When you’re about to enter a drug treatment center, expect your life to change. Not because you’re about to live somewhere new or because you’re going to meet new people, or even because you’re going to stop abusing drugs or alcohol. You can expect your life to change because in drug treatment, you’re going to have the opportunity to look at all your thoughts, words, and actions. You’ll have the chance to explore how your thoughts, words, and actions have contributed to your addiction.
One recovering addict described it well:
When I arrived in drug rehab, I was acutely aware that all my thoughts, words and actions up to that point in my life had led me to this place. This was the result of the sum total of all my activities. I felt like a failure. I had failed at life. What I could not realize was that I had hit the jackpot. My authentic self was awakening.
What’s wonderful about the way that he put it is that he recognizes drug treatment as an opportunity, not a time to point the finger at what’s wrong. But rather to look at all the opportunities for change, for transformation, and for lifting an experience that you no longer want to have.
Drug Rehab Tools for Examining Your Thoughts
Certainly, getting sober also means getting healthy in your thoughts. And participating in drug treatment includes experiencing a variety of tools to examine your thoughts. This includes individual therapy, group therapy, and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. There’s no question that once thoughts begin to change, so will feelings and behavior.
In fact, changing your thoughts in order to change your life is the premise for a very effective therapy used to treat addiction as well as other mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. This drug addiction therapy is known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. A therapist and client work together to change behavior by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns. This successful form of therapy emphasizes the link between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and more importantly, it attempts to identify the way that certain thoughts contribute to the unique problems of an individual’s life. By changing the thought pattern, both feelings and behavior change, which can result in a transformed life. And in the case of addiction, it can lead to living free and clear of an addiction – living sober.
Here’s a clear example: Kevin was let go from his job after 26 years. Depending on how he responds to this loss will influence his feelings, thoughts, and behavior. He could either think that his company no longer needs him or that he was letting his family down by losing his job. This in turn could trigger certain feelings such as depression, discomfort, and hopelessness. And this in turn might lead to avoiding friends and family or activities he used to enjoy.
Changes in the Right Direction
However, he might see it as an opportunity to make a change in his life. He might have a positive thought about all the skills he has acquired over the years and how he can apply them elsewhere. As a result, he might feel optimistic, excited, and motivated, and he might start behaving in ways to acquire that new opportunity such as networking, planning for the future, and building a new career.
Recognizing the ways we respond to life and the thoughts we have can be a significant part of your drug addiction treatment experience. Whether it’s an intentional activity you do while you’re in drug rehab or not, try to fit into your drug detox experience. Essentially, as you are withdrawing from the alcohol and/or drugs, you are also going through withdrawal from addiction related thoughts. As the recovering addict mentioned above put it, doing so could be like hitting the jackpot.