As you start the rehab process, it’s normal to feel anxious. This is a potentially life-changing step – even aside from getting help, it’s hard enough to admit even to yourself that you have a problem.
A large part of this is also fear of the unknown. Here, we hope to alleviate that a little, by telling you a bit more about the process as a whole.
But you should also bear in mind that it’s usually highly tailored to suit various individual needs, so it could look different from person to person.
This will largely depend on the kind of treatment that suits you best. Fairly early on in the process, you’ll choose either inpatient (residential) treatment or outpatient (home-based, with visits to a centre) treatment.
Designed for those with moderate to severe dependencies, residential treatment is most commonly recommended. Being at home for outpatient treatment will give you more responsibility and will be less disruptive to your current routine.
Disruption to your current routine doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it could be what breaks the toxic behaviour and thinking patterns you’re currently in.
In the long run, drug and alcohol addiction treatment may require permanent lifestyle changes, including changes to your social life and/or your home environment, depending on what they were like going in and how much they were driving your addiction problems.
On the other hand, people with less severe issues may feel more comfortable at home and you might not need to make any changes at all – it all depends on what suits you.
One of the ways that addiction controls the people suffering from it is physical, via withdrawal symptoms. These occur at the stage where dependency develops.
This essentially means that your body becomes reliant on the substances you’re addicted to. This then results in symptoms when you take them away, which can range from unpleasant to dangerous or even deadly with certain substances.
As a quick side note, it’s also important that you research the specific withdrawal symptoms of the substance you’re going through rehab for, due to these differences.
Some of the most significant withdrawal symptoms are:
In professionally supported rehab, we attempt to combat these symptoms via detoxes. Usually the first kind of treatment you’ll receive, which can last for about 3 weeks (although once again this obviously varies from person to person).
Your intake of drugs and/or alcohol will slowly be reduced, as you begin to take specifically prescribed medication. Looking at the above symptoms, you might also be able to guess why you should never attempt to detox alone.
Another extremely popular addiction treatment is cognitive behavioural therapy, often shortened to CBT. The main idea behind it is that all of your thoughts, emotions and feelings are connected.
Cognitive distortions forming across these thoughts, feelings and emotions can lead to toxic thinking (and eventually behaviour) patterns. CBT aims to break down these cognitive distortions through several methods.
Many therapies accessed during rehab will encourage you to focus on your past – but during CBT, we’ll only discuss the present. We’ll try and break down the cognitive distortions until they’re in small enough pieces to be dealt with.
Across several sessions, you and a therapist will discuss your problems, as well as the thoughts and actions that come along with them. Together, you’ll then analyse to uncover where any unhealthy thoughts or behaviours might be.
Then, the final stage is figuring out how to change these patterns. And applying said changes to your daily life, of course.
Cognitive behavioural therapy isn’t just helpful for addiction either. It’s also used to treat issues like psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among many others.
Addiction is also difficult because of how alone it can make you feel. This is why group therapy and support groups can be so important.
Both of them allow you to recover with people going through the same things, who can truly understand everything you’re feeling. As many people bottle it all up, it can also be very freeing to share your story.
Beyond your initial treatment, they’ll also give you a network that can support you going forward, which can be vital in preventing relapse.
As the above heading will probably tell you, CBT and group therapy aren’t the only kinds of mental health treatment used for addiction. First of all, for people who enjoy expressing their emotions through non-verbal mediums, music and art therapy can be very helpful.
There’s also the simple kind of therapy, where you just sit down and talk to a professional without a big focus on any one strategy. Finally, motivational interviewing invites you to re-examine your behaviour, via a series of non-judgmental questions.
Now let’s talk a bit more about physical treatments. Outside of detoxes, which are their own separate category, the primary goal of most physical rehab treatments is to put you in a good headspace by making you feel relaxed.
A few examples of treatments added to plans with this in mind are acupuncture, reflexology and massages.
With something as large, complex and personalised as addiction treatment, it’s also very important that you do as much of your own research as you can. Look into all of the treatments we’ve mentioned here on your own, find out more about others that we didn’t have space for.
Look into every centre you’re considering and find out what they offer. If and when you get in touch with Rehab 4 Addiction, we’ll help to find the right treatment for you.
But, as we said at the beginning of this page, you’ll probably feel more confident going in with a prior base of knowledge.
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