Learning to Trust the Method in Treatment

Once you have made the difficult decision to seek help and enter treatment, you will find there is a lot of letting go for you to do. You will be letting go of the substance you are addicted to. You will be letting go of old, destructive habits that led you to be in this addictive state. You will be letting go of old haunts and so-called friends who were a part of your days of addiction. You also will be letting go of a fair amount of control. When you enter a treatment program, whether residential or outpatient, you will begin to live by the rules of the treatment, or method, used. Knowing as much as you can about what is happening will help you.

Understand the Therapy

There are many different kinds of treatments, settings and length of time. “Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).[1] “For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.”

Drug treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or contingency management), medications or a combination. The specific type of treatment or combination of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, often, on the type of addiction. Because they work on different aspects of addiction, NIDA points out, combinations of behavioral therapies and medications (when available) generally appear to be more effective than either approach used alone.

Your health care professionals will determine the methods based on your specific circumstances. Once this has been decided, your treatment will go smoother and be more effective if you don’t try to second-guess those decisions and the resulting plans. Your outcomes will be determined by many factors including the following:

  • If the chosen treatment is the most effective for your situation
  • How much confidence you have in the treatment and how much you believe and put the work in
  • How long you stayed in treatment
  • How honest and diligent you were while you are there
  • How well you followed up with aftercare

How to Get the Most Out of Treatment

No matter how qualified and highly rated the treatment program, the addict will still have to do the work herself and commit to change. When you are in rehab, you should do the following[2] for the best results:

  • Stay positive.
  • Set realistic expectations.
  • Follow the rules.
  • Be open to listening to the wisdom of others.

These actions may be difficult, especially if you are new to the treatment processes and the world of recovery. You may not even recognize all the terminology used!

However, keep in mind that the people who are there to help you are not just making things up as they go along. They have experience as well as much scientific research behind what they are doing. It is important to trust the treatment methodology being used once you are confident in the professionals you have chosen to work with in your recovery. “In drug rehab, the staff and therapists are experts at recovery and many have overcome addictions in their own lives,” Dr. David Sack writes on PsychCentral.com.[3] “They can teach you about the disease of addiction and practical strategies to manage cravings, relapse triggers and other issues that may complicate your recovery.” Dr. Sack suggests learning from “every resource you have available to you, including other clients, staff, your therapist and your 12-Step sponsor. You can fight the process or be a partner in it, but know that recovery is challenging enough even with your full cooperation and participation.”

Do Your Homework, Then Let it Go

Someone else has already figured out the details for you. You don’t need to worry about that. You should just concern yourself with yourself and your recovery work, but that takes trust.

As you are determining where you will go for treatment, you can ease your mind by making sure the program is licensed and accredited. Ask to see the statistics to show you what the effectiveness rate is, what the services and provisions for aftercare are and what the rates of relapse are. Once you determine that the place you are going to has acceptable answers to these, you will feel better about putting yourself in their care and not question everything they require of you.

If you would like more information about what to look for in a treatment program that will be most effective for you, call our admissions coordinators at our toll-free helpline anytime 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They will be happy to discuss options and how you can trust and feel confident in your decision for treatment.


[1] Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), last updated December 2012, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/what-drug-addiction-treatment

[2] “How To Get The Most Out Of Drug Rehab,” by David Sack, M.D., PsychCentral.com, May 2, 2012, http://blogs.psychcentral.com/addiction-recovery/2012/04/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-drug-rehab/

[3] Id.

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