by Nicole Arzt
Regardless of the circumstance, rehab rarely constitutes anyone’s idea of optimal fun and excitement. Healing from addiction requires diligence, hard work, and tremendous effort. It requires willingness and patience- and a lot of it- in order to generate positive outcomes. Rehab is not easy. Neither is recovery. However, when successful, treatment can be the ultimate gift to restore your sanity and save your life.
But, what if you’ve already done rehab? What if you already know the alleged ins and outs of the treatment process, groups, and therapies? Is it still effective? Is it still worth giving it another chance?
What Makes Rehab Effective
Emphasis on adaptive coping and optimal growth
For many, rehab represents a safe place for processing, exploration, and individual growth. This may be the first time an alcoholic or addict is encouraged to express vulnerability or even express emotions at all. The combination of groups, therapies, and activities offer an arsenal of coping tools, healing strategies, and incredible support. Successful rehab centers will focus on relapse prevention, increasing self-esteem and self-worth, healthy living, and management of concurrent mental illness. Even if you have learned some of these skills before, it may take practice (and another chance) for them to truly stick!
Supportive, trained staff who cares about your recovery
From case managers to group facilitators to therapists to on-site psychiatrists and doctors, there is nowhere else that provides such accessible clinical and medical staff. Even if the job descriptions vary, these professionals are hired and trained to achieve one primary goal: to help their clients. Furthermore, many treatment centers pride themselves on hiring former alumni clients or staff in active recovery- this means having a supportive set of role models who have walked through similar journeys and have discovered their sense of freedom and healing.
Treatment emphasizes the power of fellowship and camaraderie among sober friends, and this can result in the fostering of lifelong relationships. Rehab surrounds you with other people who just get it, and having a sense of belonging is an invaluable part of the recovery journey. Interpersonal communication and peer connection are crucial skills that translate into sustained success and happiness.
Rehab fills the gap when the desire to be sober simply is not enough to actually keep you sober. The levels of accountability via groups, urine analysis, meeting attendance, and completion of programs creates a layer of additional security within your recovery. This makes it easier to focus on achievable and concrete goals, which makes it easier to commit to your healing process.
Focus on balanced and healthy living
Active addiction makes it essentially impossible to take care of yourself (physically, mentally, financially, and spiritually). Rehab teaches individuals how to balance their recoveries with real-world challenges and responsibilities. From doctor appointments to drafting a resume to learn how to simply have fun while sober, acquiring basic life skills is fundamental.
Removal from People, Places, & Things
Often, this is the most pressing and important reason people enter treatment. Whole recovery entails changing a lot, and many people need to be temporarily separated from their primary triggers to begin their healing. Even if it feels difficult, being away from external stressors often allows you to finally buckle down and focus on yourself.
Why Should I Go Back To Rehab
Relapse Can Be A Part of Recovery
Unfortunately, despite awareness and medical advances, addiction relapse rates remain stubbornly high. Sometimes, one treatment episode is not enough. This does not mean you are a failure! Part of recovery is learning to ask and seek help when struggling (it is a sign of strength to courage). Returning to treatment allows you another chance for safety and support through your journey.
You have grown since the last time
You may not have been ready before. Maybe you were forced into treatment. Maybe the treatment center was not an appropriate fit. Maybe you weren’t ready to truly commit to change. Whatever the past reason, it doesn’t have to define your next present decision. Recovery can happen any moment of any day- just because it may not have worked out the way you intended to before does not mean it can’t work out now!
It might just save your life.
Recovery is tough, but living in addiction is even tougher. Drug and alcohol use often progresses and spirals, and you may not have another opportunity for treatment in the future. Addiction is deadly- we all know that. Fortunately, recovery is possible, and you owe it to yourself to acknowledge that you deserve healing!
While this decision to return to treatment can be overwhelming and difficult, it is important to remember the big picture: healing and recovery. Knowing that there is a place designed to support you getting your footing back may be just what you need.