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What Does it Take to be Successful in Drug Rehab?

Updated on February 5, 2015
Calling yourself a Participant in treatment can be the beginning of your healing
Calling yourself a Participant in treatment can be the beginning of your healing | Source

Labels Can Be Hurtful, Embarrassing, or a Beginning

Recently someone referred to you as a drug addict, alcoholic, or both. The judicial system may refer to you as a criminal because of your actions. There may be negative assessments of your parenting by agencies that govern your contact with your children.

To address your present situation, you are about to enter treatment or an Accountability Court program, so there is one more label for you to consider adding: participant.

To participate is to partake, share, cooperate, and engage with others.

These are the attitudes and actions that providers of treatment hope you will exhibit, but some people are ambivalent about changing; which are you?

Entering treatment for a substance abuse problem is scary. But you have overcome fear to use; take that same courage you have within to explore treatment.

Have you or someone you know entered treatment and been successful in their recovery?

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I Do Want to Participate and Change

For some of you, the end of your use and the beginning of treatment prompts relief, excitement, and some fear, either about failure and/or about success.

That is to be expected; we are all fearful of both failure and success.

I Don't Want to Cooperate and I'm Angry that I Have Been Put in Treatment

Others of you are fearful and angry about being in treatment especially if an employer, family or the judicial system forced the issue of treatment. These feelings and attitudes are very commonplace as well.

Take the time to process your feelings with a counselor, facilitator, peer, or other participants and see if there's not something in your life that you think would be improved by your participation in treatment.

Focus on an aspect that you know can be improved by getting into recovery; it's a beginning, and will help you see how positively participating can change your life.

Would You Give Up Strawberries if They Caused a Problem?

Most people would willingly give up strawberries if they caused a rash, yet  will continue using even when the consequences are more severe
Most people would willingly give up strawberries if they caused a rash, yet will continue using even when the consequences are more severe | Source

Hindering Participation

For some of you, postponing your participation in this process is your belief that you do not have a problem; that some one or some agency made a huge mistake in getting you to treatment.

For some of you, admitting to a problem is the problem.

A simple question to ask is, "Do I drink"? If yes, then in theory, you could have a problem. "Do I use drugs"? Again, because you use them, you could have a problem.

It is rather like someone with an allergy to strawberries or peanuts. As long as they do not eat these foods, they have no problem. However, eat just a little, and they react negatively, breaking out in rashes, hives, difficult breathing, or going into shock.

Drinking and using drugs, even a little, can prompt an addicted person to react negatively, make poor judgments leading to actions that get negative consequences. Solution - do not drink or use drugs.

As a Person in Long Term Recovery, I Understand the Pull of Addiction

Do not drink or use drugs sounds simple. Yet, for the alcoholic or drug addict, it is never that easy, simple, or straightforward.

As a person in long term recovery with almost 25 years, I understand the pull of addiction and the desire to use or your refusal to or fear in, simply putting down the substances you use, in the same manner that you would stop eating foods that are bad for you, like the strawberries or peanuts.

The pull and the desire are not just physical; they come from emotions, perceptions, and triggers.

Treatment is Just One Pathway to Recovery that has saved the lives of many
Treatment is Just One Pathway to Recovery that has saved the lives of many | Source

As A Person in Long Term Recovery, I Also Understand the Rewards

Treatment will provide you the tools for this exploration of self, and give you an opportunity to live a better life.

Cooperate and Be Factual

However, treatment cannot do it alone. You have to cooperate and be factual about yourself.

It would be foolish to go to a doctor and give them false or misleading information, stating that the problem is your arm, if the problem was your leg.

Yet, people will refer to their families, their jobs, or their spouses as the problem, when in fact the problem is their feelings, thoughts, and actions.

As you are in treatment or an Accountability Court program, you really have nothing to lose by exploring aspects about yourself that keep you from living a meaningful life. Participating in recovery activities will give you this opportunity to explore. After all, It is not going to harm you to learn about yourself.

It may embarrass you, offend you, or cause you to feel defensive and uncomfortable, and no one likes to feel vulnerable or have unhealthy aspects of themselves publicly revealed, yet this exposure can help you identify the aspects of yourself that need changing to recover.

Sabotaging Our Lives is Part of Addiction

Continuing to act, think or feel in an old manner means we'll get the same old results.
Continuing to act, think or feel in an old manner means we'll get the same old results. | Source

Walking Away from an Opportunity to Change is Self-Sabotage

Learning to identify your own self-defeating and self-sabotaging behaviors, including your use, and making a decision to keep acting the same way or to change is the decision you have to make in treatment.

Some of you may walk away; decide you do not have a problem, do not need help, or that this method of help is not going to be beneficial to you.

Some of you cannot legally walk away without having more severe consequences for this action. Yet, you will resist or create excuses for non-participation in the process.

Most people make these choices to not fully participate or walk away from treatment without ever examining themselves, or making the effort to comply with the helpful directions offered.

We have choices in our recovery that we never had in our use.
We have choices in our recovery that we never had in our use. | Source

Was this Hub helpful in deciding to participate in treatment to change your life?

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Predictable Outcomes for Cooperation

Think about this logically. If you fully cooperate, do what is necessary to participate - learn the language, look at yourself, make changes, and stop using, you will comply with treatment.

You will also give yourself an opportunity to discover some things about you; learn some additional coping skills, and probably find yourself in better standing with family, friends, and the court.

If you do not choose to take advantage of this opportunity, you are certainly setting yourself up to relapse. While no one can honestly say that another person will relapse, there are predictable red flag warnings for all of us that are addicted, and not cooperating with recovery directions is one.

Encouragement and Validation for Cooperation

I've been in recovery for over twenty-six years, starting in a treatment facility, too. I hope this is encouraging and motivates you to take this opportunity to change and experience different and better outcomes.


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    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 2 years ago from Georgia

      Good morning, pstraubie48; congratulations on your decision to end the cycle. It can be difficult, but when I factored how difficult my life was on drugs and alcohol, recovery paled in comparision.

      Part of the problem is one you reference. People get legal prescriptions from either well-intentioned or sometimes ignorant doctors and the downward spiral begins. I applaud your determination to find other alternatives. Unfortunately, some people are not encouraged by their physicians to do so.

      Thank you for sharing and for the angels...we can use all the help available. ~Marilyn

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      So well said, Marilyn. I am in recovery since 1993 from pill addiction ...legally prescribed meds for migraines that sent me into a downward spiral that left me bereft and wondering how to cope.

      I did not have treatment...I went to a doctor and said I could no longer live in the haze of drugs and the misery of migraines. And my life changed. Not overnight but it did not take too long. Too much to explain here but I never, NEVER, take any drugs that are addictive and the first thing I say when I have a new doctor is that I am in recovery. And that has been life changing. Good to hear you are in recovery as heart is with you!!! I get it.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • MDavisatTIERS profile image

      Marilyn L Davis 4 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks; rehab is not necessary. Your comment brought a smile.

      Just keep reading, changing, and growing in your own awareness and you should be just fine. Marilyn