When you are making the decision to quit an addiction, there can be a lot of apprehension about what recovery will be like. Many people don’t know what to expect in the early days of recovery because it is something they have never experienced before. They might worry about how they will cope to a new lifestyle and the difficulties of getting through rehab.
Learning more about what to expect in the early days of recovery can help you feel more prepared before you enter a rehab program. The first 30 days are often the most challenging because it will be a very dramatic shift from what you are normally used to. Rehab is a big lifestyle change and you will have to learn to get used to getting through the day without any substance use.
There will be many more challenges and new tools that you need to learn after the first month but familiarizing yourself with the steps of the first 30 days can help you feel more prepared for rehab. It is a good idea to keep in mind that the things you experience the days in recovery can be unique to everyone’s situation so you will never know exactly how you will react. However, the more you know about the typical aspects of early recovery, the better you will be able to avoid any shock or surprise.
Going through Detox Treatment
The very first day of recovery and likely the rest of your first week will take place in a detox treatment center. Detox can be one of the most uncomfortable times in the early stages of recovery because you are ridding your body of toxins that are causing you to be dependent on drugs or alcohol. This is the period of time where you will struggle most with physical cravings but you will be in a safe environment where there is no chance of relapse.
Within the first twenty four hours of being abstinent from any drug use, you will start to feel withdrawal symptoms developing. These symptoms can come in many different forms depending on the type of drug you were addicted to and the severity of your addiction but there are many common issues that people experience such as trouble sleeping, nausea, anxiety and achiness. You can let the medical staff know what symptoms you are experiencing and they can provide you with any medication you might need to feel comfortable.
Adjusting to the Rehab Center
Once you are no longer experiencing withdrawal symptoms you will be discharged from the detox center and can start your regular treatment in rehab. It can take some time to adjust to rehab as you will need to follow a very busy schedule and you might not have as much personal time as you are used to. It is important for patients to stay occupied as often as possible so that they don’t get bored or depressed which can lead to drug cravings.
One of the things that you will need to get used to in a rehab center is talking about your addiction and discussing personal things that you may have never opened up about before. This can feel uncomfortable at first but in the end it will be a healing and cathartic experience. Therapy will be a big part of your day with regular individual sessions as well as group sessions with peers in the program.
Having a new routine and talking with others about your addiction will seem different at first but you will gradually start to adjust. There will also be plenty of time for activities and classes that can be valuable for education and connecting with the other people in the program. You can start to open yourself up to new hobbies and interests that might be therapeutic for you.
Continuing Your Stay or Attending Aftercare
The length of your stay in rehab will vary depending on your personal needs and your recovery plan. Some people stay only 30 days while others may stay as long as 3 months so that they make sure they are very comfortable in their sobriety. If you have stayed 30 days and feel like you need more time then you can arrange to extend your time in the program.
If you think you are ready to return home after 30 days after recovery then make sure to inquire about an aftercare program that you will be able to attend while living at home. Aftercare is an essential part of recovery because it allows you to adjust to your living situation while still receiving the support you need to stay on track with your sobriety. It will usually include therapy and twelve step meetings so that you can continue to connect with other addicts.
Even though the first 30 days might be challenging, it is the period of time when you will experience the most growth and positive change while in treatment.