6 Thoughts You May Have During Your First Week of Treatment

6 Thoughts You May Have During Your First Week of Treatment

During the first week of drug rehab recovering addicts commonly question whether or not to stay in treatment

The first week of drug rehab is a whirlwind of activities, emotions, thoughts, and temptations. You are adjusting to a new schedule, new living environment, new people, and new way of functioning. During that week, you will struggle with a variety of thoughts. If you or a loved one in California is entering rehab, being prepared for these in advance can arm you with the resolve to stick it out past the first difficult days.

“I Don’t Like This Facility”

Nobody wants to be in drug rehab. You’d rather be with family, friends, your coworkers, or even drug-using companions. You may even want to go back to using again. You may not like the food, the accommodations, the schedule, the staff, or other people there. Rather than ditch rehab, talk to the staff in charge of your treatment. Your concerns may be legitimate. They may be able to move you to another room or change your medication or dietary options. Chances are, the real issue isn’t the rehab center, but rather your discomfort with confronting your addiction.

“I Can’t Make it Through Detox”


According to Psych Central, the first week of drug rehab is difficult, as the addict must endure the painful side effects of drug withdrawal. This is the process by which the body rids itself of toxic chemicals and returns to normal functioning without the use of drugs. During this time, you may be tempted to believe that detox is just too difficult and that returning to drug use is a better option. After all, being on drugs feels a whole lot better than the pain of detox.

When you begin to feel this way, you must remind yourself that detox doesn’t last forever. While the time it takes to complete detox depends how long you’ve been taking drugs and how much you’ve been taking, you should begin to feel better in about a week. You will still experience some withdrawal symptoms, but they will be much more bearable.

“I’m Giving This One Shot”

You may go into treatment with the notion that you will give yourself one chance to undergo treatment, and if it doesn’t work, then you’ll just learn to manage your life as an active addict. This thinking comes from a faulty understanding of addiction. Drug abuse is not just a moral choice; it is a chronic brain disease in which your brain has become altered by the presence of drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. While some people can quit on their own and without help, this is not the norm at all. Most people who abuse drugs require help from others through a treatment facility or individual counseling. In fact, the relapse rate for addicts is the same for other chronic diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes.

When you are tempted to believe that rehab doesn’t work even though you tried, remind yourself that any behavior takes time to learn—and unlearn. You didn’t learn how to ride a bike or swim the first time you tried. Learning how to master those skills took time and continued effort. The same principle applies to drug recovery.

“My Family Needs Me”

It is true that rehab takes time away from your spouse, children, and other family members. The time away is difficult because you feel guilty about letting them down and feel bad for leaving them to deal daily stresses without your help. However, you must remember that you were often absent from them when you were an active addict. You may have been present physically, but your attention was focused on drugs. In all likelihood, your addiction caused rifts in family relationships. When you are tempted to quit rehab and go back to your family, remember that your family does need you—but they need you clean and sober and on the path of recovery. Being away from them now is a small price to pay for long-term presence and caring later.

“I Am Not Like These People”

When you first come to rehab, you’ll meet and be around people who act differently than you do. They seem out of control and desperate to use drugs again. They need more help than you do. Or, on the other hand, you may think your problems are much more difficult to address. While every person in rehab is different, you all share some similarities. You all know the pain of addiction and the price it has cost you. Rather than rejecting others because of their faults or mistakes, try to learn from them. You may just find some new friends who will support your recovery once you leave treatment.

“Nobody Treats Me Fairly”

Because of the environment of rehab, clients often balk at their new surroundings. Staff members hold them accountable. The therapist may point out a painful character trait. You can’t easily manipulate others to get what you want. Many people leave treatment early because of the staff. However, blaming the staff is often a smokescreen for the real problem. You may blame your discomfort on them instead of acknowledging that you are the source of the problem. An article from the journal Addictive Behaviors points out that those who work in drug rehab facilities are well trained, and the therapies and techniques they use may be painful, but their approach can be productive and beneficial.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

Staying in treatment during these first few days and weeks is critical. According to an article from the L.A. Times, the longer you stay in treatment, especially after the first 90 days, the lower your risk of relapse will be. If you or a loved one in California is ready to get the treatment you need, we can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We can provide options for treatment centers that will work with your insurance and that specialize in your type of addiction. Call us today to start on the path of recovery.

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