Emotional Problems during Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient drug rehab is just as much a mental endeavor as a physical one. While getting rid of chemical dependency is crucial for managing drug cravings, addicts must sharpen their minds and avoid negative emotions. Failure to do so can lead even the most enthusiastic rehab patients to relapse as soon as they encounter new adversities. Here are some of the most dangerous emotions that people need to avoid during and after inpatient rehab.


Fulfilling human connections are important to everyone’s life, and most addicts cannot stay sober without them. For some people loneliness is a danger as soon as they start treatment. They may have estranged all of their friends and relatives, leaving them with little source of compassion or sympathy. When this is the case, it is essential that rehab patients learn the skills necessary to make new friends and reconnect with loved ones.

Loneliness is even more of a problem after inpatient treatment, when patients are no longer monitored and supervised. Feeling socially disconnected can lead to anxiety and depression – common causes of addiction and relapse. Overall, the genuine care of family and friends is one of the most important parts of addiction recovery.


For some addicts, ongoing denial will lead to contempt of their fellow rehab patients. They may become extremely uncomfortable seeing the effects that addiction has had on other people – effects that they themselves have suffered. Rather than fully admitting to their problems, some patients will begin to believe that they’re better than others, and that they don’t really need so much counseling and group therapy. These are some of the most dangerous feelings for people in recovery, since they can cause people to quit their treatment programs and return to their previous lives.


Fear of the unknown is what keep many people from ever seeking treatment. However, it can also prevent addicts from staying sober after rehab. Rational thought indicates that living drug-free is far preferable to abusing drugs, but people who have spent years miring in addiction may fear the results of drastic life changes. Tragically, some people choose to return to familiar, drug-filled lives, rather than build better futures for themselves.


Seemingly benign, boredom can indicate – or lead to – far more serious problems. People with depression or social anxiety often become bored out of their inabilities to do anything productive or meaningful. They find themselves in horrible cycles where boredom leads to deeper depression.

For addicts, boredom is dangerous because it leads to increased opportunities for relapse. Those who stay busy with work, school, or enjoyable hobbies can add fulfillment to their lives, leaving with less time and desire to use drugs. However, addicts who don’t productively fill their time will find themselves with too many chances to slip up.


A truly happy life isn’t necessarily an easy one, especially for recovering addicts. Some people will complete inpatient treatment and feel almost invincible, like no challenge is too much to handle. Yet their addictions remain, and unexpected cravings can easily catch them off guard. For instance, alcoholics may mistakenly believe that they won’t have urges to drink if they go to parties. Ultimately, addicts will need to find joy and fulfillment in life – while keeping up their defenses against relapse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you have hope for a lasting recovery. Call the number at the top of your screen for a confidential consultation with one of our trained addiction specialists. We’re standing by twenty-four hours a day to help you get started on one of the most effective inpatient drug rehab programs in the country.

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.

You aren't alone. You deserve to get help.
Recovery First is located in Hollywood, Florida, which is easily accessible from Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Our small groups means you get more one-on-one support and make stronger connections with the community. Take the next step toward recovery: learn more about our addiction treatment programs near Florida's Atlantic coast or learn about how rehab is affordable for everyone.