Committing to extended-stay inpatient treatment program is a major, life changing decision. Pledging to begin a journey into recovery entails the introduction and involvement in a completely different way of life. Giving up everything you once used as a crutch to avoid reality and facing life head-on can be terrifying when you aren’t even really sure who you are. It is important to consider your perception of the situation. Try to look at the opportunity with excitement – you are being given the chance to begin your life over, to get to know yourself on a personal level, and to mend all of the relationships that have been tarnished by your drug or alcohol addiction over the years. Still, it is understandable that there is some trepidation involved even when looking at the experience with enthusiasm. To make the process a bit easier, here is a list of several things you should expect when attending inpatient drug treatment for the first time.
What To Expect in Drug Rehab
- Expect to spend long hours in group therapy.
It may seem daunting, and at first it may be slightly intimidating. But group therapy sessions will play a major role in saving your life. Speaking about yourself in front of others will remain an absolutely crucial component of your recovery for years to come – and practice makes perfect! Or in this case, practice makes progress.
- Expect to touch on some of the dark stuff.
Drug rehab is not only about treating the physical components of addiction – it is about comprehensively treating underlying causes. This includes traumatic experience and psychologically scarring events and circumstances. Prepare to dig deep inside and face things you have buried under years of numbing substance abuse. While this seems scary, it will be extremely beneficial in the long run, and will provide such an incomparable sense of relief and healing.
- Expect to be put on a new medication.
In the vast majority of cases, addicts and alcoholics will turn to chemical substances in order to self-medicate undiagnosed psychological disorders. As you sober up you are likely to find that you are suffering from a mild disorder that has contributed to your substance abuse. Anxiety and depression are the most common, though addicts are sometimes found to suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
- Expect to follow the rules – no matter how outlandish.
When attending drug rehab for the first time, you may be shocked and appalled by some of the rules that are in place. Wake up at 6 am?! Make my bed every morning?! WASH MY DISHES?! You will quickly learn that breaking the rules is simply not worth the flack you will undoubtedly get. Prepare to adjust quickly and clean up after yourself thoroughly!
- Expect to make friends – with yourself.
Recovery is a highly self-involved process. It is important to spend more time getting to know yourself than anyone else – you will have ample time to make best friends later on down the road. Learn to love yourself first!
- Expect to feel things you haven’t felt in years.
Remember feelings? How about emotions? Don’t worry, no one expects you to. But they will inevitably come back, swiftly and without warning. You will feel sadness, fear, and aggravation… but experiencing joy, love and compassion for the first time in years is so rewarding it will make everything else worthwhile.
- Expect to learn patience.
This little virtue will come in handy more often than you may think when living with a group of drug-addicted strangers.
- Expect to go to a sober living facility.
The success rates of those who attend an inpatient rehab without a comprehensive aftercare program – including sober living – is significantly lower than the success rate of those who transition directly into a halfway house. If you are serious about staying sober, halfway is the way to go.
Above all else, expect truly great things to come from this experience if you truly open your heart and take advantage of the opportunity with which you are being presented.