When someone makes the decision to enter into rehab, it can be for a number of reasons. It might be at the bequest of a family member or loved one. It could be from an employer, or fellow member of a community group. It might be because of failing health, or financial difficulties. Whatever the reason may be, one thing is a common denominator for all scenarios: it is best to commit to as much time as possible when beginning your recovery journey.
Isn’t every situation and person different? What if the person feels they still have some control? What about the family that is waiting at home for me, or the job they shouldn’t be missing?
All of the things the person thinks they cannot leave for 30 days or more are things they were continually neglecting in the first place. While their presence will surely be missed, it will be threefold as strong after they have gone through treatment and begun working on a new life in recovery. All of the people in our life would rather have us at 100% than at 30%, or not there at all, which is the unfortunate reality of this disease.
This can be a difficult reality to accept at first, and it is often bristled against because of discomfort or these aforementioned stipulations the person feels they can set. In the end, however, the more time a person with an addiction is allotted, the better their chances at lasting recovery.
What Exactly Happens in Rehab?
So, what does it look like once a person goes to rehab? The first portion normally consists of medical detox, if it is deemed necessary for the client. This will address physical withdrawals and discomfort the person will experience when first removing the drugs and/or alcohol from their body. This can take from 2 days up to a week or longer, depending on the severity of the person’s addiction. Fluids and ‘comfort medication’ assist with this, and as the person is feeling better they begin to go to groups with their peers, therapy sessions/counseling, and oftentimes a 12-Step curriculum to help them begin understanding their addiction.
This rehabilitative time is often good to form alumni partnerships, work on rewiring thought processes, and develop healthy routines. While in active addiction, people usually neglect their food intake and their bodies are in need of nutrition and rest. Therapy can help direct the person to new patterns of thinking that will help them rejoin life as a contributing and productive member of society.
While all of the above contributes to helping the person prepare to return to the “real world” without the use of drugs or alcohol, the newfound knowledge will be less likely to ‘stick’ if the timeframe is limited to 30 days. With a disease as strong as addiction, the compulsion to use is very strong, and a month is simply not enough to get to the root of the problem. The process of recovery from addiction requires time, incremental freedom, and, most importantly, dealing with your own baggage (psychological issues as root and stem of your addiction).
Genuine Rehabilitation Takes Time
Though there are people who have done 30-day rehab programs and remained clean for life, these instances are few and far between. To use a statistic to illustrate this point: approximately 60% of people relapse within their first year of treatment recovery. A host of reasons could be to blame, from not being ready or wanting to get sober, to the type of program attended, and many, many others. The heart of the matter is that the first year of addiction recovery is tenuous, and repetition and longevity produces the most successful results. Ongoing support and rehabilitative efforts are also crucial, which is something that is most easily accessed through rehabilitative treatment.
We recommend that the first year of sobriety should be dedicated entirely to drug addiction recovery: getting well. It is often said that recovery is the person’s “number one job.” To give a person the best shot, a 30-day program should be followed by an extended care or sober living program, and then a rigorous IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). With a blueprint laid out this way, it makes straying from the path much more difficult, and the person is supported the whole way while remaining conscious of their sobriety goals of their new life.
Lasting Sobriety Requires Steps
A step-down process begins with inpatient drug treatment, and progresses through extended care, sober living, and then to an intensive outpatient program. This progressive programming keeps clients rooted in sobriety and well-supported throughout the crucial first year. Each step after initial inpatient care allows for more freedom and less structured scheduling, while also providing continued, reinforced support from peers and alumni. At Granite Recovery Centers, each step’s duration is tailored to the client’s needs. This progressive process allows the client to take the tools and lessons learned in residential treatment and apply them to a more independent life.
People who become addicted to a substance have a disease, but what spurs the condition is often a grief, loss, trauma, or co-occurring disorder (such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc). In fact, people who have a mental disorder are twice as likely to develop a substance use disorder as someone who does not. Feelings of sadness, anger, resentment, and shame—whether as conditions or derivative of life events—can make drug use compulsive. Getting to the root of the issues that make you pick up, dealing with them, and healing from them in therapy is crucial. Get sober without this healing, and the sadness, anger, etc., will come back, and relapse is likely to repeat.
All of this begins with the 30-day drug rehab program. If you considering professional treatment, whether for yourself or a loved one, this is a way to get your body healthy, get clear-headed, and formulate a treatment plan with the help of medical professionals. Over time, you’ll develop a peer community and begin to find your way to a better life. You’ll see. One day at a time.
Please give us a call today.