People tend to have two views of rehab, both of which are gross exaggerations. On the one hand, they see rehab as a vacation resort complete with jacuzzis and cocktails under the sun. On the other hand, they see rehab as a pain centre in which addicts must suffer in order to get rid of their addictions. Of course, neither one is true and for someone who has gone through rehab, this portrayal may seem completely ridiculous.
What is the main concept we work with in rehab?
Well, in one word, it is really about healing. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind and body and a rehab centre tries to find a way to holistically heal every individual so that they can rid themselves of this disease. In terms of the body, there is a detox process that happens and during which the person may feel some pain and desperation, but this is one small part of the healing process. In terms of the mind, group therapy may not seem to be the most exciting thing rehab has to offer, but it is a necessity for those who wish to heal.
Healing the body and mind together is a vital step in beating addiction. Too often, addicts think that alcoholism is a disease that is in their heads and that is caused by their own personal weakness. They do not realise the actual chemicals in their brains that cause this behaviour or the physical addiction they are suffering from.
The beginning of this healing journey then is the realization that alcoholism is not their fault and it is not caused by a failing in them. It is a real and difficult to beat disease that requires professional skills to deal with it. Rehab is the only place where these professional skills can be found and for those who are dealing with addiction on a physical and mental level, this is the only place to start the healing.
Holistic healing involves learning new skills and behaviours that need to taught to someone dealing with addiction and this is a slow and tough process. For healing to begin, there needs to be a willingness to enter a new chapter of life and leave behind the scars of the past. Inevitably, if trauma was experienced in the past, this needs to be worked through. In all cases, healing is possible.