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What to Do If Treatment Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

What to Do If Treatment Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

You may come to the realization that a given rehab center will not be able to support your recovery

The decision to begin treatment in a rehabilitation center is a significant one. Unfortunately, many find themselves faced with disappointment during or after entering rehab in Des Moines. This disappointment can be addressed through a combination of education, conversation and adjusting unrealistic expectations.

Begin with Better Information

Often the individual in recovery does not have a strong understanding of the science behind addiction (which is to be expected), and as a result he may make some unrealistic or improper assumptions around the rehabilitation process. The last two decades have uncovered three specific explanations of addiction that are deeply important to appreciate in order to set reasonable expectations around rehabilitation including the following:

  1. Addiction literally changes the brain structure and function resulting in uncontrollable compulsive craving for drugs.
  2. Addiction impacts every aspect of an individual’s life as a biobehavioral disease. It affects his physical, mental and emotional health along with his family, colleagues, community and family.
  3. Addiction is a chronic disease but a treatable one. The difference between treatable and curable is a profound and significant one as this put addiction more aligned with diabetes than the common cold in that symptoms can be managed but the condition remains.

Statistics comparing addiction to other chronic diseases further solidifies this third point. The relapse rate among those with a drug addiction is 40 – 60 percent, which is comparable to relapse rates for Type I Diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

Consider the Source of Your Expectations

Diagnosing where your expectations came from is a vital next step to take when your experience of treatment does not match what you hoped for. This is primarily an internal measurement of the strength of your reliance upon your peers and your assumptions of yourself.

  • Accepting the experiences of others – Often the expectations of rehabilitation are established based upon talking with peers. This can be a set-up for frustration depending upon who you speak with. For example, if you ask your fellow drug addicts to describe rehabilitation, there will be a strong sense of negativity toward it. While this is the addiction speaking, it still sets you up to expect something terrible. Your brain will then look for evidence to prove this negativity is accurate.
  • Presuming failure because of poor self-image – Many experts have written and spoken about the power of self-image to predict an individual’s future. In other words, if you believe you will fail at a given task, the odds of your failure have just increased dramatically. Two specific thoughts that will guide your expectations are, “I won’t succeed,” and “Nobody cares.” If you choose to accept your failure on the front end of rehab, you will actively look for reasons to fail. Often these reasons become external so you won’t have to blame yourself. If you believe nobody is interested in your recovery, it will similarly sap your energy and drive to put any effort toward rehab.

Once you have considered the root of your expectations, you will be empowered to make a fresh choice about how to respond to these expectations in Des Moines. You will be able to see that your fellow drug addict’s negative statements about rehab might be driven more than her own addictions than any true sense of rehab. You will be able to open your mind to the truth that success is in your hands, and you are not destined to failure. You will see that the staff at the rehab center are for you and rooting for your success.

What to Do Now?

Learning about the science behind addiction and assessing the sources of your expectations is not enough. You must be able to step into a different path, one that is more positive. This starts with a recommitment to the rehab process, a moment in time where you reaffirm your intention to move toward health and positive treatment of your chronic illness. Once you have made this recommitment, there are practical steps to consider because your expectations may still be uncertain based on tangible facts including the following:

  • Talk with the staff of the rehab center about specific concerns you have had in your experience thus far. Your experience may be based on specific tenets of the rehab center’s mission, or you may have misunderstood the motives behind certain actions by the staff.
  • You may come to the realization that a given rehab center will not be able to support your recovery. If this is the case, don’t walk away from health, but instead find another rehab center.
  • Share your concerns with trusted family and friends. Ensure all you speak with that this is not an excuse to run away from rehab but rather some unresolved issues you would like an unbiased opinion on.

Returning to Addiction Is Not the Answer

Returning to an addiction might seem to make sense. But understanding the physiological process takes time to reset and applying the strategies listed above will allow you to push through to recovery. Consistent use and abuse of drugs or alcohol is not a viable way to move forward with life in Des Moines.

The risks and the cost are simply too high. If this is where you find yourself right now, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you or your loved one find his or her way.