Back on Track: 7 Things to Consider when You Think About Rehabilitation and Recovery
Substance addiction is a major thing and should be taken seriously. It is an addiction of the mind, but it is also an addiction to the body. When you decide to quit taking the drug you have become mentally and physically dependent on, you are going to face a lot of difficult obstacles along the way. It is best if you have help while you are on this wonderful, life-saving, but challenging path.
Taking that step to seek the right treatment for your addiction can help you reduce the dangers associated with it – dangers to your life, health, relationships, finances, and every other aspect of your daily living.
When you have decided that you need help, the next step of determining who to turn to for guiding you through your recovery can be overwhelming. To make this process easier for you, here are 7 things you need to consider when you think about rehabilitation and the path to recovery.
- It’s important to understand what drug and alcohol rehab programs are before you make a choice to enter one or not.
These programs specialize in helping people with addiction programs, and they can be inpatient or outpatient and short-term or long-term.
The programs themselves are geared towards helping people identify their triggers – why and when they turn to use, – and then develop new coping skills for these triggers that are healthy and can help them stay sober or clean in the future.
Rehabs are helpful for everything from alcohol and prescription drugs to hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. While you are in a rehab program, you may be offered different combinations of therapy: group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy. You will also receive medication management and the benefit of support groups.
- You may find yourself resisting entering rehab, and that’s normal.
You will have to fight that temptation to resist. By this point, you have already admitted that you have a problem and need help, which is the hardest step. However, you may still encounter mental difficulty taking that next leap and entering a rehab program.
Many people have trouble with this because they feel that socially being in rehab has a negative stigma or that they can fight their addiction through sheer willpower. Maybe they don’t like the idea of having to share their vulnerable side with others, even if those others are professionals. Still, others worry about the financial costs of treatment, or the loss of their job if their employer finds out about their rehab stay.
Yet, many of these negatives are going to happen anyway if you stay on the destructive path of addiction – your finances will suffer, you will likely lose your job, and your social image will be stigmatized as an addict. Entering rehab can take these negatives and turn them into positive, life-changing experiences.
The professionals in a rehab facility like ARC Project can help you push through the initial withdrawal phases that send many people back to their drug of choice. It can also help you find coping mechanisms to handle the stigma of drug use and find ways to enter society again as a new person – clean and sober and ready to reinvent your life.
- You are not the only one in need of treatment.
In fact, the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 21.7 million peopled 12 and older need treatment for some form of substance abuse. This equates to 1 in 12 people. Yet only 3 million people actually received the treatment that they needed.
- It’s not like it is in the movies – you have choices.
There are different types of recovery programs, and your level of addiction plays a part in the type of treatment that you receive.
Your recovery program will take into consideration the level of treatment you need, financial factors, and what your comfort level is.
You may benefit from a residential program, in which you live in the treatment facility, where you will attend group and individual counseling. These can be long-term or extended, lasting 90 days or longer, or short-term, starting at 28-30 days.
If a residential program is not what you need, you may instead benefit from an outpatient rehab program. In this type of recovery, you live at home and receive addiction treatment there or by visiting a program center. These treatments may last for a few weeks.
Group therapy, also known as support therapy, is also available. These types of groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, meet at regular intervals in accredited facilities or places like churches and community centers throughout your town. In these groups, you will always be welcome, and the atmosphere is supportive. Recovering addicts are encouraged to share their experiences and then continued to be encouraged to remain sober or clean.
You also have the option of individual therapy, where you meet with a board-certified substance abuse counselor. He or she will help you change negative thinking and behaviors, pinpoint your triggers, and assist you to create and use healthy coping skills rather than turning back to the addiction.
Medical interventions are also often used in combination with rehab programs because many substances can result in serious withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be life-threatening. Detoxification, where your vital signs are monitored and your withdrawal symptoms are observed and managed, is available at many inpatient treatment facilities.
While your body is getting rid of the toxic aspects of the drug, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, and it is best to be around people who know how to handle these effects.
- You should not wait until “rock bottom” before you get help.
Even if you have just begun to use your drug of choice, you can benefit from a treatment program.
If you notice these types of symptoms, you should immediately seek treatment options:
- You are unable to say no to the illicit substance.
- You take extreme actions to obtain and use the drug.
- You are using at an increasing frequency.
- You take more of a prescribed drug than is intended, or for an extended period of time.
- You have tried and failed to cut back or quit using the drug.
- You spend a lot of time either getting the drug or recovering from it.
- You are slacking on your responsibilities or unable to fulfill them at all.
- You have neglected or abandoned once enjoyable hobbies and activities, choosing to use the drug instead.
- Your cravings for the substance have increased.
- Negative interpersonal relationships have occurred, yet you still choose to use.
- You are using in dangerous environments or situations, like in school or work or while driving a car.
- You know that you are physically or mentally having problems with the drug, but you choose to continue to use anyway.
If you notice two or more of the above criteria apply to you, you should seek treatment for your addiction.
- Not all treatment centers are created equally.
Successful treatment programs have key features that have been identified and can help you when you are trying to choose your road to recovery. In these programs, they consider all aspects of your life and help you to learn new skills.
A good treatment facility has certified mental health professionals and addiction counselors to help you with your recovery. The center and the professionals should have experience with treating substance addiction and the extended needs that come with it.
Since drug addiction and mental illness are often related, you need a drug rehab facility that understands the dual diagnosis experience. You must be treated for mental and physical conditions or you have more of a chance to relapse back into using.
You should feel confident that when you first meet with a therapist, they have evaluated you thoroughly and understand the severity of your addiction. They will also screen you for mental health disorders. All of this will help you begin an individualized treatment, which should be adaptable and changed as your addiction level changes and your treatment progresses.
These treatments should be evidence-based and contain cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management. CBT focuses on the relationship between your thoughts and feelings and how they relate to your behaviors. Through this therapy, your negative thoughts are turned into positive ones and your unhealthy responses to triggers are changed into healthy coping mechanisms. Contingency management, on the other hand, is incentive-based, where you are rewarded for your positive behaviors.
Consider these factors when you are exploring and researching your substance abuse treatment facility.
- It doesn’t just end when you finish your treatment program.
Many people who are not compliant with their aftercare end up relapsing, even after successful completion of a treatment program. People with an addiction can struggle silently for years. Remaining in programs like individual counseling or group therapy is important for your long-term success.
Studies show that no matter where you go for help, the fact that you make the decision to go is critical to your success. While some facilities are more beneficial than others due to the types of therapy they offer, the fact that you are looking into getting help is the most important decision you could have made.