How to Make the Most Out of Time Spent in Rehab

Sober woman at rehab

Going to rehab isn’t the top destination on anybody’s bucket list. Most people would prefer never to have to step foot in a treatment center because no one really wants to have an addiction. While going to rehab may not be a lot of fun, it is something that is sometimes necessary for a person to get their life back on track. Going to rehab isn’t anything to be ashamed of; if anything, it takes a lot of courage for a person to admit that they have a problem and do something about it.

If you are finding yourself in the position of considering going to rehab or getting ready for your treatment stay, there are a few things I would recommend keeping in mind while you are there. This advice comes from someone who has gone through the treatment process themselves and has worked at a treatment facility for several years. If you are going to spend the time and money to go to rehab, you may as well make the most of it. Here are a few things that I have found that will make the time spent in rehab more enjoyable and more beneficial.

1. Be honest.

The number one thing you will need to do to make the most out of your time in rehab is to be honest. Be honest with yourself, with treatment staff, and your family. There is no point in lying or minimizing things while in rehab. The only thing that lying will do is prevent you from getting the most out of your program. There may be things from your past that you are ashamed of and don’t want to confront, but those are probably the most important things you will need to address during your time in treatment. Try to remember that there probably isn’t much that the treatment staff hasn’t heard already, so don’t hold back due to fear of judgment. The only person you will be hurting is yourself.

2. Focus on yourself.

To get the most out of addiction treatment, you must focus on yourself. It is not the time to work on starting a new relationship, new business, new anything other than working on building a new life for yourself. To make a solid foundation for a life of recovery, you will need to put all of your focus and attention on learning, healing, and growing as a person.

3. Be willing to follow the program.

Narconon New Life Detoxification

If you are going through the hassle of going to a treatment program, you must follow the process. While working at a treatment center, I met many people who wanted to fight the process, take shortcuts, and not do the whole program. Many times people learned later on that this wasn’t the best way to spend their time in treatment, but it was always sad to see when people would cheat themselves out of the opportunity of having a solid treatment program. If you are going to spend the time going to rehab, you might as well try to get the most out of it that you possibly can.

4. Reach out for help when needed.

One of the great things about going to residential rehab is having people available to help you 24/7. Sometimes people hesitate to reach out to treatment staff because they are embarrassed or don’t want to feel like a burden. It is important to remember that the staff at the treatment facility are there to help you, that is their job, and that is what they want to do. When people do not reach out for help while in treatment, they cut themselves short of a great opportunity.


5. Be open with treatment staff.

The only way that the treatment staff will help you during your stay is if you are open and honest with them. If you face some legal issues, family problems, cravings, etc., then let the staff at your treatment facility know. If you are not open with the people you are working with, they will not be able to help you to the best of their abilities.

6. Focus on the positives.

Going to rehab isn’t particularly fun, but that’s ok; it’s not supposed to be fun. Now that we have addressed the obvious let’s get down to the fact that your time spent in rehab will be what you make of it. If you only focus on the negative aspects of being in treatment, you will have a miserable time. On the other hand, if you do your best to focus on the positives of making your life better, you will find it to be much more enjoyable, and you will get more out of your time in treatment.

7. Don’t try to rush the process.

Many times people will try to rush through their addiction treatment program as fast as possible to get home as quickly as they can. While it makes sense that you may get homesick during your time at the rehab, it is crucial to take your time there and get the most out of your program. When people rush through the process, they will miss out on essential aspects of their treatment and won’t get the most out of their program. If you go to treatment, it is better to get the most out of your program the first time to ensure you do not need to go back later.

8. Understand treatment is only the first step.

One mistake that some people make when going to treatment is thinking that all they need is to go to rehab, and then life will be better. It is essential to understand that addiction treatment is simply an opportunity to lay a firm foundation for living a life of recovery. Much of the work will begin once a person gets back home. Going to treatment is an excellent opportunity to address one’s addiction and develop new skills for living a sober life, but these things won’t mean much if the person is unwilling to apply them to their life once they get back home.

9. Be mindful of how you spend your time.

Man reading in rehab

Going to treatment provides a unique opportunity to work on oneself without the distractions of being at home. To get the most out of this time, I would recommend that people be mindful of how they spend their time in treatment. Rehab is a great opportunity to catch up on reading, develop new habits, work on rebuilding one’s health, and improve one’s life. If a person takes this time and spends it wisely, their chances for success are much greater than if they fight it and focus on all of the negative things in their lives.

10. View the opportunity to go to treatment as a gift.

It may not feel like it at the time, but the opportunity to go to addiction treatment is a luxury and a gift that not everyone can afford. However, if you find yourself fortunate enough to spend time in a quality treatment center, it will be beneficial to consider it an opportunity to turn your life around and get back to what matters most.



After overcoming her own addiction in 2012 Julie went on to become certified as an addiction counselor in order to help others achieve a life of recovery. She worked in the addiction field for 8 years and now uses both her personal and professional experiences with addiction as an influence for her writing.