WHAT TO EXPECT FROM AN INPATIENT RECOVERY PROGRAM

After taking the important initial step of admitting you have a substance-abuse problem and deciding to seek help, your options can include an inpatient recovery program.

The goal of an inpatient recovery program is to provide a safe, therapeutic atmosphere in a homelike environment as you work towards getting and staying sober.

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THERE ARE MANY PATHS TO RECOVERY

Drug addiction is a treatable chronic brain disease. Recovery is possible, but it is not always easy. One of the most important components of recovery is finding and participating in a supportive sober network. Although many people try to go through withdrawal on their own, they often find it unpleasant, uncomfortable and difficult, and so they frequently wind up relapsing.

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM AN INPATIENT RECOVERY PROGRAM

After taking the important initial step of admitting you have a substance-abuse problem and deciding to seek help, your options can include an inpatient recovery program.


The goal of an inpatient recovery program is to provide a safe, therapeutic atmosphere in a homelike environment as you work towards getting and staying sober. Treatment programs can range in length from a week to a few weeks to a few months. The length of your stay is based on your needs as identified in your individual treatment plan and the progress you make in treatment. The process begins with an interview with program staff, where you will learn about services, fees and guidelines. Next you will have a physical exam. This will help the staff evaluate your needs and design a program that will be most beneficial for you. You will need to bring a photo ID, an insurance card and all your medications in their original prescription bottles. Once you are admitted, you can get ready to move in to the facility.


There are some things you need to take care of right away. Because addiction is considered a serious health condition, the Family Medical Leave Act permits eligible individuals to take a job-protected leave of absence. Program staff may be able to help you complete any necessary paperwork required by your employer. You will also need to make

arrangements to cover your financial obligations (such as rent and other bills) during the treatment period.


If you need legal help, the program staff can work with attorneys, judges and probation officers to ensure you are in compliance with any current court orders or probationary requirements.


For some, leaving family and friends behind is the most difficult part. Involving family in recovery is key to success. You will need their support as you work through recovery. Take some time before you leave to apologize for shortcomings or problems that have arisen from your addiction and let others know you are starting a process to help heal your broken relationships.


You can bring some items with you to Recovery Works, including non-aerosol toiletries that do not contain alcohol; a notebook and pen; and a week’s worth of seasonally appropriate clothing. You’ll need pajamas, jeans, undergarments, sweats, shoes and/or sneakers. The program provides all your bedding, such as towels, wash-cloths, pillows and blankets.

You may not bring food (including gum and candy), cellphones, laptops, iPods, e-cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or weapons. Do not bring any items of value.


Your typical day during the treatment process may include individual and group therapy sessions, as well as meditation, recreation, exercise and educational, support and self-help groups. You may undergo psycho-therapy, music therapy or art therapy. Contributing to the well-being of the treatment community, such as performing assigned chores, is another important aspect of your recovery. At the end of the day, you will have time to reflect on what you have learned.


When you are in a safe environment with a structured routine, you can begin the journey towards recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – and don’t be afraid to get sober.

DR. JOHNSTON

Dr. Johnston graduated from Medical School at CMDNJ New Jersey Medical School in Newark after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers Camden College of Arts and Sciences.


After a three year residency at West Jersey Hospital in Voorhees he became Board Certified in Family Practice and practiced in Camden County for 26 years. Dr. Johnston is also board certified in Addiction Medicine as of 2002.

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