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avoid the avoidable
August 7, 2017

5 Types of People to Avoid in Rehab


If it’s your first time going to addiction treatment, it’s important to learn that not everybody in rehab wants to be there, wants to get sober, or wants you to do well. Some people are forced into rehab by a court, while others were given an ultimatum to attend treatment or else they could lose their source for financial support or living arrangement. Some people simply do not quite yet have the willingness and dedication necessary to remain sober and recover from their addiction. This doesn’t necessarily mean that people forced into addiction treatment will not recover but, rather, it’s important to recognize the people who are taking the program seriously and want to get better.

In rehab, it is likely you will make connections and friendships that could last a lifetime, which is why it is important to choose friends carefully. It’s also important to understand that in early recovery it can be easy for a person to become vulnerable to triggers, manipulation, or rationalizations of bad ideas their friends suggest. Early recovery is a fragile time in a person’s life, so it is extremely important to surround one’s self with positive influences and people who will support their journey to recovery. If you are about to attend treatment, these are the type of people you should avoid:

  1. The “Know-it-all”

In rehab, there are going to be people who are completely unwilling to consider perspectives other than their own. People might suggest that therapists or doctors “just don’t understand.” They might easily become angered by advice given to them. They also might refuse to even try simple suggestions. The know-it-all will be certain they know what’s best for them and it is impossible for a therapist to offer any good advice. This is a person that should be avoided like the plague.

Perhaps, offer them support and kindness, but, if they suggest that you don’t know anything either, the person is unlikely to change nor is willing to dedicate themselves to treatment. Addiction treatment and recovery require a person to reconsider nearly all of their perspectives. Recovery requires dedication and openness to suggestions by others.

  1. The “Warrior”

In rehab, you are likely to be exposed to several people who really enjoy telling “war stories.” War stories are simply stories of drug use, crime, or severity of their addiction. It’s not completely wrong to engage in war stories, because, after all, these kind of stories are the thing that everyone in rehab will have in common. They can be funny and amusing and can even promote bond but, at a certain point, one needs to focus on the future and get serious about the treatment program. Those who constantly war-story and show little engagement in the treatment plan can begin to affect your own treatment. War stories can begin to trigger a person and may cause them to fall into a euphoric recall, which means to only remember the “good times” of using drugs.

friends smiling

  1. The “Contractor”

In rehab, you will likely hear the term “negative contracts.” A negative contract is a formal or informal agreement to hold secrets for someone so that they, in turn, will hold secrets for you. This is very unhealthy behavior and will certainly interfere with both individual’s treatment plan. Successful treatment requires honesty and support of your peers. Holding secrets is a form of enabling.

  1. The Liar

A person who constantly lies in treatment is obviously not dedicated to recovery. As mentioned above, successful treatment requires as much honesty as possible. Active addicts and alcoholics tend to live a life constructed in a web of lies and manipulation. Continuing that behavior in rehab will likely lead back to old behavior habits. In recovery, a person often has to change many of their old behaviors and habits in order to really start a new life. Relapse is a process rather than a single event. As a person regresses to old habits like lying, relapse becomes ever more likely.  

  1. The Thief

Lastly, there is the person who won’t stop stealing stuff. Unfortunately, you are likely to encounter a few kleptomaniacs in rehab. These people might steal from you, from others, or from the treatment center itself. They might not follow rules like the amount of coffee one can drink, or how many servings they can have, or what items they are allowed to purchase. This is another person who is stuck in their old ways and likely not willing to change just yet. Stealing is clearly “wrong,” and treatment centers will often be very vocal about this. If you know someone is stealing you also should not keep their secret. Rehab is often life or death, so enabling a person to continue unhealthy habits could ultimately kill them, even if they might be mad at you if they find out you reported them. Always try to be honest in treatment, listen to therapists, consider new perspectives, and support the people that support you too.

Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism and Addiction

If you or a loved one has a problem with alcoholism or addiction and want to experience recovery in a thriving community with lots of people just like you, then call the professionals at Stout Street today at 866-722-7040. Our trained staff is standing by to take your call and help you in any way we can. We know how difficult of a decision this can be and we know what it takes to ensure you find your own personal path in recovery.  You no longer have to do it alone, so give us a call today and find the happy and sober life you’ve always dreamed of.