How Do You Set Realistic Goals at a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center?

First time rehab residents often have no idea of what to expect of a stay in rehab. Will the world change? Will their personality? Is it going to be scary or is it going to be fun after the initial detox period? That’s just the beginning of the questions. What an inpatient treatment center is like may be completely different than the ideas you have in your head before you go. All treatment centers are different. They have a different array of rooms, beds, furniture, and areas to live in.

Before going to rehab, it’s a good idea to really think about what your goals are. Many people obviously have long-term goals like “owning a house” and “getting through school” or “getting a new job” but let’s just focus on the goals you have for your early recovery. What do you want your recovery to look like?

What are the realistic goals for rehab?

While the goal of getting a new job someday may be realistic, you’ve got to tackle rehab first, so make sure you make realistic goals that are only applicable for your stay in rehab. It’s your time to get well, to reflect on your addiction and recovery, and to begin developing the attitude that will make all the other long-term goals come true. Unless you get sober, no other goals beyond that are realistic, so let’s make sure to take on the most important part of your recovery: abstaining.

The Detox Period

The detox period will be physically and psychologically challenging, and that’s one reason why inpatient treatment is the most comfortable way to realistically abstain from drugs and alcohol during that pivotal early period. Because you’re safe and sound with a team of dedicated healthcare workers around you, you have your greatest amount of support in an inpatient detox. What should your goals be during this early stage?

  • Follow instructions of staff
  • Be respectful of your peers during all meetings and encounters
  • Speak with a counselor or doctor when things get rough
  • Stay!

Staying in rehab may not sound like much of a goal, but in reality it’s often the hardest and most courageous thing you can do in early rehab. Your first instincts when craving or physical discomfort hits might be to race out the doors and go back to using. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t an abnormal feeling at this stage. Many drug addicts and alcoholics feel this way in early rehab. Your goal is to make yourself stay using all the power within you that you have, and turning to sources like counselors or peers when you’re having difficulty reaching this goal.

Establishing good rapport with a counselor and participating in any group meetings will be another early goal. When it’s early on, you might feel physically sick sometimes. It will be challenging to attend meetings on these days, but if you make it your goal, and accomplish it, you can feel like it’s one small step forward to the overarching goal of getting your life and self back from the throes of substance abuse. Small steps forward are often the most realistic way to approach goals in early recovery. Even getting up in the morning, getting dressed, and attending the meetings or individual therapy sessions can be something that’s a positive step in the right direction.

Middle and Late Recovery Goals

When the detox period is over, here is where you can begin setting some more real-world based goals for yourself. Since you’re sober now, you might want to start thinking about where you want to go when you’re out of rehab, or you might want to think about applying for jobs, or looking for a place to live if you haven’t already got one. You might want to make it a goal to touch base with your lost friends or family, or you might want to attend a certain number of meetings a week or set up counseling outside of the treatment center.

The best thing about realistic goals is that they’re within your grasp. All you must do is follow through on them and be ready for the tough challenges you’ll face as you work toward those goals. If you want to go to a drug and alcohol treatment center that can help you accomplish all of your realistic treatment goals, please call us today at 844-639-8371. We’re here to help all of those goals become a reality for you.

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