If you struggle with an addiction, whether it’s to drugs, alcohol, or both, then you might have considered getting professional treatment in a rehabilitation facility. Success stories are plentiful, from celebrities to everyday men and women, sharing their struggles in support groups and online to encourage others to seek help. However, while you’re still in the depths of addiction, it can be hard to picture yourself on the other side. 

How do you know if you are ready for treatment? 

Joan Sonnier, Registered Marriage & Family Therapy – Intern, has worked in the counseling field for twenty-three years. She has worked in many different facets of addictions treatments, from the court systems, to family treatment, to a rehabilitation center. She explains how most people know when they are ready for rehab. 

“The addiction has disrupted their life. Maybe their marriage is at the very end of the road, or they might have a legal problem, or their job has told them they have to go get help,” Sonnier says. “Maybe they’ve found themselves homeless, or they’ve tried to detox on their own but they can’t. When it’s to the point that it’s uncontrollable, they know they have to stop and get it under control.” 

Sonnier further explains the benefits of going to rehab, as a means to get away from everything and truly focus on oneself. People who are suffering from an addiction are not taking care of themselves physically or mentally. Sonnier explains the benefits of addictions therapy, which teaches self-awareness, and how to be compassionate with yourself. 

“In the middle of addiction, you’re exhausted, emotionally and spiritually drained. But when you step out of it, step completely out of everything, and into a new environment like a treatment center, you can start to develop compassion for yourself,” Sonnier says. “Take care of yourself, realign the rest of your life, make the rest of your life better. We can only give what’s inside of us, and if your tank has run dry, you need to stop, refuel, and realign your life.” 

What to expect from a treatment / rehab center 

Every treatment facility will vary, and each individual will have different needs. You might require a detox period when you first enter rehab. Most facilities have an on-site or visiting physician that you will see. You can also expect to have regular appointments with a psychologist, trauma and addiction counselors, and partake in group therapy sessions. Treatment centers provide a lot of structure, and your days will have an agenda that focuses on self-healing, recovery, learning tools to stay sober, and getting to the root of your addiction. 

But the whole day won’t be booked with just therapy. Many facilities have exercise and nature components, like kayaking, yoga, arts, or animal therapy. 

“We really prepare them for what’s going to happen after treatment,” Sonnier says. Her therapy often focuses on an addict learning about their specific triggers, previous toxic relationships, and how to mend relationships with family. 

“It’s a total rewiring of their lives. They can expect to learn a lot of new things about addiction and about themselves. They’ll learn new things about their family relationships,” Sonnier says. 

Treatment centers will also provide helpful information on your local resources. Even if you traveled to another state for treatment, there will likely be someone who can help get you set up back at home. Ask for information about your local Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. You can get set up in a sober living facility, and even get financial assistance in the way of scholarships specific to people who are leaving treatment centers. 

If finances are an issue, check out recoveryfirst.org which gives a breakdown of how rehab is partially covered by the Affordable Care Act. 

There is an expectation at rehab facilities that you will not use drugs or alcohol, and doing so may result in the premature end of treatment. Research your chosen facility beforehand, read the FAQs on the website, or call and ask any questions you may have. 

Returning home to your family 

“I tell clients, when you’re in treatment you’re getting all this information, remember that your family is still where they were when you left them. You have all this new information; you have a responsibility to teach them what you’ve learned about addiction,” Sonnier says. “Also acknowledge that they’ve been hurt by this addiction. Give them the patience that they require to re-develop trust. They have a right to the timing that it takes to develop trust again.” 

Your life, your choice 

In the end, going to rehab treatment is a personal, complicated, and stressful decision. But if you truly want to take your life back, trust that you have the inner strength to do so, and that treatment facilities are set up to help you in every way they can. 

“What therapy does is helps you see spiritual and emotional growth. I like to see people come through and find their strength, that they couldn’t see because they were numbing down for so long,” Sonnier says. “You’re going leave better than you came in.”

If you would like to discuss addictions or treatment with a counselor, call us at Family & Child Development, and we can help guide you on the right path to recovery.