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Ensuring Success in Addiction Rehab – 9 Ways to Prepare


The fact that a significant number of people attended rehab but later relapsed might have you thinking that there are never any guarantees when it comes to treatment. It is true that even the best facility in the world will not be able to guarantee your success, but there are things you will be able to do make sure your recovery happens.

You have probably heard the claim that ‘relapse is a normal part of recovery’. This may be true in a sense that most people who try to break free of addiction will have a history of relapse, but it certainly does not mean that drinking again is inevitable. It is vital that you enter rehab with the intention of succeeding or you could create a self-fulfilling prophecy where the act of predicting your failure at rehab causes it to happen. Many people have gone to rehab once and never had a drink again. Here are some of the preparations you can make to ensure that this happens for you too:

1. Be Willing To Do Whatever It Takes

Your willingness to do ‘whatever it takes’ is probably the clearest indication that you are going to make this new life work for you. It means that your motivation will be suitably high enough and you will be open-minded enough to keep experimenting until you find all the tools you need to maintain long-term sobriety. This willingness to do whatever takes is like an unstoppable force, just blasting you into recovery. This means that instead of focusing on all the reasons you cannot get better, which then saps your motivation, you only care about the things that are going to work for you.

2. Eliminate Any Ambivalence You Might Have

The opposite of ‘willing to do whatever it takes’ is ambivalence towards recovery. This means you are in ‘two-minds’ about the future, so you are not fully committed to this new life. It can happen if you enter rehab due to pressure from others or because you only think you ‘should’ get sober, instead of having a deep yearning for this new life.

right-directionIf you are anything less than 100 per cent committed to sobriety, your success will not be guaranteed. The problem with ambivalence is that it can mean you may end up just looking for an excuse to relapse. You are caught in a type of ‘will I, won’t I’ mind-set, meaning that staying sober feels like a struggle; it does not have to be this way.

The most usual reason for this ambivalence is the secret hope of being able to use alcohol or drugs again in the future. If you are still holding out for this type of ‘cure’ then it means that you are not really fully committed. It is only when you realise that sobriety is your only option that you are better able to fully commit to it and achieve success.

3. Continue to ‘Fire Up’ Your Motivation

If you want to make the most out of your time in rehab, you need to be able to hit the ground running. There are many people who entered this type of treatment programme reluctantly but later became motivated; however, this is not the ideal way of doing things. If you were ‘fired up’ from the beginning, you would be better able to make use of what is available. Your time in this facility will pass quickly; therefore doing your best from the beginning should be your goal.

There are many things you can do before entering rehab to ‘fire up’ your motivation. This could include things like reading inspirational books about recovery, watching YouTube videos, going to fellowship meetings, and spending time with those who have already achieved success in sobriety. If you feel that you are not suitable ‘fired up’, you may benefit from spending time with an addiction therapist as this individual can use techniques such as motivational interviewing.

4. Keep a Recovery Journal

You may be expected to keep a recovery journal while you are in rehab, but it can actually benefit you if you start keeping one right away. It means that you are going to be able to record how your life is now as well as your aspirations for the future. There may be a great deal of negativity and pain in the words you write now, but this is not a bad thing. Once you have been sober for a bit of time, you can forget how bad things were. By journaling your feelings right now, you are going to have a powerful reminder of how it used to be.

5. Be Aware of Some of the Mistakes People Make in Rehab

If humans had to learn everything through a process of ‘trial and error’, it is unlikely that our species would have survived. Thankfully, you do not have to burn your own hand in order to discover that it is not a good idea to stick it in a fire. By learning about the mistakes others have made in rehab, you will be able to avoid making similar mistakes. You will find many articles online containing this information, including lots of information on this website.

6. Start Feeling Excited About Your Future

You now have this amazing opportunity to completely turn your life around, so you do have plenty to feel excited about. There are many great examples of people managing to achieve great things upon becoming sober; it does not matter how far you have fallen down in life, as this can be your comeback. Becoming excited about the future will increase your motivation, so staying sober for a positive reason will be more sustainable than just giving up alcohol or drugs due to fear.

7. Develop Realistic Expectations for Rehab

If you enter rehab with the expectation that everything will be perfect right away, you are almost certainly setting yourself up for disappointment. Getting sober is going to give you an opportunity to build a better life, but it does not mean that everything is just going to fall into your lap. You have to work make your life better and it takes time, but the fact you are sober means you now are in the right position to do this.

8. Don’t Enter Rehab with a List of Demands

You enter rehab to save your life, meaning that you may not be in a position to bargain. The problem with having a list of demands is that it can put too many conditions on your sobriety. A good example would be people who enter treatment in the hope of winning an ex back. It is unrealistic to expect this person to give you another chance just because you are now doing the right thing. You may later get back with your ex, but this is not the purpose of rehab.

9. Develop an Open-Mind

There are likely to be things you need to do in rehab that you do not see the point of doing or just do not like. The temptation is to only want to do the stuff you like, but the problem with this approach is that this is what you have probably been doing up to now, which did not work. There will be things in rehab that are not going to be suitable for you, but you can only know this if you try them. It is also often the fact that the tools you initially find unappealing that turn out to be the ones that can have the most powerful and positive effect on your life. You need to have an open mind and be willing to experiment.

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