The Early Treatment Discomfort
The Early Treatment Discomfort

I’ve helped many people commit to inpatient rehab, and I always talk to their families about the call that they’ll receive around day three to five. It’s usually the early treatment discomfort which will change with time.

The call is always the same. Though patients come from different circumstances and have different struggles, the point is always I have to leave now. People complain about anything from the food, to the other patients, to something going on at home, to the quality of the sheets.

Since I’ve seen this call so many times, I know how to handle it. I always recommend that families accept the call, acknowledge their loved one’s concern, and push the rest of the conversation back to later in the day. I suggest saying something like, “Thanks for calling. This is very important, but can we talk about it this afternoon?”

One of the features of early sobriety is massive mood swings. Certainly by the hour and sometimes by the minute. A 9 am crisis may be forgotten by 5pm. At a good inpatient rehab, the staff is used to dealing with the emotional lability of their patients, and you can rest assured that they will work with your loved one on their complaint be it real or entirely blown out of proportion.

If the family is able to move the call to later in the day, the patient will have had hours to work on their feelings, in individual therapy, group therapy, and over lunch with other patients. Learning how to self-soothe and modulate one’s feelings is an important lesson in recovery. We all know that people who are actively using can have explosive tempers, may not know how to express their emotions, and are sometimes used to getting their way in everything.

When the newly-recovering person makes that call for help, the family usually wants to jump in and save them. It’s truly part of a lesson that the person needs to learn. Regulating emotions, advocating for their needs, working within a system, processing with friends. These are all crucial, new ways of thinking for the person entering recovery. In early sobriety there will be many moods swings, and what’s problematic one moment may be fine a half an hour later. Either way, the individual is on their own journey and no longer needs to be rescued.

About Suntra Modern Recovery and Adam Banks

Adam Banks is a certified interventionist at Suntra Modern Recovery. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Adam built a company that was later acquired by United Health Care. His discipline and attention to detail comes from his former career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.

Today, Adam is dedicated to helping others achieve long term sobriety. His work as an interventionist has guided executives, pilots, and physicians on paths to recovery. Adam brings families together through a loving and inclusive approach.

Adam recently co-authored Navigating Recovery Ground School: 12 Lessons to Help Families Navigate Recovery. In this lesson book Adam and John Roesch walk families through the entire intervention process. Suntra also offers a free video course for families considering hosting an intervention for a family member. 

Suntra Modern Recovery provides medical treatment for alcohol and opiate addictions via video visit with medical doctors. Treatment for alcohol, opiate and heroin addiction, including Suboxone treatment, can start today. Suntra’s alcohol and drug intervention services are available locally in New York, Long Island, the Hamptons as well as nationally and internationally. 

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