Many people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are rebellious by nature. It’s part of what drives them to start using in the first place. It’s also why drug and alcohol treatment centers have such strict rules and part of why treatment programs can be so difficult. And yet, these rules are in place for a reason, and following them is sometimes the only way one can overcome addiction and learn to live a sober life.
The rules that you can expect to find in an alcohol treatment program will vary from one center to the next, but here are some of the more common rules that you might encounter.
1. Abstinence from Drugs and Alcohol
You would think this having to abstain from drugs and alcohol would be a given at a drug and alcohol treatment center, but it really needs to be stated and enforced. People often disagree on what is considered a drug, and even a legal over-the-counter or prescription medication might not be allowed. Some people in treatment also think they can indulge a little bit to deal with withdrawal and cravings, but that will only prolong or undo the treatment process. The goal of an alcohol treatment program is to teach people to thrive without alcohol, and that simply isn’t possible without total abstinence. If a patient has a prescription, their medication will be kept by the staff and administered as needed.
2. No Cell Phones or Computers
For many in this day and age, going without a cell phone or computer is unthinkable, but many treatment centers require people to do exactly that. Having access to a phone or a computer can connect you with someone who might provide you with drugs or alcohol or someone who might encourage you to start using again. Some centers do allow limited access to computers or cell phones, but it is very limited, with most sites and social media being blocked. At Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, as a convenience for keeping in touch with loved ones and taking care of business matters – we allow each client to use their cell phones and laptops. Wifi is provided as well.
3. Attendance at All Sessions is Mandatory
Attending every session during your treatment program is mandatory. Even if you don’t want to participate, doing so will help you get the most out of the program and teach you the strategies you’ll need to stay sober.
4. No TV, Movies, or Music
This rule admittedly varies from one facility to the next, but typically people aren’t allowed to watch TV or listen to music when they begin their treatment. This is mostly to avoid triggers that could make them want to start using again. At Mississippi Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center, we actually have televisions in every room for our clients to unwind and relax.
5. No Relationships
The desire to have a romantic or sexual relationship while in treatment is surprisingly common, but it is also not allowed in most facilities. It’s simply too much of a distraction for most people. Even couples who go into treatment at the same time are often admitted into separate programs. The goal of treatment is to focus on recovery, and any new connections you make should focus on that instead of sex and romance.
6. Follow a Structured Schedule
Most treatment facilities require patients to follow very strict and structured schedules during their program, especially at first. Having a structure ensures that patients will attend all sessions and keep their minds on their recovery. Some programs extend this strict schedule beyond the initial stay at the treatment center. Patients who move into sober living houses after their initial treatment also need to follow a schedule, although that’s usually not as strict as what one finds in a treatment facility.
7. Visitation is Limited
Most treatment centers allow visitors, but only during specific times. This is to limit the possibility that someone might smuggle in illicit substances, encourage patients to leave the facility, or do anything else to jeopardize a patient’s recovery. Rules regarding visitors and visiting hours will vary from one facility to the next, but you can almost certainly count on there being some restrictions, especially at the beginning of your program.
As always, if you or anyone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our staff is available 24 hours a day to take your calls. Call 855-334-6120