How to Check Yourself Into Rehab
Deciding to check into rehab is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. Admitting that we are powerless over our addiction and need help feels like a blow to our pride, but it isn’t.
In fact, checking into rehab is one of the bravest things a person can do. Having the wherewithal to surrender control to strangers takes a lot of courage and should be celebrated.
You’re making the decision to take your life back. Openly wishing to live a happy and healthy life should be one of the easiest decisions you ever make. Let’s take a look at what checking into rehab entails and everything you should expect.
Reasons to Check Into Rehab
Identifying drug abuse in yourself or a loved one isn’t easy. Determining when drug rehab is appropriate may seem like a drastic step. Even so, it’s a determination that can save someone’s life.
Physical signs of drug addiction differ depending on age and the drug in question. While physical signs are often the most obvious indicator that drug abuse is occurring, they may not be the best indicator as to whether an individual needs to enter rehab or not.
In many cases, behavioral cues will be the best signal that someone is losing control over his or her life. The best way to determine whether or not treatment is required is to consult a professional, such as a counselor or a doctor.
Aside from professional consultation, here are some signs to watch out for when determining if rehab is needed:
- Tolerance: One of the earliest signs of deepening addiction is an increasing tolerance to drugs. If you need increasingly larger doses to get the same effect, you might be losing control.
- Withdrawal: Signs of withdrawal go hand-in-hand with increasing tolerance. If you experience things like anxiety, sweating or nausea when you aren’t using, professional treatment is most likely necessary.
- Loss of Control: You may tell yourself and others that you won’t use. Then withdrawal sets in. Loss of control occurs when you give in and use in order to alleviate the awful feeling you have from not using. Despite your best intentions, you turn to your drug of choice.
- Neglecting Life: Obtaining, hiding and taking drugs takes a lot of time and energy; time and energy you once used to live a normal life. Once you’re at a point where you spend less time participating in normal life activities and more time isolating and using, treatment may be required.
- Social, Financial or Legal Problems: Drug addiction is not sustainable under normal circumstances. Once it gets bad enough that rehab is necessary, chances are the user is socially isolated, financially broke and may even be in legal trouble. Once a person has reached this point, professional treatment is the only hope.
How to Check Into Rehab
You’ve acknowledged that you have a problem that requires help. Now it’s time to get that help. If drugs or alcohol have taken over your life, entering rehab may be one of the wisest decisions you ever make.
First, you may wonder if you can check yourself into rehab. The answer is absolutely. But there are several steps you must take before doing so:
- Investigate: Entering rehab is a serious commitment that comes with a financial cost. You’ll want to check to see if your health insurance will assist. In the absence of insurance, some private rehab centers offer financing. Also check local services and state- or province-funded rehab programs. Research how programs work, visiting hours and therapeutic approaches to treatment.
- Inform: If you’re working, look into taking a leave of absence. Make sure to tell friends and family members that you will be away, so no one worries. Avoid interacting with anyone who doesn’t support your decision to enter treatment.
- Contact: Once you’ve decided on a facility and informed those close to you, contact the treatment center and make arrangements. Ask about what you can and cannot bring and then arrange dates of arrival. Discuss methods of payment and treatment timeframes.
- Check in: Finally, it’s time to check in. Arrive on the specified date and time, and be prepared. Understand that you’ll feel anxiety and maybe some resistance. That’s normal. Getting there and signing on the dotted line is the ultimate goal.
How to Check Someone Into Rehab
There are few things more emotionally draining than watching a loved one slip deeper and deeper into addiction. Once people reach a certain point in their addiction, they may become unable to recognize the need for outside help.
If you’re like most people, you’ve likely gone through a wide range of emotional turmoil, from sadness to anger and fear. You may feel helpless, but you aren’t. Finding the strength within yourself to get a loved one into rehab is a life-saving move.
Checking someone else into rehab requires the same types of preparation that are required when checking yourself into rehab. You’ll need to do some research and contact a rehab center to set everything up, but these aren’t the only considerations.
Consider the following if you are thinking about checking a loved one into rehab:
- Educate Yourself: Learn everything you can about addiction and how it affects the life of an addict. Attend local support groups to get information on resources and tactics. Read about how addicts react so you can mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for what’s to come.
- Make a Plan: When everything is spiraling out of control, it might seem like the best option to step in and take charge without prior arrangements. However, without proper planning, your efforts might fail. From alerting family members to outlining consequences and forming your approach, getting your loved one into rehab requires careful planning. You’ll also need to coordinate with the treatment facility to ensure they’re ready to receive your loved one.
