What to Look For in a Rehab Center – Austin Edition

A vast majority of people would not even want to legitimately think about the process of substance abuse rehabilitation. It is long, tiring, challenging, and frightening, all at the same time, and in no particular order. That is why, if you do decide to take it up, or want to help someone else take it up, proper support on the journey is a must. For some background knowledge on the whole idea and the various treatment types, you can visit this web page. For the purpose of this post, though, we will give you an overview of the four essential things to look out for when selecting a rehabilitation center, something that the folks over in Austin seem to have pretty much polished up to perfection.

Is the rehab center location and their program near you?

Obviously, you are going to care about how convenient the location is. Nobody wants to make a difficult project even more tedious by adding a grueling commute on top of everything else.

Insofar as is possible for you, aim to choose a rehabilitation facility that is near (or relatively near) your home. The closer to home your rehab location is, the easier it will be to go through with it, since the support and closeness of one’s family and friends (geographical as well as emotional) is a crucial factor in treatment success for the vast majority of people.

Luckily, the rehab facilities in Texas can be found throughout the entire state, so a convenient one should be easy to find. In Austin alone, there are a fair few, and you can find a comprehensive list at this link: https://www.rehabcenter.net/rehab-centers/texas-rehab-centers/austin/.

support and togetherness

What recovery programs do they offer?

Nowadays, recovering from a history of substance abuse involves so much more than medication and daunting tests of willpower. There are all kinds of programs available to those seeking treatment, and they are as varied as the people who undertake them.

A modern rehabilitation center can be considered a life recovery academy, a place where you re-learn how to take good care of both your body and your mind, taking your time in a relaxing, nourishing environment. Since one solution will never fit all, a range of therapy types now make a point of tracking progress, adjusting the process along the way, and addressing all of the client’s needs as opposed to just one obvious addiction issue. Things like yoga and outdoors activities, art courses, exercise, and individual work are added to the standard detoxification procedures in order to boost confidence along with health and balance physical and mental recovery.

Pensive woman

What kind of care will be available after you leave the center?

Although it kind of goes without saying, we will point it out just in case: your rehabilitation work is, in fact, nowhere near finished by the time you leave your chosen center’s residential program. You will still have to integrate your results into your everyday life and find ways to maintain them in the future. As with most significant undertakings in life, it takes a long time and a fair amount of after-effort to consolidate your newly achieved recovery and reduce the constantly lurking possibility of a relapse. To round up your healing from substance abuse and ensure long-term change, you will need a solid aftercare program, so make sure to inquire about one.

How much will all of that cost you?

After everything we listed above, you might want to ask about a projected price for these services. A huge rehab bill is not motivating in any conceivable way, of course. However, although it may be somewhat irksome, there is no one template estimate that anyone can give. The price of substance abuse rehabilitation will vary according to several factors, including the location of the center, the treatment programs they offer, and the kinds of facilities they have at their disposal. In general, they can be split into standard and luxury rehab centers, and there are also low-cost or free options available for those with a low or nonexistent income. Your local social services or health department will be able to recommend

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Understanding Addiction Treatment in Rehab Centres

Rehab usually refers to drug or alcohol treatment programs that are conducted in a residential setting.  The purpose of a rehab is to help you shake off your addiction to alcohol, drugs or other behavioural conditions, so that you can stay sober and maintain long term recovery.

You will be provided with a program of intensive support and care at the rehab by highly trained medical and therapeutic care specialists. They help you stay off drugs and alcohol and guide you through the program, which includes detox, group therapy and individual therapy.

Addiction treatment rehab centres

There are essentially two types of rehabs

#1: Traditional rehabs are facilities where the patient gets a complete break from work and current circumstances. The patients stay at a centre that is at a fair distance away from their home or any familiar environment.

#2: Newer models of rehabs are facilities where you will have access to a structured treatment and local services, in addition to supported housing.

Many rehabs provide the treatment in various stages, such as…

Stage 1: The first stage of the rehab usually consists of a short to long-term stay in the residential facility – which is usually 4 to 12 weeks. Here the focus is on intensive therapeutic care and on the responsiveness of the patient to the treatment.

