By The Hope Team
Are you asking yourself if rehab treatment is really necessary to overcome your addiction? After all, there are other options (e.g. the 12-Step programs) out there that might be successful as well. But hear us out for a moment, please: Ok, we admit, we might be a little biased. However, there are some really good reasons why choosing rehab is the best option for a complete recovery. The list below is meant to give you a brief idea of what benefits to expect when you admit yourself for treatment:
Bursting your bubble: First addicts need to be removed from their environment so that they are safe from triggers and can gain a completely new perspective on their life. Also, our using is like being in a bubble and avoiding reality; this one needs to be burst as well.
Reclaim your brain: During your time in rehab your brain will be exposed to intensive neural recovery from the hijacked brain. We call it “first aid of the brain”.
Re-wiring the brain: Breaking old habits in favour of new healthy ones. This generates new neural pathways by engaging in recovery rituals and the treatment process.
Prevention: Halting the progression of your addiction. Arrest the cycle of damage immediately and stop further harms.
Protection: For you, your families and loved ones, that means immediate relief for everyone concerned – they need to recover as well.
Stop the auto-pilot: The automatic or unconscious urge to use and using behaviour is inhibited in rehab and therefore halted.
Freedom: Being clean is liberating, the ball and chain of having to feed the monster are removed in Rehab. The self-imposed psychological torment and imprisonment from the outside world are no more.
Self-investment: Time to weigh up the short-term financial cost of entering a rehab program against the long-term benefits to your life.
Recovery University: Rehab is an intensive program teaching you everything you need to know about recovery, yourself and a new philosophy that keeps you clean.
Combating symptoms of addiction: Rehab is structured to challenge old symptoms like isolation, social anxiety, intolerance, boredom, and negative thinking that keep you trapped in addictive behaviours.
Overcoming Addict’s Boredom: Waiting for things to change, instead of changing things; feelings of not being as stimulated as on drugs or alcohol, feeling unsatisfied, or just laziness – by going to rehab you can overcome these old patterns.
Sharing with others: The paradox of giving it away to keep it. We share our story, space, our time, and support each other. As we say “put your own oxygen mask on first, then help others.”
Flight or fight: Understand your outdated reactions, learn to handle stress while in rehab, also we help reduce your anxiety and potential for conflict and so reduce the chances of relapse.
The Cocoon Metaphor: Represents a personal process of change and growth achieved by working through an intensive and challenging program.
“A father and his son walk through the forest one late spring. They spot a butterfly struggling to break free from its cocoon. The boy asked his father to free the butterfly from its natural prison, so he takes out his knife and carefully opens up the cocoon. Sadly the butterfly falls to the ground and lays there helplessly trying to flap its wings unable to fly.”
What they had not realised was that the struggle inside the cocoon was necessary for the butterfly’s survival like the client’s journey through treatment in order to learn, change, grow and achieve one’s goals.
The onion theory: Therapy is like removing layers of an onion with the public self on the outside and private self at the core, it can also cause you to cry a lot, just like chopping up an onion.
Emotional sobriety: This means you learn to manage relationships, your anger and conflicts in a healthy way.
PAWS: Post-Acute-Withdrawals Syndrome – this refers to the enduring psychological symptoms that you experience after cleaning up.
Locking-on and locking-out: Changing your focus, known as psychological Scotoma this refers to what you see and what you don’t see. As a using addict or alcoholic you notice drink everywhere – However, after some time in recovery you no longer are tuned into the old interests and see healthy things.
Group-think: “We look for the similarities not for the differences.” The power is in the group’s feedback and identification – you are not alone. We learn from each other.
The jury method: Otherwise known as peer-evaluation, the group will help you, and you will do the same for others.
Reality check: Instead of avoiding reality you will face your true situation and actions. You learn to do this daily by checking in with the group.
Decompression chamber: Rehab is also a serene place to recover from bouts of depression. A pressure release valve.
Control factor: Recovering addicts learn to surrender control and practice handing over control to trusted counsellors in rehab. This paradox of letting go will help you manage your life effectively.
Microcosm of Society: The rehab community is like a microcosm of wider society, it’s like putting yourself under a microscope.
Structure: The most difficult part of change is that we tend to revert to what we’ve always done – the familiar can appear to offer comfort. Changing habits is the toughest part of long-term behavioural change. AA is structured to be every bit as habit forming as alcohol.
Discipline: Addicts lack discipline and will learn valuable self-managing techniques, but this requires help due to the hijacked brain, self-control recovery rituals, daily inventory, positive affirmations, 12-Step meetings, therapy, meditation, prayer.
The Warehouse Effect: This is one of the most successful elements of a long-term rehab program. This refers to the idea that it takes around 90 days for a person to “break a habit” and in general the idea works. By “warehousing” addicts in a safe place that provides therapies and education.
Flight to health: A quick “detox” (acute phase) will certainly never be a lasting answer, it’s a quick fix like the using itself, or “flight to health” as we say.
Positive withdrawal: Positive self-image and rehab – some people struggle with their “identity” in early recovery, and this is an important factor in staying clean. Research suggested that people sometimes achieve this by “positive withdrawal” from old environments.
Going to a rehab far from where you live: You’ll experience fewer triggers to use. The brain forms contextual associations during active addiction; those associations can come back to haunt an addict when they see a person they used with, a building or street where they spent a great deal of time or other local triggers that cause the addict to feel a severe compulsion to get high.