Many people don’t expect much more from drug and alcohol rehab than a detox along with some skills to resist the urges to drink or use drugs. They imagine that they will go from treatment right back into the same problematic space that they were in before. This is one of many reasons people are resistant to attending a rehab center – they don’t think it will help.
However, the reality is that rehab is a lot more than an institution that gets you off substances. Rather, it is a treatment center where mental health is taken very seriously. Addiction is seen as a part of a larger problem. In order for people to get well, rehabs know they need to treat underlying mental illnesses as well, in addition to improving an individual’s coping skills.
There are a number of unexpected mental health benefits of attending drug and alcohol rehab.
The most basic benefit that rehab has for your mental health is that it gives you time to focus on yourself. This is something that is almost never available in the outside world. There is always way too much going on, and you might find it hard to justify taking time out for your own mental wellbeing.
When you are in a treatment center, you get an extended period of time in which you are entirely immersed in your own recovery. You finally get to take a look at your life and get a better perspective of how you got to this point.
Having this time is not easy – we’re used to drowning out our thoughts and feelings rather than experiencing them. But as you get used to it, your mental health begins to improve as you identify what it is you truly want.
Psychiatry and individual therapy
Most luxury rehab centers are dual-diagnosis institutions. They understand that addiction rarely happens in isolation and there is usually an underlying mental illness. In rehab, you will see a psychiatrist who will be able to diagnose any co-occurring disorders.
Whether or not you are suffering from any other mental illnesses, you will benefit from a psychiatrist’s assessment, and they will be able to prescribe non-addictive medication that will help you recover.
You will also have individual therapy sessions, in which you will delve into everything that is bothering you. Your therapist will be able to identify and focus on core issues, helping you work on what is causing you most distress.
Recovery is not retributive
Addiction is seen by many people as a moral failing. They believe that it is just a matter of having no willpower or wanting an easy way out. Many addicts believe this of themselves.
Spending time in drug and alcohol rehab, you learn that addiction is a mental illness. Everyone is susceptible to it, and it is not about moral choices. You learn that recovery is never retributive. This helps you begin to see yourself with kindness again.
The way you see yourself is crucial to good mental health. In a rehab center, you begin to rehabilitate your self-image, recognizing that you are a sensitive person who is trying their best.