When you begin treatment at a residential addiction treatment center or even a sober living home, you need to sign a document titled Consent to Treatment. By signing, you are agreeing to proposed services which will soon be provided and you understand that participating in such treatment will benefit you. Essentially, the Consent to Treatment agreement is a legal document in which you (the patient or client) are aware of all the potential risks and costs involved in the treatment being offered.
However, another important aspect to this document is that you are acknowledging your willingness to participate in treatment. This is an incredibly important step to take in your recovery. Without your willingness to participate, the treatment is likely to be unsuccessful. And relapses might be the result.
Recovery is, on the one hand, learning how to live life fully without the use of alcohol and drugs. Yet, on the other hand, it’s learning how to live fully without the use of manipulation, denial, and resistance. Sober living is a path of personal growth. It’s treatment for the condition of addiction. Because of this, there needs to be a certain amount of trust in the treatments that are going to be provided. Participating in treatment is going to require trust, openness, and most of all, willingness.
Willingness could be defined as knowing what you need to do and doing it. It can be a hard choice to finally do what you need to do when you might have been struggling with an addiction for many months or years. There are old habits, familiar circumstances, and the inner struggle that get in the way. Yet, it’s not the things that we intend to do that brings healing, but the things that we actually do.
For instance, although we might want to get sober and although there’s a pull inside to call a sober living facility, if we do not actually call, healing will never take place. Willingness is participation, action, and commitment. Willingness is showing up to recovery, including all the activities that recovery entails – 12-step meetings, therapy, support groups, and events within the recovery community. Willingness is showing up for yourself.
Consent to Treatment
The Consent to Treatment agreement is an acknowledgement of your willingness. You might also see it as a giving up of your apparent control. With addiction, it’s easy to have the illusion that you have control over your life and over the addiction. However, by agreeing to receive services, you agree that you aren’t in control and that it’s time to free yourself from the pain of an imprisoning addiction.
Another important reason for the Consent to Treatment agreement is that if you’re not willing to engage in services, then you’re likely to be full of anger and resentment for being in treatment. It can be infuriating to be somewhere against your will. And this too can get in the way of successful treatment.
When you enter treatment and you sign this important document, let it be a symbol for your full agreement to services, sobriety, and stepping on the road to recovery.