Residential rehab, also known as inpatient rehab, is one of the most common ways to start the process of addiction recovery. Since the beginning of the addiction recovery process is the most difficult part of the process, it stands to reason that it is also the part of the process that requires the most support.
Residential rehab treatment is all about giving people that support when it is needed most. And it is proven to help even the most severely addicted people climb back to their normal lives, even when they think they’re beyond hope.
But a common misconception about rehab comes from the fact that we call it “getting treatment.” Recovering from addiction isn’t something as simple as just taking some sort of medication and getting cured. You don’t get to just go get a procedure done and leave with a prescription that will make you feel better.
Recovering from addiction is work. Much like physical rehab, addiction rehab is a long, arduous process meant to get your body back to working the way it’s supposed to. That means you have to be as involved in your own treatment as your care providers to get the best results.
Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the most out of your stay in rehab, and setting yourself up for long-term addiction recovery success.
Communicate With Your Inpatient Care Providers
It’s all too common for people to get into residential rehab and think that the hard part is over. They think once they’ve taken the first step, the rest is just about taking meds on time and going through the motions.
If your plan is to go through residential rehab with that attitude, change your plans immediately. It is absolutely crucial to build a rapport with your treatment professionals and keep them close and informed on your condition.
Addiction treatment professionals aren’t simply nurses who just check in on you every once in a while. Because addiction affects the chemistry and basic functionality of the brain, it’s as much a mental issue as it is a physical issue. That means a big part of your addiction recovery is going to consist of behavioral therapy.
That therapy isn’t something you “get,” it’s something you “participate in.” It requires buy-in from you as a patient, and a fair amount of trust.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’re expected to just automatically trust people you’ve only just met with your deepest secrets. But treating addiction means treating the root causes of addiction. And those things are often personal and deeply private. So you need to be willing to at least speak somewhat candidly with your treatment professionals, so they can help you understand and work through the issues that led you to substance abuse in the first place.
Learn to Take Care of Your Body in Residential Rehab
Don’t underestimate the power of holistic healing methods, especially during the detox period.
One of the side effects of substance abuse is that people tend towards malnutrition while they’re addicted. Rather than go for a balanced diet and complete meal, addicted people often tend towards junk food. Worse yet, they’ll start go even harder into their substance of choice instead of eating.
Alcoholics frequently talk about “drinking” their meals, and that’s actually a serious problem. Alcohol and drugs are not a suitable substitute for a complete, balanced meal. Yet people treat them as such and subsist on what is effectively empty calories.
In rehab, it is important to kick those bad habits. Drinking water, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep are all important aspects of kickstarting your body’s natural recovery methods. These are all methods proven to help expedite and ease the process of detoxing.
And this isn’t just to say you should eat well while you’re in rehab. You should also learn what healthy eating is (many rehabs clinics employ a nutritionist for that exact purpose), and work on adopting some healthy eating habits that you can actually apply to your everyday life after rehab.
This is a good idea for your life in general, and will improve your quality of life well after you’ve finished with your addiction treatment. It just so happens that it also makes the recovery process much easier as well.
Consider Whether you Need Detox
We’ve briefly made reference to detox a couple times already, but now let’s really talk about it. Making the call on medical drug detox is one of the most important decisions to make about your early addiction treatment.
Making the right call here puts you on track for the rest of your recovery. But what actually is drug detox and how do you know if you need it?
Detox happens during in the first week or so of drug treatment when withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. It gives you access to around-the-clock medical care and medications that help take the edge off of a bad case of withdrawals. In some cases, medical detox can even be life saving. Alcohol, for example, is one of the most dangerous substances to quit, and the withdrawal symptoms from it can be life-threatening in some cases.
Some common withdrawal symptoms include:
- intense anxiety
- a tense or edgy feeling
- severe trembling
Detox is generally a 3-to-7-day sequence, depending on the severity of symptoms, and will often make up the first few days of a stay in residential rehab. Some rehabs have the ability to do medical detox on-site, while others will refer out to specialized clinics.
Fortunately, making the call on whether or not you need detox isn’t something you have to do alone. Most rehab clinics (including Northpoint Washington) have treatment professionals trained to assess your condition and advise you appropriately.
Of course, the final decision on the matter is yours, but it’s in your best interest to gather as much information on the matter as possible so you can make an informed decision.
Prepare for Life After Residential Rehab
It’s important to remember that for as good of a start as inpatient addiction rehab is for your recovery, it’s just that – a start.
It’s like you’re taking a road trip of 1,000 miles, but you’re having a hard time getting your engine started. Rehab will give you a jump start, but after that, it’s up to you to drive.
And the most important thing you can do with that jump start is prepare for your life after it wears off. Rehab is the perfect time to start preparing yourself mentally for life after substance abuse. That sounds like it’s an easy thing, but it isn’t, especially with mental health issues like depression lurking for addicts and former addicts.
For people who are addicted, drugs take up a very large part of their lives. It’s a regular routine, a source of recreation, a go-to activity when there’s nothing else going on. It’s a habit as well as an addiction, and the drug cravings will never go away completely.
Freeing up that time for a more fulfilling activity is one of the best things you can do, but you still have to actually find something to take up that time, or you’ll simply fall right back those same habits.
Rehab is the time to find those new passions and prepare for the rest of your life. That’s one of the biggest things people misunderstand about rehab. Rehab isn’t about having a nice 30-day recovery period and then moving on. Rehab is about properly preparing for everything that comes after rehab. That will not only make your life substance-free, but much more enjoyable in the long run.
Get Connected with Long-Term Care and Support
As we’ve already mentioned, residential rehabs are a great start to a successful attempt at kicking addiction out of your life forever. But it will only keep you clean while you’re in the facility. A simple 30-day stay isn’t going to kick your habit for you, you have to keep working at it.
But just because your inpatient stay has ended, that doesn’t mean you’re out on your own. There are a number of drug addiction treatment models, and many people will step down from an inpatient or residential rehab to start, into an outpatient model that allows them to live at home and conduct a normal life while still receiving treatment. In addition, there are support groups available to help keep you sober well after your rehab has ended.
The most important thing to remember about residential rehab is that you’ll get out of it as much as you put in. You can’t expect to sleepwalk through the process and see any improvement in your condition. Overcoming addiction is hard work, and you need to be ready to put all of yourself into achieving that goal before, during, and after rehab.
Do that, and you can get your life back, one day at a time.