Many people are under the impression that if they choose the perfect rehab then everything will come together for them and they will finally be able to quit drinking or to overcome a drug addiction.
This impression is made by people who have never been through the recovery process. Those who have been through the process of denial, surrender, asking for help, and then turning their entire life aroundthese people know that everything centered on one major thing:
Their level of surrender.
Every addict or alcoholic who is successfully living in recovery today can look back at their journey and see how far they have come, and they can see how there was a clear line that separated when they were stuck in their addiction and still in denial, versus when they surrendered fully and asked for help.
Now this is tricky because if you are still stuck in your addiction there will probably be some false starts. Meaning that you will think hmmm, maybe I am in a surrender state, and it is time for me to get some help. And so you go to rehab, or you hit a few AA meetings, or you go see a therapist or a counselor. And when you do these things, none of it really clicks, nothing really sticks, and you find yourself quickly back in your active addiction.
The problem in such cases is that a struggling addict or alcoholic only surrendered partially. Sorry, but that is a real thing that happens. People go to rehab all the time, and not always for the right reasons or with the best intentions. Sometimes they go to treatment because their family or friends are pressuring them, but they are not really at a point of total and complete surrender.
And if you are the struggling addict or alcoholic, and you do not know for sure what real surrender feels like, then you have no way of telling if you are ultimately ready or not. And that is why false starts happen in recovery all the time. You can confirm if this is true or not by quickly researching relapse and success rates for addiction treatment.
So when you are wondering if you have the right treatment center or not, the first question you should ask yourself is Has the addict or alcoholic surrendered fully and completely? A good way to tell is if they are willing to do pretty much anything that is suggested to them. If they are trying to control the situation then that is not a good sign regarding their level of surrender. If they are willing to go to whatever rehab you point them towards then that is a much better sign that they have a chance at real recovery.
That said, some treatment centers are certainly better than others. The first sign that you are in a bad rehab is if there are people abusing drugs or alcohol there. If that is the case then I would highly recommend that you regroup and find a new place to go to.
Other than that, however, most treatment centers are doing everything that they can to help you, which is basically this: Providing a clean and safe environment to get clean, doing group therapy, counseling, and meetings, and so on. Other than these basics, treatment does not really consist of much morethere are no magic secrets, there are no magic bullets that can instantly cure someone, or brainwash them into suddenly wanting sobriety. The key is really in the individual and their own personal level of surrender.
If you do choose to go to inpatient treatment, one of the things that you will almost certainly remember is your peer group that you meet while you are there. Everyone tends to do this when they first go through an inpatient rehab program: They form this special bond with their peers, and they feel as if they are all going to stay clean and sober forever, and they are going to exchange phone numbers and follow up with each other, and go to AA meetings together when they get out, and so on.
It is fine that you form those special bonds with people at inpatient treatment, and that is a healthy sign for anyone. However, it is important that you are realistic in knowing that most of those connectionswhile they seem strong during inpatient rehabare going to fizzle out very quickly after leaving rehab. In spite of the good attitudes and the camaraderie with your peers, most people end up relapsing after a few weeks or so.
This is not said to discourage anyone, however, because as long as you are in a place of real surrender, and you are serious about your recovery, then you have every right to believe that you are going to maintain your sobriety. In order to do this you must take an active role in pursuing personal growth and positive change for yourself. Most people who try to get clean and sober believe that they can do so passively. This means that they will make a token effort at recoverymaybe hit a few meetings or go to therapy a few timesbut then they will ultimately kick their feet up and relax, just coasting along in their recovery journey. If this is what happens then relapse is pretty much inevitable. The only way to insure your success in recovery is to actively pursue personal growth and a more positive lifestyle. In other words, you have to chase after that better life that you envision for yourself.
A good treatment center will recommend aftercare for you, and that means that your treatment doesn't really end when you check out of a 28 day program, but in fact, it is only just beginning. Hopefully they will send you to either counseling or IOP (intensive outpatient), and also recommend 12 step meetings. The people who remain clean and sober are the people who actually follow through with these aftercare recommendations. Those who ignore these suggestions or who only make a half hearted attempt at them are the people who end up relapsing.
My best suggestion to the struggling addict or alcoholic, by far, is to simply pick up the phone and start calling rehab centers. Call them up and find out what it would take for you to go there. If you never pick up the phone then you will probably never get the help that you need.
Dive into the solution head first: Pick up the phone, call a rehab center, and ask them what needs to happen next. Tell them your story. Ask for help. And then get ready to dive into action.
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