They say that knowledge is power and it does apply in drug addiction treatment as well. Successful sobriety depends on the addict learning about their disease, how to cope with it and how to manage other mental and emotional stresses in their lives. Patients often come away from rehab knowing much more than they expected about mental health and chemical dependency and they can use this knowledge to take control of their own behavior and avoid falling back into dangerous habits. Continue reading for some of the different types of learning that go on during a good drug addiction treatment program and how they can help.
If you’ve ever been in the hospital, you know how comforting it is when the doctor comes in and explains to you in simple terms what’s really going on with your body. The same can be true in drug addiction treatment rehab. Usually, the first stage of recovery is detoxification. Depending on the nature of the addiction, this can be a painful and difficult experience. From the beginning, an addict should learn why withdrawal happens, what the chemicals they ingest do to their brain and body and what causes physical cravings. When they understand the responses that addiction produces in their body, it takes away some of the mystery as to why it’s such hard work breaking the control that drugs have over them.
Many addicts come away from a drug addiction treatment program understanding more about their own mental well-being than ever before. Through talking with a psychologist, they could be diagnosed with a mental health condition they never knew existed. Learning the root cause of their addiction is essential to succeeding in the drug addiction treatment. Often, an addict has been self-medicating for years. Once the true state of their mental health is discovered, they can begin to learn what this means and how to manage their life without drugs. They can learn why their mental condition made their brain particularly susceptible to addiction. They can unlock past experiences of abuse or neglect that set them on a darker path. The learning done in drug addiction treatment isn’t necessarily always clinical – learning about themselves can be the most valuable process of all.
Perhaps the most important type of learning that addicts do in recovery is learning how to cope. Returning to the outside world after getting clean is difficult and they need tools to be able to process the challenges they face without relapsing. Cognitive, behavioral and emotional coping strategies may be taught in rehab; a patient simply has to learn the ones that work for them. This can mean relaxation techniques, exercising, spiritual pursuits, or simply being surrounded by their friends in group meetings. Finding effective means of coping when life gets stressful is a vital part of recovery and continues well into a patient’s aftercare. They can learn more about coping from counselors and psychologists for years after completion of their drug addiction treatment.
Learning in a good drug treatment program takes many different forms. While understanding the science behind addiction can be empowering for some, others simply learn about their unique thoughts and emotions and how to handle them. The vast majority of patients walk away with a greater understanding of their disease and their unique mental health; that can make staying clean much easier.