If you feel that you have a problem with a specific drug or drugs and are ready and willing to go to rehab, go for it. Just be aware that you can’t drink alcohol during the time you are there. This might seem like a “well, of course!” type of statement but, you might be surprised at what people’s concepts of rehab are. I know I didn’t really know what to expect when I went into rehab.
So, you have a problem with opiates but not alcohol. Or it’s cocaine that’s really messed up your life, but not drinking. Well, it’s a good thing you are considering going to rehab. In fact, because you have even considered rehab is probably an indication that you could benefit from treatment.
Going to rehab means abstaining from all drugs including alcohol, besides what is medically prescribed to you. If you truly don’t have a problem with alcohol, then it shouldn’t faze you to stop drinking while you’re in rehab, right?
My personal experience with addiction, treatment, and recovery is relevant to this topic because I used and abused pretty much every drug out there in my addiction and yet, it had been a couple of years since my last drink when I entered rehab. It started with binge drinking on the weekends in high school. I soon added marijuana to my partying regimen. In college, I began experimenting with hallucinogens and designer drugs like Ecstasy and Special K but I always had my two standbys: alcohol and pot. Once I discovered painkillers, I did however like to mix those with drinking. I began doing coke, which I also liked to mix with alcohol. Over time, I graduated to IV drug use, shooting pills, heroin, cocaine and crack.
One day, I finally decided I had had enough. I had struggled with the question: should I go to rehab on and off for a couple of years, always deciding that I could do it on my own. I had so many hair-brained ideas to stop using drugs and none of them worked; I was ready to go to rehab.
In rehab, I was able to gain some perspective on my patterns of drug use, once I got all the junk out of my system and had a clear head. I learned about why I used drugs and ways to not go back to using drugs in order to live a life free of dependence on drugs. I now see how using one drug for recreational use, even if it’s not my drug of choice, is a risk I’m not willing to take. I (slightly) remember how I spent my last birthday: it started out with Ecstasy but ended up with me on a warpath in a search for my drug of choice: heroin. The combination of these drugs landed me in the hospital for 3 days.
So, even though alcohol hasn’t been a problem for me in over 8 years (7 before treatment plus one year since I’ve been clean), having to stop drinking alcohol is a no-brainer for me. It’s just not worth it to throw away my recovery.