Whatever type of addiction you suffer from, rehab can help bring you back to normalcy. While personalized treatment plans are in place because every person is different, as with any other illness, there are still some common denominators when it comes to addiction. It is an illness that fundamentally changes the way you live your life, and regardless of what you may be addicted to, chances are there are some things you’re struggling with that have little to do with your personality, and more with the nature of addiction itself. Because of this, it’s important to understand that there are some common rehab center rules that might seem too harsh for you at first, but you need to be aware of what they are and how they can help you get better.
1. Phones And Other Devices
In order for you to get the most from addiction treatment, an important part of getting clean is being able to focus your energy completely on recovery. In order to do this, cell phones and other devices with internet capability should be left out of reach when you’re in a sober living environment or attending a rehab program that focuses on your specific addiction. Now, some facilities will allow you to bring a cell phone into rehab, but might not allow you to use them unsupervised. Others might prohibit them completely, while others still might only allow them for a certain amount of time during the day or week. Generally speaking, though, most places won’t allow you access to a phone, computer, or tablet during the detox part of your rehab.
2. Total Abstinence
Some people think that rehab is all about maintaining abstinence. While there is some truth to that – most rehab centers will only agree to provide you with treatment if you practice complete abstinence from the substance you’re addicted to, there’s more to it than that. Getting clean is only the first phase in your recovery journey. It’s the foundation to changing the habits and emotional responses that might have contributed to the development of addiction. If you aren’t clean, there’s not much point in continuing the treatment since it won’t be effective if you’re continuing to use the substance that brought you there in the first place. However, despite this, many rehab programs will outline a plan for you when it comes to maintaining sobriety. You’ll learn how to stick to your goals and maintain abstinence even when changes happen in your life such as stressors or other external factors that might tempt you to relapse.
3. No Relationships
Triggers are something that can be specific to each person. Something that triggers you might not trigger another person. However, there are some things that are triggering for everyone going through rehab, and one of those things is heightened emotions – like falling in love. Because of this, almost every rehab center will have a rule against dating other people that are currently enrolled in rehab, at least for a period of time, usually between 30 to 90 days. This helps ensure that you have the emotional space you need for yourself during this process so that you can focus on your recovery. Another reason for this is that most addicts tend to lean towards instant gratification, and things like sex can be used to fill that void and distract you from the work you need to do.
4. Mandatory Sessions
It’s not unusual for a person who’s struggling with addiction to become depressed, anxious, or otherwise unhappy. That’s because the serotonin and endorphin centers of the brain have been tampered with, and these are what help you feel happy naturally. When they’re not producing neurotransmitters at their full capacity, it becomes difficult to feel happy, until they start working normally again. However, therapy sessions are mandatory in rehab. No matter how bad you’re feeling – you need to attend. This is because, if left unchecked, strong negative emotions can cause cravings, and going to therapy can not only help you curb them but can also provide you with the tools you need to manage your emotions in a more healthy way as well. Other than that, by working with you, the doctors can conclude if you need to take antidepressants or any other form of therapy that can help get you through the starting phases.
5. Movement Restriction
While you’re in rehab, you won’t be able to go wherever you please when you please. This rule might be as loose as simply not being allowed to leave the facility, to more strict rules that mean you need to be at specific places at specific times. This is to help the treatment process move forward by making sure you always remain within reach of medical personnel so they can monitor your health and make sure that nothing gets worse while you’re there. Chances are, as you grow more stable and exit the detox phase, the rules will become laxer and you’ll have more freedom – so you have the chance of spending time with family or friends, meeting new people, and starting a newer life away from substance abuse.
6. Daily Plans
In a similar manner, most rehab centers offer a highly structured daily routine that is monitored by staff members. You might go to exercise in the morning, then have breakfast and therapy sessions, have some afternoon tasks which are more than likely to be individualized, until you finish the day with supper. This makes sure that you’re never idle since this can lead to cravings and urges, even if they’re subconscious ones – so it’s best to keep yourself busy with different tasks on a daily basis. Also, this helps you establish patterns, which are vital for the treatment process because they help your brain realize that certain things need to be done at specific times on a regular basis – which is what you need in order to maintain sobriety.
7. Media Restrictions
A lot of rehab facilities also prohibit watching TV, listening to the radio, and so on. While this may seem harsh, this is, again, one of those rules that will become less strict as you progress, this is because you can never know what they will show on TV. You might just be trying to relax after a long day, and then see a commercial or a movie scene that features a trigger. All of the sudden your time for relaxation would be interrupted by stress, anxiety, and even cravings. When you’re just starting to get better, you need to provide yourself with optimal conditions in order to learn how to free yourself of substance abuse, and sometimes that simply means not watching TV for a week or two.
While some common rehab rules may seem too strict, they are there for a reason – to help you get better. The best thing you can do for yourself is to focus on your treatment, and getting the help you need, and with time, everything will go back to a new, better normal.
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