It’s no secret that there’s been a bigger addiction problem than there ever was. When it comes to the growing mental health epidemic in the United States, substance abuse and dependence is at the forefront. It has become one of the biggest problems in the country. Addiction continues to take center stage. With powerful drugs on the street and in the pharmacy, it’s so easy to become dependent upon a substance. When you or someone you love is addicted to drugs, below are the steps of recovery that everyone should go through to change their lives.
Detox is the process of the body going through a withdrawal process as the person comes off the drug. Withdrawals are a lot worse for some people than they are for others and depending on the addictiveness of the drug. Alcohol and opioids have some of the worst withdrawals of any substance, but there are many drugs that have uncomfortable and dangerous side effects when you stop using them. Whether you’re looking for an alcohol detox center or a detox clinic that specializes in pills, the week or so that you spend in detox sets you up for the rest of your recovery process.
Inpatient or Outpatient
After a medically assisted detox, the more comprehensive addiction treatment begins. There are both inpatient and outpatient treatments for addiction but you can also do them in sequence. The treatments in these treatments remain essentially the same. You will begin seeing addiction counselors, going to group meetings, and continuing physical monitoring. You will begin working the 12-steps, which is by far the most effective program of addiction treatment known today. You will get a sponsor who helps you when you want to use drugs or alcohol. Eventually, you will become a sponsor yourself.
A crucial step in the process of addiction recovery is dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis refers to the idea that an addiction always has underlying mental health issues beneath the surface. That doesn’t mean that everyone who becomes dependent on a substance is mentally ill, but it does mean that there are a combination of factors that led them to use in the first place. Self-medicating depression and anxiety is incredibly common. So is self-medicating for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dual diagnosis is a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, meaning it aims to treat the whole person as a patient—not just the physical dependence.
Once a patient has gone through detox, starting the 12-step program, receiving counseling, and going to group meetings, it’s important to continue treatment after the initial 30-day period. You should keep going to meetings and continue work with your sponsor.
After inpatient treatment, some people choose to continue with aftercare resources, but another option is to go to residential aftercare treatment in a sober living home. A lot of people don’t feel equipped to live on their own after they get out of treatment. Sober living homes are a great resource to help addiction patients stay sober after the initial rehab stay.
Whether you continue with outpatient care or sober living, continuing to attend meetings, working the steps, and becoming a sponsor are all an important part of the process. Giving back through the community strengthens your own recovery. Aftercare is about continuing to work on overall recovery, meaning that therapy, physical exercise, and more are essential to your long-term sobriety. It’s necessary to treat the underlying issues to prevent relapse.
However, if relapse occurs you shouldn’t give up. It’s a part of the process. When you relapse, it’s necessary to get right back on the horse. You aren’t starting over but returning to your steps and your recovery program. Relapse is a part of addiction, but it doesn’t mean that the person has failed.
Addiction has become one of the biggest problems in the United States. It is compounded by the overall mental health epidemic in the country and beyond. Luckily, there’s good news. Addiction specialists are always fine-tuning their treatments. When it comes to recovery, personalized and comprehensive treatment is always necessary. So, if you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the first step is to admit that help is needed. Once denial is over, the recovery process can begin.