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What to Expect If You Have Never Been to Rehab

Christine O'Kelly
Oct 31, 2007
If you or a family member are considering drug or alcohol rehab, you are undoubtedly burdened with many questions about what to expect once you arrive.

Expect to Feel Fear

Fear is a natural and expected emotion for anyone planning to enter a drug and alcohol recovery center. You must realize and accept that you will experience a lot of fear since you are headed into a completely new environment while simultaneously leaving behind your "best friend" (your drug of no choice) which until this point as provided a false sense of safety and comfort.

Expect to See Yourself in a Different Light

Many people refuse rehab because they say they don't want to be lumped in or associated with "those kinds of people" i.e. the kind of people that go to rehab. This is a clear indication that the addict is in denial about the severity of his or her own situation.

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you are "that kind of person." Addicts have a predictable tendency to not see in themselves the flaws that they can clearly see in others. The mind of the addict, which is held hostage by addiction, concocts endless justifications about why excessive drug or alcohol use is acceptable in their case.

Being surrounded by others that currently have or have had the same thinking errors as yourself can be among the most enlightening experience of drug and alcohol rehab. Many people make friends in drug rehab that become a strong and powerful support system for life.

Expect to Take Accountability

Most addicts have people in their lives that enable them to continue being an addict. Although family and friends often verbalize that they want the addict to stop, they often enable the addict through actions such as providing them with money, shelter, or emotional support when times are difficult.

In rehab, no one is going to enable you. If there is no enabling there is no addiction. You will learn to become accountable for your own actions. While working through the 12 Step Program, you will face the destruction you have caused in your own live and in the lives of others and take accountability for the damage you have caused.

Expect to Be Exposed to New Ideas and Concepts

You will be exposed to ideas and concepts that may at first completely contradict your current logic and method of thinking. But let's face it, if what you knew worked, you would not be in rehab in the first place.

You will likely reject these new ideas and concepts and that is part of the learning and unlearning process of becoming sober. It is helpful to prepare for the fact that you will encounter a radically different way of thinking and reasoning that the addict within you will try to rebel against.

Expect to Change Your Life

If you see a rehab program through to the end, you will likely come to embrace a wonderful and healthy new way to view the world. A good drug and alcohol rehab allows you a safe place to take a guided journey of self discovery. If you have the strength to navigate through the fear, to be honest with yourself, to open your mind to new ways of thinking, and take accountability for your actions, a life of sobriety and fulfillment is absolutely attainable.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is an author for The Mark Houston Recovery Center, a drug rehab in Texas that offers a 90-day program for males designed around the principals of the traditional 12 steps to recovery. The team is passionate about its mission to help men free themselves from alcohol and drug addiction and recreate and reclaim their lives.
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