Let’s face it: Drug or alcohol addiction stealthily enters people’s subconscious, affect their intellect, and thereby making them completely dependent upon it. This dependency is essentially the craving for drugs or alcohol that simply doesn’t go away.
It is one thing to recognize addiction and undergo a treatment program, but the successful recovery from intense addiction is an extremely uphill task for most addicts. The truth is people seeking complete recovery from chronic addiction need to understand that it is a disease, rather than weakening of willpower or morale. Hence, it should be treated as such.
The biggest hurdle on the road to recovery from addiction is relapse rates, which are as high as 40-60%. ‘Relapse’ basically refers to a patient’s state of health after a temporary improvement. Therefore, treatment gains are often short-lived, and in certain cases, even multiple treatment episodes do not always succeed in breaking the addiction cycle.
As per recent findings from various quarters, most addiction treatment programs are rooted in outdated methods rather than newer approaches shown in scientific studies. According to a crucial report published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, “only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works, while majority are left out of the evidence-based care.”
In view of this, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has emphasized on utilizing scientific knowledge that will help improve treatment outcomes. The federal institution has established that effective addiction treatment must help addicts:
- Stop using drugs and/ or alcohol
- Stay sober
- Be productive in their family, at work, and in society
The following are some highly effective ways for complete drug and alcohol recovery:
Be ready to bring a change
If you are grappling with drug or alcohol addiction, the first stride you need to take is to bring about a change around you. A new perspective is all you need to start with as you have to see how addiction is creating problems in your life. You should be honest in accepting that your friends and family members are worried about you. This first step is critical in paving the way for the rest of the recovery process. It marks a tangible transition from recognition of the problem to actual acknowledgement that action is needed. Since recovery could last from months to years, you need to be diligent in your efforts in order to keep relapsing at bay. One way to do this is understand certain relatable moments that are crucial in recovering from addiction. For example painful, boring or joyful experiences, intense emotions, going against regular habits so on and so forth.
Find most appropriate treatment options
The next step is to explore your rehab treatment options that should be most appropriate given your situation. Your treatment program should also address any underlying issues that may be contributing to your substance-abuse problems. After finding the right treatment program for yourself, just commit to it because it dramatically increases your chances for success. The following are some of the widely used substance abuse treatment practices:
- Inpatient: It involves living at a rehab facility where you receive treatment. You have to stay for 3 to 6 months where you can focus on your recovery without distractions.
- Outpatient: This type of treatment often includes regularly scheduled addiction counseling appointments a few times a week.
- Individualized drug counseling: It not only focuses on reducing drug or alcohol abuse, but also addresses related areas of impaired functioning – such as employment status, illegal activity, and family/social relations.
- Group counseling: Group therapy is used to capitalize on the social reinforcement offered by peer discussion as well as promoting drug-free lifestyles.
Finding a support network is very crucial during the recovery process. The fact is whatever the treatment program that you have chosen to undergo; you will need help along the journey. It is always better to talk freely to your friends and family members about the steps that you are going to take and ask them to support you. You would be surprised to see how your near and dear ones can prove to be invaluable recovery resources. If possible, you can even consider joining a therapeutic community or new social outlets where you can motivate yourself.
Bring sobriety and allow it to last
Even after the completion of your treatment program, you still need to maintain your sobriety and avoid a relapse. A major part of maintaining your sobriety is to manage your cravings. So how would you do that? One of the most effective ways is to make a conscious effort to avoid people, environments and settings that act as triggers. You need to maintain a distance from your drinking buddies or other drug abusers; avoid functions or clubs where drug or alcohol use is prominent. Be honest about your substance abuse history while talking to healthcare professionals, and be cautious when accepting prescription drugs from your doctor.
Make concerted efforts toward building a new life
Finally, it’s time to build a happy and meaning life – one without drugs. Involve in activities that you enjoy the most; the ones that make you feel valid and important. It could take you a lot of efforts but the moment you are free from obsession, life opens up and you can appreciate its beauty. It’s time to find new routines, that is, replacing bad habits with new ones, developing new hobbies and interests that can empower your recovery process. After completing drug abuse rehabilitation, many people turn to volunteering in their community while others start new professions. During this stage, it would be immensely helpful for you to set new life goals.
Addiction is a menace that doesn’t discriminate and affects people from all walks of life. Hence, treatment, methods and practices used in recovery must be flexible and capable of meeting a wide range of needs. Staying focused and committed to these processes will definitely improve your chances of successful.