People who suffer from addiction will rarely ask for help to get clean. There are many emotions involved in addiction including anger, pain, shame, or trauma. Often, these emotions coupled with the addiction itself will hinder a person from getting help on their own. The courts are a sure way to make an impact in the life of an offender by necessitating participation in some kind of rehabilitation program over jail time. Not all people who commit crimes deserve jail time—some of them need treatment. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) approximates that 50% of inmates meet the clinical criteria for a substance-use disorder, but only 20% of those convicts receive treatment for addiction.

So, what is the best way to complete rehab and get the most of out it while doing so? Here are some things to consider if court-ordered rehab is appointed.

Don’t view it as a death sentence—see it as a new opportunity
Most defendants who enter into a court-ordered rehabilitation center, do so because they want help. Others may do so to avoid jail time and feel that rehab will be an easier avenue over being in prison. There may be two opposing viewpoints going into treatment, but hopefully, with treatment, those viewpoints remain positive.

Entering treatment can be quite frightening, but it doesn’t have to remain a nightmare. It’s no secret that the first few weeks will be a drastic change emotionally, mentally, and physically. However, once you move past that stage of treatment, it could really open up a new world of possibilities. With all substances out of your system, you could begin to see life more clearly, old passions could be renewed, and a new sense of purpose could give you hope for the future.

You will get what you give from treatment, meaning you have control over whether or not the experience turns out to be life-changing. Give it your best.

Playing an active role in your own recovery is something many addicts fight in the beginning when they aren’t completely invested in treatment. No matter how you came into treatment, whether it be court ordered or coerced through legal pressures, try to make the most of it.

Accept the treatment plan with an open mind, and become a participant in the program. Be open and honest during treatment, and share your personal struggle with addiction, which can help guide you toward recovery.

Treatment programs are different at every facility, but many offer practical therapy, which can build confidence, teach new skills, and even build on pre-existing skills and passions. Programs or classes including physical activity, painting, music, crafting, or cooking can all be utilized to build upon how well treatment works for you.

Continued treatment & support
Utilizing a support network can be crucial to completing treatment. Give your trust to the professionals at your rehab center and even to family members as you make the transition into sober living. You may be the one undergoing treatment, but it’s okay to call on them for support. Their care and love will help you get through even the darkest of times.

While the court may have only ordered you to attend treatment for a specific amount of time, seriously consider going into outpatient treatment or sober living facilities after your treatment period has come to a close. Recovery is a continuous process, and for those serious about making a change in their life, an ongoing-treatment service is something to consider. Even going to support groups or meetings is a great way to keep yourself motivated toward clean living.

Court-appointed rehabilitation will not work for everyone, but it does have a high success rate. Entering treatment is a big step and can often be overwhelming, but if you stick it out and do the work you could end up with a much happier and healthier lifestyle.

Erica Franco Mortimer, MA, LPC, LCADC
Founder and CEO
Center for Healing
Evan Berk Erica is a licensed therapist with over twenty-years experience in mental health. Erica offers practical and straight forward advice to those struggling with addiction and their families. Having deep insight and understanding of addiction, Erica is able to offer guidance to those looking to regain control of their lives.

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