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Treatment Centers: What to Expect

Substance abuse treatment centers are designed to help individuals overcome their addictions and live normal, healthy lives. Even though their only purpose is to help people, treatment centers can be intimidating to people who have never spent time in one. The process of being admitted into the substance abuse treatment center can feel frightening and overwhelming. This fear keeps some people from pursuing treatment at all.

Let’s say that you are suffering from alcohol addiction. If you are considering checking into a substance abuse treatment center, here are some facts to help demystify the treatment process and give you a better idea of what to expect.

The first step is usually being processed by the admissions department at the substance abuse treatment center. The people who work here will go over your medical history and your personal history with you. They will also give you a tour of the facility and give you an overview of what you can expect there.

Before you can begin treatment for your addiction, you may require detox. This will lessen the chance of the patient relapsing after treatment and will also help cleanse the body of the toxic substances it is laden with. This is generally the most unpleasant part of substance abuse treatment for most patients, but highly necessary.

Some patients can choose between outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment, in which the patient is enrolled in a residential program within the substance abuse treatment center, is generally considered to be most effective. However, it isn’t necessary for everyone, and may be prohibitive for those with limited resources, limited time, and many pressing commitments, such as work and child care.

Expect group counseling sessions. Many people have inhibitions about sharing their stories of struggle with substance abuse, but hearing others’ stories and realizing that you are not alone is a huge asset in the recovery process. Most individuals will make friendships with their peers, and in some cases, form lasting bonds which transcend the duration of the program.

The last day of treatment at the substance abuse treatment center is just the beginning of your recovery. When you leave the center, you will face challenges outside of that safe environment. You will face new struggles and new challenges, as well as external stimuli which will test your ability to work your new program and use your newfound tools in order to avoid reverting back into a pattern of substance abuse. To counteract these external stimuli, the substance abuse treatment center will often place individuals in aftercare programs or 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous in order to keep the recovering addict on the straight and narrow.

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