When you are thinking about going into a residential rehab to deal with an alcohol or substance misuse condition lots of questions can come up in your mind.
Whilst it is not possible to answer all questions in a single post, here we are answering the top 5 questions asked by people before they or their loved on starts treatment.
There is no set time that treatment takes for everyone. The key thing is to realise that we are trying to treat substance abuse, we are dealing with a recognised, complex, mental illness.
When working out how long someone’s time in treatment should last, factors are taken into account such as, what the particular substance involved is, how long has the person been misusing substances, and in what ways has the person been affected.
It is fair to say that a treatment programme normally lasts a minimum of a month, and that that really is considered by most to be the very minimum in order for treatment to begin to be effective.
Many people undergo treatment for 2 to 3 months, some longer. In some treatment centres there are stages of treatment lasting different periods of time and involving varying regimes.
It is important to try and give plenty of time for the treatment process in order that the client has as much opportunity as possible to build new and healthier ways of thinking and behaving.
Every treatment centre will have their own price and so it is impossible to give a set figure here. However, a good estimate would be to think of each week of treatment as costing around £1,400.
In order to deal with clients personally and in-depth, it is not usual for there to be a large number of people undergoing treatment in a centre at any one time.
The price paid by clients has to cover several costs: all the staff have to be paid, and this includes professional therapists and medical staff; the entire building has to be maintained and bills paid; all the clients have to be fed nutritious healthy meals.
Also, many clients will undergo a medical detox at the start of treatment, normally lasting around a week. This medication is also extremely costly and is included in the price of treatment.
A normal day in a rehab centre is quite structured so that all the different aspects of treatment are alloted sufficient time.
A lot of the time will be spent with other clients in sessions led by staff members or other professionals. These sessions can be either informative or therapeutic.
Informative sessions might cover any range of subjects related to substance misuse and recovery. A session might look at the medical science behind addiction; the effects of particular substances; or tools for recovery.
Therapeutic sessions are led by a trained therapist and are opportunities to look at e.g. what things lead people to misuse substances; coping mechanisms, and emotional struggles.
Other periods of the day will be devoted to such things as individual time with a therapist; time to work on personal assignments; mealtimes; as well as exercise and relaxation.
Perhaps a better way of asking this question would be “what do I actually need in a rehab?” and the answer would be “not much”.
The important thing is to not take lots of things to try and distract yourself. Time in rehab is an important, and hopefully life-changing, opportunity. The key to success to is giving yourself to the process as wholeheartedly as possible.
Many rehabs actually have rules in order to help clients not get distracted from the treatment process. The rules are not hard in themselves, but they are probably very different from what many people are used to.
For example, it is unlikely you will have free access to your mobile phone or to the internet. Places differ in how much clients are allowed to communicate with people outside but this communication will certainly be limited in some ways.
This is not to keep you prisoner but in order to create a space in which clients are able to concentrate on themselves, and the challenges they are facing.
Take relaxed and comfortable clothes. Again, rehab is a place not to worry about how you are dressed or whether your makeup or aftershave is nice. Rehab is a place to concentrate on you.
When you begin at rehab your belongings will be checked to make sure no alcohol or drugs are brought into the centre. Also, any alcohol or drug-related substances such as perfume and aftershave, aerosols, pharmaceuticals, will likely be put into safe storage until you leave.
The reality of substance misuse is that sometimes some people relapse. Unfortunately, for most people who try to get well from addiction, it also involves experiencing some relapses along the way before, hopefully, eventually reaching prolonged sobriety.
A fundamentally vital aspect of treatment is being honest. Honesty, with ourselves and with others, is intrinsic to finding the necessary freedom to put down alcohol and drugs for good.
Honesty is therefore also vital in the case of relapse. It can be a temptation in rehab for someone who relapses, as well as for the other clients who find out about it, to try and keep it secret through fear that it will lead to people being thrown out.
People get asked to leave treatment when they refuse to do the things that are necessary for treatment to work. One of these things is being honest.
Lying about relapse, either your own or that of others’, is more likely to result in problems than speaking to staff members honestly and openly and being prepared to do what is necessary to start again.
Beginning treatment in rehab is an opportunity to give yourself the best of chances. Dealing with substance misuse is an enormous challenge, but recovery is possible, and that possibility is available to everyone as long as they are honest, open and willing.