Addiction is not a moral failure and a sign of weakness, but a chronic disease. It takes more than willpower to complete the recovery process. But the desired recovery is never out of reach. The situation may seem hopeless, especially after several unsuccessful attempts. That just means that something was done wrong. Change is possible with the right approach. Here’re 5 steps that can help you to battle alcohol or drug addiction.
1. Don’t Wait!
Maybe you lie to yourself that you don’t have a problem with substance abuse. It may seem that you could stop at any point, you just don’t want to do it now. You may think like that – “Just one more drink (or dose), and then I’ll start a sober life”. The time to quit is now!
To start with, call AddictionResource drug hotline. Don’t let shame stop you from this. You won’t hear judgmental comments or reprimands. These lines are created for another purpose – to provide assistance for people who can’t cope with their alcohol or drug habit.
Firstly, a helpline will help you understand whether you’re really dependent. Secondly, the respondent will give you the desired emotional support. Some of the people who work there were also affected by alcohol or drugs, so they know what you are going through. Thirdly, you’ll get information and advice on what to do next.
Using an addiction helpline has some benefits. It’s toll-free. You can keep it confidential if you want. And you can receive immediate help as there’s no need to go into the clinic or make an appointment.
2. Find a Treatment Program
If the call to an addiction hotline helped you see and assess the situation you are in more clearly, and it turned out that you need professional medical assistance, then start seeking an appropriate rehab.
The hotline’s respondents usually provide information about rehabs in your area or near it. But traditional “one size fits all” programs can be less effective if you feel the need for something more personal that fits your specific issues. So, what factors should you consider?
Some facilities treat both addiction and co-occurring mental conditions, such as anxiety or depression. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), almost 9 million American adults who have substance abuse disorder also have some mental condition. Unfortunately, only 7.4% of these individuals receive treatment for both disorders, and 55.8% receive no treatment at all.
Some treatment programs cater to abusers of specific drugs. There’re also age-specific rehabs, gender-specific rehabs, facilities for pregnant women, religious centers, centers that use a holistic approach.
Decide on the type of rehab you want, and call drug addiction hotline. The consultant will help you understand if you are eligible for the specific facility.
3. Trust the Medical Process
At the beginning of your treatment, you’ll have to go through detoxification – the process of cleaning the body from the harmful substances accumulated during abuse. Some say that “it often gets worse before it gets better” when it comes to fighting addiction. However, temporary discomfort from withdrawal syndrome pales in comparison to long-lasting sobriety.
At every stage of the treatment process, you should follow medical advice. It’s important to trust a counselor, a psychiatrist, a sponsor, even a higher power.
Rehabs create a safe and comfortable environment. Staff will offer you the proper nutrition, medication and rest that are required to get off the drug or alcohol in a healthy way.
Commit to a treatment regime. And no matter how healthy or hopeless you might suddenly feel, don’t give up. Stay in treatment for the entire length of the program because it decreases the risk of relapse.
Moreover, therapists say that longer stays result in lower relapse rates. A group of American researchers conducted a study of 1,605 users of cocaine and their relapse rates. It turned out that 35% of individuals treated for 90 days and below relapsed while only 17% of those treated for longer than 90 days did.
4. Create a Family and Friends Network
Addicts have frequent mood changes and transitions from feeling anger to being embarrassed. Because of their behavior, the relationship with family members ruins. Children witness acts they should not.
Family and friends can provide substantial support for recovering addicts. Asking your closest people to participate in counseling sessions can help them understand you and your problem better. They will also learn the ways how to help you overcome it during the treatment program and after it.
If your addiction made a huge impact on your family or a partner, it’s recommended to undergo a family or couples therapy. According to a meta-analysis conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry National Addiction Centre London, UK, family and couples therapy is more effective for drug abusers than non-family approaches, like individual counseling or group therapy.
5. Take Advantage of Aftercare Treatment
Returning home from rehab may be exciting. But it may bring up new challenges when it comes to staying sober and avoiding triggers.
Don’t neglect aftercare treatment. You should have follow-up appointments at your rehabilitation center. Don’t skip them. It’s easier to stay away from a bottle or cocaine if you receive support from health professionals.
You can also participate in a 12-step recovery group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). There’s evidence that those who participate in AA meetings for 27 weeks or more in the first year after initiating help-seeking relate to a higher likelihood of 16-year abstinence, which is twice as long as those who don’t participate.
There will be moments when your cravings will seem too strong to resist. Recollect all the tips and tricks learned in rehab. And in case you need to talk to supportive people, and that is impossible for some reason, don’t forget about an addiction hotline anonymous which is ready to help 24/7.