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It can really suck the wind out of your sails.
You’ve made the decision to leave heroin behind and seek treatment. You’re nervous, yes, but also excited to start living your new life.
The problem is, you keep hearing questionable heroin rehab success rates and stories about how hard it is to stay clean.
Tune it all out.
There are people who succeed in leaving heroin behind for good—and you can be one of them. But you can’t just look at rehab like a prison stay. This isn’t a place where you just do your time.
Instead, think of rehab as a place where you get a master’s degree—in you. Think of it as a place where you discover why you started using in the first place, why you kept using and, most importantly, how you can stop using.
That means doing the work. Here four steps you can take to make sure you get the job done.
Step 1: Choose Your Treatment Program Carefully
Many people think that getting over heroin is just a question of getting over the physical discomfort of withdrawal. If that were true, no one would ever need more than a week or so of treatment—and any old treatment program would do.
The truth is you need to tackle the issues that led to addiction. Is there a co-occurring condition such as depression or post traumatic stress disorder? Are you more genetically susceptible to addiction than others? How do you handle stressful situations? What are your triggers?
When choosing a treatment program, you’ll want to ask if they have expertise in diagnosing and treating co-occurring conditions. Ask also about the staff’s experience and credentials. Lastly, ask what approach they take to medically managing heroin withdrawal.
Step 2: Remind Yourself Why You’re in Treatment
You’ve decided you want more out of life than any drug can offer. But, when you’re in the thick of rehab, it can be easy to forget your long-term goals.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to write your thoughts down—and review them frequently. Are you looking for better friendships? Better health? That contended feeling you get when you know you’re doing the right thing and taking care of yourself? Maybe you want to save the money to buy your own home. Or to feel like you have the respect of those around you. You could be looking forward to having more energy and being stronger.
Whatever your reasons are, write them all down. Your list will be an important tool for you during the inevitable low points that come along during recovery.
Step 3: Build Relationships
We all know it’s true: Loneliness and isolation are bad for us. To get the most out of rehab, you’ll want to invest in relationships.
That starts with your primary therapist. In this relationship, you’ll want to work to build trust. Your therapist can’t help you if you don’t make the effort to be open and honest. This is your chance to explore the psychological aspect of your addiction. Any effort you invest will pay off.
At the same time, you’ll have the chance to benefit from group therapy. You’ll be part of a team—all working toward the same goal. This is a chance to experience fellowship, combat loneliness and learn more tools to use in your fight against addiction. It may take time for you to feel comfortable, but try to be an active participant.
Lastly, most treatment programs will also offer opportunities for family therapy. This is important because, when rehab is over, the last thing anyone needs is to go back to their old life full of resentment and issues. Family therapy offers a chance to clean the slate, allowing you a fresh start at your new life.
Step 4: Give Yourself Time
Chances are, you’ve beaten yourself up enough. Don’t let rehab become another source of frustration and guilt. There will be ups and downs.
Accept that your mind and body are in recovery—and that it will take time. Look for a rehab program that gives you the opportunity to recover at your own pace (science suggest that at least 90 days is best).
Can you live and be happy without heroin? Absolutely. The thing to remember is that you can’t just show up at rehab (although that’s a great start.) You need to invest in your recovery, realizing that you’re really investing in yourself.
Recovery at The Raleigh House
At the Raleigh House, our first priority is to make sure you feel safe and comfortable. After that, our team of experts gets to work. You will be assigned your own master’s level trained therapist. Together, you’ll make a plan for rehab—and for the future. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.