It’s the night before you check into drug rehabilitation and your mind is being flooded with a rush of emotions. Nervousness and excitement seem to contradict one another, a crisp vision of a sober future no longer seems like a utopia, and your current reality is just moments away from becoming the past.
While entering treatment is the most profound step in your journey toward recovery, there are a few practical things you can do beforehand to prepare for the experience.
Many people who are entering rehab for the first time may not know what to pack or how to tell family and friends they are about to check into a treatment facility.
If this applies to you, don’t get too much ahead of yourself and start to panic in a frenzy of confusion.
There are simple steps you can take to either open up to loved ones or to properly prepare for your extensive stay.
Since the concept behind residential rehab is to keep recovering addicts in a serene environment, away from the distraction of their circumstances, it is important that a person also stays away from temptation before entering treatment.
A long-term treatment program can essentially set a client up for long-term abstinence.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a study conducted on women who enrolled in a residential rehab program for a certain amount of time showed the correlation between times spent at a residential rehab and sobriety.
The data, which consolidated the results from three different studies, showed that 68 to 71 percent of women who were living at a residential facility for six months or longer had remained abstinent during their follow-up, which took place six to 12 months after their discharge.
The study also showed similar results for women who had only completed three months at a residential facility but obtained their abstinence goals in three to six months. During their follow-up, 76 to 78 percent of those women had remained abstinent.
So, grab your belongings and walk out of the door from your current circumstances and get ready to explore a new life void of substance abuse—with no turning back.
Frequently asked questions about residential rehabilitation:
What should I pack?
Considering the weather conditions in California, one may want to pack shorts, dresses, jeans, T-shirts, and flip-flops. Other weather essentials would include sunglasses, sunscreen or sunblock, and hats.
Since drug rehabilitation begins with a five- to seven-day detox, packing sweats and other comfortable clothing is going to work to your advantage.
In The Fix article, “What to Pack for Rehab,” Amy Dresner describes her experience with walking a friend through the process of packing for residential rehab.
“They’ll probably encourage you to go the gym after you detox. Throw some workout gear in there and tennies,” she told her apprehensive gal pal.
“I dragged on my e-cigarette thinking,” Dresner wrote. “Grab some sweatpants, jeans, T-shirts…you’re gonna be sitting around on your [butt] in process group for six hours a day, talking about your childhood trauma and poor coping skills. You wanna be comfortable. No camel toe.”
Dresner also advised packing any prescribed medication—even if it’s later confiscated— to make the medical staff aware of any antidepressants and other stimulants you may be taking.
Although the average stay at a rehab lasts for 28 to 30 days, make sure to pack more clothes as some clients may be advised to stay longer. Be sure to pack all of your belongings in a suitcase, just in case your therapist recommends this for you, as well.
A list of small things to also consider while packing is:
- Laptop (sometimes clients will have access to their laptops after an allotted time at treatment)
- Favorite bedding
Since rehab is designed to allow the client to solely focus on their recovery, if you happen to forget anything, don’t stress. There is a team of staff who can transport you to a convenience store to pick up any necessities.
How do I break the news to my family about checking into rehab?
Unfortunately, there is no specific formula on how to tell family and friends that you will be away for the next month or so to battle a harrowing addiction. But, being honest about recovery is a step that benefits both the client and their family—especially if family members are the enablers.
According to an article on PsychCentral, “Family Involvement is Important in Substance Abuse Treatment,” family participation before, during, and after drug rehabilitation can obliterate negative reinforced behavior.
The author of the article, Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC, wrote, “For example, well-meaning family and friends often become trapped in a cycle of enabling and codependency with the patient prior to addiction therapy. They pretend like nothing is wrong and unintentionally assist the patient’s addiction by ignoring the problem.”
If the family is already aware of a substance abuse history or relapse, then they should be supportive of your initiative to check into a drug rehabilitation.
Here are some steps you can take when talking to loved ones:
- Tell the people closest to you. Explaining your decision to immediate family, spouse, and best friends will relieve the pressure of being judged by those who may not be familiar with your past.
- If you have children, be open and honest with them about your addiction. It may be a tough pill to swallow, but being honest with your children will make them aware of the solution their parents are seeking to deal with the issue. Turn the negative into a positive for little ones by assuring them that they can no longer worry about a monstrous disease inflicting chaos within the home.
- Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to speak openly about addiction. Speaking with loved ones is the best way to practice vulnerability, which plays a large role in therapy at a treatment facility.
Embarking on a new life journey is never easy, but having a support group turns the rough patches into stepping-stones to your recovery.
Is there anything I should be concerned about before entering rehab?
Unlike the portrayal of drug rehabilitation in movies, most facilities, such as California Highlands, are equipped with luxury amenities and apartments to make the client feel as at home as possible.
Although comfort isn’t exactly guaranteed as a person is weaning their brains from the influence of drugs, a serene environment will become the antidote to any irritability experienced.
Medical professionals and counselors are available 24-7 to help any client who is going through a tough withdrawal or needs general support.
Another reassuring asset of a drug rehabilitation is the community that is built from group therapy and various activities. You will be surrounded by a diverse group of people who are going through similar symptoms and substance abuse issues; therefore, it’s easy to gain accountability through new friends or counselors.
Drug rehabilitation also gives a client the opportunity to assess their behavioral traits and any previous history of abuse of neglect, which is often the root of drug addiction. Clients are not only being tended to physically, but their emotional and spiritual voids are also addressed through therapeutic and medical intervention.
The only thing you may have to worry about (or look forward to) is putting on a few extra pounds from the array of meals offered throughout the day, a condition otherwise known as ‘’sober body.’’
If you, or a loved one, is struggling with a drug addiction, call our facility today to get the proper care and treatment needed to combat the disease. Our specialists at California Highlands are available 24-7 at (844) 318-0074, ready to assist you with any questions you may have about drug rehabilitation.
Here at California Highlands, we have built a team that is dedicated to facilitating a serene atmosphere for our clients. Seeking treatment here will be like entering into an oasis full of new possibilities—no longer being dragged down by the clutches of addiction.