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Making the Most of Your Time in Painkiller Rehab

A woman sits in the sun outside, a calm look on her face.
It takes resolve—and courage—to break free from a painkiller addiction.


Let’s just get it out there: Many people who go to rehab for painkiller addiction end up relapsing. While that is the truth, it’s certainly not the whole story—nor does it have to be your story. First of all, it’s notoriously difficult to track this kind of statistic, especially in light of privacy issues.

What’s more, there are about 15,000 different rehab centers across the United States. As you can imagine, they vary wildly in quality and in their level of staff training and expertise.

Lastly, there is only one you. How motivated are you? How would you like to live? Do you believe in yourself?

There are many people who break free from painkiller addiction—and you can be one of them. But it does require doing the work. Here are four steps you can take to lay the foundation for your recovery.

Step 1: Research the Right Treatment Program for You

Those who don’t know a lot about addiction—perhaps including some of your family and friends—may think that the physical withdrawal from painkillers is the hard part.

If only.

The fact is, the aches, insomnia, nausea and sweating associated with painkiller withdrawal will be over before you know it. If that was all there is to rehab, then any old program would do the trick.

The reality 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 find out if they have expertise in dual-diagnosis treatment. Ask also about the staff’s experience and credentials. Lastly, ask what approach they take to medically managing opiate withdrawal.

Step 2: Focus on Your Goal

It’s easy to forget your long-term goals when you’re in the thick of rehab.

That’s why you’ll need a reminder. When you’re feeling good, take the time to write down some of the things you want out of life. Be as specific as possible. Do you want deeper friendships? To earn the respect back of your family and friends? Better health? To feel peaceful and content? Perhaps your goal is to excel at your job or to buy a house?

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: Work on Your Relationships

To get the most out of rehab, you’ll want to invest in relationships.

That starts with your primary therapist. 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.

While in rehab, you’ll also have the chance to participate in group therapy. You’ll be part of a team—all working toward the same goal. It may take time for you to feel comfortable, but try to be an active participant. As in individual therapy, you’ll reap big benefits if you put the effort in.

Finally, many treatment programs will offer family therapy. When rehab is over, the last thing anyone needs is to go back to his or her old life full of resentment and issues. By participating in family therapy, you’ll have a chance to begin healing while still in treatment.

Step 4: Realize that Recovery Takes Time

Accept that your mind and body are in recovery—and that it will take time to feel good. 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 a good life without painkillers? Absolutely. The thing to remember is that it’s not enough to just show up at rehab, although that is always a good start. You need to invest in your recovery—and your future.

Finding Peace from Painkiller Addiction at The Raleigh House

Painkillers may have seemed like a way out, but they’re never a lasting solution. At The Raleigh House, you’ll be assigned your own master’s level therapist to guide you on your journey of recovery. Give us a call to discuss your recovery plan—or fill out our form to learn more about our painkiller addiction treatment program.

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