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Destination Rehab: Where to Go for Addiction Treatment

Deciding where to go for addiction treatment can be one of the most important decisions a person will ever make. There are so many factors to consider when selecting an addiction treatment facility, and a number of the reasons for the final choice will be unique to the individual.

All individuals have particular wants and needs, which is why every person who’s seeking treatment for addiction must be the most active participant in her own journey. It’s easy to capitulate to others’ agendas, so the person who’s going to rehab must remain vigilant about making certain the plans for addiction treatment are carefully considered. In the end, individuals are responsible for their own fates. The sooner one confronts an addiction, the easier it’ll be to tackle.

No Matter the Substance, Recovery Is Possible

The media likes to scare citizens with tales of addictions that are “impossible” to recover from — for instance, heroin is often portrayed in this way. Yet recovery from heroin addiction is totally possible, as is recovery from every other drug problem, or even an addiction to alcohol or cigarettes. By presenting story after story in which a well-known person or celebrity fails at recovery (or doesn’t ever try to recover), the media sensationalizes the crisis of addiction. It’s seldom that people hear stories of those who’ve successfully sought treatment and built their lives back up; they’d rather sell the false belief that addiction will inevitably lead to a train wreck of a life. This has never been the case with addiction, and never will be.

It couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter the substance, it’s possible to treat and conquer an addiction — any addiction. If you think about people in your own life — perhaps an uncle or grandparent who was a lifelong smoker or drinker and has now turned his life around — it’s easy to see that the past doesn’t dictate the future when it comes to addiction. Each day offers the opportunity to start fresh and fire up new, positive pathways in life.

Many times, people may have experience with a friend or relative who cannot seem to kick a drug. Perhaps the person is unstable or very difficult to deal with; then all of a sudden there’s a perception that — because of relapses and other issues — it’s “impossible” for the individual to recover. Addiction recovery can be a long journey. People may relapse after years of sobriety, or they may relapse just a few days out of rehab. This doesn’t mean that the recovery process is inherently flawed, or that someone can “never” quit her substance of choice. It simply means that more work must be put into the recovery process. There’s no such thing as failure when someone is committed to recovery.

Every day, people are receiving treatment for addictions and beating them. Maintaining a positive attitude throughout recovery is crucial. The person receiving help has to believe that she has the ability to succeed. By the time someone seeks professional help for an addiction, the individual has usually tried many other things. Some may have sought counsel from friends or attempted to quit cold turkey. Others may have been “forced” into recovery by a legal situation. All of these factors can sometimes weigh someone down, making the individual feel as though she’s a “bad” person for not being able to kick the addiction on her own.

However, most people don’t realize how addictions work. They’re not aware of the physical and psychological implications of an addiction, nor are they knowledgeable about mental health issues that may play into someone’s decision to use substances. This is why it’s so important for people struggling with addictions to reach out to experts for help. A professional addiction counselor can guide someone towards the right sort of treatment program that’ll suit her particular needs. One should never underestimate the power of a referral. If you know of someone who has successfully recovered, it might be wise to find out which programs or facilities helped that person.

The Benefits of Inpatient Programs

Depending on the situation, most therapists will suggest that their patients go to inpatient programs if possible. This is for a myriad of reasons, especially if it’s recommended that the person enter into a medical facility for detox. While some drugs — such as heroin and cocaine — are well-known for their withdrawal symptoms, many people don’t realize that alcoholics often require a great deal of medical support as well. There are a whole host of adverse withdrawal symptoms associated with alcoholism, so it’s best for those struggling with alcohol addiction to also go to a detox facility before entering rehab.

Once a person has cleansed her body from the effects of addiction, it’s time to work on the mind. The time immediately following detox is extremely important; if a reprogramming of the mind is to start, it’s best that it start as soon as possible. Inpatient programs offer people with addictions the ability to completely unplug from their daily lives. Whether it’s a difficult relative’s expectations or a stressful job, many people choose to deal with their life problems by becoming addicted to a substance. Substances can serve as coping mechanisms that initially help addicts feel better about themselves, only to start causing problems specifically related to their use. When the issues that led to the addiction are still in the immediate vicinity, someone may be tempted to go right back to the substance that was acting as a “crutch.” Inpatient therapy makes it easier for the person to focus upon the issues in her life that are causing pain.

