As someone who has been in drug and alcohol treatment in three different programs, I have the experience of being a patient and a client. As an interventionist, I am familiar with many different treatment programs and as the director of a treatment program, Sea of Sharks Recovery, I know what we are trying to achieve for our clients. The following are recommendations for people going into a treatment program:
I. The Do’s
1. Participate in everything. You will never meet these people again so let go of “what will they think of me”. Who care? Do it!!
2. Be honest with your therapist and staff. If something is bothering you or you have a problem, share it!
3. Keep a journal. It will be one of your best resources later.
4. Do follow the rules and guidelines. It simply makes life easier and it holds the rehab accountable – if you screw up and don’t succeed, the rehab can blame it on you. If you do ALL the recommendations, you can blame your lack of success on them.
5. Do tell on your friends – this is the one place where it’s not only cool, but will save their lives. This is not prison, college, or … home.
6. Understand no place is perfect. There will always be something to complain about.
7. Live life like you wish you would – in other words, be clean!!!!
8. Try new things – do something you always wanted to.
9. Take time to be alone and pray, read, and meditate.
10. Set goals and work toward them.
11. Ask for HELP!!!!
12. Tell your therapists/staff what you think you need and then be open to what they think you need.
II. The Don’ts
1. Don’t break the rules – they are there for a reason and we need practice following rules.
2. Don’t sleep with other clients. It’s messy, it’s against the rules and usually gets you thrown out.
3. Don’t use or drink – need we say more.
4. Don’t keep secrets – it’s true that secrets keep us sick and we are really bad at it. We always have to tell our best friend and everyone has a best friend.
5. Don’t be afraid to make sober mistakes – we can recover from anything if we stay sober for it.