Connecting with Your Rehab Doctor: Why It’s so Important and How to Do It

Addictions Content Team Info icon
Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/16/2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It is very important to connect with your rehab doctor during addiction treatment. While it can be hard to figure out how to do so at first, use some of the tips below to make sure you can feel connected and comfortable with your physician during rehab.

Why Should I Connect With My Rehab Doctor?

The physician who will be taking care of you during rehab will be one of your strongest assets and your greatest resource for information. Any time you have questions about recovery or want to find out about your progress, you will likely need to go to your doctor.

As such, it is necessary that you have a good relationship with them and feel comfortable having multiple conversations about your health and wellbeing.

In addition, “successful clinicians can establish a positive, therapeutic relationship with their patients,” which, in turn, will lead to longer retention times in rehab (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Those who stay in treatment for a long enough time almost always have better outcomes than those who don’t: just another reason to make a connection with your rehab doctor and to feel comfortable with them.

How Do I Make This Connection?

Some of the responsibility for making this connection and allowing you to feel comfortable talking to them is on your doctor. If you are truly unable to feel that you can have a positive relationship with your rehab physician, another program or a switch of doctors may be necessary, but the responsibility of forging this relationship is a two-way street. Therefore, there are things you can do as well to help build this connection.

  • Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling, what you are going through, and what kinds of changes you want to see. If you are not honest with your doctor, they cannot make a connection with you, and it will be much harder for them to anticipate your needs. Honesty is completely necessary when communicating with your physician during rehab.
  • Make sure your doctor is available to you when you need them. If you feel that you do not have the kind of attention you need, perhaps a more intensive program may be necessary.
  • Discuss your treatment plan with your doctor often. According to the NIDA, this plan should be assessed and changed regularly to reflect your evolving needs.
  • Be willing to discuss the aspects of your life that go beyond your addiction. If you are going to make a real connection with your doctor, they should know who you are as an individual. It can help to be open if they are comfortable to share this kind of information with you as well.

Your doctor’s main job in rehab is to give you exceptional care and to help you stay in treatment for as long as necessary. Both of these tasks can be achieved more easily if you have the kind of relationship with them that feels open, honest, and positive.