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Before Treatment

With roughly 23.5 million Americans reportedly addicted to some kind of illegal drug, narcotic or alcohol, it is clear why drug addiction treatment is so important and a widely used and sought after resource for those hoping to become clean. Even family members and friends of drug abusers may be looking for a resource for their loved one who may be experiencing a drug addiction. Keep reading to learn more about what to expect before treatment, types of treatment opportunities and how to prepare to receive drug addiction treatment.

Before Treatment: What to Expect and How to Plan to Enter Drug Rehabilitation

If you have made the difficult decision to enter a drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation center, the task at hand might seem overwhelming, especially for those who are new to drug addiction counseling and inpatient rehab care. For the patient, as well as their families and friends who are lending support during the rehab stay, it might be helpful to learn what you can do to prepare before treatment in a drug addiction recovery center.

Finding the Right Rehab Center:

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best rehabilitation center to help you overcome your drug or substance addiction. Most importantly, consider:

  • Cost
  • Location
  • Reputation
  • Length of program

Some health insurances cover inpatient rehab care, so be sure to consider that when making your decision. Also, location may not be a big factor for some, but it can be beneficial to choose a rehab that is close to family and friends. Be sure to check reviews on the rehab center you are considering as not all are the same. Find the program that seems to fit best with your situation, particular type of addiction as well as any other mental health issues you might want to consider working on while in rehab. Some rehabs only operate on short-term stays while others specialize in extended rehab stays. Be sure to decide which option is best for you based on your situation.

Tie up Family and Work Obligations:

For many, leaving family behind to enter rehab can be the most difficult part, especially if you are a caregiver and there are dependents involved. However, finding trusting family to step in to help during times like these can be a great solution.

Fortunately the Family and Medical Leave Act ensures most employees can take up to 12 weeks of leave per year (often unpaid) while a person seeks medical help and still protecting their job position. Be sure to check to see if you qualify as there are some stipulations.

Handle Any Legal and Financial Matters:

Make sure you have your bills paid in advance or are set to autopay for the duration of which you expect to be away for rehab. Also, be sure any outstanding legal matters are attended to while you are gone.

Get in the Right Head Space:

One of the first steps before treatment to consider is making sure you are ready to be treated. Fighting treatment and being unwilling to cooperate to get well will make rehab more difficult and less likely to be helpful or successful. Getting in the right frame of mind – wanting to get better, can be helpful before treatment.

Keep a Journal:

Keeping a journal or some kind of written record of your thoughts, struggles and life before entering rehab can be beneficial in preparing you to enter treatment. Once you complete treatment, reflecting upon those thoughts can help shine a light on how far you’ve come after treatment as opposed to before going to rehab. Those thoughts can be encouraging for times when staying clean can be a struggle.

Don’t Overpack:

Your stay at a rehab center is likely going to be pretty structured and filled with regular activities, meetings, therapy sessions and scheduled meals. With little free time available, you will not need a lot of extras. Take minimal, but necessary clothing items. Some rehabs will provide you clothing to wear during your stay. If your rehab center is not one of them, be sure you have an idea of the expected dress code before you arrive. The center will likely provide you with a list of items to bring as well as items that are prohibited.

Expectations of Family and Friends of the Patient:

If you have a loved one who is embarking upon the mission to get well following a serious drug addiction problem know that now is the time they need your support more than ever. Having a strong support system can be vital in helping a person with their drug addiction recovery. Many rehab centers prohibit frequent contact with family and friends so they can stay focused on getting better without the outside stresses clouding the healing process. However, nightly phone calls are generally permitted at most centers so the patient can talk to their children, spouse and other close family members.

Visitation is often restricted to minimal visits to see the patient. Recognize that this is for the patient’s best interest in helping them stay focused on the mission to recover from their substance addiction. Many centers allow family and friends to write letters to the patient, which can be helpful. Remember in your communication with the patient, stay positive. Be careful in talking about matters that can be triggering to the patient and could set back their progress. The rehab process includes helping to prepare the patient for life on the outside once it resumes following their rehab stay. Know that the skills they are learning will help them better cope with outside stresses once they complete the program. Staying supportive can make a huge difference in the patient post-rehab. Having a strong support system can help prevent cases of relapse in the patient.

Being as prepared as possible before treatment can make all the difference in whether or not a person’s time in rehab is successful. Going into it prepared can help the patient focus on getting well and learning new coping skills to overcome the drug addiction and get on the road to recovery.

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