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How to Make the Most Out of Rehab

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Going to rehab is the first step towards recovery. Whether you go to a short-term program or a long-term one, rehab is an investment of your time, money, and efforts, so you want to make the most of your time spent there. And, regardless of where you go to rehab, whether or not you stay sober and continue practicing the tools you learned in treatment is entirely up to you.

Your success in sobriety depends on the effort you put into rehab and the dedication you put towards your recovery. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of rehab so you have the best chances of staying sober.

Follow the Rules — No Exceptions!

All addiction treatment centers have a basic set of rules you will be expected to follow. These rules include things like no substance use, no leaving the facility without therapist approval, and no skipping therapy sessions unless medically necessary.

As someone struggling with addiction, following rules may not be one of your strong points – but rehab is the perfect place to practice rule-following. And, your experience in treatment will be much more positive and constructive if you aren’t misbehaving or rebelling. Even if there is a rule you don’t agree with, it’s important to recognize that every rule is for your own good.

Don’t Expect a Quick Fix or a Cure

Many people come to rehab with the hopes that they will leave completely cured of addictive behaviors and cravings. However, this is rarely the case. Addiction is a disease that requires lifelong treatment or management – it cannot be cured with a 90-day rehab stay.

If you go into rehab expecting a quick fix, you’ll be disappointed when you leave and unprepared to deal with potential hardships in recovery. Remember, recovery takes time. You’ll have to address underlying conditions, learn coping mechanisms, and implement those coping skills into your daily life.

Be Open to the Suggestions That Are Given to You

Throughout your treatment experience, your therapist and others in recovery may make a variety of suggestions to you that could help support your sobriety. Some of these suggestions – like attending 12-Step meetings or taking time each day to meditate – may seem foreign and strange to you. You may even be reluctant to follow the suggestions that could save your life.

If you truly want to make the most out of rehab you should keep an open mind and remain willing to take suggestions.

Don’t Give In To Distractions or Temptations

Throughout your stay in rehab, you should do your best to remain focused on your personal healing and recovery. This means ignoring distractions that could jeopardize your recovery. Examples of distractions you should stay away from during rehab include peer drama, toxic family members, and new relationships.

Always Be Honest With Your Therapist(s)

Therapy is an extremely vulnerable process. Sometimes, the topics covered in therapy are sensitive and emotional. And, since people who struggle with addiction often lie to their loved ones, it can be difficult to get honest – especially with total strangers at a rehab center. However, honesty is the key to your success in therapy. The more open and honest you can be with your substance abuse counselor, the more you will benefit from your therapy sessions.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If recovery is brand new to you, you will probably have a lot of questions during treatment. Another action that can help you make the most out of your time in rehab is by being willing to ask questions. Rehab is a learning process, and you can’t learn if you don’t ask questions about the things you don’t understand!

Make Meaningful Connections With Your Peers

Peer support is an integral aspect of recovery. Without your peers, addiction can make you feel alone — like nobody understands. However, by developing a network of sober support, you’ll always have a friend to turn to in times of need.

If possible, befriend individuals who have already completed treatment and have been sober longer than you. These individuals can act as mentors for the rest of your journey.

Commit to Completing the Program in its Entirety

Although it may seem obvious, it’s important to point out that staying in rehab until you are clinically discharged is the best way to make the most out of your time in drug and alcohol rehab. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, remaining in treatment for an adequate amount of time is a critical aspect of effective treatment. If you leave early or against medical advice, your risk of relapse increases significantly.

Make The Most Out of Rehab at Carolina Center for Recovery

Rehab isn’t easy and no program is 100% effective. In the end, you are the only person who can determine your destiny in sobriety. However, if you follow these tips, you can take advantage of every minute spent in rehab.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and ready to begin your recovery journey, contact us today. Our dedicated team of addiction and mental health specialists is here to help.