Stage 2: The second stage is for longer stays at the rehab clinic of 12 weeks and more. Here the focus is on helping the patient develop critical life skills, and to help them reintegrate into the mainstream with high quality education and training. The patients are provided with essential job skills that help them compete in the job market following their stay at the facility, so that they find work and live a productive life that is free from drug use.

Stage 3: The third and the final stage of the rehab program is offered by some organisations only. It involves providing independent living facilities to the patient and providing them extensive support and mentoring through the main rehab centre.

Not all recovering addicts need to go through Stage 2 and 3. However, Stage 1, where the duration of the stay is between 4 to 12 weeks is a must.




Rehab ‘Philosophies’ and Approaches

There are essentially six important philosophies or approaches used by most traditional rehabs. Each of these philosophies have a real impact on how the rehab programme and are customized based on the individual needs and requirements of the patient.

It is important that the right philosophy is used to match the specific issue faced by the client, whether it relates to drug or alcohol abuse or a behavioural addiction, such as sex addiction or gambling addiction.

12 step program rehab treatment

12 Step Programs

12 Step programs are considered to be the most important approach to helping people get over their addiction to drugs or alcohol. These programs were originally based on the 12 Steps of the Minnesota Model, and are today widely used by self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

In this approach, the addiction is seen as a disease that has to be cured.  The residents work their way through each of the 12 steps on their way to recovery. The program is constantly modified and adapted to changing circumstances, and is very flexible.

Residents are required to spend time in different “step” groups. This is different from the individual and group therapies they attend daily. The duration of this program can be 3 months or less. Even after leaving the facility, the residents are expected to attend local meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.




Therapeutic Community

Therapeutic community is a type of treatment where the staff and residents jointly participate as members of the same community. The community is based on a hierarchy. Residents participate in different activities and take on growing responsibilities. They are given more freedom with every improvement, develop practical job skills through education and training and participate in special one-to-one keywork sessions. This approach is similar to the 12 step program but is more flexible. However, it takes more time – anything from 6 to 12 months.

Christian Philosophy/Faith-based

Faith-based services or those that are based on Christian philosophy are deeply religious and incorporate sacred religious texts and beliefs in the various activities geared at helping the residents get over their addiction to alcohol, drugs or other abusive behavioural patterns. Residents spend time studying the Bible (or a religious text of their choice) and discuss the teachings. Prayers are an important part of these programs.

Faith based recovery addiction treatment

Eclectic/Integrated

Eclectic or integrated programs are not based on any particular philosophy. They consist of several different methodologies and interventions. Their goal is to meet the specific needs of each of the residents.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and social learning

Programs that are based on cognitive behavioural therapy consist of psychological treatments, where the actions of the residents are thought to have an impact on their future behaviour.

Group therapy addiction treatment

Personal and skills development

The personal and skills development approach is based on helping the residents develop critical life skills and job skills that can help them get work later, after leaving the facility. These programs consist of educational classes, team work and practical training on skills such as carpentry, construction, electrical and plumbing and computer repair, to name just a few. They may also involve on the job learning to help the residents build valuable work experience.

Does the Rehab Provide Residential Detox Facilities?

Many rehab clinics provide detox facilities. This is in addition to the rehabilitation program provided by them. Some rehabs don’t provide detox and expect you to have undergone the detoxification prior to your admission into the program.

All rehabs expect residents to be completely drug free before getting started with the rehabilitation program. In case you want to join a rehab program that does not offer detox, you should get the detoxification done at a hospital or a clinic prior to joining the rehab facility.


About The Author

Written by Shane White for Rehabs.asia – The leading resource for addiction rehabilitation programs in Asia.


 

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Rehabilitation for Drug Addiction

When we talk about rehabilitation for drug addiction, we generally are speaking of in-patient rehabilitation facilities. These are otherwise known as rehab clinics. Because the physical withdrawal symptoms of drug addiction can be so severe, undergoing withdrawal in a rehabilitation facility is the best choice – especially for those with a severe problem.

There are many drug rehabilitation centers all over the country, and choosing the right one is an important decision. At one time, rehab centers were cold, dark places usually in a hospital that provided little comfort for the mind of its patients. Today, rehabilitation facilities are often located in beautiful, pastoral settings in buildings filled with sunshine and plants that make residents feel calmer and serene.

