Addiction Treatment

Why I Needed 28 Days Away

A little over three years ago I found myself checking into a 28-day treatment facility for alcoholism, a couple hours away from my hometown in North Carolina. I called and had three days to get ready, until a bed was going to be available for me. The preparation was reminiscent of getting ready for summer camp when I was a little girl. My mom and I went to Wal-Mart with a checklist of approved and non-approved items, and filled our cart with the approved necessities.

It was a humbling experience—the first of many to come.

I had no idea what rehab was about, or what they did, or how they got people to stay sober. I just knew I needed help. I had proven to myself that I couldn’t do it own my own. I had tried many times unsuccessfully and was baffled as to why I couldn’t just stop. I had finally reached a point where I was willing to try; I would do anything they asked of me if I could just not want to take a drink. I remember thinking that it would be a miracle if my desire and obsession to drink could be removed. It seemed impossible.

Adjusting to Life After Rehab

Graduating from a rehab program is an enormous accomplishment for which you should be very proud. Successfully completing a treatment program shows that you are committed to fighting your addiction. It’s important to remember that the work required to live a sober life doesn’t stop when you leave a rehab facility. Now is your chance to apply the things you learned to your day-to-day life.

You have an opportunity to really change your life. Maintaining positive changes from rehab will take proactive effort and reinforcement. To avoid the trappings of your former addictive habits, and bolster your new healthy lifestyle, have the following supports in place:

A Network of Sober People

Sober contacts can be your most valuable tools during recovery and they can also become lifelong friends. You should be able to call these people if you’re struggling with cravings, or if you just need to talk. Staying sober can seem lonely at first but there is a vibrant recovery community at your fingertips. Pick up the phone and call a sober contact. A good place to start such a network, if you haven’t already created one with others in treatment, is to attend peer support meetings like Al-Anon.