What Is Addiction Recovery?
Addiction recovery is the process of overcoming one of life’s greatest challenges – addiction – and restoring oneself to a better place mentally, physically, emotionally and often spiritually as well. Alcohol and drug addiction recovery is typically preceded by detox, a cleansing of the body from harmful intoxicants.
The addiction recovery process that follows involves a cleansing of the spirit and mind. It often involves unpacking extensive emotional baggage, forgiving oneself and asking forgiveness of others who have been hurt in the past by the patient’s addiction.
The Five Phases of Addiction Recovery
There are essentially five phases to addiction recovery: Admission of a problem – If the addict does not see their addiction as a problem, then logically they will not see the need for addiction recovery.
- Compliance – Agreeing to abstain from the addictive substance on a daily basis, without a clear understanding of the reasoning behind the addiction.
- Defiance – This is the stage when the patient will typically believe that, because they have been good for a while, they are empowered to pick and choose what aspects of the addiction recovery program apply to them. They may think they do not need the critical step of continuing care, for instance.
- Acceptance – Accepting the fact that an addiction exists is a fundamental building block to moving on with a healthy, positive life and forgiving oneself.
- Surrender – This last stage of addiction recovery involves complete, voluntary acceptance of the treatment plan. This helps build upon the acceptance phase in the continual climb toward a better, healthier, more positive life.
Admitting that you have a problem really is the best and fastest way to begin recovery. In fact, you can’t really get better from a drug addiction problem unless you are able to admit that you have a problem in the first place. Once you have admitted that you have a problem, you are going to be able to begin to recover.
The First Step in Recovery
The first step in recovery from a drug addiction, after you have admitted that you have a problem, is to enter some sort of drug treatment center. There are many different options and different types of treatment centers, but the most important thing about whatever center you choose is going to be the fact that they are going to talk to you. This is very important in dealing with your drug addiction.
You need to be able to talk to someone about your issues and about your problems with drugs. If you can have a session in which you can talk to a group of people or even one where you talk to one person, you are going to have a better chance of figuring out what it is that led to your addiction.
Where Did Your Problems Originate?
Part of recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is figuring out what led to your problems in the first place. Few people can figure this out without help from a drug rehab, so it is important that you find someone to talk to. In order to talk to someone about your drug addiction, you should find a place where you feel safe and secure. Once you have figured out why you use drugs, you will be able to recognize the parts of your life that led to your addiction.
When you have put together the things in your past that led to your drug addiction with the things in your present that make you or encourage you to continue to use drugs, you will be able to figure out what it is about your life you need to change.
Changing Your Life with Addiction Recovery
An important part to drug addiction recovery is change. There are going to be things about your life that you just can’t keep the same when you are in recovery. You might have to stop being around certain people that encourage you to use drugs, and you might have to change some of your activities, if they are things that you cannot do without using drugs. You might also have to recreate a life for yourself, and make it the way you’ve always wanted your life to be – drug free and wonderful.
It is important to remember that you are human and you make mistakes, just like everyone else. A big part in starting drug rehab program is to forgive yourself for all of the mistakes that you have made. You have to be able to start clean and fresh, and you can’t start out clean if you have issues that you need to deal with regarding things that you have done in the past.
You need to make amends for the things that you have messed up, and you might have to do some apologizing. The most important part though, is that you allow yourself to forgive yourself for what you’ve done. If there are people in your life that can’t forgive you, you have to move on. If you can’t forgive yourself, there is going to be no way that you can get past your drug addiction and move on towards recovery.
An Overview of Addiction
How do you start addiction recovery? One of the most common questions that is asked in the field of addiction treatment and recovery is “How do addictions start?” or “What causes addiction to occur?” To answer the first question- just about anything can trigger an addiction, even something as simple as attending a social gathering. In most cases, just experimenting with a drug for the first time can lead to the onset of an addiction.
What causes addiction? First of all, you have to understand that substance dependency can be psychological as well as physical. One school of thought claims that some underlying behavioral or mental disorder causes addiction. Anxiety, depression, and other conditions or disorders are viewed as the culprits. Conversely, another school of thought feels that it is the addiction that causes the disorder.
There have been numerous theories as to what actually causes substance abuse and dependency, including:
- body image and self-esteem
- genetic predisposition
- peer pressure
For many individuals who are suffering with drug abuse and addiction issues, they may never know the actual cause for the reasons mentioned above or because they don’t get professional help for their problems. Many of them do not know how to start addiction recovery, so they get frustrated and give up.
