Anybody who has been to drug rehab will tell you that it wasn’t a planned vacation. There are many ways to end up in rehab, but I guarantee nobody has said “when I grow up I want to take a 30 day trip to California for drug rehab.” Although, some drug/alcohol rehabilitation centers are very much like a vacation rehab a time for recovering. How to help a drug addict with addiction starts with rehab, but drug treatment facilities have a lot of negative stigma behind them, and most are untrue. From a personal perspective of being inside the closed doors of rehab, I am going to explain some of the common myths and truths behind rehab.
Rehab is a Punishment
This is one of those 50/50 scenarios depending on how you look at it. In my case, it was both a punishment and a reward. When I was younger, I was forced into outpatient rehab programs. My parents had a strict rule on substance abuse like many typical parents of teens, yet I never obeyed the rules. If I got caught under the influence, my parents would often threaten rehab and even send me to outpatient programs from time to time. At that moment in my life, it was a punishment. Whenever I got caught with drugs or alcohol it was instantly a trip to a treatment center. But I always relapsed.
However, I reached a point in my addiction when drugs and alcohol completely ruled my world.
Getting high was the only thing on my mind and I would virtually do anything to get my fix. While using, I surrounded myself around bad people, I was constantly in fear of my surroundings and I couldn’t stop getting high.
I was a danger to myself and everyone around me, I needed to be in a safe place. I finally made the decision to take recovery seriously.
It took some time but I finally reached a point of pure surrender. It was at the darkest moment of my life when I finally admitted myself to rehab, but completing recovery treatment was the most rewarding feeling I have ever experienced. I was finally in a place where I was safe.
You NEED to Hit Rock Bottom
The term “rock bottom” is merely a figurative speech.
In my opinion, hitting “bottom” is when you decide to stop digging.
The addict or alcoholic’s true bottom is a casket. During my using times, there were plenty of times where I thought I hit “bottom,” however, I kept using.
An alcoholic can often slide by without any serious consequences, then suddenly get smacked with a DUI. That instance may be enough for that person to get sober. On the other hand there are those who can take way more of a beating. For example, five DUIs, suspended licenses for multiple years, maybe a divorce and thousands of dollars in debt from drinking, may seem like a bottom to you, but that person might still not be ready for treatment.
This myth about an alcoholic and addict needing to hit a bottom is simply a myth. If someone has experienced enough pain and suffering from this disease then treatment, followed by, recovery is then possible. If you are waiting to hit your bottom before entering drug rehab you might as well begin digging your own grave.
Treatment for Drug Addiction Should be a One Stop Shop
I can attest to falsely believing this claim. How many times have we heard an addict or alcoholic say, I’ve been to rehab and it didn’t work? For many people, rehab doesn’t keep someone sober past those first crucial30 days. But usually, this first trip to treatment plants a seed. A seed that shifts the concept of getting high and drinking alcohol, in addition to informing that person that sobriety is possible.
There was nothing worse than getting high after rehab knowing that I shouldn’t be getting high. I was in rehab seven times before I was 20 years old. After completing treatment each time, I learned something knew and after every relapse I wish the relapse never happened.
Rehab is a wonderful place if you take it seriously. My two final rehab stays changed my life.
I was ready to learn the concepts of recovery and willing to apply them to my life. After a while, it became second nature to me. Staying sober was possible.
About Today’s Guest Blogger:
Benny Emerling got sober at age 19 and has written about his journey to recovery: https://ouryoungaddicts.com/2016/11/03/what-it-was-like-then-and-what-its-like-now/
Guest blog posts are welcome additions to the content on this website. Guest blog posts represent the views, opinions and experiences of the author and do not necessarily represent Our Young Addicts. Together, we provide parents and professionals with a variety of perspectives and information.
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