This article is intended to be used by the general public for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as a reference for educational research papers, nor is it a reflection of the services available through our Rehab Program in Thailand.
Getting Through the First Days of Rehab – There was a fairly large gap of time between the recognition that I needed to stop drinking and finally giving it up. For many of us with substance abuse problems, there is generally this lag between our own awareness of the problem and the final decision to address it. Most of this stems from fear and anxiety. We fear the larger problem of life without alcohol or drugs, and we fear the immediate problem of what it is going to be like when we stop using chemicals that have altered our minds and bodies for such a long time. I know the latter was major concern for me.
The first thing anyone can do is get an understanding of the physiology of addiction. Although this can be scary in itself, it at least gives us real knowledge on the issues rather than the folk tales which can circulate in the popular imagination. The withdrawal symptoms for many drugs is generally uncomfortable but not dangerous. Alcohol and Xanax (and its relatives) can have quite serious complications. It is best to consult medical help with these issues. But the main point here is that some simple information takes the sting out of anxiety.
In the first 24 hours you can expect to feel pretty low. I know many people, including myself, who had one last night of seriously indulging before we went into rehab. This is fairly common. I do not encourage this, but it does happen a lot. This last bender alone will leave you feeling pretty sick.
Depression and anxiety are common. If you know this is coming, you can get through it by simply reminding yourself that this is all from the chemicals. It is not the “new you” as a sober person. This first bout of feeling bad is chemically driven and will pass.
Have access to healthy foods. Alcohol, for example, is basically a complex sugar. If we have been taking in large amounts of alcohol on a daily basis and suddenly deprive ourselves of that, guess what is going to happen? We are going to be stuffing donuts in our mouths and binging on processes sugar is a bad idea. For one thing, it will start a seriously bad cycle of sugar highs and lows which will cause mood swings. Obviously none of us want to gain a ton of weight as we attempt to get healthy. Fruits and fruit juices are the way to go in this early stage of things.
If you have decided to get professional help in a reputable rehab center. You will have access to all the medical care necessary to make sure these first 72 hours are safe. If you have decided to work with a program of recovery, the best feature of your recovery plan will be a support group. We do not have to go to a 12 step program to get this kind of support. There are numerous forms of addiction recovery groups in the world these days. Some simple online research will easily get you in touch with the support group that is right for you.
The main issue that hangs us up and prevents us from moving forward into recovery and feeling better is simple fear of the unknown. Making yourself better aware of what to expect will take the pain out of those first few days in recovery.
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