Inpatient Treatment: The first step in your sobriety
Inpatient treatment most likely the place where your addiction treatment begins. Sometimes this is court-ordered but often people enter treatment because they or their family have realized they have an addiction that is ruining their life. Your journey is best begun in the inpatient environment because this gives you the opportunity to get sober in an alcohol and drug-free environment that is free of the temptations that could undermine your recovery. Inpatient therapy also gives you the chance to get a variety of counseling programs, both group and personal, and you have contact with others who understand exactly what you are going through because they are going through the same thing.
An additional benefit on inpatient therapy is that several studies have shown that people who undergo inpatient detox are more likely to maintain sobriety than those who undergo outpatient treatment alone. This is in part because the extensive environment removes stressors like work and non-supportive friends and family that can jeopardize success in these crucial early days. In these early stages, no matter how determined you start down this road, there is a high chance you will face two very strong emotions, denial, and ambivalence. These are two emotions that an impatient program can help guide you through. Let’s take a look at them.
Even when you enter addiction treatment willingly, there may be periods of denial. These feelings can take many different forms and vary in strength from one person to another.
1. You may believe you are somehow different from “these other” alcoholics or drug addicts.
2. You may believe that simply cutting down your consumption will give you control over your addiction that you need.
3. You may believe that by substituting another substance eliminates the actual addiction. For example, many heroin addicts may feel that marijuana or drinking are acceptable ways to recover. After all, isn’t it only the one substance that is causing addiction. (For the record, the answer is no.)
4. You may feel that spending time with others who encourage you to keep using is okay because you feel you can avoid the temptation indefinitely or you believe it when they tell you that addiction isn’t an issue for you.
You need to face any and all of these forms of denial before you can truly undergo recovery. In the inpatient environment, your counselor will most likely consider facing denial of the first course of action.
Most alcoholics and drug addicts have had their substance of abuse as part of life for so long that they can’t imagine going through life without it. This can cause a feeling of ambivalence. Many people enter rehab with the idea that they will get their addiction under control but then can go back to indulging again with more control. It is likely you experienced some bad consequences of your addiction that triggered the seeking of help, but you start thinking that all the consequences weren’t so bad. Some reasons for ambivalence can be:
1. You associate alcohol or drugs with positive personal change such as becoming more outgoing or less anxious.
2. Your substance of choice has always been a way for you to cope with things such as stress or mental health issues and you are scared because you don’t know of other coping methods you can substitute.
3. You didn’t make the choice to enter rehab on your own but instead, have done so to avoid pressure from family or comply with the court.
4. You may simply feel you aren’t strong enough to deal with being drug or alcohol-free.
Taking the first step of addiction recovery by entering an inpatient program is a great way to help you stay motivated during these periods of self-doubt. At the Victory Detox Center, we understand this is a very big step. Our trained counselors will help you get through your periods of denial and ambivalence. We have confidence in your ability to live an addiction-free life and will strive daily to instill that confidence within you.