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The 6 Lessons of Alcoholism Treatment or Drug Rehab. 6 Lessons You Need to Learn to Stay Clean and Sober

Updated on September 6, 2009

You know you need some help but you’re not sure where to turn, and you wonder what inpatient or outpatient therapy has to offer you anyway?

What are you supposed to come away with after a few weeks in treatment that is going to allow you to change your life so fundamentally?

Well, the answer to that question is a difficult one, in part because of the individualized nature of the disease. No two alcoholics or drug addicts manifest with the same symptoms or needs, and as such no two alcoholics or drug addicts require the same outcomes from a period of treatment.

That being said, and keeping in mind that a quality treatment program must be tailor matched to the needs of each individual patient – here are some of the more common skill set areas that are taught in addiction therapy (both inpatient and outpatient)

6 Things You Need to Learn While in Treatment to Stay Clean and Sober

1. You need to change the way you think. You need to learn how to stop thinking that, "you need a drink" in certain situations, or that life can't be fun without a drink or a few pills.

2. You need to learn how to walk tall without the use of your "crutch". You need to learn that the answer to your problems never comes in a bottle, and that alcohol or drugs isn’t the answer to anger, anxiety, depression, happiness etc.

If you had a bad day, that's no reason to reach for a drink – and likewise, if you had a great day, you don't need a celebratory drink either!

3. You need to understand cravings. Understand what they feel like, what causes them and how to minimize their occurrence. You also need to have a solid plan in place to deal with the cravings that will inevitably occur. Cravings lead to slips and slips lead to full blown relapses. If you can't manage your cravings, you can't beat this thing.

4. You need to learn how to live without those things, places and people that might trigger you to relapse.

5. You have to learn to take care of yourself too. Hunger, tiredness and stress are all dangerous to sobriety, and so you need to learn how to take great care of your physical and mental health and well being (Diet, exercise, sleep, medical care, etc.).

You have to learn to ask for help when you need it, and accept it when others offer it.

6. You have to learn that you can't do it all on your own. It can be tough to reach out for help, but your recovery demands a support network…but it only works if you actually lean on that support network during difficult periods!


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    • non12stepguide23 profile image


      6 years ago from California

      Great information on how to stay clean and sober. Congrats Anabel!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have been drug free for 32 years. I fully agree with the lessons given above. It also helps to lean on God. From a former atheist and drug addict.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Another right-on-target hub. You've managed to distill down a complex process to the six most important elements. Sounds so easy, doesn't it! All the best for a serenity-filled day, MM


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