How Will Socializing in Rehab Help Me Recover?
There are parts of drug and alcohol rehabs that are discussed pretty frequently. For example, everyone knows about the benefits of detox and therapy. But, people don’t talk much about the socializing that happens in rehab. They should; it serves a very important purpose and helps recovering addicts in many ways.
Drug use is generally part of a social process. There is even something called the primary socialization theory that states drug and alcohol use and deviance are “social behaviors learned predominantly through three sources, the family, the school, and peer clusters.” This probably seems obvious to you because your drug and alcohol use was learned via these means.
If drug use is learned through socialization, can sobriety also be learned through peers who are also recovering drug addicts? In a way, it can. But, socialization in rehab has many other benefits as well.
To learn more about the many benefits of drug and alcohol rehab, contact DrugAddiction.org at 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) . Our experienced staff can answer your questions, direct you to helpful resources, and recommend appropriate treatment options.
A Drug Addict’s Social Life
When you are dependent upon drugs and/or alcohol or abusing them, your world revolves around the substance you are using. You are preoccupied with the next high. You spend your time thinking about how to get drugs, how to use them, and how to get more and start the process again.
With this self-destructive cycle of thinking, it becomes impossible to properly maintain other areas of your life. Responsibilities at home and at work or school get forgotten or overlooked. Things that previously made you happy no longer hold your interest. When you no longer get excited about things other than drugs, it’s impossible to maintain relationships. What do you talk about? How do you make room in your head for anything other than drugs?
Your social circle will dwindle to people who play some role in your substance use disorder. You will reliably keep in touch with people who can get drugs and use them with you. This will become a self-perpetuating isolation, where you only interact with other users.
You won’t be unaware of these changes and they won’t make you happy, but you won’t be able to prevent them happening. Your unhappiness will produce shame and that will further insulate you from people who care about you. You won’t be able to socialize with them because you feel guilty. You think you let them down.
When you enter rehab, you will no longer be able to maintain an isolated state. The entire program hinges on making connections with staff and peers and re-connecting with people you have lost touch with.
Group therapy is a big component of most rehab. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration specifically identifies group therapy as those groups that have a trained leader and the intention to produce some form of healing or recovery from substance abuse. Based on these requirements, they acknowledge five types of groups currently being used:
- Psychoeducational: teach about substance abuse
- Skills development: improve the skills needed to break free of addiction
- Cognitive–behavioral: change patterns of thinking and action that develop into addiction
- Support: a forum where members can challenge each other’s excuses and encourage constructive change
- Interpersonal process psychotherapy: empower clients to recreate their pasts in the present state of the group and rethink problems they have previously escaped via addictive substances
In these groups, participants must socialize with one another and they benefit demonstrably from forging these relationships.
The socialization found in rehab provides a number of benefits. It:
- Offers insight and guidance
- Provides comfort
- Guides people who are unhappy or lost
- Fosters healthy attachment
- Provides positive peer reinforcement
- Acts as an opportunity for self-expression
- Teaches new social skills
- Bonds patients to treatment
These actions are all opportunities for gratification, support, confrontation, affiliation, and identification.
According to an article in Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, people tend to “adopt roles supported by the individuals who they see most often and whose opinions are important to them.” Treatment guarantees that the people you see most are also dedicated to sobriety.
To take advantage of these benefits, you need to be in treatment. Call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) and speak with an expert who can help.