Drug rehabilitation is a difficult experience to go through as it involves uprooting those traumatic experiences that for many years have remained dormant. It's a necessary part of drug rehab treatment, but it's still hard to stomach. Rehabilitating an individual doesn't just stop after a stay within an addiction treatment centre, though. It never stops. The long term goal is to stay off of drugs, but it can only end with death. Therefore, drug treatment never ends; it's just the concentrations that differ.
Inpatient Rehab Completed
Once a 12-week program has been completed within a clinic the treatment centre will look to move patients on to another location. At this point they will no longer be an inpatient. Instead, they will take the things they learned from drug counseling into the world where they will attempt to avoid temptation. To support them in their endeavours they will graduate to the outpatient centre where they will be asked to come in every week, or more than once a week.
Outpatient clinics run in pretty much the same way as their inpatient counterparts. Drug rehab treatment will continue, but at a less intense pace. There will still be group sessions and individual sessions. Rather than the individual drug counseling sessions taking precedence it will be the group sessions that form the backbone of this phase of treatment.
Group sessions are where all the successes and failures will take place. Here, closer bonds will be formed as outpatients tend to attend programs for more than a mere 12 weeks. It's not uncommon to see participants actually participating in other activities with each other outside of the addiction treatment sessions. Everybody wants to see others succeed due to the fact that they know what everyone has gone through. It's one of the only places where so many people have suffered so much.
The focus is on building a support network as that's often what people lacked in the first place. Drug rehabilitation comes with actually developing that network that's vital to a healthy lifestyle. The health care experts who are there will always be looking to teach people how to refine the life skills they need to make friends and to move forward. The large majority of drug addicts won't have had the benefit of a strong support network once they started to consume drugs.
Individual counselling still has its place, but since most of the major issues surrounding the addiction have been looked at it will be more just as a place to share news and to learn some new techniques. Group sessions won't have the personal side to it, but with the individual sessions this type of attention can still be garnered.
Coping With the Urges
The biggest challenge that any drug addict will face is avoiding the urges that will plague their lives for the next few months. There's no denying that cravings will be easy to remove. They will appear and they will have devastating effects. It's imperative that giving in is avoided for as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to keep rehabilitating and to abstain from drugs.
- Delay the cravings. Cravings are at their strongest in the beginning. Learn to resist in the beginning and they will steadily get weaker until they disappear completely.
- Reduce the chance of experiencing a trigger. In the case of drug rehab treatment it would be people offering drugs. The chances are that old friends will call up and ask if the addict wants any of them delivering. Slam the phone down. Get out of the situation and the cravings will be cut down to size in an instant.
- Accept discomfort. Don't purposely try to sidestep the cravings. Accept that they will come and they need to be dealt with. By acknowledging the enemy the enemy is easier to defeat. It's much easier to brace for impact when the cravings are acknowledged.
- Substitute the problem. It depends entirely on the drug as to how it's substituted. In the case of marijuana consider chewing flavoured gum whenever a craving arises. If that's not available then just go outside and experience fresh air. Smell some flowers and eliminate the appeal.
Moving On to a Better Life
A drug addict will often start at rock bottom. Most of them have lost their jobs, their relationships, and the respect of everybody they know. It makes it a perfect place for them to build themselves back up as they can consider themselves reborn again. Everything that happened in a previous life is over and done with.
The first thing to do will be to embark on a career again. This is imperative for two reasons. Reason number one is that everybody needs to make a living. It's not going to work to live off of other people forever or it's essentially the same as being dependent on drugs and being intoxicated all day. Reason number two is that it helps people to have a new sense of self-esteem and some form of defence against the cravings. There's no time to have cravings and no place to kowtow to them whilst at work.
Everything comes with getting that self-confidence. It allows people to form healthy relationships with other human beings. They can start families, get their own place to live, and enjoy life without drugs. With all of these distractions the cravings will be quieter and one step away from being irrelevant. This is the ultimate goal of drug rehabilitation and it's where a drug addict hopes to get to.
What About Failure?
Failure does happen. Not everybody who graduates from their drug treatment ends up succeeding. Some succeed for a year or two and then return to their old habits. Traumatic and emotional events that have been caused recently can often spark this issue. If failure occurs then it just has to be acknowledged that something needs to be done. Restart the whole process and try again.
There is always hope for those who have failed once, or even multiple times. What is important is that giving up doesn't become an option. Counselling can be retained and it's more than possible to re-enter an addiction treatment facility. What has to be remembered is that just because there's a limit to the program length doesn't mean that it can't be renewed. It's not uncommon for chronic drug takers to end up in drug treatment counselling for years at a time. That's how difficult it is to go through drug rehab and to succeed in the long term.