Gary Gilles is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in private practice for over 20 years. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the University ...Read More
The goal of drug rehabilitation it to stop drug use and learn the tools build a productive life. That may sound easy enough, but it can often be very challenging. For many, the most difficult part is acknowledging a need for treatment.
Entering – and Completing – a Treatment Program
Once in treatment, the challenge is usually staying in treatment long enough to not only break free of drugs, but to get your life back on track. With that in mind, let’s look at five important benefits of a drug rehab program for you or a loved one.
Rehab can help you:
- Break the Addictive Cycle
People who are addicted to drugs need to be in a drug-free environment with people who will hold them accountable for their goal of getting off drugs. Drug rehab may begin with detoxification, which helps the addict rid his or her body of the drugs and treat any withdrawal symptoms. Not everyone needs to go through detox, but detox alone is not enough treatment to effectively break the addictive cycle long-term. Once detox is completed, the real work of addiction treatment begins.
- Learn About Addiction
Once you are free from drugs, you have the ability to think more clearly and can educate yourself about your addiction. Learning about your addiction means gaining insight into which people, events, sensory experiences and habits trigger cravings for drugs. Most drug rehab facilities can help you explore those triggers so that you can make deliberate efforts to avoid or manage them when you transition back into your daily life.
- Dig into the Underlying Issues
There are many reasons people get addicted to drugs, but you must gain insight into what draws you towards your substance of choice. Is it a means to cope with stress? Do drugs help numb you emotionally so you don’t have to feel emotional or physical pain? Are drugs a way to avoid responsibility, gain other’s approval or belong to a group? It’s important that you peel back the layers of your behavior to understand what is behind your drug habits.
Counselors at rehab facilities are trained to help you dig into these underlying issues, make sense of them and help you build new coping skills that don’t rely on substance use.
- Build New Habits and Practices
Most people with a history of drug use have poor discipline and self-care habits. A critical part of self-care for a person in recovery is setting and accomplishing goals. Most people, whether in recovery or not, do not know how to set goals that are likely to be achieved. They begin with sincere intentions that eventually get abandoned because they didn’t approach goal setting with the proper mindset. The repetitive cycle of wanting to change habits but continually falling short gradually weakens a person’s resolve to the point where many stop trying.
That characterizes the vast majority of people with addictions. They initially think a few tweaks of their schedule will help them stop their use of substances, but they fail to realize the compulsive nature of addictions and the strong grip it has on their life. Rehab can help you set short and long-term goals in the areas most important to a strong recovery. These areas include goals for your physical and emotional health, relationships, occupational and spiritual aspirations.
- Establish Healthy Boundaries
Substance abusers typically take too little responsibility for their life and behavior while friends and family take on too much responsibility. The relational boundary that typically helps people navigate a healthy relationship is often distorted or unclear in families where there is an addictive pattern.
What emerges from relationships with poorly defined boundaries is a survival mentality where family members assume roles to help cope with stress. Though these roles can temporarily lessen stress, they increase confusion and anxiety because the underlying issue of the substance use is never directly dealt with. Rehab can help you understand where these boundaries get tangled up and show you ways to keep them healthy.
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