Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is Rehab?


Amy Winehouse popularized the term “rehab” by her famous verse; “they tried to make me go to rehab but I said ‘no, no, no.’ ” Most people generally know what “rehab” is, but there is more to rehab than just a place where addicts and alcoholics go to get better.

A criterion for potential rehab clients is that they have had attempts to get sober on their own but have not been successful. They may have tried staying away from certain friends, going on vacations to get away from their habits or making nightly promises that tomorrow they would stop drinking or using. When these attempts have failed they often reach out for professional help by going to therapists, psychiatrists or attending intensive outpatient programs with group therapy.

With all of these options the struggling addict or alcoholic faces the same dilemma – at the end of the day they return home, a home where they have associations with using and access to alcohol or drugs. Trying to get sober in the midst of the same environment associated with abuse can be gravely challenging. After one or several attempts the addict or alcoholic realizes that they cannot do it on their own, in their home environment. This is where rehab can greatly help someone on their road to recovery.

Rehabs help remove the addict or alcoholic from their environment where they have associations with using and, more importantly, access to their drug of choice. Being in a new environment under the supervision of highly trained staff without the possibility of getting alcohol or drugs is often just what is needed for a launching point toward recovery. The first few days in treatment one begins to rid the substances from their system. After the first week their minds become clearer, they begin to see the impact of their substance abuse and learn a better way of life. By being removed from their environment in the first month they gain the knowledge and tools they need to stay substance free once they return to their home environment.

Although while learning how live at home while away from home seems counterintuitive, it is one of the greatest assets that rehab provides. Many have recovered after multiple failed attempts at getting sober at home by going away to rehab. It is sadly known now that Amy Winehouse should have said “yes, yes, yes” but more importantly, the addict or alcoholic that is alive and struggling in their home environment should say "yes" to rehab – it could be the key to their recovery, as it has been for countless people who are sober today. 

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