Recovery can be one of those things that we think about for a while, but when it comes to actually doing it, we don’t know quite where to start. It may seem confusing when thinking of where to go and what to do. This may lead us to put things off for longer than we should. In order to make getting started a little easier, here is a brief explanation on how to start the recovery process, and some of what you can expect along the way.
Realize that you have a problem.
The first step may seem obvious, but it’s often one of the hardest. Once you realize and understand that you have a problem and need to do something about it, you can move forward with your recovery. This awareness can happen in different ways. Maybe something happened while you were under the influence and someone got hurt, or maybe you got into trouble with the law. Whatever it was that made you realize that things are out of control, acknowledge it and move forward in making a decision. Making the decision to get sober is different than just thinking about it as in, “One day I’ll get sober”, or “Maybe it’d be a good idea to get clean.” It’s a shift from just being aware that there is a problem with taking action to solve the problem. Sometimes it takes a while for us to get from recognizing that we have a problem to mustering up the courage to ask for help. And, when we are finally ready to change, how do we begin the addiction recovery process?
Once you’ve made the decision to enter into addiction recovery, you need to seek help. Remember, there is no shame in this. Please do not think that you can do it on your own. If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you try to cure yourself? Probably not. Addiction is no different. You need to seek treatment from professionals. Not only do they have extensive experience in helping people get clean, but many of the professionals you’ll work with have traveled the same road. It’s comforting to be able to talk to someone who can tell you what to expect. Additionally, they are living proof that if you are willing to put forth the necessary effort, addiction recovery is possible, and it is possible for you as well. There are different types of treatment programs that you can explore and determine which program or programs will best suit your needs. There is inpatient treatment, where you will live at the rehabilitation facility, and outpatient treatment, where you will have regularly scheduled appointments. Some programs will combine the two. Typically, addiction recovery begins in a detoxification program, and then moves to an inpatient setting, and then transitions into an outpatient program.
Once you have committed to the addiction recovery process and a treatment program, the first step will be to detox from whatever drugs or alcohol you have in your system. This can be a scary thought for some, but with the right help you can and will get through it. Going through withdrawal is often not the most pleasant experience and can sometimes deter an individual from wanting to enter treatment, but there are many treatments and medication options available now. Once you meet with treatment center staff, medical professionals will evaluate your individual needs and create a detox program tailored to you. Detoxification varies greatly on the individual and the type or types of substances that are in your system. Any other medical conditions that you may have are also taken into consideration and treatment is altered accordingly.
Once the drugs and/or alcohol are out of your system, you’ll begin the process of addiction recovery and rehabilitation. While addiction can never be cured, it can be managed and maintained. Most rehabilitation programs will incorporate a variety of therapies including, individual counseling, 12-step meetings, trauma therapy, relapse prevention and group therapy. During this time, dependent upon the circumstance and individual, medication may also be involved to assist in ongoing detox symptoms or other health conditions. This can also include mental health diagnoses. While in the rehabilitation process, you will learn more about addiction and how it affects the brain, and also learn natural ways to cope with stress and other triggers. Most people find that they also gain a deeper understanding of themselves. You’ll work toward living and maintaining a sober lifestyle and have the chance to interact with other people who are on the same journey of addiction recovery.
After your program is complete, you’ll work on reentering society and learning how to live a sober lifestyle. For some transitioning from rehab to a sober living home of some kind is the best option for success. It is important to follow the discharge plan that is prescribed to you as you exit rehabilitation. Evaluate where you live and who you live with and if either of those is not conducive to leading a sober lifestyle, considering an alternative arrangement may be best. Find a local support group or 12 step meetings that you can attend. It’s important to surround yourself with plenty of support. This is where you will learn how to maintain your sobriety and continue on the path of addiction recovery.
If you or someone you know need help with drugs or alcohol, please seek help immediately. Remember, this is not something that you should do on your own.
Clearbrook’s Addiction Recovery Treatment Program
With over 40 years of experience in treating the suffering alcoholic and addict, Clearbrook Treatment Centers can assist you in jumping starting your addiction recovery process. If you or someone you love is struggling and are ready to make a change to your life, contact our Admissions Specialists today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have.