What to Expect from Addiction Treatment

What triggers the need for a person to go through addiction treatment? In the United States, an ever-growing proportion of people addicted to drugs started by taking a prescription pain medication because of an injury, painful illness or surgery. Over a short period of time, too many get hooked on the opiates their doctors prescribe. Some jump from prescription drugs like OxyContin and Lortab to heroin. Yes, prescription drugs are the gateway drugs for heroin addiction in about 80 percent of the cases.

There are also the scenarios where good people experiment with drugs for social or recreational reasons, they have no idea that casual use would turn into regular use. While they knew there was a risk, they never knew how treacherous the path to addiction would be. It’s easy to develop an addiction, and those who have a dependency may wonder if they can make it through an addiction treatment program. But, there are people who can help. Doctors, therapists and drug and alcohol addiction counselors want to be a resource for people who live dependent upon alcohol and drugs. Getting professional help with an addiction is a turning point toward sobriety.

Why Do Addictions Happen?

There are many factors as to why teenagers and adults from all walks of life develop substance abuse. Although it’s difficult to understand why or how addictions develop, there is established science behind the disease. Addiction is a strong craving to continue using drugs despite the harmful consequences. Mental health problems, starting drug use at a young age, and being around family members who suffer from an addiction can increase the risk of forming a dependency. Babies who are exposed to drugs in the womb can also become addicted later in life.

Many people who suffer from depression or stress-related disorders begin to use drugs or alcohol occasionally to feel better. Then they end up hooked. Feeling pressured to increase work or athletic performance can also lead to eventual substance abuse. Peer pressure or curiosity are other reasons, as many teenagers begin to use alcohol and drugs to rebel or establish more independence or freedom.

The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary, but over time, it can be difficult to practice self-control due to the substances’ interactions with neurons and neurochemicals. Using drugs disturbs a person’s sleep cycle, lowers their inhibitions, and skews their judgment. After a human brain rewires itself for addiction, it struggles to make choices based on the new thought process.

What to Expect From Detox

After an individual creates a tailored addiction treatment plan with their team, alcohol or drug detox is the next step. Detoxing rids the body of the illicit substances. Detox is a challenge, but there is help.

Walking through the door of a residential addiction treatment center allows the victims or substance abuse to detox in save zone. There are professionals there and a medical supervisory staff. It can be uncomfortable for patients to discontinue using a drug that their body depends on to function. Depending on the addictions, patients may receive medication to assist with the detox process to make it easier on the body. There are FDA-approved medications that can help buttress the patient’s mood and resolve while curtailing the cravings for the alcohol or drugs. The uncomfortable side effects that may occur in the midst of the detox process can also be alleviated with the right medications.

The detox process typically takes a week to perform, but some people may require two weeks depending on the severity of their addiction and their history with drug or alcohol use. Detoxing is a crucial part of the recovery process. Each person’s body responds uniquely and may experience different side effects.

How to Choose the Right Addiction Treatment Program

Outpatients programs are ideal for people who have mild to moderate addictions while still functioning in their family, work, and other situations. For more severe addictions, patients need to have the inpatient residential experience to rebuild their lives. Inpatient services require residents to move into the facility and live on the grounds. For those who’ve been through rehab before and have relapsed, an inpatient program is the best way to get sober again and increase their odds of success this time. After detox, residents receive sessions with therapists, addiction education, group therapy, and counseling. There are also recreational activities.

Outpatient addiction treatment is also effective when the individual living with an addiction has a shorter history of drug or alcohol abuse. Outpatient services allow participants to continue living at home, going to work, and caring for their families. Maintaining a presence at home and resuming their daily activities or responsibilities can be less disruptive if their addiction is mild. The treatment program works around the participant’s schedule and requires that them to attend meetings and therapy sessions multiple times each week. They learn to embrace habits of sobriety, discover triggers, and treat the underlying causes of their past substance abuse.

Aftercare is the patients’ lifeline for keeping their vision focused and activities in tune with sobriety. Patients follow-up by attending regular recovery meetings. Those who fail to engage in aftercare are much more likely to relapse and own their attitudes and behaviors.

Strategies for Avoiding Relapse

Recently recovering addicts need strategies for coping with tough situations that will tempt them to use again. Dominating tactics to maintain their sobriety after going through inpatient drug abuse treatment is one of the most important skills to practice during the time in recovery. It’s not enough to just listen to speakers and counselors. Residents who roleplay have a higher likelihood of maintaining sobriety. These are the people who are ready to hold onto their families, jobs, and friendships by avoiding the patterns of behavior that made them use in the past. They will need to make tough decisions about breaking off old friendships and strengthening healthy ones. They may even need to make drastic changes in their friendships.

Engaging wholeheartedly in healthy relationships, meaningful work and constructive hobbies is another cornerstone of a healthy and sober life. Staying away from places and activities that trigger urges and lusts of the past is paramount.


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