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How Is Rehab Success Defined?
When you are using regularly, you think of sobriety success as something you either don’t want or can’t maintain. When you hit rock bottom, you will see rehab success to be something else, something you need to have. When you are in rehab, you will have a different definition for success and it will change every day, sometimes more than one time a day. When you complete rehab, it will also be different. How can such an ever-changing ideal be defined?
There are people who look at the completion of detox as a marker of success. You have gotten through the withdrawals and you are managing cravings. But, there is a reason detox programs urge you to continue to structured, professional rehab: making it through withdrawal doesn’t address the emotional addiction or the triggers for cravings or the stressors that cause you to use.
Other people think that making it through a rehab program is itself a success. It is certainly admirable, but for many people it isn’t a success because it doesn’t mean an absolute end to the addiction. For these people, 28 days of rehab isn’t enough to fully embrace sobriety.
So, are these moments successes or not? Success, as a term, refers to the achievement of a goal. By that definition all of these things can be successes. But, if you are defining success only as the cessation of drug use forever, you may be setting yourself up to fail and ignoring some very real successes. Don’t limit yourself to a single success. Embrace them all.
For help finding a treatment center that can help you to succeed, call our helpline at 800-256-3490. We can answer questions, direct you to treatment programs, and help you with funding the rehab.
For many people, relapse is the sign of an automatic failure and it is important before anything else is discussed to reframe relapse as a natural part of recovery. The more that you beat yourself up and view each backslide as a moral failure, the less investment you will have in yourself and your triumphs.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse urges readers not to consider relapse a failure. They compare addiction to other chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma and their stats show that all of them share similar rates of relapse.
But, a person with heart disease who has high blood pressure for a period doesn’t assume they aren’t worth lowering their blood pressure because they have failed. Instead, the change their treatment to better help them in their current condition.
Further, they point out that treatment of a chronic disease is a matter of changing “deeply imbedded behaviors.” That takes work and you will have times when you revert to those behaviors, but that can’t be viewed as a failure because it is probable that it will happen.
Studies do demonstrate a lower rate of relapse in people that seek help when they recognize thy have a problem. The help may be in the form of a 12 step group or in formal treatment. So, one way to limit relapse is to continue participating in your recovery and seeking help. Feelings of failure may impede this. Be careful.
This may feel unsatisfactory, but you will have to define success for yourself and you should give yourself credit for many tiny successes and not withhold your love for yourself until some gargantuan success has been achieved. If you can embrace tiny achievements, you can feed your self-respect and that will make maintain your sobriety easier. Shame is a terrible trigger for substance use.
Examples of Success
You need to map out your successes and take the time to acknowledge them as they are completed. When defining success for your life, consider the following examples:
- Completing detox
- Getting through rehab
- Reaching out when you feel relapse coming
- Not letting backsliding a little become a full relapse
- Making sober friends
- Attending therapy
- Attending your 12 step group
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Fulfilling daily hygiene goals
- Making it through a craving without using
- Regular attendance at work
- Communicating with family in a healthy way
All of these little successes are parts of a larger pattern of your success. You can’t acknowledge the larger pattern without acknowledging the little pieces.
To find a treatment center to help you to succeed, call 800-256-3490 and speak to an expert who can connect you to a program that will fit your life and addiction.