great way to treat any substance abuse disorder. But don’t head off just yet.
Know that you must choose to go to a center. You do not have to tell people where you are going, and you can talk to someone anonymously.
You will receive an individualized treatment plan. This includes treatments for mental illnesses.
Rehab does not provide comprehensive cures. Doctors will help you develop approaches you can pursue long-term. You will need to work to mitigate your drug addiction.
Your health lies in your hands. Get essential health facts by following our coverage.