In addition, inpatient programs allow people to gain some perspective on their lives and to make new bonds with other individuals who are dealing with many of the same dilemmas. By putting a healthy division between a person’s current life — which is often quite messy — and her treatment, these programs allow the individual to create new pathways in the brain and to recover on her own terms. After attending therapy, the person may choose to make changes in the areas of her life that upset her, and apologize to family members and friends for her behavior while under the influence. While enrolled in an inpatient program, each person is encouraged to go deep within herself and find answers to questions that have probably been bothering the individual for a while.

By forging healthy new habits, such as attending group therapy sessions on a daily basis, patients set themselves up for success when they leave the therapy environment. Inpatient programs can provide a very strong foundation for those who wish to kick an addiction for good. While they’re cut off from their normal routines, addicts can take a more in-depth look at the emotions and circumstances that are triggering their episodes. Triggers are normally a big talking point in inpatient programs, because therapists want patients to get a handle on precisely what motivates them to abuse substances.

The Benefits of Outpatient Programs

Although many therapists may prefer an inpatient scenario for patients attending rehab, extenuating circumstances may sometimes dictate that an addict attend an outpatient program instead. For instance, parents with young children or those who have a spouse in the military may not have the luxury of attending a full-time inpatient program. Many people feel that the right outpatient program can be just as effective as inpatient treatment.

With outpatient programs, the patient normally attends a full day of therapy during daytime hours, then returns home at night. There are quite a few benefits to outpatient therapy. For those who may have social anxiety issues, there can be comfort in the idea of being able to go home at night. People who are set in their ways won’t feel “trapped” by the idea of having to sleep in a rehab facility. Additionally, the individual will be forced to confront all of her triggers every night; there will be less surprises when she completes her course of therapy because she’ll have been dealing with her issues all along.

Some programs are even “hybrids” in a way; there may be an outpatient program that lasts for a few weeks before the inpatient part of the program kicks in. In short, there are a number of different ways to structure a rehabilitation program, and the best way to promote success is to talk to professionals about creating a customized plan. People respond to therapy in different ways and not everyone will follow the same path. Outpatient programs have been extremely effective in helping many people tackle their addictions.

Aftercare and Continued Recovery

Of course, the most important part of recovery happens after the patient has completed a rehabilitation program. Committing to lifelong recovery is far more difficult that simply attending classes and group therapy for a few weeks. For the first few months — or even years — the patient may be somewhat rigid in the way she structures her life, perhaps cutting off certain people or places she associates with substance abuse.

However, as time goes by, many former addicts begin to feel more confident in their recoveries. They may even find themselves helping others who are trying to get sober. Many programs encourage this type of mentoring. Some aftercare recovery programs also encourage recovered addicts to take stock of how far they’ve come, marking each milestone with a small trinket. Many often commemorate their “birthday,” which is the date they became sober.

People who abused substances in order to relax or change their feelings may develop new coping strategies, such as making more time for themselves or even taking more vacations. Depending upon the conclusions drawn from therapy, they may even enter couples counseling with a spouse. Family and friends should also strive to become an active part of an addict’s recovery, as it’s often much easier for people to succeed when they have the support of others. Human beings are social creatures; people thrive in the company of others and can sustain themselves if they realize that others care about their well-being.

There are a multitude of ways to live as a recovered person. Some former addicts like to reflect upon the past, because it reminds them of how much progress they’ve made in their lives. Other former addicts choose not to reflect upon times gone by, preferring to focus upon their present lives. Aftercare and continued sobriety are unique to each person, but are some of the most important components of recovery. Aside from taking the first step to get help, making healthy new life habits is probably the best gift former addicts can give themselves.

If you (or a friend or family member) have more questions about inpatient or outpatient programs and other ways to conquer an addiction, please call the helpline at 844-806-6511.


Our articles are written by individuals who have seen addiction up close. They may have watched addiction take a toll on someone they loved or had their own battles with substances, and they write for us to spare others some of that pain and confusion. If you find these writings useful and would like to speak to someone who gets addiction, call us at (844) 826-1700.

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