Rehabilitation for drug addiction recovery

For a person with a severe drug addiction, rehabilitation clinics must provide them with the services they will need to successfully recover from their drug use. This includes having group therapy, exercise programs, nutrition classes, and individualized therapy. Rehabilitation centers treat drug addiction from not only a psychical standpoint but also from a psychological one.

When choosing a rehab facility for drug addiction, you will be best off picking one that is medically based. There are several out there that are faith based, but if they have medical credentials, they are better equipped to handle the painful physical symptoms of drug detoxification as well as the emotional turmoil that comes with recovery.




You may also want to ask the facility to what extent is family involved in the recovery process. With the person with the addiction will have plenty of support inside the facility, they will eventually be coming back into the “real” world and family support is essential to prevent relapse. If the rehabilitation clinic involves the family a good deal, the person with the addiction has a better chance for long term recovery.

Rehabilitation centers that focus on drug addiction operate as a community. Residents are often given the chance to offer input as to how the community will operate. It’s almost like a small town operating independently of the outside area.

Recovering from drug addiction isn’t easy. In fact, it’s very difficult to do on your own. That’s why a rehabilitation center is such a good choice when dealing with drug addiction. It doesn’t matter if your addiction is to cocaine, alcohol, or methamphetamine, when you go to a rehab clinic, you are treated with respect and care with the focus being on making you drug free.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction, a rehabilitation facility is a viable option to recovery. These rehab centers know what you are dealing with when it comes to addiction and you will be around others who share your pain. Choose your rehabilitation center with care, and watch your drug addiction disappear – over time, of course!

For people who are struggling with drug addiction, the good news is that there are now many treatment programs available to help them with their recovery. At one point in time, treatment programs for drug addiction were cold and stark addressing only the addiction itself not the psychological implications brought about by that addiction.

Now, the treatment programs that are available focus on healing not only the body but the mind as well. They realize that drug addiction is more than just a physical craving for drugs, it also take control of the mind to keep the addict using and prevent long term recovery.

There are a variety of in-patient rehab centers that offer treatment for drug addiction. These programs are set in beautiful places with plenty of room to reflect and move about. They often offer classes in various coping skills and things you can do to keep yourself from putting yourself in the situation you were in when you began using drugs in the first place.

Rehab facilities also offer many types of therapy in the form of group therapy, family counseling, and individual one-on-one therapy. Using this type of treatment, you will be receiving treatment for all aspects of your addiction – not just one.

These facilities also have medical personnel on hand to help with the detoxification process. When you take drugs out of your system, you will be beset with some pretty difficult physical symptoms. The medical staff will help you cope with those reactions and take measures to make you as comfortable as possible.




You can choose an out-patient treatment program for your drug addiction as well. These types of programs are generally in the form of 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. You attend meetings and participate in discussions that will help you cope with your own addictions and help others with theirs.

These treatment programs can be very effective, but your commitment must be strong so that you will follow through with the treatment completely and not relapse back into drug use. When you work the full 12 steps in the program, you will find support from others who share your addiction and you will be given tools to use when you are tempted to use again.

Be sure that you are completely committed to your treatment if you choose an out-patient program for your drug addiction. When you are going through withdrawal, the urge to use again may overpower your desire to become clean. If your drug use is especially involved, a rehab facility might be a better choice for your recovery.

Drug addiction treatment programs have undergone amazing changes in the last few decades, and the stigma that used to be attached to checking into one of these clinics no longer exists. If you or a loved one have a problem with drug addiction, know your options when it comes to treatment programs and seek out ways to live a clean and sober life.

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7 Great Reasons To Go To Rehab

There are many ways to get clean, ranging from recovery meetings such as 12 step meetings or SMART recovery meetings, to counseling, getting help from your local church, going to rehab or a combination of some or all of these.

There are benefits to all of these ways to getting clean, however booking yourself into an inpatient drug treatment center will give you a huge advantage and will help to ensure your lasting recovery in a way that all the other options won’t quite measure up to.Reasons To Go To Rehab

While I have seen lots of people get clean and find recovery through recovery meetings I myself had to go to rehab before I could get clean. I believe that the benefits that an addiction treatment center offer are huge and should not be overlooked.

