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What to Do If Treatment Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

What to Do If Treatment Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

When reasonable expectations of treatment are not met, clear communication is generally the first step toward resolution

In a wide variety of human endeavors, expectation can affect outcome. The expectations that addiction treatment patients have of the process can affect their experiences in both positive and negative ways. Although it is impossible to have a true and complete picture of an activity not yet experienced, it is wise for people to do their best to have reasonable expectations of rehab and to remain flexible and open to changing views as recovery progresses.

How Expectations of Treatment Can Affect Outcomes

Expectations of addiction treatment for drugs like clonazepam can affect outcomes in both direct and indirect ways. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that successful outcomes are often related to treatment length, so any factors that might cause patients to stop treatment before reaping its full benefits can be harmful. NIDA notes that factors affecting whether patients stay in treatment can be associated with both patient characteristics and program variables. They note that clinicians should develop treatment plans with their patients, determine that they are followed and ensure that treatment expectations are clearly understood. Unsurprisingly, people are generally more likely to continue a program if they believe the results will be worth the time and effort. A 2013 article in the International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation reports on studies finding strong correlation between a high degree of expectation in the end result of a treatment program and completion of treatment.

Hope can be powerful when attempting to change behavior, but false hope can have negative consequences. A 2001 article in the International Journal of Obesity notes that people’s self-confidence and belief that they can change can affect their behavior and enhance self-modification efforts. Conversely, false hope can contribute to discouragement, lowered moods and a decrease in self-esteem when expectations are not met. False hope arises from unrealistic goal-setting and erroneous assessment of the difficulty of a self-change task. It is based on a belief that change is easily achieved and likely to produce wide-ranging and exaggerated benefits.

What to Expect From Addiction Treatment

Many things can be expected from addiction treatment including the following:

  • Patients will begin a journey of recovery in which they can achieve sobriety from drugs like clonazeapm and restore their emotional and physical health. The recovery process is rarely linear, however, and there are generally setbacks along the way. Addiction is a brain disease, and it takes time for the brain to fully heal.
  • Substance cravings and withdrawal symptoms will initially decrease significantly, but a degree of protracted withdrawal is common, and some symptoms may persist and reoccur with decreasing frequency for many months.
  • Many aspects of life can be expected to improve when addiction is no longer a factor, but improvement is not always automatic or immediate. Relationships are likely to improve over time, but in relationships that were strained by addiction, there are likely to be issues that need to be resolved. Employment prospects are likely to improve, but addiction treatment does not guarantee that patients will immediately find good jobs as soon as they are sober.
  • During treatment, friendships are likely to form, but there are also likely to be differences of opinion between people, and patients will not always get along equally well with everyone. Patients share commonalities, but individual differences will always exist, and it is normal to expect a degree of interpersonal conflict at times.
  • Counselors will be well-trained and helpful but neither miracle workers nor mind readers. Patients will need to communicate clearly and do the work necessary to identify relapse triggers and develop recovery skills. Some counselors and patients will be more naturally compatible than others.

Personal and cultural factors can influence expectations. In a publication on group therapy, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that group participants of varying cultural backgrounds may have different expectations of the leader. In some cultures, leaders are generally viewed as problem-solvers. In other cultural contexts, roles do not automatically confer authority. Personal comfort with conflict can also affect the way in which participants experience a group therapy session.

Communication is Key

When patients are uncomfortable with aspects of treatment, it is wise to take the time to evaluate the situation accurately. It is not uncommon for withdrawal symptoms, separation from friends and family and other aspects of adjustment to changing circumstances to contribute to an underlying irritability and critical mood. Sometimes, however, the disappointment in certain aspects of the process is justified.

When reasonable expectations of treatment are not met, clear communication is generally the first step toward resolving the issue. It is wise for patients to speak directly to their counselors or other program personnel and to be open to hearing their perspectives as well. Treatment personnel want their patients to succeed and are often willing to make changes if they believe it will improve treatment retention or outcome. If speaking to the staff member most directly involved does not resolve the disagreement, it may be necessary to bring the issue to the attention of a supervisor. Although it is rarely necessary, at times patients may decide that switching to an entirely different treatment program is the best choice. No one program is right for every individual, and finding the right match can give patients an increased chance of success.

We Can Help

If you are ready to start a recovery journey away from addiction to drugs like clonazeapm, we can help you find a quality treatment program that meets your needs. Our helpline is toll-free and available 24 hours a day and our knowledgeable consultants are always ready to answer your questions. They can help you identify your treatment options and can even check your insurance coverage for you if you wish at no cost or obligation. Call now, and begin your journey of recovery.