What Are the Benefits of Rehab?
Anyone that is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol will benefit by going to rehab. Those who have suffered from addiction know how hard it can be to overcome it alone, and the healing environment of rehabilitation offers the support needed to make a successful recovery. Rehab includes individualized treatment plans to help patients identify and overcome the underlying issues that started their addiction. While the main priority of a rehab facility is to help patients overcome addiction, there is an abundance of other benefits of rehab as well. In addition to conquering one’s addiction, those attending addiction treatment will also learn the necessary tools for building a productive, healthy, and happy life.
One of the main benefits of going to a rehab facility is the structure that it provides you with. Treatment programs emphasize creating daily routines full of productive activities and counseling sessions to help keep patients engaged and eliminate distractions. Breaks are provided in between scheduled activities so patients can process what they are learning. Patient’s are allowed to sit, converse, and relax frequently throughout the day during breaks and in the evening because it is important to not only learn new coping skills but practice implementing them in a safe environment.
When people have been suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they have developed behaviors and ways of thinking that both enable their addiction and discourage healthier habits. Routine becomes extremely important in replacing those self-destructive habits with positive ones that focus on healing. The structure of rehab establishes a simple daily schedule that makes sobriety a priority while maintaining a balanced lifestyle that patients can stick to post-treatment. Continuing the structured ways of living learned through addiction recovery programs means you will feel less pressure to find relief in drugs or alcohol when you return home.
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A Safe and Supportive Environment
Another significant benefit of drug and alcohol rehab is the fact that patients will be in a safe and supportive environment surrounded by people who understand exactly what each other are going through. Peer support is a primary aspect of treatment and is absolutely necessary to maintain long-term sobriety.
An inpatient or outpatient rehab program provides countless opportunities to connect with other people in recovery through support groups and group therapy and to establish a network of support. These people will travel along the same journey to sobriety as you and help you overcome any struggles that you may face along the way. Most importantly, the individuals that you meet will understand what it’s like to struggle with cravings, suffer from trauma, and feel the intense weight of any feelings shame and guilt brought on by addiction. Having a peer support group will not only provide accountability and encouragement, but it will also give you the chance to help others in their sobriety journey as well.
Multiple Therapies and Treatments
Addiction is a mental, physical, and psychological disease, and therapy is crucial in helping those in recovery understand the emotional triggers of his or her substance use and how to develop new, healthy coping mechanisms. It can also help individuals see flaws in thinking and behaviors that may lead to negative decisions related to drugs and alcohol, and how to positively alter those thoughts and behaviors so that they become more productive and healthier.
Effective therapy can additionally reduce a person’s chances of relapsing and can help him get back on track if he does relapse. There are countless therapy options available through rehab programs, which is extremely important as no single treatment is appropriate for everyone. The goal of therapy in the rehabilitation process is to help patients change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors concerning substance abuse, to engage in treatment, and be encouraged to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Some of the evidence-based addiction treatment therapies that are typically offered include:
- Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Contingency Management
- Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT)
- Dialectal Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
- Integrative Approach
- Motivational Interviewing
- Multidimensional Family Therapy
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
The course of therapy that a patient will receive typically depends on the substance of abuse and the characteristics of the patient. Harmonizing treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to a sober life post-treatment. There are many additional alternative therapy options that are offered and can help people through recovery, including: yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, Pilates, massage, and exercise routines. These are all great ways to release any stress, improve mental concentration, and the overall physical and mental health of a person. Participating in one or more types of therapy during drug rehabilitation can be one of the best ways for a person to maintain sobriety.
24/7 Medical Support
One benefit that is specific to inpatient rehab is that there is around-the-clock medical and clinical supervision that you have access to seven days a week during your entire stay at the facility. This can be extremely critical for preventing relapse in those with severe addictions, as individuals that are in recovery are vulnerable to a variety health issues shortly after stopping use of the substance that they were addicted to. During this time period, people will likely experience unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms as their bodies attempt to readjust to functioning without the drug. Even after the initial withdrawal symptoms have passed, the stress on the body and mind can aggravate other physical and mental illnesses. With close access to doctors and constant care, patients can feel safe as they undergo the process of becoming sober again.
