Once you make the decision to participate in heroin addiction rehab, you’ll meet a counselor who will guide you through recovery. Creating a treatment plan will be on the agenda within your first week. The counselor will not sit down with you and tell you what to do; the plan is something the two of you will work on together.
Heroin Addiction Rehab Has Some Boundaries
It’s true you help to create the treatment plan, but don’t fool yourself that you can do whatever you want as long as you show up for your medication. You’ll have to follow certain requirements of the heroin addiction rehab program that you’re entering. Those rules aren’t really considered to be part of your treatment plan, but it’s good to go into rehab for heroin addiction with a working knowledge of them:
Most programs collect a drug screen at the onset of your treatment, and you cannot have any alcohol or benzodiazepines in your system. While some programs’ policies differ from others, most programs require you to give those up. Methadone or buprenorphine make a deadly combination with alcohol and benzos.
You will have to keep your appointments with your counselor. The doctor, the nurse, and the counselor communicate frequently, and if you are skipping appointments you may go for your medication only to find that you’re “locked out” until you see your counselor.
Most programs schedule you to attend some type of groups, either group therapy sessions that they offer as part of heroin addiction rehab or the 12-step meetings out in the community. Whether you choose AA, NA, or if you’re lucky enough to have Methadone Anonymous in your community, you’ll find that those meetings become important because you learn that you’re not alone in your struggles.
If you don’t stick to your payment arrangements, you can, again, be locked out. Many clinics don’t bill insurance, but if yours does, you must be certain to respond to any letters or phone calls that you receive from the insurance company or Medicaid caseworker.
The Counselor’s Contribution to the Treatment Plan
Now that you’ve got the basic rules under your belt, let’s move on to the counselor’s role in formulating your treatment plan. Your counselor’s first job is to ask you plenty of questions so that he or she gets to know you well. It’s important for them to understand the issues that bother you, whether or not they contribute to your need for heroin addiction rehab. After all, your heroin use is just a symptom of underlying problems, and if you don’t treat those problems, the addiction won’t go away.
How does the counselor do that? They need to hear open and honest answers from you. If you’ve hedged on an answer during your first interview, be honest about it at the second or third meeting—the counselors understand that people have difficulty opening up.
The counselor will then utilize techniques called motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy. Through those techniques the counselor zeroes in on your strengths to put together the best plan for your heroin addiction rehab. Their questions will help you stop and consider your strong points and best qualities—something most people forget about when they’re using heroin or pain pills.
The counselor may ask you what goals you have and prod you to answer honestly. But the counselor should never be derogatory toward you or be critical, unless you’re missing your appointments, of course. There should never be unpleasant confrontations between the two of your—the counselor’s role is to help you discover your best self.
What Is Your Contribution to the Treatment Plan?
You will find, if your counselor is doing a good job, that you become excited about succeeding at heroin addiction rehab. You will recognize you are not alone, and it will become easier for you to describe in your own words what your goals and dreams are. You’ll talk about your strengths and skills as well as the stumbling blocks to success.
Will Your Treatment Plan Change?
Every 90 days, in most heroin addiction rehab programs, the counselor will initiate a treatment plan update—reviewing your goals with you and looking back at your success in treatment to date.
As you become stable in a Suboxone or methadone treatment program, the counselor will widen the circle of involvement for you. You can benefit from referrals to outside agencies if you need to improve your health, your job skills, or take care of legal or child custody issues. The people you meet along the way will respect you for your participation in heroin addiction rehab.
Your initial treatment plan truly will change over time. Your dreams and goals will grow, believe it or not! That first step to rediscovering your best self—the person you always knew was deep inside you—starts with your phone call to a local heroin addiction rehab program.