Going to a drug rehab center, whether inpatient or outpatient, is one of the most difficult decisions that most people will have to make. There are an incredible number of factors that lead people to that point. As such, it shouldn’t be a surprise to discover that there are quite a few things which need to be considered before actually stepping through those doors. Here are a few things to consider:
The elephant in the room: Money and drug rehab
Thinking about money might seem like a somewhat base concern at first. However, it’s important to remember just how much of daily life centers around finances. Money (or the lack thereof) is often one of the biggest concerns that leads to noticing substance abuse in the first place. Additionally, due to the unique characteristics of the healthcare system in the United States, drug rehab itself can place a lot of stress on a budget. Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind just how mentally taxing drug rehab actually is. Many people assume that they’re going to be able to handle a lot of the financial details during their off time at the rehab center. It is important that people in drug rehab avoid putting too much focus on anything but their actual recovery during the process. Tackling difficult financial decisions is not something that people can segregate into a small space during a packed day. Having discussions regarding money with loved ones and making difficult decisions prior to going to rehab will free the mind to concentrate on recovery, and will ultimately make the entire process much more enjoyable.
Discussing Rehab with Friends and Loved Ones
It’s a good idea to talk to people before going. It’s almost a given that there’s going to be quite a few people to talk to – not everyone will understand the decision to go to rehab, or what they will need to do to support that person’s recovery. The discussion doesn’t have to be an in-depth conversation. However, it is important to personally go over the current situation with anyone whose lives intersect in important ways. As such, it’s a good idea to talk to the most important people in one’s life in order to keep them up to date about what’s going on, and why.
Having Realistic Conversations
Any situation involving addiction treatment will involve addiction. This may seem like a tautology, but it’s important to remember that addictions usually place a great deal of stress on relationships. The emphasis of a person’s attention are removed from the people in their life and themselves, and are transferred onto the substances being abused. It can be helpful to friends and loved ones to know that positive change is finally happening, but it’s also a good idea to make sure that people see drug rehab as a process, and something needs to be worked on beyond the duration of the time away at the rehab facility. Having honey, realistic conversations with people in one’s life can help to cut through skepticism, and be an important first step towards countering any false promises made in the past.
Asking Permission of Emergency Contacts
When talking to loved ones it’s important to find out if they’re OK with being listed as contact number. Many people react differently to the idea of rehab, and having the names of a few people who will offer their strong support through the process will be incredibly helpful. These aren’t just people to go to in cases of an emergency – they’re a list of people that might be called on to actually offer some emotional assistance in situations where the treatment is hitting a road bump or two. It’s a good idea to have the names and numbers of one to three people who are willing to go above and beyond to help the treatment be successful.
Take a Picture
Time at a drug rehab center can feel quite lonely at first. It can be difficult to be separated from family members, friends, and the comfort of routine. Eventually people in rehab will start to come together and in many ways it’ll feel like a family. However, it’s often inevitable that people in drug rehab will really miss the people closest to them at one point or another. A few good pictures, actually printed out, can offer up surprisingly solid reassurance during periods of loneliness.
Bring a Good Book
A drug rehab center varies in rules and regulations, but many will impost limitations on the usage of phones and electronics. In an age when many people read on their phones (if at all!) this can be a big change, and a difficult one to stomach. Bringing an engrossing book or three can provide a more engaging, healthier escape versus scrolling through feeds on a phone. Keep in mind that any reading material should be cleared with the facility beforehand, to make sure that the messages provided in the book serve to support the rehab process.
Bring Some Cash for Small Indulgences
Rehab often places a strong focus on mealtime and nutrition. The majority of meals at a drug rehab center will usually focus on health. However, we all need the occasional indugence, and a properly timed chocolate treat can sometimes provide as much life-affirming joy as anything else. Having some small bills on hand for vending machine treats will ensure that if the need for comfort food arises then it can be a viable option.
Before going to drug rehab it is important to bring along all prescription medications. Along with this, it’s also important to bring all the documentation that goes along with the medicine. It’s usually a good idea to have these filled right before going in so that the full amount will be on hand. This will act as a safeguard in the instance of any given dose not going as planned. Finally, make sure to discuss all medication with the drug rehab staff doctor – they will be able to answer any questions and provide guidance.
Bring the Right Clothing to Drug Rehab
There should be enough clothing packed that one’s wardrobe can last for at least one full week. It’s a good idea to factor in some redundancy. Spills or mishaps occur, and it’s easy to be suddenly short on clothing. Packing a few extra pieces of clothing is a good precaution. Also, keep in mind the geography of the particular rehab center. If the drug rehab facility is near the beach, for example, make sure to pack some swimming gear! If the center is in the mountains, hiking shoes might come in handy.
Make Sure to Bring Toiletries
A final item to consider is one of the most important and easiest to forget. Personal care items are a necessity when dealing with lots of new people in enclosed spaces. People often forget to bring things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene, shampoo, makeup or similar items with them when looking for drug addiction help. Something as simple as having a favorite brand of toothpaste or the reassuring scent of a personal brand of deodorant on hand can provide comfort and a sense of continuity from an old life to a new one. Also, it is important for people in drug rehab to aspire to be their best selves, part of which is taking care of appearance and basic hygiene.
Though certainly not a comprehensive list, considering these ten items before one goes to rehab should serve to make the process more fluid and more enjoyable. Addressing these points before going to drug rehab will allow the person to more fully concentrate on their recovery, and will provide a much more satisfying outcome.