There are plenty of valid reasons that someone might consider quitting drugs independently. In fact, as most recovering addicts will tell you, pretty much everyone who has tried to kick a habit starts off by trying to go it alone. However, this strategy is rarely effective. Find a discussion of why residential programs work — and some common myths about them — in the sections below.
Should You Try To Recover Alone?
However, going it alone — which often entails getting the dedicated help of a small group — could be effective in some situations. Here are some examples of times when a non-professional strategy might be preferable:
- The addict has a strong, committed group of contacts with enough free time and resources to help
- Residential programs are unavailable in the area
- People who engage in enabling behavior can be identified and avoided
Regardless of whether intense, residential programs are a first choice, they should always be considered as a second option. Even the reasons above can be refuted. Family and friends might care enough to help, but they don't have the training of professional social workers and doctors. Many addicts travel — even out of state in some cases — to find a good program. Sometimes addicts underestimate exactly how much certain enablers influence them, and how.
Having Limited Resources Isn't a Good Reason
Everybody's short on something. For some, it might seem like there's not enough money to go into a residential program. For others, time is the most important factor: they can't stand the idea of taking several weeks off from their professional responsibilities. Both of these seemingly insurmountable problems have relatively simple solutions.
If financial barriers are keeping you away, remember that it's ok to ask for help — that's what rehab centers are all about in the first place. Government organizations, non-profits, and family members could be good places to start looking for information about affordable programs. If it's about time — addicts tend to find real ways to balance and make the most of their time during intensive rehabilitation. Reframing the experience as professional and personal development may give the necessary push.
Admitting the Problem
One of the hardest parts of getting to a rehabilitation program is taking the first step. Admitting to yourself that there's a problem is the foundation of investigating and eventually managing an addiction. Being responsible enough to look at what's really happening is the only way to take action.
A Change of Scene
At first, it might seem like traveling to a center is a little too much effort. There are addiction treatment programs in nearly every population center, but there are benefits from going out of your way. For example, imagine an addict who was having trouble managing a condition in California. Going to a Pennsylvania drug and alcohol rehab center could provide the social and physical isolation needed to succeed.
While nearly all residential centers are focused on creating and maintaining a level of control and safety for their patients, there's something to be said for moving an addict miles away from a network of enablers and drug providers. A foreign, regimented setting is a good place for patients to focus on the one thing that's familiar — themselves. This awareness is the first step to recovery, as mentioned above.
Of course, residential rehab programs in Pennsylvania could help people anywhere in the country, even from Philadelphia. It's usually a good idea to look close to home first, in fact. This will allow addicts access to the positive influences in their lives, mediated by the professionals at the center. Look farther afield when the local alternatives don't measure up to your standards.
It's About the People
Addiction recovery is usually more about people than it is about the substances involved. The addict has to want to heal — even if it's scary or painful to do so. Professionals at contemporary residential programs understand this, and they're able to frame the recovery in terms each patient can understand and relate to.
Whether you're interested in residential rehab for yourself or for someone you love, the important thing to realize is that it's probably not going to be easy. It's a challenge to find a program that fits, and it's hard to complete therapy. You can succeed if you commit to the process, realize that there will be hurdles, and power through apparent logistical barriers, such as distance or price of a promising program.