Getting help for a substance abuse disorder or mental health problem is a gift you give yourself, or someone you love. It\u2019s a chance to step away from the cycle of addiction, find out where it came from and learn how to break free. Your success depends on your level of commitment to this process, and on understanding how you can get the most out of your rehab experience. Getting Ready to Go to Rehab\u00a0 For some people, going to rehab is a spur-of-the-moment decision, where there\u2019s little time to decide what to take with you. But if possible, it\u2019s definitely helpful to take some time to figure out what to pack. Some items are essential to the rehab experience. Others are things that you might not need, but will be glad to have along. \tA week\u2019s worth of comfortable clothing. Include pajamas or a nightgown, a robe and slippers. \tBe sure to bring warm clothing, including a sweater or two. Detoxing and other processes associated with recovery can make your body temperature fluctuate so dressing in layers is helpful. \tClothes and shoes suitable for walking and exercising. \tA month\u2019s worth of toiletries. Pack them in a Ziploc bag if possible, in case of spills. \tCosmetics can be good to bring along, if you use them. You may not feel like using them initially, but as you start to feel better it can be a good way to lift your mood. \tA journal and pen. As you move through the recovery process, you\u2019ll have a lot to think about, and writing is a great way to help you process.\u00a0 \tAn activity to occupy quiet moments. For instance, a book or two, or a Sudoku book, or something similar. \tIf you\u2019re spiritual, one or two books or items that are important to your beliefs.\u00a0 \tThink about what\u2019s motivating you to get sober, and bring photos or other items that remind you of your motivation. \tLeave valuables such as jewelry at home. You don\u2019t need to be distracted by worrying about keeping those items safe. During Your Rehab Program Your rehab experience is all about learning the skills you need to stay sober for life. Keep these points in mind when you\u2019re in rehab, to help you get more out of the program. \tMake your recovery the highest priority. Be willing to put everything else aside and focus on recovery above all else. \tBe willing to dig deep. To get the most out of recovery, you\u2019ll need to explore what led you to addiction in the first place. Some things might feel too painful to talk about, but exposing them to the light is a vital step in healing. \tEmbrace change. Whatever aspects of your life have led you to addiction, understand that those things must change if you want to get sober. \tUnderstand and accept that rehab is an uncomfortable experience. It\u2019s hard, and sometimes it\u2019s painful. But remember that those painful feelings are happening because you\u2019re making positive changes.\u00a0 \tDon\u2019t expect to make progress right away. You might make progress quickly, and that\u2019s great! But if it comes slower than you were hoping, that\u2019s okay too.\u00a0 \tBe open to trying different things. Rehab isn\u2019t a one-size-fits-all addiction treatment. What works for someone else may not work for you, so be willing to try anything and everything.\u00a0 \tBe honest and be willing to share in group sessions. Sharing your feelings and stories is an important part of the rehab experience. A willingness to open up and speak your truth can help you heal and move on. \tSimilarly, be open to other people\u2019s stories. Your peers in recovery are traveling the same path as you, and you\u2019ll likely find you can help one another walk that path. \tLet sobriety become your new normal. Your old normal was addiction, but you\u2019re working hard to change that. Each day, make a point of reminding yourself that you\u2019re committed to sobriety as a way of life.\u00a0 \tGet used to thinking critically before you make decisions. It\u2019s easy to fall back into old habits when you make impulsive decisions. Make your new habit one of mindfulness instead. \tStay in the present moment. Don\u2019t get bogged down in rehashing the past or worrying about the future. \tRemember that recovery is a journey, not a destination. Your rehab experience isn\u2019t something you complete then put on the shelf. You\u2019ll be using what you learn throughout your life so put as much effort into it as you can. \tStay positive. This can be tough, especially if optimism doesn\u2019t come naturally to you. Practice challenging the negative self-talk, and visualize yourself succeeding to help keep your motivation high. \tExpect the road to be bumpy. Recovery isn\u2019t easy, and there will be moments of self-doubt, frustration and despair.\u00a0 \tTake it one step at a time. It\u2019s easy to feel overwhelmed during this process, especially early on. Focus on the task in front of you and do it the best you can.\u00a0 \tDon\u2019t leave early, no matter how hard it gets. The rewards of sobriety are worth the pain. After the Program Your rehab experience is an important part of staying sober in the long term. But the real hard work comes after you leave. Back in the \u201creal world\u201d are all the old stresses and temptations that led you to addiction in the first place. How do you stay sober once you complete your treatment program and return home? \tUnderstand that recovery isn\u2019t a cure. Sometimes sobriety will be hard, sometimes less so, but it will always be something you need to manage consciously.\u00a0 \tMake full use of whatever aftercare resource your rehab center provides. Make a point of finding out exactly what resources you can access and use them! \tDevelop a routine. In recovery your routine is mapped out for you, but once you\u2019re home again it\u2019s up to you to decide what to do. Make your routine one that supports and enhances your sober lifestyle. \tAttend all your scheduled therapy and support sessions. It\u2019s tempting to skip or reschedule these appointments, especially when life gets busy. But they\u2019re an important part of long-term sobriety and a source of support when things get tough. \tKeep up with the habits you learned in the program. Whether it\u2019s yoga, meditation, journaling, or another method they help you stay mindful and focused on recovery. \tGo to meetings. Whether you\u2019re a 12-stepper or following a program such as SMART Recovery\u00ae, going to meetings regularly is likely to be a crucial part of your long-term sobriety.\u00a0 \tStay in touch with the sober friends and acquaintances you met in rehab. Spending time with like-minded people is important to keep your motivation high.\u00a0 Recovery Is Hard but Rewarding Work Rehab is hard, and if it\u2019s something you have yet to face it may seem intimidating. But if you\u2019re struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs, you have nothing to lose by going to rehab. Completing a treatment program may be the crucial thing that helps you regain control over your life.