There was a time in the past when drug addiction was considered a sign of moral weakness, although thankfully attitudes have now changed. Addiction is now widely referred to as an illness that can be treated through detox and rehabilitation in drug treatment centers to allow individuals to live substance-free lives. Perhaps one of the main reasons addiction has been so misunderstood in the past is because of the powerful influence substances have on the brain, which directly affects an individual’s personality. What can seem to be a lifestyle choice is in actual fact a compulsion to use drugs that cannot be controlled, no matter how hard a person tries on their own.
These days there are hundreds of thousands of people with varying degrees of addiction passing through the doors of drug treatment centers across America going on to enjoy a healthy and sober life in recovery.
In this article, we want to take a look at the steps an individual needs to take towards overcoming addiction with the support and care of drug or opiate addiction treatment professionals.
Overcoming Drug addiction: Decide to Make a Change
One of the characteristics of addiction is that although an individual may want to quit using drugs, they are unable to. This is because prolonged substance abuse leads to the body developing a dependence on the euphoria drugs create, progressively craving higher doses with more regularity. The withdrawal symptoms can be extremely severe when an addict stops using the drug they have become addicted, even overnight when they need to sleep. This cycle of cravings emerging when the drugs’ effects wear off invariably leads to individuals taking more in order to prevent inevitable withdrawal symptoms if they do not.
Some people are able to recognize the signs that they have a problem with drugs at an early stage. Others may have been unable to openly communicate their problems and as a result, they have become more severe. Every individual struggling with substance abuse will have their own unique backstory as to how they became addicted in the first place. For this reason, only the individual concerned can be the one who decides to make a change.
Whether this decision is instigated by a specific drug-related incident, relationship issues or an intervention matters not. Unless the individual concerned is prepared to accept the challenges of attending a drug treatment center and makes a full commitment to a program, the chances of long-term recovery are reduced. Making a commitment to sobriety involves making the following changes:
- The way stress is dealt with
- The people allowed in the individual’s life
- How they spend their free time
- Their opinion of themselves
- Whether prescription or over-the-counter medications are involved
It is not uncommon to feel conflicted about committing to treatment and it is undeniably a tough journey. This is why quality centers take the view that detox, rehab, and recovery should take as much time as the individual needs. One of the initial processes of admission is evaluation and assessment so that the patient’s specific needs are identified and addressed in a drug or opiate addiction treatment program devised for them.
Explore Addiction Treatment Options: Find a Drug Treatment Center Near You
When an individual has accepted they need help and have made a commitment to getting treatment, it’s time to explore the options. While approaches may vary, all successful addiction treatment programs offer the following components including:
- Detoxification: The body needs to be cleansed of all chemical residues left behind by prolonged substance abuse before healing can begin. Due to the powerful influence drugs have on the brain’s function, their influence remains strong even after detox has been completed. A holistic approach to detox is intended to gently purge the body of drugs, manage withdrawal symptoms and address emotional or psychological issues underlying the individual’s addiction. This is why the recommended time-frame for detox is around 30-day, although this can vary from person-to-person. Many people ask: “Should I attend residential detox at a drug treatment center near me?” The answer is that 23/7 supervision from addiction specialists is essential for safe detoxification from most substances.
- Rehabilitation: Once detox has been completed, there is still some work to do in order to ensure individuals are able to cope with cravings for substances when they complete treatment. Ultimately the objective of rehab is to prepare people for living without substances and so the main components include individual, group, family and behavioral therapy.
- Aftercare: Addiction treatment doesn’t stop when a patient has completed rehabilitation and there are still challenges to face. The best rehab centers offer a comprehensive outpatient aftercare service that continues to support individuals as they return home after their treatment program. This is important because the transition from the safety of an addiction treatment center back to the environment associated with substance abuse can be very difficult for some people. If individuals face returning to a difficult home-life or enabling people or environments, good rehab centers will offer some form of sober living arrangement.
How a Holistic Approach Works to Promote Long-Term Recovery
Addiction is a relapsing illness which means that a person can experience cravings or triggers for substance abuse even years after completing treatment. This makes it important for a rehabilitation program to include education on natural ways of protecting sobriety, which is where holistic therapies are particularly effective.
Here are some examples of holistic therapies and how they work to boost recovery outcomes:
- Meditation: Finding a quiet place and sitting in silence is much harder to achieve than we think, particularly with our busy lives. However, the benefits of silencing negative internal dialogue are enormous for a person seeking to protect themselves from cravings for drugs. Initially, meditation sessions can be supervised or “guided” so as to teach this ancient technique that has been proven to reduce stress levels and generally improve overall well being.
- Art and Music Therapy: Some of the therapies offered at the best holistic treatment center present patients with another channel for communication and these are known as experiential treatments. It is important for individuals overcoming addiction to be able to communicate how they are feeling. This is not purely for the benefit of the therapist either because individuals who have been abusing drugs for a while are very likely to have lost touch their sense of identity. Music and art are mediums that require self-exploration and introspection which leads to better self-awareness and a stronger commitment to sobriety.
- Physical fitness: Holistic therapies and treatments are designed to address the individual as a whole. This is in contrast to traditional or conventional medicine, which seeks to treat the symptoms of the illness itself. Being physically fit provides enormous benefits to patients in rehab as it provides another weapon in the arsenal of recovery. By improving physical fitness, individuals are able to boost energy levels by naturally producing dopamine and flooding the body with pleasant sensations for an overall sense of well being.