There is something we want to mention regarding students who come into Rehab. In the field of drug rehab, is that heroin addicts are just not getting the help that they need and deserve. A drug addict is a person too with friends and loved ones who once had hopes and inspirations. Getting off drugs is no simple or easy experience. Some programs are easier than others but there is no getting around the fact that the person has to have a certain amount of stamina, persistence and intention to become drug free. It’s not something you play at to amuse yourself. When it comes right down to it no one can make anyone do something they don’t want to. Yes, they may seem to comply for a while if they are put under enough duress, threat and punishment, but they are not complying because they want to and so are not really doing it at all but are simply running on automatic. They have gone off to fairyland and replaced themselves with an automatic response circuit, you might say, that makes it look like they are complying while they go off daydreaming. Rehabilitation Rehabilitation is – to restore or bring to a condition of health or useful and constructive activity AND to restore to a former state or capacity. This can be done with the heroin addict and obviously does not include alternate drug substitutes as an answer. Willingness I am sure you have in the past done this. You were at school or something and had no interest in the subject you were supposed to be learning so you went through the motions and went off daydreaming. You never learnt anything either. So it is with rehab. The person has to take part, has to do the program, and has to want to break the hold. No program in the world can make them drug free without their co-operation. It is something at which one has to work. Willingness is a vital part of every endeavour. Willingness, no matter how small to start with, must be there for any progress to happen. Starting Weakness When we take your loved one into the centre, at the start, they are there on very thin ice. They are there because of the work of our expert consultant who has managed to get through the drug fog enough to impinge on the person with a modicum of common sense. Their strength of commitment at the start is usually very weak. The drugs are still, in the main, in control. They are very frightened that they are not going to be able to hold themselves together and get through. Even more so if they have tried to get off before. The First Few Hours Once at the centre they get the support of the staff and the other students to help them through the initial stages and keep them to the routines. The very first day or two is the critical time. It is during these first few hours that all their fears of failure and strength of purpose is tested. They feel they are with strangers. The drugs are still telling them what to do. This is the time when all they want to do is call home and bail out. This is the time they are tempted to run away. And believe me some do. It is something we go through with every new student. The only difference is degree. Some come through it with a bit of effort, others fail. They ring home or somewhere and tell the most horrific stories of how they can’t do it, can’t stand it, and even make up dramatic stories to get sympathy so they can justify quitting before they really even get started. Strength from You This is the time when the family or loved one has to be strong enough to not get swayed or sympathise with the one they love. Where they have to be strong and supportive and re-assure them that they care so much that they will be there for them all the way through. That they can call them any time for a chat and will come and visit in the next couple of days or weekend as appropriate. Make no mistake; drugs are a vicious, debilitating and mind altering substance. They weaken the person and make them irrational. They can make the person tell the most blatant lies as anybody who has been involved with heroin addicts will know beyond all doubt. An addict can look you in the eye with calm sincerity as they tell you how much the love you while having just stolen all the money from your purse. This is the sort of personality you are dealing with when working with an addict. See, you are not really talking to the person at all, you are talking to a drug. The truth is, under all this drug influence the person is really quite decent but while on drugs they are buried and have lost control. The drug is in control dictating the person’s actions. Later This is what true rehabilitation is all about. Not just getting the person off the drug but digging them out of the mess they have created and making them whole again. Repairing the hurt and emotional damage they have caused to the ones they love and care about. But that comes later after the drugs have been completely flushed out of their body. What you must and must not do What is needed during the first few days from the one who cared enough to help get them into rehab is enough strength to keep them there so they can make it through. Believe me; what they don’t need is another failure in an attempt to become drug free. They don’t need to be told. “You poor thing, I will pick you in an hour”. They need the supporting strength of the ones who care to make up what they lack at that moment so they do make it through. You need to know this because it can happen and this is what you must do if it does. You have to have the strength they lack. You have to make up for the strength they have lost. This is the help they need at that moment if you ever want to see them drug free.