Setting Goals and Building New Habits
Many people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse have poor discipline and self-care habits. A critical part of self-care for a person in recovery is setting and accomplishing goals. Many people have tried to set goals on their own and struggle because they didn’t approach goal setting with the proper mindset or conviction. The repetitive cycle of wanting to change habits but continually falling short gradually weakens a person’s resolve to the point where many stop trying and fall back into their old self-destructive behaviors. Rehab can help teach you how to set short and long-term goals in relation to your recovery and how to accomplish those goals. The goals that treatment facilities focus on include objectives for your physical and emotional health, relationships, and spiritual aspirations. Ultimately, rehab is designed for your success after leaving. You will learn the tools needed to manage stress, avoid triggering environments, managing triggers when unavoidable, prevent relapse, cope in healthy ways, and create new thought patterns to enable your success upon departure. The new habits that you learn in rehab will help you cope with the day-to-day struggles of recovering from addiction post-treatment and how to address the situations that may have contributed to your substance abuse problem in a healthy way.
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A Focus on Health
An additional benefit of attending rehab is the focus that treatment programs place on health and nutrition. Regular consumption of drugs and alcohol deprives the body of key nutrients. Unhealthy diets can cause headaches, sleep problems, and low energy levels, which are all factors that can inhibit proper recovery. In a rehab facility, meals are predetermined and balanced to ensure that you are receiving the optimal fuel for your body to recover. Studies have shown that recovering individuals do best on a low-glycemic, dopamine-boosting diet that includes most protein sources, foods that are rich in fiber, and non-saturated fats. Receiving proper nutrition is essential to a successful recovery; a balanced diet improves both mood and overall health, which can reduce drug cravings and help prevent relapse.
Exercise also provides multiple benefits for patients in recovery. Rehab facilities often offer services such as tennis, yoga, swimming lessons, and other forms of physical activity to help people develop a healthy and strong body in the aftermath of addiction. Exercise, in particular, has the advantage of being quantifiable and measurable. Through this, those in recovery learn that they don’t need drugs or alcohol in order to feel good about themselves. They can see improvements in their physical body as an example of a healthy mind and body, without the need of artificial boosts from drugs. Exercise helps people suffering from addiction rebuild faith in themselves and replace their self-destructive habits with healthy ones. Daily bouts of physical activity help fill in the gaps of time that were once previously occupied by patients thinking about and obtaining their substance of choice. Once a healthy relationship with food and exercise is established, patients can use the nutritional tools that they learned in their everyday lives when returning home from treatment.
One of the most important benefits of rehab is the continued support that is offered to patients even after they have left the facility. The goal of rehabilitation is to give clients tools to help them engage in abstinence and recovery on a long-term basis, including an aftercare program. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment often provides aftercare via support group meetings and/or referrals to local counselors to ensure that patients continue to have the ongoing recovery assistance they need after returning home. These programs help individuals to get past many of the setbacks, including relapse, that can occur post-treatment. For many, this step in the recovery process is one of the most significant, allowing for a successful completion of addiction treatment to turn into a successful future.
Ongoing support is especially important because post-acute withdrawal wymptoms (PAWS) can last up to 12-18 months after acute withdrawal (detox). Symptoms that are commonly associated with PAWS include poor sleep, diminished appetite, mood-swings, anxiety, depression, irritability, and poor concentration. These symptoms can lead to relapse if the individual is not aware of them and does not manage them with healthy coping techniques. Having ongoing therapeutic support, as well as support from people who have more time in recovery than them (such as a sponsor or other peers in support groups), drastically decrease the risk of relapse. It is always advised to spend free time with peers who have more clean and sober time than the newly recovering person does because of the saying, “you’re only as strong as your weakest link.” By hanging out with people who have the same amount, or less, clean-time as you, you put yourself at risk for relapsing with your friends. This is extremely common and the reason that people in early recovery should spend time with peers with at least 1 year clean and sober.
Overcome Addiction With the Help of Rehab
Rehab is designed to provide those struggling with substance abuse with the right tools and resources to overcome addiction. From offering a supportive, safe environment and 24/7 medical assistance, to daily therapy and treatments designed to help a person better understand and overcome the reasons behind their addiction, rehab can make the journey to sobriety easier than doing it alone. If you’re ready to find a rehab and take the first step towards recovering from addiction, contact a treatment specialist today.
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