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Getting the Most Out of Substance Abuse Treatment

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How to get the most out of treatment

When entering drug and alcohol treatment, we are faced with many different emotions, such as worry, nervousness, anger, hopelessness, to name a few. Many of us enter treatment wondering if it will even work, will we even get better? These thoughts are completely normal for someone trying to get clean and sober for the first, or fifth, time. So, how can we make sure that we get the most out of treatment?

1.Be open minded: Being open minded to treatment is one of the most important aspects when it comes to getting the most out of your time in treatment. It is important for you to be receptive to new ideas and suggestions. If we continue to do the same thing, we will get the same result, so being open minded to change can help your recovery in the long run.

2. Remember why you’re there: You chose to enter treatment, you want to start a new life, you want to be able to wake up clean, sober and not in withdrawal from alcohol or drugs- remember that. Even on the difficult days.

3. Be honest: Being honest about your history, whether it is how much you used drugs and alcohol, or any past traumas, or what makes you want to continue to use- is an important piece of working through your addiction. Being honest in treatment can help you heal.

4. Put in your all/commit to the program: When we are in treatment, we get what we give. That might sound like a cliché, but it is the truth. If you give 50%, you are only hurting yourself. Many of us have been to treatment in the past and it hasn’t worked, because we haven’t put all of our effort into getting honest, vulnerable, and fully committing to treatment and recovery. Committing to treatment looks different for everyone, maybe it is speaking more about how you’re feeling in group, or maybe its working on not fraternizing with other men or women or telling your therapist about something you previously refused to talk about. Whatever it is, giving it your all and committing to treatment is committing to yourself and your recovery. You will thank yourself one day.

If you want to get the most out of treatment, you have to put the most effort in, even when you "don't feel like it."

5. Follow the rules: There are some rules in treatment that might seem arbitrary. No hats in group, no cell phone, no fraternizing with the opposite sex, make your bed, etc., are all set in place to help you heal and grow. These may be frustrating but it’s important to remember that these rules are here for a reason and that learning how to follow simple rules in recovery is important for life outside of treatment. When we are using drugs and drinking, we ignore rules. Learning how to follow rules is a part of getting better.

6. Be patient: Be patient with yourself when you enter treatment, it is not easy, and recovery won’t happen overnight.

7. Accept the good and bad days: We all have good days and bad days, even in recovery. Entering treatment can be a very emotional time, so be gentle with yourself. Accept your bad days and enjoy your good days.

8. Connect with others: Building connections with other people in recovery can significantly improve your mood, help you feel understood, and help feelings of loneliness dissipate. Feeling connected can help you progress through treatment and recovery by giving you a support system to lean on in times of struggle.

9. Trust the process and take suggestions:  You will hear hundreds of suggestions in treatment, some from trained, licensed therapists, some from peers, some from people at AA or NA meetings- a good way to get the most out of your time in treatment is to practice taking suggestions. Recovery is about taking suggestions from people who are living a life you hope to live one day. Recovery is about getting outside your comfort zone. Recovery is about working towards a better way of life and trusting that if you keep making good choices, you will get there. Trusting the process and taking advice or asking for help, are not easy things to do when you have been living in the cycle of addiction, practicing asking for help and trusting others in treatment will help you feel comfortable asking for help and taking suggestions outside of treatment.

If you or a loved one is ready to give treatment a real try, reach out to one of our admissions specialists today by calling 833-216-3079 or chatting now. Everyone deserves to live a life without addiction.