The Top Benefits of Residential Rehab
While there is no one size fits all approach to getting sober, certain things can give them a better chance for success. Some people can get sober on their own without the assistance of addiction professionals. While this may be a good route for some people, I believe that the best way for a person to build a solid foundation for their recovery is to attend a residential rehab.
There are many benefits of attending a residential rehab that will make the recovery process run more smoothly. There is a reason why so many people attend addiction rehab because it can significantly help a person regain control of their lives! As someone who has both attended and worked at a residential rehabilitation center, I can easily list several reasons why I think residential rehab is the best way to face their addiction.
1. A safe environment to get sober in.
One of the most complex parts about getting sober is the process of getting sober! Cravings, withdrawal symptoms, easy access to drugs or alcohol all make the prospect of getting sober extremely difficult to do on your own. Ease of access to alcohol was one of the many reasons I could never really get sober until I finally decided to go to a residential treatment program. Certain drugs can be life-threatening to detox from without proper medical supervision; this is why it is essential to seek medical advice before detoxing. A residential rehab will provide a safe space for a person to detox away from easy access to drugs and alcohol. If a higher level of medical care is needed, a residential rehab can help you find the safest solution before you arrive.
2. Professional help available 24/7.
Addiction recovery isn’t a 9-5 process that goes away in the evening; it is a 24/7 process that often requires help at odd hours of the day. During my time in rehab, I would repeatedly need to talk to someone outside of regular business hours. I found it very reassuring to know that there was always help available at any time of the day. Now that I am in long-term recovery, this is no longer an issue, but the consistent support I received was invaluable during those early months.
3. Space from everyday triggers.
Trying to get sober while driving by a liquor store every day is downright tricky. Seemingly simple triggers were one of the many reasons I had such a hard time staying sober before I decided to go to treatment. Add in the texts and phone calls from “friends” that were still drinking and using drugs, and sobriety felt pretty out of reach. Having some time and space away from these triggers as I worked through the early days of my recovery gave me the space I needed to focus on myself and get through the early days. At this point in my life, driving past a liquor store doesn’t bother me, but not having to do it in the beginning stages of sobriety was a significant help.
4. Time to focus on yourself.
It’s hard to focus on recovery when the everyday stresses of life still bog you down. Taking a break from life to concentrate on getting sober makes the whole process much more achievable. That’s not to say that the person won’t still have things to worry about back home. However, when a person is in a therapeutic environment and able to focus on their recovery process, they can better work on themselves. Self-growth and healing are no easy tasks, so why not make the process as simple as possible.
5. A sense of community in a difficult time.
There is something to be said about the camaraderie that comes with sharing a challenging experience with someone else. I will never forget how helpful it was for me to be around other people facing similar struggles with addiction who wanted to get better. The only person who can fully understand what it is like to be an alcoholic or an addict is someone who is one themselves—knowing that other people like me are trying to get sober made the whole process much more achievable. I even made a few friends that I have still kept in contact with nine years later. Seeing how far we have all come is very special.
There is something about the added structure that comes with attending a residential rehab program that makes the process easier. Knowing what to expect, for the most part, each day can be beneficial when you are going through a significant life change. Having rules and expectations gives a sense of purpose and something to work towards achieving. Being bored and ideal in early recovery is often a recipe for disaster, so keeping busy and having a set schedule can help during this time of adjustment.
When a person is trying to get sober at home, it is all too easy for them to sneak off and slip up. Cravings during early recovery are part of why the accountability of being in rehab can be so helpful. Knowing that you have to be at certain places at certain times helps a person stay on track. Being in an environment where people will notice if you snuck off also gives the added incentive to stay sober when you are fighting through the cravings of early recovery.
8. Time away from negative influences.
Many people that are stuck in active addiction will have a lot of unfavorable influences on their life. Because addiction causes people to usually hang out with other people who drink or use drugs, it becomes hard to avoid those people in early sobriety. Unless you can completely cut a negative influence out of your life, it becomes necessary to have some space. The time and space that residential rehab provides a person during this transition make it much easier to stay away from negative influences that may make you relapse. A good program will also give a person the tools needed to spot and handle these types of negative influences in their life to not continue to bring the person down.
9. A chance to reset.
There is something about leaving home and going to treatment that almost feels like pressing a reset button; if only it were that easy, though, right? Although there is a lot more work that goes into the process than just pressing a button, it is an excellent opportunity to reset certain things in a person’s life. My time in rehab marked a critical turning point, things leading up to that time were very bad, but my life has gotten progressively better since then.
10. An outline to follow.
There is a lot of work that goes into getting sober so why not take out the guesswork and follow a proven system that can work? A set program with specific steps to follow makes the whole process of getting sober a lot easier. I am grateful for my time in treatment because it gave me a solid foundation to live a life of recovery and the tools to live a better life.
Reviewed by Matt Hawk, BS, CADC-II, ICADC