Addicts and alcoholics check into a residential treatment center to get the 24 hour a day care they need in early sobriety. Rehab offers a fresh start, new scenery and like minded people working towards the same goal of recovery. Many alcoholics and addicts go to rehab out of state in hopes to avoid distraction and “start over”. Some check in to ritzy places with world class chefs and masseurs while others check into decidedly more modest treatment centers with cot like beds and multiple roommates. In Los Angeles alone there are a plethora of rehab facilities to check into, but one thing always remains the same: the addict is going to live by a new set of rules.
Treatment centers aren’t designed to punish the addict and alcoholic but rather to instill new ideas and behaviors conducive to recovery. While every rehab offers a different schedule, the addict’s day is usually pretty well mapped out. Some may balk at the seemingly rigid schedule as they’re handed a sheet depicting the weekly itinerary. Most alcoholics and addicts are defiant towards structure and have a hard time playing by anyone’s rules but their own. Selfishness and self centeredness are key characterizations of the addict and its not unusual for them to be used to doing things “their way” even if its at the expense of others.
A lot of the rules and guidelines at a treatment center may seen pointless and stringent. Its not uncommon to see an addict try and talk their way out of doing a chore or attending a meeting. Addicts are full of excuses for why they are above the law. This entitled sense of self is another characteristic that defines addicts and alcoholics. Learning to go with the flow of life and work with other people is an important part of recovery. If an addict were to check into rehab and refuse to get out of bed all day they would be missing the experience. This is a time to change and form new habits. Its not going to be easy for someone that’s used to getting their way all the time, but part of recovery is surrendering to a new way of living. It is of no value to the addict to continue to live life on their terms only.
The staff isn’t out to get you, so arguing is futile. Treatment offers us the opportunity to learn how to coexist with other people in a harmonious way. Addicts like to put up a good fight, especially if their egos are threatened. It is not uncommon to see a patient complaining at a staff member or yelling at their roommate. With emotions seen for the first time in years, early sobriety can make us testy and angry. Mending and building new healthy relationships with others is paramount in recovery.
At first the days of treatment may seem to stretch on forever. The “finish line” may be nowhere in sight—but that isn’t the purpose of treatment. In recovery there is no finish line. Yes, the day will come to check out of rehab, but if its given a fair shot, the process will help develop new tools for living a happy, sober life.