The Eight Best Ways to Make It through Rehab (And Never Come Back)
People wonder what can be done to maximize their chances of only going to rehab once. Relapse does not necessarily need to be part of the recovery experience. Here are eight things you can do to make it through rehab successfully and never need to return.
Richard Taite is founder and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, offering evidence-based, individualized addiction treatment based on the Stages of Change model. He is also co-author of the book Ending Addiction for Good.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
- Choose a Top Quality Rehab – It has been said that people spend more time researching their next car than they do looking for and researching the treatment center that will save their lives! Look for a rehab facility that has a high success rate. If the center doesn’t track or won’t divulge their success rate, go somewhere else. Also, look for a treatment center that uses evidence-based therapies, treatment that is proven to be effective.
- Be Willing to Stay at Least Three Months – All the research indicates that those who stay in treatment for 90 to 120 days have the best chance at long-term recovery. Plan on a stay of this duration.
- Listen to What Your Therapist Tells You to Do – You should have an individual session with your psychotherapist at least two to three times a week in a good treatment center. This individual therapy is in addition to groups and 12 step meetings. Individual therapy allows you to get at the root causes of your addiction, the reason(s) you needed to use in the first place. Your therapist is your greatest ally in treatment. You should listen to what s/he suggests. Your therapist will know the treatments and activities especially suited to your needs.
- Transition to a Sober Living when Residential Treatment Ends – It is a huge jump to make a transition from a residential treatment facility where there is a large degree of safety and support, to the unsupported home environment. Moving into a sober living house, a home in which all residents are living a sober lifestyle, is a good step between a residential situation and home.
- Participate – Rehab is not a passive process. Recovery doesn’t happen just because you are “there” in the treatment facility. You’ve got to be an active part of your life transformation. If you want your life to change, you have to change it. Addiction is a behavioral disorder, so you behave your way into a new life. Take advantage of every activity your treatment center has to offer. You never know what’s going to have the most meaning for you until you try it.
- Meditate – Study after study shows that meditation changes the brain in important ways, actually growing new synapses that aid in spiritual and emotional health. But being haphazard with your practice won’t help you much. Practice every day, twice a day, for best results.
- Eat and Sleep Properly – We all know that people who eat healthfully and sleep well are more alert, happier, and more productive. In the early days of recovery, it is difficult to eat and sleep well, but grazing your way through the rehab buffet and numbing your feelings with food and naps won’t help you in the long run. Do your best to get into a proper sleep habit and choose quality food at meals.
- Build Relationships with Sober People – Isolation and depression support using. Friends and family may be supportive of your recovery, but they may not understand what you are going through. Develop relationships with people in recovery, individuals you can call when you’re having a rough time and who will understand your problems. This type of support is invaluable and will make your recovery much more solid and enjoyable.
Recovery is a choice that you can make. Do what you can to make your recovery the joyful experience you deserve. It’s not difficult if you choose hope.