Why Structure is Important in Rehab

Posted in: Treatment

June 22, 2016

A pen on a schedule

Many people who struggle with substance abuse and addiction find that their lives have become completely out of control. They may feel like they are in a hopeless situation, and that no one can help them recover their former lives. But recovery from substance abuse and addiction is completely possible. Since substance abuse and addiction often takes over a person’s life and removes any former sense of structure from it, successful recovery plans often focus on helping the person regain structure in her life. This renewed structure is often the best way for a person beginning recovery to learn how to get her life back on track.

How Rehabilitation Programs Create Structure

Drug rehabilitation comes in many forms. The most common types of rehabilitation are either long- or short-term treatment, and either residential or outpatient programs. No matter what type of treatment program a person chooses, though, it should adhere to several principles of effective treatment. These principles, as outlined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, give treatment programs structure and help the person know exactly what to expect in the rehabilitation process:

  • Addiction should be viewed as a complex but treatable disease that affects how the brain works
  • Treatment should be customized to fit the individual needs of each person
  • It should be readily accessible and available
  • It address the physical, psychological and social needs of the person, as well as any other needs she may have
  • It should last an acceptable amount of time
  • It should incorporate counseling into its treatment regimen
  • Medication may be used when necessary, and should be combined with other types of therapies
  • The treatment plan should be assessed and modified as needed in order to make sure that the person’s goals are still being met
  • Involuntary treatment can still be effective
  • Relapses should be discussed and managed, and avoided when possible

Creating Structure in the Person’s Individual Life

Treatment programs emphasize structure for their patients so that they can feel safe and comfortable in an environment that encourages their recovery. But it’s also helpful for the person going through rehabilitation to create structure on her own. Jared Friedman lists the following several different areas in which a person can create healthy structure in her life:

  • Body: since substance abuse and addiction often damages the body physically, creating a structured routine of exercise can help the body heal from this damage. Any type of exercise that occurs regularly can help a person return structure to her life.
  • Mind: consciously deciding to make good decisions each day is a great way to create structure. The person can decide to engage in healthy mental activities such as reading or yoga as a way to create order in her mind.
  • Spirit: substance abuse and addiction sometimes stem from a person’s discomfort with who she really is, so getting in touch with and learning to accept that person can help tremendously with the recovery process. Setting up a routine of regular meditation or quiet time alone can help the person get in touch with her inner self again and begin accepting and loving who she is.

Rehabilitation is a complex but necessary part of recovery from substance abuse and addiction. In order for rehabilitation to be completely successful, it’s important for it to contain as much structure as possible so that the person is able to feel stable and secure while she begins her new life free from substance abuse and addiction. It also helps for the person to create structure in her own life, both during and after rehabilitation. These structures will enable her to succeed in both short- and long-term recovery.

Where to Get More Information about Structure in Rehabilitation

If you or someone you love is thinking about getting help with substance abuse or addiction, please call us at 615-490-9376. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, and our admissions coordinators are available to answer your questions about structure in the rehabilitation and recovery process. They are also able to help you find a quality treatment center that will give you the structure and support that you need throughout the rehabilitation process.

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