Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What is Rehab? Part II

In a previous Passport to Recovery blog post, rehab was discussed as a place where you can get away from your home environment and associated substance use and a place where you can begin to learn how to live substance free once you return to your home environment. But there is far more to rehab beyond these basics.  

Rehab helps you recover by teaching you about the tools of recovery and giving you a platform to use those tools. These tools are often related to your physical, spiritual and social well-being. 

Rehab helps physical recovery and sobriety by giving you a safe place to let the fog lift by getting the murky brain and body, exhausted from months or years of substance abuse, back on track. By detoxing and abstaining completely from drugs and alcohol in rehab, you start to experience a new level of energy over exhaustion, clarity over incessant confusion and the feeling of life within over feeling of being internally dead. Rehabs often cater to getting physically better by having three scheduled meals a day with limited sugar, caffeine and processed foods and by having activities that promote exercise like beach trips, nature walks, weekly yoga classes and transit to a local gym.

Rehabs employ a spiritual component by introducing you to 12 Step programs. These programs are rooted in spirituality because they show you that you don’t have to battle addiction alone because no one was meant to exist alone without the help of others and something higher. They teach you that if you adhere to certain spiritual principals like honesty, perseverance and faith, life will have far fewer dramas and far fewer reasons to use drugs or alcohol.

The social component of rehab happens naturally, as you are there with others who are going through the same exact thing you are. By hearing each other’s stories and experiences you start to feel accepted and better – as shared experiences and shared advice help you heal. For many, the root of their drinking and drug use created or was caused by broken relationships with others.  Group therapy and living with others for a month or more who have had the same experiences allows you to build up social skills and bonds that can last a lifetime.

These three components don’t exist in a vacume. They are inextricably linked and vital to one another - physical health gives you the clarity to recognize spiritual gifts and gives you the energy to socialize. Living by spiritual principals allows you to feel and interact equally with other humans and to form bonds. Having healthy social bonds improve physical health and allow the mind to connect deeper to the spirit. The best rehab programs listed here on Passport to Recovery will cater to your physical, spiritual and social well being through various therapeutic modalities, making rehab one of the greatest investments in self-love and life that you can make.

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