Introduction to Treatment
I entered rehab about as skeptical as anyone could. I didn’t believe addiction was a disease and insisted I wasn’t an alcoholic despite a blood alcohol that would kill normal drinkers. (I survived because I’d become so tolerant.). I acquiesced to rehab only because I was too drunk and dejected from the incomprehensible demoralization of my bottom to fight anymore. But I didn’t surrender my suspicion. Fortunately, hospital-forced sobriety led to the collapse of my concentric walls of denial and made me question my assumptions. I eventually came to agree I was an alcoholic who was where I needed to be. The key to that transformation was willingness: I became willing to confront my preconceived notions and admit I was wrong. That was only possible because rehab was a therapeutic community, a place where above all else I felt safe and cared for.
The first challenge in treatment is detox. Its length and severity varies depending on the degree of addiction, the drug(s) involved and the extent of the binge immediately beforehand. After detox, rehab patients undergo intensive group therapy. They learn from each others’ histories of drug abuse and are instructed on the 12-Step recovery program. They’re taught tools for recovery and devote substantial effort to relapse prevention well as planning for continuing care after release.
The Addiction Treatment Menu
For more on treatment and recovery from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, click here.