Disconnection during substance use treatment often gives people the opportunity to shut down stressors from the outside world. Many treatment centers do not allow cell phone use during inpatient treatment and restrict contact with family members and co-workers. However, patients that stay connected with technology, society, and loved ones may have an easier transition to the outside world. Connection with the world outside of a treatment center can strengthen a person’s relationships and prepare patients for life outside of treatment.
Stay Connected to Family
Whether a family is biological or chosen, a person’s family creates an atmosphere that affects and is affected by the person’s substance use. Allowing contact with family members during treatment allows patients to mend relationships with loved ones. It also allows their loved ones to become educated on the person’s substance use disorder.
Strengthening Support Network
The more included family members are in a person’s treatment, the easier it will be for them to lend support to their loved ones. When patients stay connected with family members, family members have a better understanding of the patient’s needs, wants, and recovery goals. It allows family members to walk alongside their loved ones during their recovery journey. Together, they will discover more about the person’s mental and physical needs. This gives family members the information they need to be productive members of a person’s support network. Family involvement in treatment can also be introspective for family members struggling with similar mental health symptoms. This may be the case with family members that have shared biological or environmental risks.
Family involvement can increase a patient’s motivation for completing treatment and continuing their recovery journey post-treatment. Patients who stay connected with their families are able to open up to family members and heal their relationships. This allows patients to track the improvements in their relationships, creating hope for future relationships. Family involvement can also provide validity for both parties as they learn about how their behaviors have affected one another.
Conversely, a person who stays connected with their family during treatment might find their family to remain unsupportive of their recovery journey. While this may be more difficult to stomach, this information can be helpful to a person’s recovery. Knowing that their family is unsupportive can help heal a patient’s wounds. It can also give the person the means to finally let go of toxic relationships.
Stay Connected to “The Real World”
Substance use treatment can exist in a bubble, but sustained recovery cannot. The more disconnected from the outside world a person is during treatment, the more difficult it will be for that person to reconnect with “the real world” post-recovery. Upon completion of a treatment program, patients are forced to face real-life stress that they only previously encountered in theory. Treatment programs that allow contact with the outside world better prepare the person for “real world” stressors.
Practicing a work-life balance, in theory, is very different than implementing it into your lifestyle. For instance, it is easy to take time for self-care when you are disconnected from all other responsibilities. When someone stays connected with work responsibilities, they have a better sense of the sacrifices they will have to make to continue to prioritize their mental health.
A patient who is able to keep up with the happenings of their work environment will be more prepared for when they eventually re-enter that environment. Staying connected with work can help someone realize they need a new work environment that will be more conducive to their mental health needs. It will also give the person more grounded and realistic expectations for their life after treatment.
Stressors of Staying Connected
Staying connected with the outside world is stressful. It can lead to heartbreak, failure, and overwhelming responsibility. Some people may need an initial disconnect from “the real world” so they can dedicate their full attention to their mental health. However, everybody needs to face the “real world” eventually. When treatment centers provide patients with a supervised connection to the outside world, they bridge the world of focused treatment with the person’s post-treatment future. It prepares the person to handle the responsibilities and unpredictability of “the real world.”
Connection to the outside world during treatment allows a person to be exposed to these stressors of the world while still having access to the treatment program’s resources. For example, a mental health professional can hold the person’s hand when they feel overwhelmed. Instead of abruptly being pushed into “the real world,” the person can first experience “the real world” with light supervised exposure. Saying connected with the outside world during treatment can serve as a baby step that will make post-treatment seem a little less scary.
Staying connected with the outside world during treatment can help ease your transition into “the real world” post-treatment. It will give you the opportunity to manage some of life’s stressors within the safety of the treatment facility. Restoration Recovery Center believes connection with the outside world during treatment is important, which is why we allot daily scheduled time for our patients to use their phones to connect with family members or keep up with the happenings at their place of work. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, please call (888) 290-0925 to learn how we can help you achieve long-term sobriety through treatments that focus on the body, mind, and spirit.