Let’s be honest for a minute. No one really wants to go to rehab – at least not at first. For many addicts and families, “rehab” is a scary thought. The word itself carries an overwhelming stigma, and the idea of actually going away to rehab can be equally (if not more so) overwhelming. For those battling substance abuse, going to rehab means leaving the comforts of home, and leaving the comforts of drugs and alcohol, to get sober. It means asking for help. Most of all, it means change – changing habits, behaviors, maybe even their hobbies and friend groups. But as we all know, change can be good.
If you or your loved one is addicted to drugs, you very well know the resistance that often comes with rehab. But more than likely, if you are here, you also know that treatment is the right next step. As described by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance addiction is a complex disease that affects both the brain and behaviors. As a result, treatment is not simple: “Because addiction is a chronic disease, people can’t simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Most patients need long-term or repeated care to stop using completely and recover their lives.”
A key reason people go to drug rehab is because it is needed to heal – to heal their bodies, their minds, their hearts, and all that follows. Of course, this is not always the case. At Turnbridge – a youth treatment center in Connecticut – we constantly encounter adolescents and young adults who are not ready or willing to recognize the extent of their drug problem. Often, their reasons for going to rehab are directly related to legal troubles, family troubles, or troubles with physical health. And this is okay. Overtime, these young men and women find their own reasons to go (and stay) in their program.
If you are asking, “Why should I go to rehab?”, or looking for reasons to push your loved one forward, you are in the right place. Below, Turnbridge explores some of the most common (and most worthwhile) reasons to go to rehab for a substance problem.
- Quitting drugs on your own can be dangerous. If you have been using drugs for a length of time, and you experience withdrawal symptoms when you are not drunk or high, you should detox in a supervised, clinical setting such as a rehab facility. Withdrawal from certain drugs can cause extreme and excruciating effects, such as dramatic spikes in blood pressure, insomnia, seizures, panic attacks, hallucinations, and severe dehydration. You can learn more about the dangers of quitting drugs alone here.
- Rehab can save your life. It is well-known that drug addicts and alcoholics have a shorter life expectancy than the rest of the population. Not only can it put you in dangerous situations (think, driving under the influence), but it can also cause severe health problems, including respiratory depression and fatal overdose. In fact, drug poisoning is among the leading causes of death in the United States today – even more than motor vehicle accidents. As hopeless as you may feel right now, you have a life worth living. Going to rehab can give you the chance to do so.
- It can also give you back your life. Not only can rehab save your life, it can also enable you to reclaim it and regain control over it. Living a life intoxicated isn’t living, and you know that first-hand. Drugs are chemicals that completely manipulate a person’s capacity for self-control. By stopping drug use, and learning how to live without drugs, you can establish a new life full of sound decision-making, honesty, and peace of mind. You are also more likely to remember all of it’s little moments.
- It will teach you how to live sober (and be comfortable doing so). A professional rehab program isn’t just about getting sober – it’s about learning how to live sober. You will learn how to cope with difficult situations (without the blanket of drugs and alcohol). You will learn how to set goals for yourself, and reach them. You will learn how to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle, and to make positive changes in your life. You will also learn who you are without drugs and alcohol, and learn to be comfortable with yourself.
- Rehab can help you get to know yourself. As noted above, living sober involves learning more about who you really are – who you are, separate from your addiction. Addiction does not define you, but in your rehab program, you will start to uncover where it all began. You will gain insight into what caused you to start using, to continue using, and figure out where things went wrong along the way. Rehab gives you the opportunity to step back and look at who you are, who you were, and who you have the potential to become.
- Rehab can save your relationships. Going to rehab should always be for personal growth, but there is another benefit – it helps those in recovery rebuild burned bridges, and reestablish relationships that their addiction had torn apart. During your drug using days, you may have lied to your loved ones, taken money from your parents, or hurt someone very close to you. While these wounds take time to heal, a drug treatment program can give you a clearer perspective on the detriment your addiction once caused. You can then address those in your live that you hurt, and start to rebuild their trust.
- It can also help you build new, meaningful relationships. Perhaps the best takeaways of a drug rehab program are the relationships (and support network) formed within it. As much as you feel like you are the only one going through this right now, you are not alone. And in a rehab program, you find others walking in similar shoes, on the road to recovery. Through group counseling, peer activities, mentors, 12-step meetings and other support groups, you will build meaningful, sober relationships with people who support your recovery. And those relationships can last a lifetime.
The above are not just reasons to go to rehab the first time, but they also represent several reasons to go to rehab again. Going to rehab can give you back control of your life, and of your recovery. Even if you have already been to treatment, it does not mean that you cannot go back. It just means that your treatment regime must be revisited and re-worked, based on your evolving needs.
Turnbridge is recognized as a young adult and adolescent drug rehab and recovery center in Connecticut. However, what we do goes beyond your typical “rehab” center – The word “rehab” implies fixing something (or someone) that is broken. It implies returning to a previous state. Here, we believe that the person who walks through our doors – the person who is addicted to drugs and alcohol – was never their best possible self. It is our goal to help them go forward, and to become the best person they can be while living drug-free.