Whatever any of us feel we have to do to escape, seems great, until it becomes our reality and there is absolutely nothing else. ≈ kathy nation
I may have an opinion or two……..
Rehab. I may have visited a few, played at some, related with others, enjoyed a handful, seen many, spent much, discharged from a couple, liked a lot, yet mostly, consistently could guarantee I would enter yet still another.
Rehab. No No No, meant, here we Go Go Go.
I have been through 15 rehabs here in Canada and mostly throughout various states in the US. Why? I have the disease.
I am referring to the disease of drug and alcohol addiction, often married with a form of mental illness
What do I know? Well, with rehabilitation and treatment recovery, what I do know, I know a lot.
My recovery journey began, oddly enough, at the same time I started using. I was 14 when I entered my first, second and third rehab back to back. Juvenile lock up in three states and arrived back home just shy of 17 years of age. Too young for rehab and what I refer to as boot camp style treatment.
24 years of using, came with 24 years in and out of various facilities and forms of treatment attempting to get clean, and stay clean.
An snapshot of these facilities include;
multiple hospital admissions, repeated detox centers, 15 rehab facilities all in different nature, addiction counselors, juvenile lock up long term treatment 6 months +, combination total of approx 3 years in psychiatric wards, sober living houses, brain scans for answers, emergency room visits for overdosing and other organs shutting down, 5 year methadone for heroin maintenance program, sober retreats, interviews, psychiatrists and therapists, safe houses, shelters, harm reduction cocaine program, needle exchange and counseling, community centers, addiction centre courses, treatment out patient aftercare, long-term rehab, multiple, thousands of AA, CA, NA meeting in 3 countries and hundreds of cities, scared straight in correctional Institutions programs. Program Recovery
Ok, lets go……
This has personally been difficult to write. Mostly due to the fact it is challenging to explain to you what I know about rehab without the reasons why attended so many institutions.
I will leave you with this. I attended so many places for help because I needed to. Some of us just take longer to get it than others.
My addiction history and drug education hubs are listed at the bottom should there be any interest. I’ll leave it there.
I will tell you this with absolute certainty. This is the most important element of rehab or treatment you can learn today.
If you are not there for yourself, and only yourself, it won’t work, you will not stay clean. Don’t even try. I respectfully tell those who aren’t ready to get back out there and hit it until they’ve had enough and want to get better for themselves. For now, leave the beds for those who are ready. And that bed for you will be here waiting.
There are those that argue, whatever it takes to get you into rehab, who cares, as long as you just get there.
My experience repeatedly knows this makes no difference, once your there, you will not be open to a new way of thinking if not ready. So why waste your time until you are?
Hence why rehab is voluntary. Forced rehab does not exist and for this reason I also have lived through and disagree strongly to Interventions.
As addicts and alcoholics, we must want it so bad, we are prepared to do anything to change our ways. Our ways and best thinking continually kept us stoned or drunk. We must be willing to surrender and admit we are powerless over this disease.
So, you’ve researched which rehab your comfortable with. Talk to them, ask them every question you have, and keep calling until you feel sure. Second key factor in going to rehab is feeling safe. It’s scary enough entering a new establishment, knowing no one and being straight. You must feel safe enough that it is a place you can begin to heal. Not to mention live for the next 30, 60, or 90 days.
What are they offering? What is their approach to treatment i.e.; 12 step program, religious approach, therapy driven meetings, how many patients / clients are there? How many staff? What’s their success rate? When can you be admitted? What pre-admission requirements are there? Do they have aftercare? Long term options? Is it co-Ed? Are psychiatric medications allowed? How are they administered? What is offered for fitness and recreation?
You may ask them for a copy of their weekly itinerary and group subjects to understand the program a bit better. Truth is you have to be there to make an opinion. Try not to make an opinion until you’ve been there a while.