I know that booking yourself into a treatment center can be very scary, the feeling of loss of control and the shame can be overwhelming. The cost of addiction treatment can be massive and if you don’t have medical insurance it can be quite daunting. However when you look at the fact that you are literally looking at a life and death situation it puts it more into perspective doesn’t it?

Many people think that getting clean means simply coming off the drugs and staying off of them but it is not that simple. There are so many other things that need to be addressed.

Safe Environment

You will be living and sleeping in a safe environment. There are no drug dealers or drugs available which makes it so much easier to stay clean. While you are free to book yourself out of an addiction treatment center you are not free to just walk out the door at any time. If you want to leave you will need to discuss it with a staff member before they will let you leave, this means that they have a chance of discouraging you from leaving and using.

You are physically safe, but you are also in a safe place to start to share your deepest and darkest secrets and shame. It is a safe place to get truly vulnerable and start your journey of healing and recovery.




Surrounded By Like Minded People

All the other patients in the rehab are also wanting the same thing, which means that you will be able to relate to others and get support. The shame is lessened by being around other people that have been through the same things that you have.

You will make friends that you can stay connected with when you leave rehab and this is vital – you need a new group of friends that are in recovery so that you can all support each other. You cannot go back to your old habits and using friends when you leave treatment, this will just land you back in the same place you were in.

In addition to making new friends very often the counselors and staff are also recovering addicts. When I was in treatment every single staff member except one were addicts that had chosen to go into the field of addiction to help others. This gives the people that are helping you great insight your problem and empathy for what you are going through.

Rehab group therapy

There Are No Distractions

While you may be worried about going into rehab because you will have to take time off work, or perhaps you don’t want to be away from your family – being completely distraction free from the outside world so you can focus on your recovery will help you immensely.

It took a long time for you to get to the low point of your addiction and getting clean and getting your mental health back on track is essential to your long term recovery.

Being in a rehab means that all day every day you are focusing on your primary purpose of being clean and healing. Your mental, physical and spiritual health needs this.

Your Family And Relationships

You are well away from the unhealthy relationships in your life. The people that entice you to use with them won’t be present. If you are in a codependent or abusive relationship you will have some time to get clarity on how things really are and to make some changes from the safety of the rehab. Chances are that many of your relationships are toxic and are keeping you sick.

You need to learn how to have healthy relationships with the people in your life and you may need to end some relationships in order to stay safe.

Very often you will have joint counseling sessions with the important people in your life while you are in treatment and start to repair these relationships with the help of your counselor.

Most treatment centers also offer family programs for your family to learn more about addiction and how to better support you.  Usually it is not just the addict that is sick, but the entire family that is stuck in bad patterns that keep the addict sick.

Addiction and the family

Detox In Safety

If you need to detox it may be a simple process of staying off the drugs for a period of time for the drugs to be clean from your system, however there are some cases where you may need medical assistance to detox. Being in a drug treatment center means that you are surrounded by professionals to help you through this process safely.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

If you have a dual diagnosis it means that you are an addict that also has a mental illness. Dual diagnosis is very common and it is important that you get treated for your mental illness at the same time as you are treated for your addiction. Your mental illness can affect your recovery from addiction and the other way around.

Being in a drug treatment center means that any mental health issues will be addressed at the same time as your addiction which is what you need.




Physical Health

While in an addiction treatment center all aspects of your health are looked at. While using you caused physical damage to your body, such as cocaine damage to your nose. You will be checked by a medical professional if it is needed to asses the damage to your body.

In addition to this chances are that you never looked after yourself properly. It is very common for addicts to not eat properly, not exercise and not to take care of their personal hygiene.

When you are in rehab you are required to make your personal hygiene a priority. Nutritious meals are prepared and given to you at the right times and you will be required to take part in regular exercise.

Being in an addiction treatment center, like the Canadian Health Recovery Centre, will help you to learn new and healthy habits that will aid your recovery.

