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The Success of Drug Rehab Begins with a Decision

All things begin with a decision – including whether to take drugs, drink alcohol, or not, and whether to quit them or stay off them. But the decisions that lead to taking drugs or drinking, or stopping either, might have little to do with the actual drugs. And to be successful in drug rehab, the underlying decisions have to be found and addressed.

What could those decisions be? The person could have made the decisions that led to taking drugs or drinking long before drugs or alcohol came into the picture.

For example:

  • They wanted to fit in. So, when the drugs were offered by people they wanted to fit in with, they just went along with it.
  • They wanted to feel more comfortable in social settings. Maybe they were general nervous, anxious or unsure of themselves under certain social circumstances. They found out that drugs took those feelings away – as long as they were on them.
  • They wanted to feel better about themselves. They may not believe in themselves or be confident.
  • They wanted to be out of physical pain. Which speaks for itself. Sometimes – and this can be a BIG surprise – they didn’t even know they were in pain, or they thought how they felt was normal, that everyone has headaches or sore backs. It may never have occurred to them that everyone doesn’t feel that, and that they might need to see a doctor to sort out a physical problem.
  • They wanted to do better in school. Lots of young people in college are real achievers. They want to do the best they can possibly do. They’ve heard of others taking drugs like Adderall or Ritalin to accomplish that, so they try it to.
  • They wanted to be happier. Again, they might not even realize they’re unhappy. They just think they’re bored or unmotivated. And, again, they might think how they’re feeling is normal. That all people dislike their jobs. That all marriages go south as the years go by. That all people have aches and pains when they get older or start feeling less interested in life.
  • They may have other problems that they don’t realize they have. For example, a lot of people think that it’s perfectly normal to come home and ‘have a few beers after a hard day at work’. There’s nothing normal about that – but someone gave them the idea that there was. Maybe they need to change jobs so they’re more satisfied at work, less stressed, and not feeling like they had a hard day.

The point is, people take drugs for a reason. And if you want someone to WANT to get off drugs and stay off drugs, you have to deal with that reason. Thoroughly.

That is a major point that is missed in many drug rehab programs. And one (but not the only one) of the reasons relapse is so common.

A person who leaves drug rehab still feeling like they need and want to fit in with people who take drugs doesn’t have a high chance of success. Nor will their chances of not relapsing be good if they don’t believe in themselves, don’t like themselves, aren’t doing well in life, can’t accomplish their goals or don’t have any, are in physical pain, hate their job or are miserable.

‘Changing behavior and mind set is key path to drug and alcohol recovery’ – was the gist of the headline of an article I read recently about a recent panel discussion in a medical center in New Jersey on drug abuse and drug rehab. Absolutely right.

And that’s what they’re talking about.

Sometimes just seeing what the problem was will be enough to get them to go to drug rehab. Unfortunately, it’s not usually enough to enable someone to quit because they are now addicted – and that’s a whole different story. The addiction gets taken care of in drug rehab, and a good drug rehab program will find and address issues like those mentioned above.

In fact, the same principle can be used to prevent drug and alcohol use in the first place.

If you know someone has things like that going on in their life, helping them sort them out could prevent them from taking drugs or alcohol. They won’t need it. They will be happy and doing well in life and, usually, that will keep them from doing destructive things to change it.

Try it. And when you need help finding a good drug rehab program, call us.

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