Before we head off to never ever land, there’s the primary deciding factor=cash. See up here in Canada we don’t have to pay, but we often have to wait. Out of the 15 rehabs I have attended 10 were throughout the US regardless. Cash talks. Same day admittance just needed a flight.
The price of your rehab I will not say determines the quality of care you get, but most often does effect, the environment you will be living.
I have had attended $3,000/day rehabs in paradise to a Canadian equivalence in total of about $5,000. There are so many kinds of rehabs, be rest-assured there is one for you too.
In a nutshell, the US, we can confidently break treatment and rehab in three categories most will stress as recovery priorities. I have been to many in all three sectors.
Eastern US will focus on the 12 step program and the importance of service, or getting involved with your sober community.
The entire south will focus entirely on the importance of a higher power, or God as we may understand him. From those roots the spiritual path begins the 12 step Journey.
West Coast unites in the importance of health as a main factor in recovery. Body, Mind and Soul. Eating healthy, exercising, importance of meditation and therapy, yoga and acupuncture are guaranteed to be part of the curriculum here, and often.
Then what happens?
Exactly. Now what are you suppose to do?
You’ve just completed 30, 60 or 90 days in rehab and suddenly do not have the support of other newly recovering addicts, counselors, nor the protection of being in a facility you know there are no drugs or temptations and lived free from a life you needed to flee from.
You no longer have the structure of support groups and professionals helping you gather information.
You know no one else in recovery and are terrified you will use.
So what you do is actually simple as much as it is difficult.
YOU DON’T PICK UP NO MATTER WHAT! Put a sign somewhere you are often at in your home that reads; UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL I USE TODAY.
Stay in today. Like the t-shirt One day at a time. Yesterday you cannot change, tomorrow is unpredictable. Find serenity in knowing you only have to worry about today.
Start finding a support group immediately. This means attending 12 step meetings, appropriate to your addiction, raising your hand stating you just got out of rehab and need phone numbers for support. You will receive probably everyone. Use these numbers even to touch base with one other addict in recovery each day.
Do not be alone. If you need your place swept for drugs and paraphernalia, use one of the numbers to ask for help doing this. It can take you right back out if you do it alone because of this.
You may have 30 days under your belt, but you are now in the real world, and addictions are more powerful than ourselves and will take over should we let them. This is not about willpower or making the decision to stop.
If you have the disease of alcoholism and addiction, know it is progressive even when you are not using.
This is why so many heroin addicts die when they relapse due to the fact they use, right away the same quantity they use to, and overdose because the body shuts down.
Recap-don’t be alone as much as possible, under no circumstances pick up, speak to a temporary or full time sponsor everyday.
It is often suggested you attend 90 meetings in 90 days once you have left rehab. In my opinion I think this is smart and leads to my next point by getting involved in a 12 step program, and building relationships with those in recovery, with people in those rooms.
Use the relapse prevention tools learned in rehab. Set goals and immediately ask someone of the same sex to be a temporary sponsor until you can decide on who you want as a full time sponsor.
don’t pick up >>>>>>>>talk to another sober person daily>>>>>>>>>go to meetings daily for 90 days>>>>>>>>>>>as strange as everything feels, and I do understand, it does get better. Just do these few things everyday, many include prayer and meditation, and before you know it you will have a support system and have made friends all by talking to other addicts in recovery, and BAM you receive;
freedom from self.
Mental cravings begin to decrease, physically your feeling better and growing some faith that you might just be able to do this.
Rehab was your means to gain some tools and stop using. Now one day at a time you learn, grow, begin to live sober and start to feel real emotions only to discover you can cope, through anything, drug free. Spiritually you will be gifted with a greater understanding that there is a power greater than yourself and you will find true gratitude and humility.
Ultimately, guess what, you will discover happiness, serenity and amazingly, freedom.
Rehab? I say Yes Yes Yes 🙂 Good Luck it’s a trip at best. Besides you have a better solution? What do you have to loose? Nothing.