I know from personal experience that going to an inpatient drug treatment center is a scary experience but once you overcome your fear it can become a life changing experience. I am now close on 9 years clean from drugs and alcohol and I strongly believe in these reasons to go to rehab.

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Private VS Government Drug Treatment in BC Canada

Drug addiction and alcoholism is a problem in British Columbia, Canada, just like it is a problem all over the world. If you are an addict, or you are a family member looking for help for an addict, then you are most likely researching drug treatment options for BC rehab centers.

If this is the case then one of the biggest choices you will need to make is between a private drug treatment center and a government drug treatment center.

Private vs Government Drug Treatment

What are the differences between private and government drug treatment?

Here are the biggest differences between private and government drug treatment that you will want to know about to make your decision.

1 Standardized Treatment

A private addiction treatment center is privately owned, while a government drug treatment center is funded in full or partly by the state.

Because government funded centers are owned and run by the state all the centers have a similar recovery theme and while there will be some differences between centers, the standard of treatment and the way that they go about treatment is similar. This means that you will get a similar standard of treatment no matter which government funded center you choose to use.

Privately owned drug treatment centers can differ vastly when it comes to the type of recovery treatment, the cost of treatment and the facilities available at the center. This means that compared to the mostly standardized treatment of government drug treatment centers there can be a massive difference between private drug treatment centers.

2 Cost of Treatment

Government drug treatment centers are funded fully or partly by the state. This means that the cost of treatment is lower than at a private drug treatment center, some government treatment centers are even free.

Privately owned drug treatment centers will cost more and depending on how luxury the treatment center is the price can be quite hefty.

One of the biggest deciders in choosing between a private and a government will be the cost involved. Most addicts will simply not have the luxury or being able to afford a private treatment so the choice is taken away.

3 Waiting List

Since government drug treatment centers cost much less there is often a very long waiting list to get in.

Private drug treatment centers might be a lot more expensive but there is often no waiting time to get in so you can often start your treatment immediately which is very appealing.

4 Personalized Treatment Program

A private drug treatment center will be able to offer a more tailor-made program for individual patients. A government treatment program will be focused on recovery for all individuals but most likely won’t be able to offer such personalized care as a private center will be able to.

5 Confidentiality and Security

All drug treatment centers will be concerned with your confidentiality and your security, however a private center will be much more likely to succeed at protecting your confidentiality and ensuring the security is tight.

What Else Is Important in Choosing A Drug Treatment Center?

1 How Is Treatment Approached?

Is the treatment center a 12 step program, SMART recovery or religion based? Do they have a medically supervised detox center? And do they offer dual-diagnosis treatment (which means treatment for other mental disorders that a patient may have as well as addiction)?

Do they offer treatment for drug/ alcohol addiction only or do they offer specialized treatment for sex addiction, gambling, eating disorders and other types of addiction too?

Do they offer a family program and a relapse prevention plan and support after you leave treatment?

These are all the types of questions you should be asking.

You need to research and find out what type of program the drug treatment center follows and decide if that is the right way for you.

2 Type Of Treatment

Will you be going into treatment as a resident or part of an outpatient program? Will you be booking into a primary care facility, a secondary (long care) facility or a sober living community?

3 Medical Insurance and Government Assistance

If you have medical assistance that will cover your drug treatment and does the government offer any assistance to you for treatment?

For example, in British Columbia, Canada:

Clients who are residents of alcohol and drug residential treatment facilities funded by the Ministry of Health (MoH) may be eligible for the standard user fee ($1,200 per month) and a comforts allowance ($95 per month).

To receive assistance while in an alcohol and drug residential treatment facility, clients must be eligible for income assistance or disability assistance.

In addition, clients in the alcohol or drug treatment centre may be eligible to receive actual shelter costs for the client’s usual place of residence up to the maximum shelter amount for the client’s family unit  ($375 per month).

These are really important things to consider when choosing a drug treatment center for yourself or for your loved one. There is no right or wrong answer here, but rather a case of what type of treatment will best suit you under your personal circumstances.

Take your time to make your decision and research all options available to you.

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The Importance of Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

The teenage years are really tough enough as it is with raging hormones, so when you add in a substance abuse problem it can become a complicated problem.

