Most individuals who battle substance dependency believe that they can cease use of their own – though this is rarely ever the case. Years of research prove that long-term drug use changes the neuropathways of the brain, strengthening compulsions to continue use of drugs and alcohol despite increasing negative consequences. Because of these continual cravings, which have been known to kick in even after years of strong sobriety, relapse prevention is a crucial component of addiction treatment. Yet before intensive inpatient addiction treatment even begins, the process of medically monitored detoxification must take place. The truth of the matter is, addiction recovery is a long, multifaceted process – one that will pay off in ways unimaginable in the long-term if it is approached with dedication and willingness.
The Process of Addiction Recovery Is Well-Worth Time Spent
The very first step in the process of recovery is admitting that you cannot beat drug addiction or alcoholism on your own. Perhaps you have tried to cut back on your alcohol intake or attempted to quit drinking altogether, only to find that you are able to last but a few days or hours before returning to drinking as much as or even more than before. Perhaps you have attempted to ration out your drugs, only to find that you have ripped through a week’s supply in a matter of hours. If you have implemented personal restrictions you have been unable to uphold, you may be battling a severe and potentially life-threatening addiction to drugs and alcohol. In this case, you will need professional treatment in order to safely detox and overcome addiction and all of its underlying causes. Listed below are the recommended steps to take when attempting to complete addiction treatment for the first (and hopefully only), time.
- Medically monitored detoxification.
Medical detox is an extremely important part of the recovery process, seeing as withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can be lethal if not properly monitored by a licensed professional. When the body withdraws from drugs and alcohol after years of use, it becomes more prone to seizures, heart attack, and other serious medical complications. Doctors will prescribe medications to patients that will protect them from serious side effects while not running the risk of afflicting them with even more substance dependencies.
- Inpatient drug and alcohol rehab.
Inpatient drug rehab is an essential step in the recovery process, seeing as this is where individuals address underlying causes of addiction (including past traumatic experience and dual-diagnosis psychological disorders) and learn to cope with triggers and cravings. Patients are typically assigned an individual therapist, and are able to work through underlying issues in group therapy and one-on-one therapy sessions. Clients relearn to take care of themselves, and are given a toolbox of essential recovery-oriented coping devices to employ when necessary.
- Comprehensive aftercare program.
When a client is nearing the end of his or her stay at inpatient treatment, he or she will likely sit down with an assigned case manager and/or therapist and create a comprehensive and thorough aftercare plan. In most cases this includes an extended stay at a halfway house, daily attendance at 12-step meetings and the complete and honest working of a 12-step program. Continued one-on-one therapy will also likely be recommended, as well as regular meeting with a psychiatrist in the circumstance of co-occurring psychological disorder.
Willingness is Required in Order to Recover
The process of addiction recovery is neither short nor simple – it is one that takes intensive dedication, open-mindedness, and willingness. However, if the process is taken seriously, it will undeniably provide unimaginable and incredible results in the long-run.