- Addiction & recovery
5 Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Addiction Treatment Experience
January 26, 2021
Making the decision to engage in addiction treatment is an important and empowering first step towards recovery and a new stage of growth in your life. But often, feelings of fear and stress arise.
Most people entering treatment for the first time don’t know what to expect. They might be worried about treatment impacting other areas of their life, like family and loved ones, work, and other responsibilities. Even for people who are reentering treatment, it’s normal to have old self-doubts or worries creep up again.
It’s okay to feel nervous at first but it shouldn’t derail the progress that you can make. So, how can you make the most out of treatment? Here are five tips to set yourself up for success.
1. Let go of shame
As you work through the treatment program, some negative feelings that had been buried come to the surface. Some people may feel guilty for their past actions or upset about how addiction affected their loved ones. While learning to process and cope with these emotions is an important part of recovery, holding onto shame and guilt isn’t helpful or productive.
Focusing on the negative will only reduce your self-esteem and hold you back from making strides in your recovery and achieving health and happiness. Don’t torment or punish yourself by dwelling on the past. Instead, put your energy into positive feelings like motivation and confidence.
2. Be present and attentive
Take things moment by moment. If you find yourself feeling anxious, or notice that your mind is preoccupied with worries of life after treatment, refocus your thoughts to stay in the present. Instead of concentrating on how you’re going to get through the coming weeks, months, and years, remind yourself why you’re in treatment and that all you can control is the here and now.
Some people in addiction treatment find practicing meditation and mindfulness to be a beneficial method of bringing their thoughts back to the now.
3. Open up and share your feelings
While some people find it easy to express their thoughts, others may feel uncomfortable about opening up. Everyone struggles with insecurity from time to time but don’t let fears hold you back. Bottling up emotions and blocking out the world isn’t helpful or productive, and doing so closes you off from the people and advice that can make a difference in your recovery journey.
A good way to practice opening up is to engage in individual and group therapy, which provides non-judgmental and safe spaces to share your personal experiences. While it may seem scary to open up to strangers, the therapist’s role is to ease your nerves and hesitation, teach you coping skills, and encourage growth and self-acceptance. The more you open up, the better you’ll feel throughout recovery.
4. Address any underlying mental health needs
If you experience any mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, in addition to your addiction, it’s important to treat them at the same time. Addressing both physical and mental health will help manage your symptoms and give your recovery the best chance of long-term success.
An integrated dual diagnosis (also known as co-occurring disorders) treatment plan includes counseling and therapy, peer support, and education on relapse prevention.
Depending on your specific needs, mental health medications may be included as an additional means of support. When combined, all of these components can give you the necessary strength to continue your recovery and overcome any challenges you face.
5. Be patient
There’s no magic cure or quick fix for addiction. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight–it’s a long-term, ongoing journey involving multiple steps, including detoxification, treatment, and ongoing care and support. It takes time to work through the issues associated with addiction and to learn how to make the necessary changes.
By accepting that patience is a part of the recovery process, you’ll feel better prepared to handle the good and bad days that come. If you practice patience, you’ll be able to take a step back, work through frustrations, and appreciate the progress you’ve made.
If you need help with your substance use disorder, we are here to help you build your confidence and momentum towards the future you want. We provide treatment services for adults with alcohol, opioid, and other substance use disorders. We are currently located in Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Recovery for life.
Our mission at Eleanor Health is to help people affected by addiction live amazing lives. We deliver whole-person, comprehensive care and are passionate about transforming the quality, delivery, and accessibility of addiction & mental health treatment. Our actions are rooted in respect for each member's values, culture, and life experiences, and our commitment to their wellbeing is unwavering and without judgement.