Surviving Addiction Treatment and Recovery

The stages, although designed to be as comfortable as possible, are rigorous, demanding,, and can feel completely intolerable.

The ordeal of detox is an obvious example that can feel quite like torture itself, but the invasion of privacy alone can be equally as uncomfortable. The fact is, that nothing about addiction is comfortable. It is not amiable. It is not something that anyone would ever want. It latches on to a person like a vicious dog that refuses to let go, and hangs from whatever thread left dangling by it’s slavering teeth. Removing these threads and any other mentality and learned behavior that the addiction can hold onto is not a fun and enjoyable experience. Addiction treatment and recovery are hard work, but gaining the tools to create a better life is well worth the time and the effort.

Anger is not an uncommon feeling to an addict, and when I was younger I tried to perfect the emotion by exhibiting it at all times. I was not sure quite where the anger had come from; it seemed like it had always been there. I was so unhappy that I wanted everyone to feel the same. The strange thing, is that while on the outside I showed the world a tough untouchable exterior, on the inside I was a wreck…I was scared, confused, and alone.

I was not thrilled to be in drug rehab. I made it clear to everyone that I was there to do my time, be released, and get on with my life. I did not want any help and shunned every gesture of friendliness. In fact I pretty much did the opposite of whatever I felt, so know one could ever possible pin me down and get to know the real me.

Fortunately the addiction counselors saw right through this act and I found myself exposed, and very uncomfortable. It was at this point that the real work began. Unable to go on with my act, I had to begin to be honest and to open up. This was a lot more work then pretending could ever be. I found mental and emotional damage I had been unaware of, and memories that were so buried they were literally painful to dig up.

There were moments of embarrassment; times when I wanted to escape; give up; and run away. There were times, when I took a step back and reverted to old behavior patterns.

There were moments of triumph; when I first began to feel like I was part of something; when the anger drained away and I began to look forward instead of back.

There were moments of surprise, when I found myself having a civilized conversation with my parents, instead of the typical abuse and misunderstanding. I began to feel good about myself for the first time in years. I began to feel that I could go through drug rehab and be all right. I could make it.

The key to surviving addiction treatment and recovery is to be honest, open, willing, and true to yourself. Like anything in life, there will be tough times and good times; moments of despair and moments of defining truth. Addiction treatment and alcohol recovery takes an enormous inner strength that once acquired will never go away. Be strong and take back your life.

There is no addiction treatment method that will be successful for all addicts. Once an addict has found the courage to face the reality that there is a problem over which they have no control, the next step is to find a treatment option that will work for them. It will need to be tailored to their particular requirements and situation.

Addiction treatment and addiction recovery are two distinct processes. The treatment process revolves around investigating the history of the addict and identifying the critical issued that lead the initial addiction. Once those have been identified the process of defining the circumstances that have allowed the addiction to continue or escalate can occur. For many addicts these processes can be traumatic, causing them to reflect on issues that they may not be ready to confront. Critical to the success of these processes is the willingness for the addict to face the issues and require closure. If this level of commitment cannot be achieved, the likelihood of achieving any long-term success is effectively nil. There may be some reduction in the frequency of abuse or there may even appear to be complete success, but sitting underneath the façade will be an addiction waiting to resurface with a vengeance.

In order for an addict to survive the drug rehab treatment process there will need to be a period where the cold hard facts of the situation are discussed and the benefits and pitfalls of the treatment options outlined. The addicts will be setting themselves up for failure if they commence treatment without being fully aware and committed to the entire treatment process. In reality any treatment process will not be completed if this is the case and relapse is likely to occur.

Additionally in the addiction treatment process the addict will require ongoing support and encouragement. This will be required from family, professional staff and potentially peers or others suffering the same or similar addictions. There will be no quick fix and the addict will need to set and achieve short-term goals. Depending on the nature of the addiction this may be in terms of hourly, daily or weekly goals. It is important for the addicts’ sense of self worth that they are able to look themselves in the mirror and believe that they are worth the time and effort required to make the change.

The addiction recovery process has a focus on maintaining the long-term success of the treatment undertaken. The addict will need to understand that there is no timeframe that can be placed on recovery as an ongoing process. To survive in recovery the addict will need to identify the situations that could potentially bring about a relapse and identify alternatives to those situations. The previous life that the addict led will not be appropriate and significant changes must occur in relation to lifestyle and acquaintances.

It is important that the addict focus on the positive aspects of their recovery. Too much attention directed on what the addict will not do is in fact likely to cause the addict exhibit the behavior that they are trying to avoid. There are many opportunities in the treatment and recovery processes for celebrating milestones, and while this is important for the overall success of the program and esteem of the addict, it is also important that they don’t become the focus of a recovery program. Celebrating with individuals who are undergoing a similar process can encourage addicts to maintain their focus. Critical to any recovery process is having the knowledge that others have suffered the same ordeals and survived.