Obstacles and Challenges of Rehab

This article intends to clarify and increase understanding of various obstacles when in treatment for substance misuse. The hope is to help anyone struggling with addiction recognize the difficulties, worries, or concerns they may have. And, above all, help them overcome any personal barriers to asking for assistance.

When an individual is suffering from some form of substance misuse, the complexities surrounding this can be overwhelming. The truth of the matter is that the complexities observed are, in fact, the consequences of continued use.

The following suggested articles examine what keeps a person from getting help and what you can do about it. Most family members ask, “Why will my son, daughter, or spouse not go into treatment?”

Suggested articles:

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Acceptance is a Key Factor in Recovery

The person overcoming the acceptance of their substance misuse is in itself a subject. Understanding “acceptance” as a key factor in the treatment process can benefit many. Someone without acceptance makes the challenges of rehab even more present. Looking at the word itself and its agreed meaning is:

“Acceptance is a noun derived from the verb accept; it means to believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct”—Oxford Dictionary.

Having a loved one accept as valid or correct that their present activity is non-survival can be difficult for many family members. However, there is a way to help someone recognize their lifestyle or choices as detrimental to their well-being. It does require acceptance on behalf of the person. It also includes non-illicit substances such as alcohol, prescription medications, and pot.

When the person accepts their condition as non-optimal, one can proceed to have the person arrive for treatment.

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Life Skills
in a Rehab

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Options in Rehabs

Public and Private Facilities

Public Access Services

One of the challenges of rehab is to locate the right facility suited to the person and their particular issues. The usual action is to contact the local publicly funded detox or rehab centre, which requires several steps with multiple appointments. All this added time opens the door for the person returning to use and back out of arrival.

These facilities, even though they do get results with persons struggling with substance misuse, have limited access. They also have stipulations, in many cases, that the person with addiction should make the procedure for themselves and not a third person.

They ask the person with a substance use problem to make decisions and make the appointment. Asking them to be at the appointment, follow up with the appointment, bring the required documentation, etc. Simply stated, this action asks too much of the person in a vulnerable state. Thus, there are often more failures than actual successes in admission.

Private Services

The other option is with private treatment centres. Here, as a parent or friend, you can contact the centre, give the intake counsellor the info, and receive the required documents to fill out. Then, the counsellor assists you in getting the person to arrive. They will even help the person overcome fears, misconceptions, or uncertainties. Chances are you will have your loved one arrive at the centre on time in a few days and start their recovery, avoiding failure of arrival.

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Questions to
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Rules and Restraints

One of the Challenges of Rehab

It’s common for a new arrival to be apprehensive about certain rules and restraints. Consider the person may have been living a lifestyle of “come and go as they please” for some time. It can also be that the person lived disconnected from the general agreement of socially accepted behaviour. For example, individuals who have not had any daily schedule of sleep, work, recreation, etc. Normally, the only interest was the next high or drink. “Couch surfing” is when a person finds shelter and food by staying at one friend after another.

Rules and restraints in any facility often exist to ensure the well-being of the other clients. Anyone who mainly does as they please without concern for consequences may feel ‘stopped’ or ‘hindered,’ even controlled. Even though these regulations benefit the recovery process, it can be challenging for the new arrival to follow these new views.

A small piece of advice that may help overcome the challenges of rehab is to ask yourself, “How can this rule help my recovery?” or “Does this rule help me in my search for sobriety?”. Any such questions can open up some understanding and acceptance of the circumstances surrounding you while in treatment. With this well under your decision, you can now address the next treatment challenge.

Group and One-on-one Counselling

One of the challenges of rehab some people may find difficult at first is dealing with group counselling. Group therapy involves one or more psychotherapists or clinicians who lead a group of clients. Normally, the group of clients consists of 5 to 15 clients. 

Becoming a participant and joining the discussion could require overcoming personal fears. Such things as shyness, fear of ridicule, being judged, and similar emotional reactions can occur. Not everyone can open up and discuss their personal problems. Your challenge may require you to recognize that each person is there to understand themselves better through other people’s experiences.

With one-on-one counselling, your main challenge will be your honesty with yourself. Often, the person with a substance misuse history will have learnt to “clam up” and not voice any ideas. Drugs and alcohol tend to affect this in people who abuse toxic substances. In fact, there is evidence that it reduces the ability to communicate. 

People who overuse alcohol or opiates are often seen, at least over time, to be introverts. Opening up may require some courage, but it is very therapeutic.

Whether group or individual therapy, one must realize a wide range of treatment approaches exist. The facility will mainly deal in evidence-based therapies. Your clinician or supervisor will ensure that this approach at least fits with your beliefs. It is also important that you agree to this approach in addressing your addiction issues.

When you accomplish this step, you will notice the next challenge – your own “demons.”

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Choosing a
Private Rehab

on Your Own

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Overcoming One's Own Demons

One of the Biggest Challenges of Rehab

This challenge is key to anyone’s successful recovery. It is factual because a person can go through all the steps of a program and go back to their substance or another substance afterwards. Then, they must go back to the treatment centre. Change occurs only when people look at their lives and face their demons. Once the person faces the demons, they can work out positive solutions instead of self-medicating.

People do not grow up with a lifetime goal of becoming dependent on a substance. In most cases, one discovers that some major change occurred in their life. Sometimes, it is so far buried and forgotten that the person thinks it’s unrelated. But it never-the-less causes havoc. It can be a traumatic experience, a failure, a personal loss, environmental pressure, and more.

When the person locates and addresses the demons correctly, they will be more aware, more in control, and fully recognize the source. They will be able to cope with it accurately. It will tend to dismiss the harmful solution of using mind-altering substances. Once they recover and get back to healthy choices, the next challenge will be more constructive.

The Challenges of Rehab

Facing Sober Living

ALL substance abuse has as its root a causation. Detox and treatment programs address each layer of the condition. Normally, the steps undertaken would be.

  • The first step is detoxing.
  • The second step is to accept the deterioration of one’s life.
  • The third step is to regain trust in another’s honest help.
  • The fourth and last step the person is willing and ready to deal with all aspects of their substance misuse.

Now, with the challenges of rehab met, it does not mean the end of recovery; it is just the beginning. The person must now live sober and change their habits and routines. 

The challenge of sober living can be difficult. What do I do on Friday or Saturday nights? How do I deal with invitations to a bar after work with colleagues? The individual needs to address these issues. Being in contact with a support group or a coach for sober living is a wise choice.

Aftercare would include all aspects of returning to society as a productive, drug-free individual ready to live a happy life. However, this does not mean there won’t be any challenges along the way, but with support or on your own, you will be able to face them confidently.

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Marc J. Bernard

Substance Use Disorder & Recovery Professional,
Referral & Consultation Counsellor

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