Will Inpatient Rehab Be Like Going to Jail?

When you’ve been thinking more and more about wanting to get sober, the options and treatment plans for doing so can feel overwhelming. You should never feel like you’re in over your head but there is a lot of information out there to sift through when thinking about what might be the right choice for you. Inpatient rehab can seem a little frightening for those of you thinking about walking away from the life of addiction and walking towards the road to recovery.

The thought of walking into a facility and signing in to stay can seem a lot like you’re going to jail. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of being in jail, you already know it is not the best of times. However, you shouldn’t worry that going to treatment will be like going into jail, it’s not.

Going into treatment does mean that you will have 24/7, around the clock, care and yes supervision. You won’t be hand cuffed or locked away and you’ll get more than one hour a day of “yard time.” Going to rehab as an inpatient is also a choice, no one will be forcing you into it or forcing you to stay. Your care providers hope that given the right tools and guidance, you’ll want to remain in their care until such time that you’ve gained some knowledge and awareness about your condition and know how to effectively manage your emotions, any other dual diagnosis you may have, and the stressors of life without turning back towards substance abuse.

Although you can’t bring your whole life with you, you probably won’t have your electronic devices, you will be permitted to have some personal items with you. You’ll be given many opportunities to work with others like you, doctors, therapists, explore different approaches to recovery, and find out what works for you and what will help you stay motivated to fuel your recovery.

If you’re considering inpatient rehab, don’t assume the worst. It’s not like jail. It’s a place where everyone surrounding you wants to do everything they can to help you get better.

Samuels, H., PhD. “Prison Vs. Rehab: What Really Works”. Huffington Post. (website). May 2011
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