Many teens experiment with drugs or alcohol with little or no consequences at all, however there are a lot of teenagers that very quickly get stuck in the cycle of addiction. If you find out your teenager has been using drugs or alcohol you must take steps to find out the depth of the problem.

Because teenagers are not yet fully developed their views can be very limited. Very often teenagers simply cannot fully comprehend the severity of the consequences of their using and of their own behavior due to using.




For this reason if your teenager has a substance abuse problem it really is best to ensure you find an addiction treatment center that offers specialized addiction treatment for young adults.

When choosing a rehab for your teenager it is also important to choose a medically supervised addiction treatment program that will help to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Here are the reasons why a medically supervised addiction treatment program is so important for young adults:

A Medically Supervised Detox

Just to put it simply, withdrawal from certain drugs can be dangerous, even deadly which means a medical detox can mean the difference between life and death for your teenager.

There are many drugs that require detoxification, including alcohol, heroin and opiate related drugs, and certain prescription drugs such as Xanas, Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms can have severe side effects which can be fatal if not properly treated.

Detoxing from these drugs may cause vomiting, trembling, nausea, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, seizures, and comas.




Trained medical professionals can help to manage these life threatening symptoms by administering medication to wean the addict off of the drug, decrease physical withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures.

Medical staff are on hand to check vital signs, evaluate mental and physical progress and provide support to the patient throughout the withdrawal process.

There are also other drugs that do not usually require a medical detox, these include marijuana, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine. Withdrawal symptoms are not so severe ranging from a feeling of tiredness to extreme irritability and agitation.

Very often medical detox is given for these drugs for other reasons such as the patient feels they cannot stop without medical intervention, they have become psychotic from drug use and need a medical intervention, they feel they are a danger to themselves (suicidal) or perhaps they just don’t have anywhere else to go.

It is much safer for an addict to go through a medical detox than to try and attempt it from home, not just from the viewpoint of the physical and mental dangers associated with detox, but also because relapse is a lot more likely when attempting to detox without medical help.

When a drug addict goes back to using drugs during or just after withdrawal their tolerance is usually much lower making an overdose more likely.

Addiction and Dual Diagnosis

When a patient is diagnosed with a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue it is referred to as a dual diagnosis.

Common mental health disorders that occur in conjunction with addiction and substance abuse problems are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Mood Disorders (such as Bipolar Disorder)

It may be that a drug addict starts to develop mental health issues when, after chronic drug use, the brain function alters.

Alternatively someone with mental health issues may attempt to treat the symptoms of their mental disorder by taking drugs. For example someone suffering from anxiety may smoke marijuana in an attempt to calm themselves and through prolonged use becomes addicted.




Regardless of which disorder occurs first it is essential that the addiction and the mental health disorder be treated at the same time. The symptoms and effects of the mental disorder can trigger and drive the addiction and vice versa.

At least 30% of people that are suffering with a substance abuse problem have mental health issues.

For these reasons it really is important for teenagers (and any other addict) to be treated at a medically supervised, dual diagnosis addiction center.

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Addiction Treatment for Recovery: The Start of my Journey

The start of my addiction treatment for recovery was a 3 week stay in a psychiatric ward.

I was still in denial and didn’t have a clue how much trouble I was in. I had blue eyes and a broken nose when I arrived there, compliments of an abusive relationship. I was covered in bruises. I believed I was a victim and had done nothing to deserve where I was in life.

Every addict will lay the blame an anything and everything but herself or himself. If we are in denial we can continue using. We can also blot out everything shameful we have done or been through by using more. And so the cycle continues…

Addiction Treatment for Recovery

Denial

During my stay there I was allowed out for a walk, giving me the perfect opportunity to find my dealer and acquire 2 grams of cocaine. On my return the staff saw immediately something was not right and tested me immediately. They considered kicking me out, but for some reason let me stay. They did make me go to my first 12 Step meeting the following day at the adjoining Addiction Clinc.

I went to the meeting and announced that I was in fact not an addict but the staff at the psychiatric ward thought I might be so I had to come join in. Sound crazy enough to you? Of course it is, I was completely delusional. What sane person leaves a psychiatric ward, takes drugs and comes back an hour later thinking this is normal?

