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What Happens in Rehab and Recovery

Choosing a Drug Treatment Program

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are several things to consider when choosing a drug treatment program. These include:

  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution to treatment.
  • Different treatments work for different people.
  • Patients must commit enough time to treatment in order to effectively overcome their addictions.
  • Everyone should have easy access to treatment when they need it.
  • Addiction affects the way the brain works.
  • Effective treatment should address all areas of the addict’s life, not just the abuse or addiction.
  • Medicinal treatment is often necessary and should be used in conjunction with therapy.
  • Treatment plans should continually be tailored to meet the individual’s needs and circumstances.
  • Mental disorders are often linked to drug addiction and should be addressed in treatment.

A setting that provides recovery in a holistic manner and provides services that treat the underlying reasoning behind the need to escape or numb is critical to helping those we serve to find long-term recovery.

The best services include the following components:

  • Individual and Family Therapy
  • Dependence Education
  • Self-Realization
  • Individual Treatment Plan Creation

The service must be helpful in creating long- and short-term goals in the recovery process:

  • Establishing an individual relapse prevention plan
  • Daily reflections and meditations
  • Learning how to encourage longer-term dependent free living
  • Creation of a spiritual-based premise of a higher power

To meet the goals prescribed above a service covers areas such as:

  • Past and current medical history
  • Employment and educational background
  • Basic needs being met currently
  • Substance abuse history
  • Legal issues (current and past)
  • Family/social genogram of dependent history
  • Psychiatric diagnoses (current and past)
  • Personal insights and supports each client has

What Exactly is “Recovery”?

After a patient has completed a rehabilitation program, they are not finished with recovery. In fact, recovery is a process that an addict must work at for the rest of their life.

Sometimes, the path to lifelong recovery will be easy. Other times, it will be difficult for individuals to withstand the temptation to relapse. Like anything in life, it’s a journey that may feature varying terrain, so constant support is essential.

Prior to leaving an addiction treatment program, a patient will meet with counselors to discuss a plan for aftercare. Many addiction rehab facilities offer follow-up programs to assist the patient as they return to normal life.

These may include weekend stays back at the rehab center when the individual feels a touch-up stay is needed. Or a patient may live in a sober living facility for a while with other recovering addicts before returning home. This offers a supportive transitional time for recovering addicts before being thrown back into “normal” life.

Many patients maintain regular therapy sessions post-rehab, and some submit to scheduled drug testing as a way to keep them accountable to their sobriety. Group therapy is a method for building a support system in your local area. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are well-known 12-step groups that many recovering addicts attend on a very regular basis. Both AA and NA have meetings all across the country at easily accessible times.

There are various offsprings of the AA model for a wide range of other addictions, such as Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Emotions Anonymous (EA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA) and Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA). There are also subsets of NA for specific drugs, like Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA). Some addicts find the type of support they can get in very specific 12-step groups is more beneficial, whereas other addicts gain the help they need from more general groups.

In the end the most important aspect of any rehab and recovery is that it is not just the mind thinking about recovery but also the heart. One must be willing to sacrifice immediate gratification with at times a long arduous plan that leads to fulfillment in never-ending recovery process.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Web on flickr 

What Happens in Rehab and Recovery


Steve Greenman, MA, LPC, NCC

Steve Greenman, MA, LPC, NCC is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in northern Michigan who has a passion for reading, writing, music and helping others. He specializes in counseling complex family situations, substance abuse, and parenting. Steve’s counseling philosophy is holistic, approaching each issue on its own merit and evaluating influences to help overcome life’s dilemmas.

 

APA Reference
Greenman, S. (2015). What Happens in Rehab and Recovery. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 15, 2019, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/what-happens-in-rehab-and-recovery/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Apr 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Apr 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.