Getting the most out of treatment

Starting drug or alcohol treatment is the first step toward recovering from your addiction and leading a healthy, sober life. It helps to have the right mindset. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for your treatment.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, big and small, so that you understand what is happening to you and what your choices are at every step of the way.

Stay focused on the reasons you need sobriety when you feel like giving up.

Set rules. This helps you to manage your own behavior and maintain good relationships with people around you.

Be patient. There’s no finish line in addiction recovery. It’s a life-long journey. Give yourself (and the people around you) the freedom to grow at your own pace so you don’t set yourself up for failure. Recovery takes time, it doesn’t happen over night.

Be willing to make changes in your life and within yourself. Sometimes you have to renegotiate this moment by moment. But a sustained willingness leads to sustained recovery.

Be open to suggestions of people who are there to help. This will increase your ability to see things differently, see yourself honestly and make new choices that will improve your life.

Accept you need help. There can be a tendency to have an inner conflict during sobriety, especially during early sobriety, about many or all aspects of your life.

Be honest. Dishonesty is a natural manifestation of addiction. Be honest with yourself and with the people around you. Let go of the need to lie, manipulate or deceive. Healing begins from a place of honesty.

Don’t be over ambitious. There is no “quick fix” to alcohol or drug addiction. Treatment and recovery takes time.

Set realistic and achievable goals. You’ll have ups and downs. That’s life, and it’s certainly the beginning of sobriety. Some days may feel absolutely unbearable—like the worst days you’ve ever had. But other days will feel good or at least better, and you’ll see progress.

Write your goals down, so you can refer back to them and see what progress you have made.

Announce your goals. Tell your friends, family members, key worker or doctor. Set dates by which you would like to achieve your goals.

Learn from the past. Reflect on previous attempts to stop drinking or taking drugs. What worked? What didn’t? What can you do differently this time to avoid pitfalls?

Prepare for relapse. Identify high risk situations

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are having problems getting support, if you are uncomfortable with your treatment options – speak to an advocacy group, who can offer you the advice, support and guidance that you need. Remember you are not alone.