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Will My Loved One Change After Inpatient Rehab?

Addiction is a physical and psychological disease that significantly changes the way a person thinks, feels and acts. Lasting recovery involves healing both the body and the mind. Addicts learn new ways to relate to people and to organize their lives. For bystanders this process can be disorienting at first, but eventually they will see marked changed for the better in their loved one.

How Psychological Addiction Changes Behavior

Intoxicating substances like drugs and alcohol affect the pleasure center of the brain. This is the same part of the brain that manages a wide range of psychological functions such as the following:

  • Reinforcing behaviors and establishing habits
  • The ability to resist impulses and cravings
  • Forming and recalling memories
  • Managing emotions and moods
  • Tolerating stress and anxiety

Drugs and alcohol provide immediate, short-lived relief from physical and emotional pain and anxiety; the brain will crave this relief in a powerful way. It will use every psychological tool at its disposal to maintain that relief, while the dependency it reinforces only adds to the addict’s woes. Neural pathways are chemically rewired around the disease, which causes addicts to engage in addictive behavior even when their rational minds desperately want to quit. Psychological addiction changes much about the addict:

  • Priorities are rearranged around substance abuse
  • Healthy relationships are sacrificed for unhealthy ones
  • Lying, justification and denial become habits
  • Emotions become unstable and unmanageable occasionally leading to emotional or physical abuse
  • Depression is common

How Inpatient Rehabilitation Changes a Person

Lasting recovery from addiction requires both physical and psychological healing. Inpatient rehab provides a comfortable, accountable environment that is free from the distractions and temptations of daily life. The most successful programs develop customized treatment plans for patients based on their unique needs. A wide range of techniques are used to change the way addicts think and act including the following:

  • Personal counseling
  • Support group meetings
  • Spiritual care
  • 12-step programs
  • Introduction to healthy coping skills
  • Meditation, relaxation, yoga and other “new age” exercises
  • Preparation for life after treatment (re-entry)

Codependency and Addiction Recovery

Addiction usually changes relationship patterns in toxic ways. Even those who never abuse drugs and alcohol are often changed by the disease of their loved ones. The effect of addiction on loved ones is called codependency. Specialized counseling and support groups for bystanders can help them learn healthy boundaries as they walk through recovery with their loved ones.

How Recovery Changes an Addict

The most effective recovery programs give patients the opportunity to experience lasting changes in their lives. This may lead to the following results:

  • Relationships are restored
  • Hope for the future is restored
  • Physical health returns
  • Legal problems are resolved

Sometimes these changes catch friends and loved ones by surprise and can even take some time to feel real. Recovery does not end with the end of inpatient rehab, though. The process continues through support group meetings and counseling well into the future.

Addiction Recovery Help

Our toll-free helpline is open 24 hours a day, and our addiction experts are ready to answer any questions you have. Call today and let us know how we can help. Whether you are concerned about insurance coverage, treatment logistics or anything else, we are here to help people find freedom from addiction.