4 Ways Going with the Flow in Rehab Is the Right Decision

Entering rehab is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. Professional treatment can spark a revolution in your life. It can teach you to cope with stresses in positive ways, rediscover your passions and redirect your pursuits—all without the crutch of alcohol.

Learning new ways of thinking in professional treatment can be exciting and empowering. But transformation can also trigger anxiety. This is understandable. Putting your care into the hands of professionals you do not know takes courage. It’s easy to see how a person who feels gung-ho about getting sober one minute might feel cautious and guarded once the process actually begins. Raising your guard is a natural response, but one that you can overcome by surrendering to the treatment process. The sooner you throw yourself into treatment, holding nothing back, the sooner you’ll reap the benefits of sobriety. To learn four reasons to go with the flow in rehab, read on.

Reason #1: Pride and Ego Will Get You Nowhere

For most addicts, pride is a pitfall. The urge to want what you want exactly when you want it is the same instinct behind impulsive urges that feed alcoholism. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine,[1] impulsivity—the inability to inhibit responses despite negative consequences—partly explains why some individuals are more prone to developing addictions than others. To stay sober, individuals often need to let go of the wheel and trust someone else to lead the process. Surrendering control cuts the ego down to size, teaches patience, and builds a capacity for delayed gratification.

Reason #2: You Can Trust Science

Quality facilities treat addiction with “gold standard” therapeutic approaches. In other words, the core of their programs is comprised of methods backed by research that proves them to be effective. Although they may supplement treatment with holistic methods such as art therapy or nutrition education, they do not place them front and center. These holistic methods, while beneficial, are not scientifically proven to raise abstinence rates or lower the risk of relapse.

Another reason you can throw yourself into treatment is that you are putting your faith in more than one approach. Most rehabs use multiple methods when treating addiction, a multi-pronged approach that puts many more legs under your stool, making your recovery more stable. Placing all of your hope in a single recovery method can put you on shaky ground, especially if you relapse and then lose hope because the form of treatment you considered to be a magic bullet failed. In contrast, research shows that people who use a variety of recovery strategies and tools—not just one—stay sober longer, say experts with the American Psychological Association.[2] They suggest that even people who find a method that suits them perfectly should supplement with elements from other approaches, as a cord of several twisted strands can be less easily broken.

Reason #3: Resisting Help Can Slow Your Progress

Addiction steals your life away one day, week, month and year at a time. In the process, it robs you of everything from your health and relationships to your professional direction and financial security. The best way to get on with your life is to wholeheartedly commit to treatment and therapy, whether in individual work or group environments. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one approach used in most facilities that will give you opportunities to puts recovery principles into action quickly. Time-limited and goal-focused, CBT rests on the principle that thoughts change feelings and behavior, a core concept that holds particular promise for struggling addicts, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)[3] experts say. Substance-abuse disorders result from negative learning processes, but CBT teaches addicts how to reverse these patterns and correct problem behavior.

Reason #4: Going With the Flow Will Slow Down Your Runaway Train

Many experts in the field maintain that individuals who are prone to addictive behavior are more reactive to stress and negative emotional states than most people. Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT)[4] a specific form of CBT, targets this vulnerability. It teaches addicts how to tolerate distressful emotions, not simply numb them with drugs or alcohol. Learning to withstand distress by validating uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and behaviors—not fighting them—is a valuable skill best learned through practice. Holding back from fully engaging with therapy can compromise this process, keeping you from getting the maximum benefit from treatment.

Help for Alcohol Addiction

If you or an individual whom you love struggles with addiction to alcohol, you are not alone. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour support line can guide you to wellness. You never have to go back to a life of addiction. Please call. Start your recovery today.


[1] http://www.asam.org/magazine/read/article/2014/06/12/on-impulsivity-the-neuroscience-of-behavior-associated-with-addiction

[2] http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1997-38909-012

[3] www.nida.com

[4] Linehan Institute. http://linehaninstitute.org/

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