Manipulation

On leaving the clinic I was advised by my psychiatrist to not have any mood or mind altering substances for the next 3 months. Looking back it is clear they were aware I had a serious problem. I considered this advice, to take or not to take as it pleases me. I didn’t use anything for a few days, which to me was hard core proof I didn’t have a problem. A few weeks later I managed to embarrass myself in public by getting so drunk I vomited and then fell out of a truck into my own vomit. I won’t go into too much detail on how that happened, you can use your imagination or you can read about that story and a good few more in my ebook.

Now having blue eyes and a broken nose once again did not sit well with my family that were concerned about me. They wanted me to go for addiction treatment. Once again I couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. I managed to convince them that I could get by with an outpatient program instead of being booked in anywhere.

This didn’t work very well for me. I continued to use and I failed every drug test. By the 3rd drug test I came to realise that I was on the verge of being kicked off the program and my family would not be pleased. Instead of telling my family I had been using I told them I was “struggling” and wanted to move out of my parents home into tertiary care, which is a home of safety. Then I told the clinic where I was doing the outpatient program that I was moving to a house of safety and could they please let me continue the program.

They allowed this and I am not sure how I managed to complete this program. I think a miscommunication between the 2 facilities must have occurred because I continued to use and neither facility tested me again.

Now I found myself living in a house of safety and trying to hide my using, not an easy task! One night I overdid, as of course I would. It was 20 minutes before our curfew when I had to be home. I was so drunk I could barely walk and high on cocaine. There was just no way I would be able to pull that off. Instead I texted the manager and told him I had “relapsed” and would contact them in the morning.

At this time I still had no concern about getting clean, it was all about manipulating everyone to leave me alone so I could continue using. I wasn’t an addict! I was just going through a wild phase right? You know, like every normal person does at some stage. The fact that this “wild phase” was going on for about 15 years didn’t really occur to me.

I had to try and get myself out of this mess without my family writing me off. I called my parents and the owner of the house of safety and said I was “ready to get clean, what must I do?”. I thought perhaps acting like I would do whatever needed to be done and following their instructions (for a little while at least) would get me some breathing space while I figured out what to do.

I was told to go into Secondary Care treatment. I happily collected my bags and off I went. Only upon signing the contract upon arrival did I get the shock of my life realizing it was a minimum 3 month stay. What happened to the 28 days thing I had heard about? Oh well, I had to do it because I didn’t really have much choice did I?

Walking the Walk & Talking the Talk

My plan at this stage was to do the recovery act for the 3 months, make it out the other side and then carry on with my life as I felt fit. For about a month I did just this. I shared in groups, I went to AA meetings and I did everything asked of me. I said what I thought they wanted to hear and I followed every suggestion. Not because I wanted to get clean, but because I honestly believed there truly was some big mistake. This wasn’t the place for me, I was misunderstood.

Slowly things must have started to sink in. All that therapy, all those groups and meetings…

Breaking through the Denial

About 6 weeks into treatment I was sitting writing an assignment and I realized a few things:

  • I am an addict!
  • I want to be clean
  • I have a Higher Power and it is working in my life
  • I have been working this program (for a little while at least, certainly not from the start)
  • I feel good, not great but good

What confused me is that I can’t pinpoint the moment something in me had changed. I realised at that moment that I knew I was an addict, but it is not a realization I had that second. I had known it for a while. When did it change?

Where did this Higher Power come from, what is it and how can I believe in God when I am not religious?

What on earth happened?

I have been clean since 02 August 2008 when I arrived at the Secondary Care rehab. I have never touched another mood or mind altering substance and that is a miracle.

I really believe that being in treatment for those 6 weeks, having recovery shoved down my throat made the change happen in me. Without that I doubt anything could have saved me. It might sound crazy but I actually enjoyed rehab, it was the first time in many years I did something for myself, something I could be proud of.

If you are an addict or alcoholic in active addiction, please do yourself a favour and book yourself in for treatment. It can be the life-changing event you need to save your life.

I am sure every addict is scared of treatment but it can be a wonderful experience. I will share more in-depth at some stage about my experiences in treatment.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and got something of value from it, please leave a comment below!

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