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The Final Hours before Treatment

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So you have had enough of your drug or alcohol addiction, and maybe you’ve taken steps to get yourself into treatment. Or maybe your substance abuse has finally caught up to you and you are being forced into detox for family, financial, or legal reasons. Or maybe you are just finally seriously thinking of getting help and entering treatment in the near future.

Oftentimes there is a lag between the time the decision has been made, the trigger has been pulled, and when treatment actually starts. Ideally, once a person has admitted they have a problem and are willing to seek help, they should be whisked off to rehab, so as not to change their mind or get distracted again. But for the many times that this isn’t possible, it is important to consider what you should do with your last few days before treatment.

Don’t Over Abuse Your Substance

Do not go nuts and give yourself one last party on the substance, or one last crazy weekend of overindulgence. Just like the perpetual “diet starts tomorrow” attitude that causes would-be dieters to stuff themselves day after day, so it can go with substance abuse. You may think this is your last chance to live it up and to get as high as you possibly can, but these kinds of thoughts can be very damaging. For one, it may result in less motivation to enter treatment because you think, “Why would I want to give this up?”. It also creates a very dangerous environment for you or for others. Many people have overdosed just before entering treatment, causing serious injury or death. Many other people that are living it up before rehab cause accidents or injury from things like DUI or domestic abuse.

Focus on Positive Activities

It is not expected that you quit the substance on your own just days before your scheduled detox or treatment. After all, that’s why you are admitting yourself; to get help doing something you are unable to do yourself. But you should certainly keep the substance abuse in moderation. Now would be the perfect time to focus on eating right, maybe going for a daily walk, and most importantly, setting goals for your future. Keep yourself focused on what you really want for yourself and your family, so when the time comes, you are motivated to stick with the treatment program.

Look through old family photos of the “good old days”, read an inspirational book, attend church, or hear the stories of others that have succeeded in sobriety. All these positive things will help you much more in the long run than going out and partying one last time.


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Bethany Winkel

This article was written by Bethany Winkel

Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.