- Stage an Intervention: An intervention is a meeting of the addict’s family members and close loved ones. The addict is confronted with the consequences of his or her actions. While the intervention itself doesn’t force the addict into rehab, it does provide a real-world view of how their behavior is affecting their life and those around them.
- Get Them to Treatment: Build on a successful intervention by ensuring your loved one enters treatment right away. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your loved one will forget everything you said at the intervention. If possible, stage the intervention so that the rehab center is ready to admit your loved on that same day.
The best thing you can do to prepare for getting your loved one into treatment is to be patient, but stern, and blunt, but not judgmental. Avoid statements that assign blame or cast aspersions.
The best way to get your loved one to respond to you is to show a calm understanding while remaining firm in your decision. They must know that this decision comes from a place of love and caring. You want them to heal, and they need to see that in your actions.
How to Prepare for Addiction Rehab
You’ve taken the step to enter rehab. Now what do you do? The first and most obvious step is making sure all of your loose ends at home are tied up.
Make sure finances, bills and social obligations are all handled. When you’re in rehab, you must let everything else go to be fully focused on your recovery.
It’s important to note that financial and social obligations aren’t the only considerations involved in preparing yourself for rehab. You must prepare yourself mentally as well.
When preparing to enter rehab, address your feelings in the following ways:
- Be Honest With Yourself: Make sure you’re checking into rehab for the right reasons. Never fully commit to a program if your heart isn’t in it. Outline what you expect to gain and what you’re willing to contribute.
- Understand Anxiety: Having anxiety over entering rehab is completely normal. Acknowledge your anxiety and work with it. Don’t let it consume you, but acknowledge that it’s there and move forward.
- Stay Positive: Drug addiction and alcoholism cannot be cured overnight. There will be times when you feel depressed or alone. Realize that you’re not. Rehab centers offer professional and compassionate staff members who are ready to help. Although your family may not be there in person, they’re there in spirit. Remain positive throughout the process and know that in time you will heal.
After preparations have been made, it’s time to jump in headfirst. Of course you will have questions, and you may want to know what you can and cannot bring. Your final considerations should involve what happens when you walk through the door.
What to Ask and Expect
Although some of these questions should be asked before choosing the treatment facility, it’s always good to cover them again once you’ve entered rehab. Reminding yourself why you’re there is always a good thing.
Discovering how the professionals can help will maintain your comfort level throughout the process. Once you’re sitting in front of an intake specialist, you’ll want to know what to expect.
Consider the following questions:
- Is the program short- or long-term?
- Will other medications be used in my treatment?
- Does the program have a method for minimizing cravings?
- Is there a nutritional component?
- What kind of life skills will I learn?
- What kind of activities do you provide?
- When can I see my family?
Preparing yourself to ask the right questions also involves being ready to answer them. Your rehab intake specialist or counselor will have questions for you as well, and they may not be easy to answer. Remember to stay honest and calm throughout the process.
Here are some questions you may be asked upon entering treatment:
- Why are you choosing to seek treatment?
- When was the last time you used?
- When did you begin using?
- How has using affected your life?
- What is your medical or mental history?
- What is your employment and family situation like?
- Have you ever been to treatment before?
Finally, there will be expectations that come with your stay in rehab. Obviously, you won’t be able to bring everything into the facility. You’re only allowed to bring things that promote your recovery and complement your stay.
Here’s a common list of items you cannot bring into rehab:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Musical instruments
- Razor blades
- Excessive makeup or jewelry
- Mouthwash containing alcohol
- Outside food or drink
- Herbal products or vitamins
- Revealing or offensive clothing
While every rehab center slightly differs in what they do and don’t allow, the above list covers the basics. Some allow personal music devices like iPods and others don’t. Some offer computer time and others don’t.
Understanding what each center allows and doesn’t allow should be part of the initial investigative process. Once you’ve isolated what you can’t bring, it’s time to determine what is allowed.
For most rehab centers, you can usually bring the following:
- Prescribed non-narcotic medications (generally administered by rehab center staff)
- Casual clothing
- Pictures or personal mementos
- Laundry supplies
- Electric razors
- Personal hygiene items
- Limited cash
- Self-help or recovery-based books
What you can bring also varies by facility. Check ahead of time before walking in with suitcases full of stuff.
Remember that entering treatment isn’t about what physical things you take in, it’s about what emotional and mental skills you take home. Part of entering treatment is acknowledging the need to let go of your former life. Leaving things behind helps you come to that realization.
Choosing to enter rehab is a brave decision. If you’re considering taking this courageous step, check out our list of top rehab centers.