Addiction is not selective and a wide audience of individuals in the US is currently suffering with either abuse or addiction issues. Current statistics indicate that:
- There are roughly 25 million Americans who are suffering from drug abuse problems and addiction.
- Roughly 40% of them are in need of immediate attention, but only 10% of that total audience will ever get it.
- Sadly, up to 25% of that total number will eventually die.
- Some 5% or 6% of them by committing suicide.
Getting Started on the Road to Recovery
What you need to remember is that overcoming your addiction and heading down the road to long-lasting recovery starts with you and you only. If you are here reading this, then you have already taken the first step – admitting that you have a problem and need help. The admission may have come from a number of sources:
- family members or friends
- an intervention
- job loss
The bottom line is that the source of the admission is not as important as the fact that you are now searching for professional help.
Let Our Referral Service Help You
The Rehab Advisor is the premier addiction treatment referral website. We list the most successful addiction treatment and recovery programs throughout the US, so no matter where you live, we can refer you into a program in your local vicinity. For more information about our referral site and our addiction recovery programs, fill out the e-mail form above or call the toll-free phone number at the top of the e-mail form.
Life After Drug Addiction Recovery
When you have recovered from a drug addiction problem, you might think that you can go back to your life just as you always lived it. This is usually true, but there are going to be things that change that you can do nothing about.
When you have finished your drug rehab treatment program, and you are in recovery or a sober living facility, it is important to realize that you might always have cravings for the drugs that you were addicted to. It is also important to realize that you might not always be able to do the things that you thought that you could do. Sometimes, you have to change things about your life because you are aware of the fact that you just can’t be with the same people that you were with when you were using drugs, or do the same activities that you used to do when you were using drugs. If this is the case for you, don’t be surprised if you have to change some of your friends or activities in order to keep yourself clean and sober.
Recovery Is a Lifelong Process
It’s also important to remember that life after drug addiction recovery is really life IN drug addiction recovery. You are always going to be someone who has an addiction problem, and even if you haven’t used drugs in a long time the temptation is always going to be there to use drugs. You might need to realize that you will always have these temptations and cravings. In order to ensure that you stay in recovery and you don’t backslide into use, a good thing to do is find meetings that you can attend on a regular basis.
At these meetings, you are going to be able to discover that you are not alone, and that being in recovery is something that you can really learn from and make part of your life. You are going to have a group of people to fall back on while you are in recovery, and if you have been in recovery for a long time you might be able to help others as they begin recovery.
Life Gets Better In Recovery
Life after drug addiction recovery is something that can be sweeter than life before drug addiction. Through your treatment, you have learned lots of things about yourself, and lots of things about your drug or alcohol addiction. You should be able to really take full inventory of the things that you have learned and apply them to your life as a whole right now. You are going to want to be a completely different person now that you are clean and sober, even though you are the same person.
Who you are in recovery, after your drug addiction treatment, is the person that you always wanted to be, living the life that you always wanted to live. You are going to be able to take the world as you have always wanted to. After drug addiction recovery, your life is going to be the best that you ever thought it could be.
Do not be discouraged that recovery is going to be a process that lasts for your whole life. In reality, a drug rehab center is the best place for you to be, because you can be fully aware of yourself and your limitations and because of the things that you have learned during your drug treatment program, you are going to be less likely to ever have problems with drugs again. Recovery is a glorious place to be, and it is something that each person with a drug addiction problem should strive for.
Here is my addiction story. I started out just like many others; smoking cigarettes and thinking I was cool behind the local bowling alley. Like it is for so many, cigarettes were my first gateway drug. It wasn’t long past that I started stealing sips of alcohol from my parents liquor cabinet. Once i was used to getting drunk, and somebody offered me marijuana, there was nothing stopping me from trying it.
I stuck with marijuana and alcohol for a while but, when I got to high school and other drugs were introduced to me, I had no problem trying them. By this time I was addicted. Not necessarily addicted to any one thing, but I was addicted to being high. I would do anything offered to me and in massive amounts. It all seemed very normal and fun to me. It continued in college, but got much worse as there was much more available.
I flunked out of college and entered the work force. I chose a profession in the bar and restaurant industry, because it seemed to accept and almost promote drug and alcohol abuse. I would work in the bar and then spend my paycheck there at the end of the week.
After losing job after job due to my use, and after digging myself so deep in debt, and after my third time in jail for drunk driving enough was enough. With the help of a long-term drug rehab facility I was able to kick drugs and alcohol entirely.
I never realized life could be so great sober. I always thought I needed drugs and alcohol to deal with life. I realize now by using I was avoiding life rather than dealing with it.
