Recovery Center Blog

Why Go to a Recovery Program?

Written By Recovery Centers - January 28th, 2019
Why Go to a Recovery Program?

Why some People Don’t Want to Go to a Recovery Program

We are aware of the emotional baggage that goes along with the idea of a recovery program.  Rehabilitation programs are a bogeyman to a lot of people who need them the most.  Maybe people get ideas from TV shows; maybe they’ve been socialized to think of programs as the law, and, thus, the enemy.

Now, it’s true that it’s a time commitment, whether one is going through a program on an inpatient or outpatient basis.  It is true that one needs insurance or other means of paying for a program.  However, one of the biggest reasons people resist checking into a recovery program is that they don’t want to admit they need one.  They don’t want to admit to a problem and may wish to believe they can fix it on their own.

It’s important to get over this stigma and to think of a rehab program for drugs or alcohol as a positive, not a punishment.  Think of the great upsides and the way that these programs are essential to finding true sobriety, which is your goal.

Recovery Programs Keep One out of Danger

The obvious is true: the temptation to slip back into drug or alcohol use is just too strong for most people who aren’t in a program.  Being at home late at night or, worse, with your partying friends, is not the way to stay sober.  If nothing else, recovery programs, especially inpatient ones, keep a person away from toxic substances. Not only do they keep one physically removed from drugs or alcohol, but they also help a person feel the strength to stay away from substances. They do this through:

  • Providing a sense of purpose- While a person is going through a program, even if it is outpatient, leaving her or him with the freedom to possibly stray in his/her free time, s/he is being given effective messages, whith methods of reaching sobriety in the forefront of her mind.  One feels a very positive pressure.
  • Drug/Alcohol refusal skills- Recovery programs involve training on refusal skills, practical, actionable strategies for turning down substances for after the program ends.  This can involve having patients go through role-playing scenarios, and teaches concrete methods for telling people “no.”  These exercises help teach a patient to grow in self-confidence and self-worth.
  • Providing safe detox- One of the big reasons for enrolling in a recovery program is to detox from the substance safely.  When a person initially breaks from drugs or alcohol, withdrawals are common, and can include dangerous symptoms such as seizures, cardiovascular threats, and delirium tremens.  Not only is it dangerous to try this detox alone, but people who detox in a center are more likely to succeed in their overall recovery.

The Psychology Behind Substance Abuse

If quitting a substance were as easy as just putting one’s mind to it, no one would struggle with addiction. Rather, enlisting the help of a caring professional is often necessary.

Inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient programs almost always involve one-on-one psychological counseling.  This can be with a psychologist or other substance abuse specialist.  Sessions with a professional may take place approximately once a week.  They are not like psychological therapy sessions of the kind we usually hear about.  Rather than talking about one’s earliest memories or dreams, the patient talks to the counselor about the treatment plan.  As one goes through the program, s/he will discuss progress, ask questions, talk about group therapy sessions, what one is learning, etc. The two might discuss issues of self-discipline and willpower; or possible mental health or emotional issues at play.  Also, the counselor may help a patient find services of various kinds, including finding a job or getting some financial assistance, outside of the program.

Group Therapy in a Recovery Program

A common part of recovery programs is a series of group therapy sessions.  This may involve small groups, possibly sitting in a circle.  It can primarily involve free talking, sharing, but can be more structured, with designed activities led by the counselor. 

One issue that many addicts struggle with can be isolation or alienation.  Even folks who have a group of friends to drink with or abuse drugs with may not feel a sound emotional connections with them.  Sometimes, people keep their abuse secret from those around them, using it as a form of escape.  That is why being around others in the same situation can be a breath of fresh air.  Having your issues out in the open, with those who can’t judge, can be a relief, and a much-needed experience.  Plus hearing everyone else’s stories can give important perspective.  One of the most important things is to get out of one’s own head and find a new way of looking at things.  This is why WebMD describes group therapy as both challenging and supportive.

Learning For the Future

One factor concerning rehab that a lot of people overlook is how educational it is.  It’s true that a program is almost always necessary for detoxing; it’s true that rehab programs keep a person away from the substance they are abusing.  It’s further true that group therapy can help a person remain sober.  But sobriety has to be renewed each and every day.  It has to be a total life change, a longterm commitment, and a battle one is willing to fight for as long as it takes.

A cold turkey approach will never give you insights, techniques, and motivational tidbits to keep you going after you graduate from a recovery program. 

It’s tempting to attempt to gain sobriety on one’s own.  This is particularly true when one believes his/her “problem” isn’t extremely serious.  Know that most people who voluntarily enter rehab programs do so with some reluctance.  That’s only natural.  You don’t want to wait until it’s obvious that you have no other choice, because then it could be too late.