Approximately 23.5 million Americans over the age of 12 struggle with some kind of substance abuse issue. However, only about 11 percent of these people actually seek treatment each year.
If you’re ready to go to rehab and address your drug or alcohol abuse head-on, congratulations. You’re doing something very few people actually do.
Going to rehab isn’t easy. The more you can plan for the experience, though, the less nervous you’re likely to feel.
If you’re not sure how to prepare yourself to enter drug and alcohol rehab, keep reading.
Explained below is a 12 point checklist that will help you make sure you’re ready and able to get the most out of the program.
1. Accept That It’s Necessary
Before you go to rehab, it’s important to accept the fact that it is a necessary part of the recovery process.
You need to detox, which is something that should never be done alone. You also need to learn how to cope with triggers and address the issues that led you to start abusing drugs or alcohol in the first place.
Keep in mind the fact that going to rehab increases your chances of staying sober, too.
2. Tie Up Loose Ends
Take the time leading up to your stay in rehab to tie up loose ends. This includes taking care of any legal or financial obligations.
Pay your bills and, if necessary, let the courts and your attorney know that you’re going to rehab and will be unreachable for a certain period of time.
Reach out to your employer, too, and let them know about your current situation and how long you’ll be away from work.
3. Spend Time with Loved Ones
Before you leave for rehab, it can be nice to spend time with your loved ones. Visit friends or family and fill your cup with positivity to carry you through your time in rehab.
As much as you can, try to avoid spending time with people who are negative, who might be triggering to you, or who might try to influence you to use drugs or alcohol.
4. Try to Have a Positive Attitude
This can be challenging, but do your best to have a positive attitude about the upcoming experience.
Remind yourself that you’re doing the best thing for your health and for your family, and think about how much better things will be after you finish rehab.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
It’s important to remember that there will be parts of rehab that are very challenging. As with any experience, you will have good days and you will have bad days.
While you should try your best to have a positive attitude, avoid having an unrealistic attitude about what it will be like.
Accept that there will be struggles, but remind yourself that you’re strong enough to handle them.
6. Give Yourself Time to Relax
Take time to relax and get in a good headspace before you leave for rehab. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
Go for a hike or soak in a hot bath. Watch your favorite TV show or bake a batch of cookies with your kids. Do whatever you like, as long as it puts you at ease and helps you maintain a positive mindset.
7. Prepare for the Realities of Detox
For many people, one of the hardest parts of rehab is the detox phase.
During the first 7-10 days, your body will be working the drugs or alcohol out of your system, and you’ll likely experience some pretty unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
There are medications you can take and strategies you can implement to lessen the symptoms, but you should also accept that you won’t be able to get rid of them altogether.
8. Clean Out Your House or Apartment
Before you leave, take some time to clean out your house and apartment and get rid of any substances that might be tempting to you. When you return, you want to be able to return to a blank, trigger-free slate.
9. Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
The better nourished and hydrated you are going into rehab, the better you’ll feel and the easier the detox process will be.
Make an effort to drink a lot of water leading up to your stay, and eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruit.
10. Pack Light
Bring only the essentials with you. You don’t need a different outfit for every day of your stay, and you’ll have limited storage space, so there’s no need to pack a ton of unnecessary items.
11. Don’t Try to Bring Banned Items with You
This ought to go without saying, but you also shouldn’t bring any banned items with you.
This includes drugs and alcohol, as well as any drug or alcohol paraphernalia, weapons, and food or drinks of any kind.
You may also be required to leave electronics at home, as well as items like mouthwash and hand sanitizer that could contain alcohol.
The specific facility at which you’re staying should provide you with a list of exactly what is and isn’t allowed.
12. Write Yourself a Positive Note
Finally, write yourself a positive note or letter. Tuck it away in your suitcase or in a journal and read it on days when you’re struggling or feel like you want to give up.
In the letter, remind yourself of why you’re going to rehab and how much better things will be when you’ve finished.
Find the Right Drug and Alcohol Rehab Today
The more prepared you are for an experience, the less scary it tends to be.
Be sure to keep this checklist for entering drug and alcohol rehab in mind so that you can prepare and put your mind at ease before you arrive.
Do you still need help finding the right drug and alcohol rehab facility for your needs?
If you live in or around the Temecula, California area, contact us at The Center for Life Change today.
We’re 100 percent committed to helping you recover and reestablish your relationship with your family.