New to Rehab: The Importance of Treatment Center Orientation

New to Rehab: The Importance of Treatment Center Orientation

Before you begin a rehab program for addiction to drugs like morphine, you need to know what to expect. A good treatment center will offer a complete and detailed orientation that explains the recovery process, what they offer and what you can expect.

An Introduction to Detoxification Services

Before you enter a treatment center, you should have a good understanding of what detox services are offered. Some centers expect you to undergo detox at a separate medical facility prior to entering while others offer medically supervised detox services. Those that offer detox services for drugs like morphine should begin an orientation with an explanation of detox. They should be frank about the realities of detox—it is uncomfortable and it will be hard—but they should also offer comfort and information about modern medical practices and how they ensure personal health and alleviate much of the discomfort by addressing symptoms as they arise.

A center that waits until orientation to give information about detox services does not offer responsible, professional addiction treatment. Similarly programs offering rapid or rushed detox services are not offering the best care. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that when it comes to rapid services that promise easy detox via anesthesia, “There is no compelling reason to use general anesthesia in the treatment of opiate dependence, especially as it presents particular safety concerns…Patients who undergo so-called ultrarapid, anesthesia-assisted detoxification suffer withdrawal symptoms as severe as those endured by patients in detoxification by traditional methods.” Rapid detox is dangerous, ill-advised and offers no benefits that traditional detox does not. A good treatment center will help connect you to a detox program before you enter or will offer modern detox services that are carefully explained during orientation and that follow best medical practices.

An Introduction to Addiction Education

A treatment center should, first and foremost, be an educational center. A treatment center orientation should include information about when and how patients will be learning more about addiction to drugs like morphine and its effects. About Health explains that when it comes to any treatment program, “the process is aimed at getting you to look at your addiction honestly and realistically, and change your attitude about your drug and alcohol use.” Addiction is a disease built on deceit, lies and misunderstandings, and addiction treatment is based on truth and information. Families may also be participating in this deceit and denial, which is why orientation is a good time to learn about if and when family visits are allowed and if they include family therapy. Family therapy helps families to heal as a whole and ensures that after treatment family members know how to support recovery rather than enable relapse.

Users deceive themselves about the harm they are doing on personal, family and community levels. The New York State Department of Health explains, “The process of treatment begins with educating the individual and his or her family about the disease of addiction and assuring that each individual recognizes the signs and symptoms of the disease in his or her own life. Motivational enhancement may be the first step since many patients may not accept that their addiction is not normal.” Your orientation will explain more about what motivational enhancement is and when these services will be offered. They are often only a part of early rehab, so once you have learned about your addiction and found your personal reasons for recovery, motivational therapy sessions may be replaced by other forms of therapy. Orientation can explain what these options are; some of which may be fun, alternative therapy programs such as equine therapy or yoga therapy, and this can provide additional motivation for participating in early recovery activities.

An Introduction to Expectations

Everyone enters a treatment center with different expectations. Those who feel pressured into treatment for addiction to drugs like morphine by family or the justice system may simply expect to bide their time and get through it. Those ready and eager to change their lives may expect an easy, complete solution to recovery. An orientation should balance these expectations. A patient eager to get in and out and on with a sober life should be informed of this fact published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): “Patients who remain in treatment for longer periods of time are also likely to achieve maximum benefits — duration of the treatment episode for 3 months or longer is often a predictor of a successful outcome.” This is not meant to discourage patients—far from it. It is meant to help them understand that work and time are involved and that individuals who are serious about and ready for recovery are in a great position to put in the energy needed for long-term recovery and a healthy, drug-free life.

A patient hoping to coast through the program can expect to be confronted about his or her apathy toward change. This is not an aggressive confrontation, but it is a challenge to his or her firmly held ideas about drug use. Even if he or she does not choose recovery at the time of treatment, a treatment center can still affect change. SAMHSA explains the goals of treatment for individuals who are not committed to change and recovery:

The primary goal of treatment is attainment and maintenance of abstinence…but this may take numerous attempts and failures at ‘controlled’ use before sufficient motivation is mobilized. Until the patient accepts that abstinence is necessary, the treatment program usually tries to minimize the effects of continuing use and abuse through education, counseling, and self-help groups that stress reducing risky behavior, building new relationships with drug-free friends, changing recreational activities and lifestyle patterns, substituting substances used with less risky ones, and reducing the amount and frequency of consumption, with a goal of convincing the patient of her individual responsibility for becoming abstinent.

An orientation will explain that no one gets to sit out in treatment. Changes can be made even if patients are unwilling to cease drug use at the time of treatment. These changes help build toward future efforts at abstinence and long-term recovery from morphine addiction. An orientation will take into consideration where you are in your recovery and your motivation to change. Orientations should be tailored to your unique situation and should provide the information needed to calm any concerns or adjust any misunderstandings about the treatment to come.

Find the Treatment Center for You

There are many choices when it comes to addiction treatment for drugs like morphine, and we want you to find the right one. Don’t wait until orientation to learn whether a program does or does not meet your unique needs. Call our helpline for a free initial assessment and help placing yourself or a loved one in the most appropriate, effective and professional treatment center for you. A drug-free life begins with a call. We are here 24 hours a day, so there is no reason to wait.