Want to Stay Sober? 13 Tips Going into Your Rehab Experience

If you really want to quit your addiction and stay sober, your best bet is to enroll in a professional addiction treatment program at a certified facility. Addiction treatment won’t guarantee that you will never suffer a relapse. However, it offers the greatest likelihood of success if you stick with the program. Still, addiction treatment takes time and a lot of commitment. So how do you get the most out of your drug addiction rehab program? Here are some tips that may prove helpful.

1. Pick the Best Facility for You

While there may be a clinic in your area that treats addiction, chronic substance abuse is often best treated in a residential rehab facility. In addition to drug and alcohol detox programs, residential treatment facilities offer full-service treatment modalities, leisure activities, accommodations, and amenities ranging from modest to ultra-luxurious. If, however, your addiction is of short duration, you may find you’re best served by going to treatment on an outpatient basis. Choose the facility that best meets your needs. Where do you find treatment facilities? Call 1-800-662-HELP for a referral or go to the treatment facility locator ( maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

2. Give It Your Wholehearted Commitment

Once you make up your mind that you’re going for treatment, be sure you are really ready to go. There’s no sense doing it half-way. Don’t think you’ll go for a while to see if you’ll like it and leave if you don’t. You need to fully commit to the process of overcoming your addiction. While the facility you choose may be high-class and welcoming, don’t think that addiction treatment is a breeze, and may be more difficult for some patients to go through than others.

3. Stick with Treatment for the Long Haul

Just as you need to commit to treatment before you step through the door, you may need help achieving continued, long-term recovery with the assistance of a rehab aftercare program. Beyond just detox and the rehab experience itself, recovery is a lifelong pursuit, so maintaining a connection with a source of support is something that you should be prepared for in order to achieve long-term success.  

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4. Be Willing To Put In The Work

As members of 12-step programs often say, “It works if you work it.” Seeking treatment for your addiction without a willingness to put in the work necessary may lessen the experience. Though 12-step programs aren’t the only method that can be used to achieve long-term success, each method requires participation and a willingness to change. At the end of the day, the only person who can ensure that you get sober and stay sober is you — though it’s certainly easier to do with the help of a support network.

5. Getting Sober and Staying Sober Are Hard Work

People in all stages of recovery will agree that sobriety is a commitment that requires a constant effort. By entering an inpatient addiction treatment center, you’re taking steps to equip yourself with the tools that will be necessary to be successful on your road to recovery. Substance abuse disorders are commonly linked to underlying mental health issues, so identifying and working to solve those issues will be a big head start on your journey.

6. Be Kind to Yourself

Throughout all of the hard work, be sure to remember to be kind to yourself. It’s important to recognize your successes along the way and give yourself credit for them. By admitting that you have a problem that needs fixing, you have made a step in the right direction, and that alone is a success in itself. By putting in the work, you’ll have something to be proud of every single day. Congratulating yourself for a job well done can help to break some of the negative thought patterns that lead to depression and substance abuse, so it’s important to do all that you can to maintain a positive outlook.

7. Follow Your Therapist’s Recommendations

While your struggle with substance use and mental health may not be the same as every other patient’s, the professionals that you’ll work with have seen a lot of different cases and know what it takes to help individuals find their own path to recovery. Be sure to heed your therapist’s advice — your success is their success, and they have your best interests at heart. Your therapist is someone who you should trust to be able to help you.

8. Build Your Support Network

While you’re in treatment, you should begin to build your support network. Many people in recovery remain friends with fellow treatment participants long after treatment concludes. Regular group therapy sessions often offer up a bonding experience for participants, leading to a sense of belonging and uniting towards a common goal. Having a sober support network is extremely helpful for achieving long-term success in recovery.

9. Watch Out for Warning Signs of Relapse

Even after successfully completing a drug rehab program, cravings may persist throughout your lifetime. It’s not uncommon for people suffering from substance use disorders to be tempted later on in life, even after years of continued sobriety. With this in mind, relapse prevention is a core component of the rehab process. With a working knowledge of the warning signs of relapse and other useful tools provided during the rehab experience, preventing relapse can be significantly easier to manage.

10. Arrange for After-Care or Continuing Counseling

After-care, or continuing counseling, is another benefit of the most effective addiction treatment programs. The availability of counselors or therapists following the successful completion of treatment adds to the likelihood of staying sober long-term. It’s like an added safety net for those who have come through treatment and are now in recovery. Rather than be out on your own, you have the benefit of being able to talk with your counselor or therapist when you need it – for example, when cravings become so insistent or you experience unexpected depression.

11. Prepare to Stay Sober in Early Recovery

Relapse is most common in the earlier stages of recovery. Sometimes, a prolonged period of sobriety of a few months is enough to make people think that they no longer need to be vigilant over their recovery. While there is no shame in struggling with thoughts or temptations of relapse, it’s important to be committed, especially early on. Over time, as you develop new habits and learn to adapt your behaviors and emotions, you may find that you no longer feel a need to use or abuse drugs or alcohol.

12. Arm Yourself with Your Recovery Plan

Your recovery plan is one that you will create with the help of your therapist during treatment. Together you will examine what your short- and long-term goals are. You will put down on paper your ideas based on this collaboration. This recovery plan is not set in stone. It is a living document that you should feel comfortable changing as new opportunities present themselves, or as you accomplish various items on your list. In other words, your recovery plan includes goals that you will achieve at varying times, or they will change according to new desires, interests, talents, and opportunities. In the months and years ahead, you will find yourself becoming more self-confident, more self-assured, and better able to see your unfolding potential. This is the best part of recovery – when your clean and sober lifestyle has become part and parcel of who you are. You are not defined by your addiction. You are who you strive to be.

13. Give the Most to Get the Most out of Sobriety

Confucius said, “The longest journey begins with the first step.” You take that first step when you make the decision to go into treatment and fully commit to becoming clean and sober. Many months and a lot of hard work and determination later, you will find yourself in recovery and looking forward to achieving your hopes and dreams. The sky’s the limit, to coin a clichéd phrase – which actually turns out, in this case, to be true. There isn’t anything that can stop you once you overcome your addiction. Sure, you’ll always be an addict, but an addict who is in recovery. To get the most out of sober life, then, involves giving the most you can give of yourself, your commitment, enthusiasm, determination,  and willingness to help others. You give from your belief that you not only have the strength but the ability to change for the better. Go for it. Call us at 844.875.5609 today!

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