5 Important Lessons from RehabShelby Wall
Lessons from Rehab
Without a doubt, rehab is a transformational time for many. By making the choice to leave their old lives of substance use behind and start over anew, the 2.3 million people per year who enter treatment programs emerge with a fresh perspective. Perhaps the greatest piece of this experience is the variety of lessons imparted by fellow attendees and clinical staff members alike. We’ve compiled some of our favorite takeaways below – feel free to share yours with us on our Facebook page.
Lesson 1: Addiction is a Disease
Before entering treatment, many people have serious misconceptions about substance use disorders. By participating in a program that includes educational components, addicts – along with their friends and family – learn about the chemical changes that addiction can create in the brain. These fundamental alterations of biochemistry result in a complete rewiring of the brain’s reward system, meaning that substance use is more than a difficult habit: it’s a disease.
Research has shown that those suffering from addiction have similar relapse rates to those in treatment for diabetes or high blood pressure, and therefore must participate in equally diligent long-term care in order to maintain sobriety. This information is important for those in recovery, so that they may protect their recovery and contextualize their circumstances to friends, family, and employers.
Lesson 2: It’s All About Quality of Life
When people are in active addiction, they prioritize drugs or alcohol above everything else in life. They become isolated from friends and family members and fail to make good on social obligations. Career goals and hobbies fall by the wayside. At the same time, self-care becomes an afterthought; personal hygiene, nutrition, sleep schedules, clothing, grooming, and finances are neglected to the point of serious concern.
When someone enters rehab, they are brought into a world of healthy routine. Gradually, life skills are reincorporated into daily life. Emphasis is placed on adequate self-care and heightened quality of life. By paying attention to one’s basic needs – such as HALT: Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, or Tiredness – potential triggers can be avoided, and sobriety can be protected. As a bonus, people feel much better from their improved lifestyles.
Lesson 3: Why Did You Use?
A major component of rehab is therapy, which can take place in one-on-one or group settings. These sessions instill healthy coping mechanisms, but they also cut to the core of what was fueling the addiction. Often, drug and alcohol misuse is linked to trauma earlier in life – even if it is not something that is easily recalled. Mental health issues, chronic pain, and even one’s home life can all serve as catalysts for addiction. By participating in a treatment program, clients deal with past trauma, analyze their circumstances, learn lessons, and plan out how to avoid further substance use in the future.
Lesson 4: Avoiding Temptation
When someone decides to pursue addiction treatment, the landscape of their life changes completely. Depending on how long someone has been using, entire social circles may be negative influences. Old using friends are illuminated for what they really were: accessories to drug use and alcoholism, not true companions who would be supportive of sobriety.
Rehab teaches participants to identify these people and remove them from one’s life moving forward. It also educates attendees about common triggers – mood states, stressors, and old haunts – which should be avoided throughout recovery.
Lesson 5: It Gets Better
By taking control and asking for help, those who enter rehab programs have begun the process of reclaiming their lives. Instead of being ruled by drugs and alcohol, they can dedicate their attention to loved ones and other areas of interest. They’ll see an enormous change in their finances as the massive cost of drugs and alcohol disappears from their day-to-day life. Beyond this, physical health is improved, meaning that they’ll feel better as well. Within just a few short months, their life will be completely unrecognizable from what it was in active addiction.
Living a Life of Recovery
Making the decision to pursue recovery is truly the first step to getting your life back. By attending rehab, you’ll learn these five lessons and many more. Concise Recovery provides Southern California with proven, high quality addiction treatment services. Call the admissions team at 888-978-5424 today to learn more.