How to Find an Addiction Recovery Program
There is anaddiction recovery program available nearby throughout the US. Once you differentiate between the traditional and the alternative or residential categories, you have to decide on what type of program to enter. There are two basic classifications of programs – in-patient or out-patient. Obviously, their names imply the difference between them. However, in-patient programs are divided into two groups. There are short-term rehab programs that run 14 to 28 days and the long-term which last 4 months or longer.
Handling the Most Severe Addictions
According to recovery success rates, which are determined by the percentage of clients that overcome there addiction and remain substance-free without relapsing, the best one of the different addiction recovery programs is the long-term in-patient or residential format. These programs involve removing the individual from their potentially harmful home setting and placing them in a safer environment where they can focus completely on their recovery.
There are a number of benefits to entering this long-term addiction treatment and recovery format with the following 5 being the most significant ones:
- removing the individual from the potentially harmful environment they live in and the temptations of it
- 24/7/365 care and supervision
- group and individual therapy sessions
- medical and professional guidance/supervision
- aftercare and support networks
Certain addiction recovery programs will involve taking prescription medications during the detoxification stage and while the individual is experiencing the withdrawal symptoms that characterize the detox process. Despite the expense that you may encounter, remember that these are the most effective and successful addiction recovery methods available.
What if you don’t have the financial means?
Fortunately, there are other addiction recovery programs that are not quite as expensive and some of them are even covered by certain health insurance carriers. These are known as out-patient programs. Unlike the residential program, you are not required to move into the facility and can return home every night.
These programs are not only ideal for the individual who does not have the financial means to afford them, they are geared towards those individuals that are the sole provider of children in the home and are either pursuing their education or working full-time jobs. Just be aware that the out-patient format is not as effective as the in-patient because you are still returning home to those temptations at the end of the day.
Let Our Referral Service Help You
The Rehab Advisor is the premier addiction treatment referral website. We list the most successful addiction recovery programs throughout the US, so no matter where you live, we can refer you into a program in your local vicinity. For more information about our referral site and our addiction recovery programs, call the toll-free phone number above if you want to speak with someone immediately.
Two men go to a party; each has his first drink. One man decides drinking is not for him, and never takes another drink again, or if he does, drinks very moderately.
The other man, however, may decide that that beer or mixed drink was the best thing he ever had, and determines that he will continue to drink. He does so, and eventually finds himself with a full-blown addiction to alcohol.
The same goes for drugs. One woman may experiment with drug use, and it is just that: an experiment and one she does not wish to try again, ever. Another may experiment with drug use, and find herself, possibly from the first moment of experimentation, addicted. Two different people. One becomes addicted and one does not. Why that happens is still not clear. What is clear is that there is definitely a problem.
The man who became addicted to alcohol (and, remember, alcohol is a drug, too) will, hopefully, realize before it is too late that help is needed to overcome the addiction. The same goes for the drug-addicted female. Once that realization occurs, it is hoped that both will seek the help needed and begin a program of addiction recovery.
The first thing that both will need to remember is that addiction recovery will not occur within a set amount of time, and if either of them has been told otherwise, they have been told wrong. Granted, they may be the fortunate ones who do experience a quick recovery, although each will still have to face up to the fact that it is an on-going process; or each may find that they are in for a long battle. Whatever the situation, each will need to know that they are not alone, and that they can recover.
A search of web sources turned up this site that advocates “self-recovery”. In other words, addiction recovery can be accomplished on one’s own, with no need to seek treatment, attend sessions or meetings of any form, or to do anything but resolve in one’s mind that he or she is going to stop doing whatever it is he or she has been doing that is addictive. It does make sense. And, there are people out there who have woke up one morning (or afternoon, or evening, or whenever), taken a good hard look at them, and decided right then to put down the bottle or the pipe or the joint or the needle or the pill or whatever. And, they do just that, and they never relapse. So, it can happen, and has happened. But, that doesn’t mean that one is weaker (or stronger for that matter) if he or she decides that it CANNOT be done alone, that help of some form is required.
The only one who can decide what is right for an individual is that person, and no one else. For this reason, organizations like AA and NA, as well as other addiction recovery programs, can and do serve a purpose. So do rehabilitation clinics and centers. If one feels that the help and encouragement provided by the group meeting provided by organizations such as AA and NA is needed, then that is the avenue that should be explored. On the other hand, if it is felt that the faith, stamina, strength, courage, and whatever else it takes to accomplish self-recovery is present in a person, then more power to that person. That is his or her preferred method.Whatever gets a person off drugs, and keeps a person off drugs, is what should be done.