An Interventionist’s Perspective
What to Expect in Drug and Alcohol Treatment?
Usually, a visit to a treatment center starts with a few hours in your family living room, with an unknown interventionist’s face explaining to you how they are going to save your life, and your family deeply involved in the intervention process. While this process is never fun for anyone, it is usually the start to sobriety. After arriving to treatment safely, the interventionist turns you over to staff for intake where you likely will detox from the substance you have been abusing. Detox typically involves a multi-night stay in a separate center from the general population and often includes additional medicine for anxiety or comfort.
When you meet your peers, you will find that most are very happy, and a few are still having a tough time. Most people who are in treatment are there because their family insisted on it. Family tends to see certain things that an addict can’t see in themselves. Most family members enable the addict by giving them too many chances. We find that usually after a few days someone becomes assimilated with the day to day life in treatment and joins the rest of the group by welcoming newfound serenity.
Most treatment centers provide group therapy multiple times per day. Each group session has a different treatment related subject. People feel that group therapy is beneficial because they get a chance to communicate with others in a safe environment as each session has a counselor facilitating the sessions. Group therapy is where most addicts and alcoholics get the chance to admit their addiction problems for the first time.
Private or one-on-one sessions with an assigned counselor typically take place once or twice a week. The purpose of the private meetings is to be able to focus exclusively on your own issues. Usually, the patient has the same counselor for the duration of the stay in treatment. Many feel that their most effective time spent at the center is in these sessions. Counselors typically are viewed as the most important figure in the lives of the alcoholics and addicts. Often times, they speak to the family when approved to do so.
A more important aspect of treatment is the introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These meetings become the backbone of sobriety throughout life. When in treatment, the center will transport the group to local meetings every week. The center also plays host to meetings as AA/NA members volunteer to bring the meeting to the center. Many of these members are open to providing their phone numbers to patients to stay in touch with for the future.
Our clients have told us that the most amazing part of treatment is the friendship established, better known as fellowship. Many people come to treatment in the midst of crisis, changing lives, divorce, severe unmanageability. People tend to be able to lean on each other for help and experience. The true miracle of drug treatment is the evolution of the personality type from practicing addiction to recovering addiction. This comes faster when surrounded with others with the same problem.
Before leaving treatment an aftercare plan is set in place. This plan is developed by your counselor and based around what you are expected to be dealing with when you leave. Many people choose to do aftercare or stay in a sober living home, continuing their recovery. Whatever the plan is, it is centered around relapse prevention. A typical aftercare plan for relapse prevention would include going to 90 meetings in 90 days, AA/NA. The aftercare plan may include avoiding certain people or places. Upon leaving treatment, most centers immediately follow up with the patient.
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