Getting professional help can be a little bit more confusing than it ought to be. We all know people who have gone through recovery programs, but each story seems different. At some places, the detox experience sounded a lot more like a jail than recovery. Some places offer a lot of medication, while other places lean more heavily on holistic practices like meditation and yoga. When each treatment center seems to offer such incredibly disparate services, how are we to know the point of it?
While it’s true that every treatment center operates differently, it’s essential to understand the one thing they all have in common. The driving purpose of any good treatment center is to create a foundation for long-term sobriety. Whatever steps they take to get there matters less than this ultimate goal.
Next, we need to understand what a foundation in recovery is and why it’s important. Sobriety is an entirely alien concept for people who have spent years or even decades using substances daily. While we’re drinking or using, our entire lives revolved around making sure we could access the drugs or alcohol we needed; nothing else really mattered. Some professionals refer to this as living in “survival mode.” We weren’t looking to maximize our potential or truly elevate our interpersonal relationships. Instead, we were just trying to get by every day without suffering the debilitating effects of withdrawal.
When we enter recovery, we have to do a complete 180-degree turn. No longer will it be sufficient to live in survival mode. We need to figure out a way to consider others’ needs ahead of our own and experience the intensity of our emotions without any substances to numb them. We need to integrate ourselves with a completely new community. Each of these steps, taken individually, can be completely overwhelming. Taken all at once, however, and the challenge can seem monumental. That’s why we need a solid foundation. During our brief stay in treatment centers, the goal is to provide us with the tools we need to continue making these changes throughout sobriety. In this way, recovery centers are excellent launch pads into the world of recovery.
Treatment, Not Permanent Cures
Once we understand the foundation building aspect of treatment centers, we can begin to see how these facilities do not offer a one-stop cure-all for addiction. Many people go through treatment programs and expect to be miraculously cured upon completion or graduation. We want to believe that a few weeks of intensive therapy and work with others can be sufficient to effect a permanent change in our lives. While this is true for some individuals, it isn’t the case for most of us.
For most recovering addicts and alcoholics, recovery is effectively a lifelong process. A treatment center is a great way to get a head start on the process, but it’s not a complete solution. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t able to go through the entire experience of early recovery in the safe, stable environment of an inpatient residential treatment center. We need to take the tools and lessons we’ve learned in these places and apply them to our real lives afterward.
A Fact-Finding Mission
This is a crucial perspective, and it can make or break your sobriety. If you leave a treatment center expecting to be cured, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Instead, reflect thoroughly on the things you’ve learned while in treatment. Typically, these lessons are incomplete but highly illuminating. For instance, you may have learned about anger issues you had no idea were present within yourself. You may have learned about your triggers or acknowledged some of the trauma from your past. Whatever you learn about yourself in treatment, it’s unlikely you were able to fully process and move past all your issues – but that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time!
In fact, now that you’re armed with a few facts about yourself, you can move forward with a greater sense of purpose and clarity. You may understand more thoroughly the issues which led to past relapses or previously interfered with your sobriety. Once you’ve completed the treatment program, it’s time to dive into these problems more thoroughly and confidently.
Whichever treatment center you choose to go to, remember the program’s purpose: to introduce you to the world of recovery and provide you with a foundation for recovery moving forward. By keeping in mind your goals and the information provided to you in these programs, you have a real shot at staying sober for the rest of your life.
If you’re considering enrolling in residential treatment or are considering other options for building a new, sober life, call Hired Power. Our services include monitoring, sober transport, and sober coaching. Getting to a treatment center can be an incredible challenge, even for the most motivated among us. No matter how badly we want to get help, our substance abuse disorder often plays every dirty trick in the book to interfere with our plans. Hired Power can help make sure you get the treatment you need and remain safe throughout the very first steps on your recovery journey. Once you’ve committed to getting sober, you’ll never have to walk alone again. Hired Power will support you in your new lifestyle from day one.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Hired Power can safeguard your sobriety, give us a call at (800) 910-9299.