The Importance of Being Involved In Your Treatment Experience

Addiction recovery requires professional treatment and support. However it is not a passive experience. Even the best professionals or most loving family members cannot recover for you. You must participate in your recovery. You must put in the work and engage in treatment. When you do, you can change. You can find a fulfilling, healthy and sober life.

You Need to Be Involved for Treatment to Be Effective

The Importance of Being Involved In Your Treatment Experience

Be an active participant in your treatment

The individuals in treatment who complain the most, resist the most and express the most frustrations are not necessarily those who are the least involved or engaged. Recovery takes change, and change is scary. You should expect to feel doubt, anger, ambivalence and uncertainty. Be involved in your treatment experience, and feel these emotions. Express them, and talk with your treatment provider about what you are feeling or fearing. Individuals who keep reservations, emotions and thoughts hidden are individuals who are only going through the outward motions of recovery. Addiction recovery is so much more than simply not using a drug. If that was all recovery required, there would be no need for any treatment services other than medically supervised detox services. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse[1]  shares, “Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse…Patients should be encouraged to continue drug treatment following detoxification. Motivational enhancement and incentive strategies, begun at initial patient intake, can improve treatment engagement.” Real change is more than temporary or even long-term sobriety. Recovery is physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual. Recovery occurs through involvement in treatment.

The Dangers of Not Being Involved in Your Treatment Experience

The biggest problem that comes with a lack of involvement is treatment drop out. If you are not interested in or committed to change, you are likely to leave treatment early. You may stay for the first few weeks after detox but then decide you’ve had enough. You may think you have learned enough, that detox was enough and that you can do the rest on your own. You may have no interest in continuing recovery and believe your short stay was enough to calm the worries of friends and family members. The unfortunate truth is that if you drop out of treatment, you are likely to relapse. The New York Times[2] shares, “The rate of drop-out from voluntary commitment after several weeks is a common problem. Drop out almost always means relapse.” Disengaging isn’t the end of recovery efforts. Relapse is not an end either. Both mean facing setbacks before starting again, but it is never too late to become involved in treatment.

What Does Being Involved Look Like?

Being involved in your drug treatment program means many different things. It means listening and participating in meetings and discussions. It means practicing skills and strategies discussed in therapy. It means not holding back, being honest and not letting fear get in the way of growth. There are so many options for recovery, and you can find the ones that you truly want to participate in. You can begin treatment with motivational therapy to find your reasons to recover. You can add art therapy or adventure therapy to your experience. Support groups, group counseling and family therapy can help others become more involved in supporting you. Social therapy options also provide real-life examples of treatment success and provide more reasons to become and stay involved in recovery. Relapse prevention and life skills training can provide the basis for being more involved in life after treatment. Being involved looks different for everyone. There is no wrong way to recover as long as you are committed to and engaged in a professional program.

Be Involved; Find Recovery

Becoming involved in a treatment program begins with an easy phone call. Our admissions coordinators are here 24 hours a day to connect you to the right treatment for you. We provide information about treatment options that interest you and will meet your recovery needs. We provide free initial assessments if you are not certain what your needs are. We can answer questions about technical details such as insurance coverage, travel to treatment and taking time off from school, work or life. Become involved in your treatment, your recovery and your life. Call now.


[1]    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment. “Principles of Effective Treatment.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dec 2012. Web. 28 Jun 2016.

[2]    http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/11/11/should-drug-addicts-be-forced-into-treatment/compelled-drug-addiction-treatment-works-because-of-retention. “Should Drug Addicts be Forced into Treatment.” New York Times. 4 May 2016. Web. 28 Jun 2016.