5 Things People Don’t Tell You About Rehab

Going to rehab is scary for many people and the many misconceptions surrounding rehab and the treatment process can make it even scarier. Furthermore, addiction is a potentially life-threatening disease, so it is dangerous to let your fears or questions about rehab stop you from getting the help you need. To help you better understand what to expect at an addiction treatment center, here are 5 things people don’t tell you about rehab.

1. Much Of Your Success Depends on Your Commitment to Recovery

When doing your research and trying to find the right treatment center, you may have noticed that some programs state their success rates on the website or brochures. You may be more attracted to a program that claims a 97% success rate than one with an 85% success rate, however, the truth is that your personal success is mostly up to you.

It’s difficult to measure “success” in recovery. Some rehab centers measure success based on 6-months abstinence rates while others measure success merely based on how many people complete their program. Don’t let glossy websites and big numbers distract you from what matters – your personal dedication to recovery.

Getting sober means dedicating your time and attention to therapy, changing your behaviors, and learning new coping skills. This takes discipline and patience. If you attend your group therapy sessions every time, are an active participant, and are taking the suggestions given to you, you’ll be more likely to stay sober. On the other hand, you could be at the best rehab center in the world, but without a personal commitment to recovery, you could still relapse.

Ultimately, the work you do and the successes you reap are up to you!

2. Rehab Isn’t a Vacation – It’s Actually A Lot Of Work

Speaking of staying motivated and committed to recovery, one thing people don’t tell you about rehab is that it isn’t a vacation. Aside from resort rehab centers that purposefully provide a vacation-like environment, most addiction treatment programs require quite a bit of work on your part.

Most of your days will be busy, consisting of group therapy, individual therapy, psychoeducational groups, and more. You’ll also participate in holistic therapies, recreational activities, and support groups as well. All of these things take time, willingness, and dedication – just like recovery does.

3. Sometimes, Relapse Is Part Of The Recovery Process

A lot of people wrongfully believe that rehab will cure their addiction. When you get to rehab, you will quickly see that this is not true. Many people you’ll meet in rehab will have already been to rehab at least once before. While it’s entirely possible to go to rehab once and get sober for good, relapse rates for drugs and alcohol are somewhere between 40-60%.

It may seem shocking, and even disheartening, to meet so many people who have relapsed. However, you shouldn’t let this get your hopes down. Even if you relapse, the skills and information you will learn while in rehab will stick with you for the rest of your life. Your relapse may even teach you something important, such as an aspect of your recovery that you were missing. You can use this knowledge to help yourself stay sober in the future.

4. Lifestyle Changes Are Just As Important As Therapy

Therapy plays a vital role in the addiction treatment process. Therapy will help you uncover the root causes of your addiction, help you become more self-aware, and teach you coping skills to deal with whatever life throws your way. However, one thing people don’t tell you about rehab is that the lifestyle changes you make in your day to day routine are just as important as therapy.

Whether you realize it or not, while in rehab, you will be encouraged to start making these lifestyle changes. You will have to wake up at the same time every day, get ready for the day, take your medications, and get started with your day. You will also have “lights out” at the same time every night, which will help you begin structuring your day to day routine.

You will also be encouraged to make connections with other sober people, go to the gym, eat a healthy diet, and find recreational activities that you enjoy. All of these small lifestyle changes will help you stay busy, find purpose, and avoid relapse as you learn how to live without drugs and alcohol.

5. Leaving Rehab Can Be The Hardest Part

Going to rehab and leaving your old life behind can be scary, however, leaving rehab is often the hardest part. While in rehab, you have access to 24/7 support and monitoring. You’re also separated from triggers and surrounded by other sober people who are holding you accountable. All of these things disappear as soon as you check out of the rehab facility, making the transition back to real life extremely challenging for some people.

If you want to stay sober after rehab, it’s important to stay connected with your support group and follow the suggestions made to you by your substance abuse counselor. You should have a sober support network, drug-and-alcohol-free housing, and follow-up appointments with your therapist. This will help ease the transition from rehab to real life as you learn to live sober.

Find Help Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is help available. All you have to do is pick up the phone and reach out to us today. An admissions coordinator can speak with you about your treatment options and answer any questions you may have. Call now.

Medically Reviewed: January 11, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer | CWC Recovery Staff

Clinical Team

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Content on this page has been reviewed by CWC Medical Staff for accuracy.


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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