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Rehab: A “Safe” Environment

by | Jun 13, 2012 | Featured, Recovery, Substance Abuse, Treatment

Home Featured Rehab: A “Safe” Environment

During my 5 week stay at inpatient, I can appreciate how important it was for me to feel comfortable in such an environment. I was to open up to others and share my life whilst in one of my most vulnerable states. All the pliable layers of inebriation which had bonded together to create an impenetrable wall, were stripped. I had no guard, just an open wound: festering and untreated- infected. I felt accepted, definitely not judged, and comfortable to state anything I needed to, to rid my insides of the toxicity I carried in with me from my time in active addiction.  All of us there were working towards a common goal: bettering ourselves and taking an honest look at our lives from birth on, trying to discover the reasons for which we use. We supported each other as we discussed our daily struggles, and related to each other. The degree to which this helped was exponential. The bummer is that it can take just one person to throw this balance out of whack.
It was after my 3rd week in rehab that a handful of people my age, that struggle with my same addiction, checked themselves into the treatment center I was at. I was eager and ecstatic to have new people. From a selfish standpoint, I was able to track my progress, as I looked, felt, and thought exactly like these fellows did upon entering. From a not so selfish perspective, it felt amazing to be able to walk them through their problems/struggles. I was able to relay to them what it was like for me, and what I did to get to the point I was at. Their progress over the next week brought all of us up. I was about to learn about 2 ailments I suffer from: Codependency and Enmeshment.
The following weekend a few of them came up with the bright idea to have some heroin delivered to our facility. I knew I shouldn’t have had anything to do with this. Yet, deep down, I really would have loved to gotten loaded.  As if there could have been a safer place than rehab to get high. They got the drugs, and I was in the know. I wanted so much to have one last nod before going back into the real world.  Everything I had learned the past month had gone out the window. I still managed to make clear I wanted nothing to do with the drugs.  Amidst that brief moment of clarity, I noticed my digression. Later that day as those involved were high, nodding during our AA meeting, envy completely overcame me. Ever so conveniently, one of the gentlemen involved asked me if I was sure I wanted to abstain. In that moment of weakness I decided I would partake. I had just abstained from drugs for 30 days, the longest I had ever been COMPLETELY dry. We were walking to his room when I decided that I didn’t want it. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself after committing such an act.
I then realized the so called “safe” environment was no longer in existence. I had no trust. I couldn’t open up to these people as they nodded out during our group therapy sessions. I felt betrayed, abandoned. I had all of these feelings towards them, on top of all the shit I was going through being new to sobriety, and I couldn’t talk about any of it. It seemed I had to protect their little secret, which I ever so desperately wanted to blurt out. I had the urge to let everyone of them know exactly how I felt about their using in rehab. I was afraid to, though, because I too wanted to get high. What was I to do? I decided to give an anonymous tip to the techs at the front office. I wrote on a piece of paper “Drug test the **** group.” It wasn’t so much for my own personal benefit that I did this. I was being discharged the following morning. It was for everyone else in that facility. That was impeding everybody’s recovery, whether those involved knew it, or not. If someone is high at a meeting, that’s a completely different story. Being high at rehab is definitely not fair to the other people in there. People are paying for a drug free environment where they can comfortably work on themselves.
By Andrew T.