Understanding Addiction Recovery
Addiction is already a complicated subject, yet addiction recovery can be even trickier to grasp.
However, as individuals seek out answers, remaining informed can help them find more success as they go through the stages of recovery or as they help someone else with this process.
There are various questions that drug abusers and their loved ones often ask about addiction recovery. The amount of misinformation and stigma often leave a person unable to determine what is true about addiction. In order to help individuals make an informed decision, below are some of the most common questions and answers about this important process.
1. Is Professional Treatment Necessary for Recovery?
Detox, or detoxification, is typically one of the first steps toward getting clean and it is often best left to qualified professionals. Detox essentially means completely clearing the addicting substance from the body. Some people find this process to be physically and emotionally challenging and, in some cases, detox can even pose certain health risks.
However, going through medically supervised detox at a treatment facility gives recovering drug abusers access to a nursing staff and medical professionals who can make sure individuals remain hydrated, stable and safe. These medical services can even help ease the discomfort that is sometimes associated with detox.
Of course, professional treatment has many more benefits than just medically supervised detox.
Rehab centers offer an array of different services, including:
- Holistic treatment
- 12 step programs
- Medical treatment
- Relapse prevention
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family counseling
2. What is Drug Addiction Rehab Like?
Every addiction rehab center provides a menu of different programs, unique environments and various philosophies, so it can be difficult to describe exactly what a typical treatment facility is like.
For example, one facility may offer long-term treatment at high-end accommodations and focus on a holistic approach that addresses a person’s overall sense of health and happiness. Another facility may be located in a modest, rural setting and focus more closely on healing the entire family of the person suffering with addiction.
The drug free environment is one of the most basic requirements for a rehab facility. This factor gives recovering drug abusers a safe zone that allows them to put aside any fears or anxieties about encountering the substance they’re trying to stop using.
Entering a good drug abuse treatment program also means that participants can expect a degree of personalized treatment. Because everyone’s experience with addiction is different, most treatment facilities will work with participants to tailor a course of treatment that fits each individual’s needs.
3. Will I Have to Leave My Family Behind While I’m Recovering?
Many people imagine that going into recovery means cutting off contact with family members and friends for long periods of time.
Even though most people initially think of inpatient rehab facilities, or centers that require participants to reside on the campus, there are there are also plenty of outpatient treatment options that only require participants to attend during the day. At night, recovering drug abusers can go home, spend time with their loved ones and prepare for the following day.
It’s also important to note that even inpatient facilities give recovering drug users regular opportunities to see and interact with their loved ones. Certain centers schedule regular visiting times for family members and in some cases loved ones can even sleep over at the treatment center.
Many programs also encourage and even require family members to attend some of the rehab treatment sessions. Having family members present during parts of the treatment can give recovering drug abusers additional support and strength as they work toward recovery. The family members can also benefit by learning how they can help prevent relapse for their loved one and continue to support that person long after the treatment program has come to an end.
4. How Long Does it Take to Fully Recover from a Drug Addiction?
There’s no real answer to this question, partially because treatment programs require various
lengths of time. A shorter-term treatment option may take anywhere from one month to three months. Long-term
treatment may require participants to stay at a facility for nine months to a year.
This answer becomes even more complicated when examining how long recovery – rather than structured rehab programs – will actually take. The fact is, recovering from a drug addiction is a process that goes on long after treatment ends. Many people consider drug addiction to be a condition that lasts for a lifetime.
While this consideration may be daunting, the good news is that there are support systems and strategies that people can use after they complete rehab.
5. How Can I Guard Against Relapse?
Relapse occurs when a person starts using drugs again following a period of being clean. The rates for relapse after a drug addiction are actually between 40% and 60%, meaning that around half of people who become clean experience a period of relapse at some point. Relapse can be triggered by numerous factors, including:
- Substance availability
- Excessive stress
- Lack of support from loved ones
The good news is that there are proven strategies that can give recovering drug abusers a better chance at remaining clean and avoiding relapse. Former drug users and their family members should first take advantage of any aftercare programs offered at treatment facilities. Many facilities have specific relapse prevention classes that teach strategies for effectively handling many of these common relapse triggers.
Beyond taking advantage of professional relapse prevention methods, people in recovery often become involved in substance free activities, such as athletics, artistic pursuits or volunteering. Not only are these activities personally fulfilling, but they can also occupy time that might have otherwise been spent with people or in situations that could trigger a relapse.
Seeking Help with Recovery
While each person’s experience with addiction will be different, there are always qualified experts who are available to shed light on various steps of process and explain exactly what recovery entails.