I’ve been in detox twice; once for booze and once for pills, and while both were hard, I’d take the physical pain of detox any day over the emotionally difficult days of therapy and recovery that need to follow to really beat any addiction.
Getting the physical metabolites of a drug out of your system needs to happen before you’re clear headed enough to start real treatment; and as such the first few days of any rehab program are almost always spent under medical supervision, and are not really all that intensive. You tend to be in a bit of a fog from the discomfort and the medications, and are certainly in no real position for any self reflection or soul searching. That’s why I always wonder at the claims made by places offering detox only, or week long rehabs…how can they possibly offer anything of value? I know they can be tempting, and a week’s disruption seems a lot easier to accept than a month or more out of a busy life; but recovery is too important, and the process is too tough to give it anything less than 100%.
An addict entering rehab needs to heal the void that leads them back to abuse, and this doesn’t ever happen during the dark days of rehab. Only after, when the mind is clear, and the spirit is able, does the journey to real recovery begin. Through rehab, I learned why I turn to drinking and drugs, and while you can’t expect to solve all of your problems in a month’s session, gaining awareness into yourself and the things that lead you to abuse is a very powerful thing, and can really help you get back on a different path in life.
Through rehab I learned the tools I needed to minimize the temptations to abuse in my life, and to deal with things without abuse when temptation did arise. Your life is never going to be stress or problem free, and you need a new set of skills to cope with the bumpy road that is life. Rehab won’t work for everyone, and I was surprised to find myself back in a program a few short years after "successfully" graduating from one. But recovery is a process, and it continues for life, and a few bumps in the road are OK as long as we deal with them appropriately, and get back on our feet and back to sobriety.
I don’t think that I’ll need to go back to rehab ever again…but I’ll be back in a heartbeat if I find myself again using and slipping back into addiction. A month is nothing when compared to the years of suffering that further abuse will bring, and taking the time away from the triggers to abuse gives you a chance to start again, and relearn why sobriety is important to you. My family means everything to me, and yet I’ve put them through the trials of addiction more than once. I now know that I am powerless over my addiction, and my disease can only be controlled, and never cured. I learned what I needed to know to live without abuse at rehab, and I’ve never regretted investing the time in my own, and my family’s, future health and happiness. If a month can give you your life back, isn’t it worth it?