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Women and Drug Addiction Treatment: “Acting as If”

One of the most damaging myths about drug addiction treatment and its efficacy is the idea that one must want to go to rehab in order to be successful. The truth is that even women who would like to live a life without heroin addiction, alcoholism, painkiller addiction and addiction to other drugs, few really sign up for drug rehab with a happy, gung-ho attitude. Almost everyone is scared: scared of “failing” through relapse and scared of succeeding and living with the intimidating task of figuring out how to get through each day without drugs and alcohol.

There is no magical way to overcome these fears and the general reluctance of even the most willing, but if there were it can be summed up in a single phrase: “Act as if.”

What “Act As If” Means to Women Entering Drug Treatment

“Acting as if” means walking through the doors of a drug rehab like you want to be there, even if you don’t. Rather than beginning each day with overwhelming thoughts like “I can never get high again” or “I’m done with drinking forever,” you start the day thinking, “What do I want for breakfast?” You act as if living without drugs and alcohol were the most perfectly natural thing in the world and whenever nagging doubts start to creep in, immediately rearrange your thoughts to focus on the next thing someone without a drug and alcohol addiction would think about.

Is “Acting As If” Dishonest?

One of the primary tenets of any successful drug rehab program is honesty and some are concerned  that “acting as if” is just another form of lying. If you honestly feel like you want to get loaded, is it dishonest to ignore it and pretend that you feel anything different? It’s an interesting question, but when your goal is to strive toward stability and a solid foundation based on positive thinking that sets you up to make the next best choice in any given situation, then “acting as if” is the best way to get there on the days when this seems like the most difficult thing in the world.

When Does “Acting As If” Turn Into a Real Desire to Live Without Drugs and Alcohol?

This will vary from person to person. But desires, and feelings, come and go in early recovery, and they’re difficult to pinpoint and hold onto, much less use as a foundation for a new life. Even those who have been clean and sober for decades have days when they don’t feel like doing it anymore. But the whole point of “acting as if” is to let goal of sobriety rule your decisions as opposed to how you feel. Actions based on feelings are usually compulsive and rarely the best choice for you. Actions based on well-thought out goals and healthful positive directions for your life are always going to serve you better in the long run.

If you’d like to learn more about drug addiction treatment for women, contact The Orchid today.

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