Residential substance use disorder treatment is one of the most often utilized resources when starting your recovery journey. No matter how many people tell you about their experiences, it can be hard to wrap your head around what you can expect during your care. Given the highly sensitive nature of substance use treatment, there are many different “protocols” and “rules” at rehab centers, all of which are in place to provide the best possible care and protect you and other patients.
What is residential treatment?
Treatment centers, like The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, are meant to medically stabilize (a process called detoxification) and provide a continuum of clinical care to overcome a substance use disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 2 million people get specialized treatment at a treatment facility every year. Treatment programs typically consist of holistic programs that treat all aspects of an individual—from their substance use, family dynamics, social functioning, and even diet and physical activity. Programs can last from a few weeks to a few months and should be the length that your medical provider recommends.
Are there things to do before you go to rehab?
Deciding to get help for your substance use is one of the most important things you will ever do in your life. Treatment programs are designed to help you learn how to overcome the detrimental effects and symptoms of addiction while helping you identify things that lead to developing a problem and how to deal with them effectively. Once you have made the decision to enter into a program, there are a few things you should take care of before admitting.
First and foremost, make sure your loved ones (if possible) are in the loop about your decision and that you will be away to get the medical attention you need. Similarly, employers should be notified, at the least, that you require intensive medical care (though you do not need to tell them what for if you are uncomfortable) and will need to take a leave of absence. Finally, any reoccurring bills or responsibilities that you may have (like a pet) should be put in order for the length of your stay.
Drug rehab rules
Going to treatment can be overwhelming; not only are you in a vulnerable state but entering into a program with strict guidelines can be challenging for anyone. Know that the process is evidenced-based, and that programs do not enforce rules and policies just for fun—they are designed to help you get well and protect your well-being as you go through the process. Depending on the type of program you are going to, you may experience some of these rules:
Limited access to technology and outside communication
Treatment is all about focusing on you. Many of the things in your life have had some part in your harmful substance use, and limiting connection to these things is part of the healing process. While contact with loved ones is likely to happen as part of a family program, it is best to take a break from technology and communicating with friends while you are in treatment. Before you know it, you will be back on track and posting on Facebook and seeing friends all you want!
Strict schedules, required attendance, and no leaving
Treatment programs are highly rigorous as there is typically a limited time for a lot of introspective work to do. Many programs have thoroughly planned out schedules, with clinical programming often starting as early as 6 AM and running through early evening. You will be expected to attend this programming on a daily basis—and you should, this is where you learn about recovery, yourself, and what it means to get well. While intensive out-patient programs allow you to remain at home and to come and go as you please, residential programs are very different; you will be required to stay on-location during your treatment. No one is held against their will, and you may leave against medical advice at any time, however, to successfully engage in residential treatment means your mobility will be highly restricted.
Treatment is not a place for romantic relationships
The focus of treatment programs is on one person—you! One of the biggest barriers to completing treatment is romantic relationships that form between patients. Not only is it incredibly difficult to focus on yourself if you are worried about someone else, but it creates a multitude of problems for the rest of the patients. Best piece of advice? Wait and focus on your recovery.
Expectation to participate honestly
While no one can force you to be open and honest during your clinical sessions, the expectation is that you will. Treatment is successful when you can address the underlying issues driving your substance use; this is impossible to do if you aren’t first honest with yourself, and then honest with your clinical team.
All of the rules, regulations, and policies may seem burdensome, but the reality is these things are in place to give you the best chance for future success in your personal recovery. Often times, our substance use creates various interpersonal and internal behavioral issues that require strict enforcement of accountability measures.
Following the rules and focusing on your recovery is the best way to live a life that you are happy to have. If you have questions on these rules or want to know more about the policies at The Recovery Village Palmer Lake, reach out today—we would be happy to go over them in detail with you!
The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.