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How Change Happens in Rehab

Many people have a distorted view of rehab that it is a place where conformity and unsolicited advice for personal and interpersonal situations permeate the atmosphere, but, thanks to decades of proven research and studies, the SAMHSA has determined that “controlled clinical trials place confrontational approaches among the least effective treatment methods.”

It takes a positive understanding of how change happens in rehab to overcome long held and misleading beliefs that recovery only happens for those who are most willing to comply.  While surely, we believe that reasoning and problem-solving, along with emotional commitment, can promote recovery changes, today, when a person seeks help for their substance abuse, they are met with assistance and encouragement that instills hope for the future and enhances their motivations to change.

Understanding the Need

Although it’s true that some drug users will intermittently or permanently quit on their own, a larger majority will develop worsening conditions that increase the severity of their abuse and the associated behaviors, needs, and fallouts from it.  Many of these individuals will go on to seek assistance for their problems through a variety of emergency and health, crisis intervention, social services, or other community agencies long before they contemplate treatment for their drug abuse.

Exacerbated breakdowns in other areas of their life often leads to physical, emotional, or social detriments where using becomes the primary response to dealing with day to day routines, stress, and other drudgeries such as finding the resources and drugs they need to prevent withdrawals.  According to the SAMHSA, “Clients who rely on substances of abuse as a method of coping with the world may never have learned important skills that others have, or they may have lost these abilities as the result of their substance abuse. Thus, the capacity to build new skills or relearn old ones is essential for recovery.”

Detox

How Change Happens

Once detox is over, a recovering addict is better equipped to focus on making positive changes.

Detox is the first stage of rehab that plays a crucial role in the addict’s willingness to participate in rehabilitation and follow-up services.  Providing a safe and appropriate detox in the most comfortable manner helps to ensure that an addict remains engaged in the process to move on to the rehabilitation phase.  If the person feels that their needs are not being attended to including the need for medications to manage physical or psychological distress, chances are, the withdrawals will win over any perceivable reasons for them to stay.

This isn’t to say that detox should be simply made easy, but, that certain barriers to completion can be eliminated or minimized to improve the clients health, focus, and other capabilities necessary full treatment participation and retention.  It’s at this point, that the relationships with counselors and other clinicians begin to evolve and a lot is riding on being able to optimize detox success as modem to recovery.

Counseling and Support Groups

Levels of addiction treatment support services will vary by individual needs and goals, but, the core elements of the programs involve counseling and support groups.  According to the SAMHSA, the key to change is motivation and counselors have a special task of helping clients to “recognize a problem behavior (e.g., by encouraging cognitive dissonance), to regard positive change to be in their best interest, to feel competent to change, to develop a plan for change, to begin taking action, and to continue using strategies that discourage a return to the problem behavior.”

There are several support group models that help to educate, build, and strengthen behavioral and cognitive skills that support overall physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing while decreasing cravings, stress, and the associated thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that commonly result from repeat exposures to drugs.  Building a positive support network and gaining access to the resources they need to cope with negative emotional states, cognitive distortions, and high risk situations are fundamental treatment goals.

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Incentives that Promote Change

Addiction has a dark side that brings people to an unusual degree of self-condemnation, guilt, and aggravated turmoil within themselves that they typically will hide from others and have no idea of how to change on their own.  There are many pathways to making change happen and no individual should think that all rehabs are the same.  Since people have different reasons for entering treatment, providing a variety of incentives to achieve their goals may prove to be some of the most promising aspects in their recovery.

Improving health through referrals and case management of physical and mental health needs certainly promotes recovery enhancements by helping those who were unable to work, go to school, or take care of themselves and their families.  Rewarding individuals for time in abstinence and simplifying their life to experience more good things can help to reverse the metabolic effects of drugs.  Naturally, the more encouragement and self-confidence one receives, the more apt they will be to expand their efforts in recovery. To learn more about how change happens in rehab, or for help finding a rehab center, call us at 800-481-6320.

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