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Looking back on my stints in rehab, I see many different things that I wish I would have known prior to going into treatment. Most of us go into rehab and have no idea what exactly we are going into. I’ve thought of 7 things I wish I knew before I went to rehab.

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Went to Rehab:

1. Rehab is not a punishment.

Believe it or not rehab is not a punishment, it’s a privilege. You are getting a second chance at life and are getting to work on yourself. Most people don’t get that chance, especially most addicts. A lot of addicts and alcoholics never get a chance to get sober and make it to rehab. Be grateful that you are getting this chance and don’t sulk like it’s the worst punishment ever; I get that it’s not fun but you’re lucky to be alive.

2. My addiction affects more than just me.

Wait, what? So you’re saying it’s not all about me and other people are suffering from my addiction, too?! Big shocker; yes the people closest to you actually suffer just as much if not more than you do from your addiction. Think about it, they make meetings for people who just know someone who is an addict or alcoholic. JUST BECAUSE THEY KNOW US! We have that much power and effect on other people’s lives, so remember you’re not only getting better for you.

3. Rehab doesn’t fix everything and make it all better.

I was surprised to find this out at first. I thought once I went to rehab I would be fixed and everything would be back to normal again and I could be a normal person. It turns out rehab doesn’t fix you or make it all better; rehab is to help you get better. When you are an addict or alcoholic, you have to continue working on yourself and rehab doesn’t just make all your problems go away. Rehab is there to help you get through your problems so you aren’t alone.

4. I shouldn’t be ashamed to share and it will only help me get better.

At first, when I went into rehab I was absolutely frightened to share anything about myself with the people in there. Come to find out, a lot of them had been through similar situations to mine and understood what I was going through. It can be scary sharing your secrets and life stories with strangers but just know that these people identify with the feelings you are feeling and sharing will only help you get better and stronger in your recovery.

5. I don’t have to detox at home before treatment.

It is dangerous to try to detox at home by yourself and the staff actually expects you to come in sick or even under the influence. When I went to rehab I failed the drug test and thought I was going to be thrown out but they just had me go through detox prior to starting my treatment. They are trained to make sure you are safe medically before they can help you with your addiction issues. A lot of people die from trying to detox at home, withdrawals can be dangerous and deadly. Don’t try to detox yourself!

6. It doesn’t matter where I go to rehab.

Now when it comes to being dual-diagnosed, this isn’t 100% true but with most of us, it really doesn’t matter where you go to rehab. When you’re going to rehab the most important thing is that you’re there. You don’t even have to be there for the right reasons, as long as you go. When I first went to rehab I didn’t want to be there for the first two weeks and eventually that changed so you don’t even have to want to be there and it definitely doesn’t matter which facility you choose to go to!

7. Pack comfortable and appropriate clothes, not trendy clothes.

I don’t personally relate to this one because I always dress comfortably and don’t really wear inappropriate clothes but a lot of girls and guys in rehab pack and get there and don’t realize that it can be really cold and you want warm clothes and also that there is a dress code. We go to rehab to get better from our addiction, not to find a life partner or look good. After rehab, you can dress however you want but in rehab you will most definitely want to be comfortable.If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

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