Thursday, July 11, 2024

How Long Does It Take For An Addict To Recover

Stage : Treatment Initiation

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When you reach out for help from a professional alcohol and drug rehab program, you begin the first stage of your recovery, treatment initiation.

Whether you seek help voluntarily or are forced by circumstances to enter rehab, your recovery process will begin with a professional treatment program.

In the early hours and days of your rehab, you probably will have some ambivalent feelings about giving up your drug of choice permanently, and you may think that your substance abuse problem is not as bad as others’. Be wary of this attitude. Ambivalence and denial can be your worst enemies in the first days of your recovery.

At this point in treatment, the goal is to help the individual decide to actively participate in treatment and accept that abstinence is the goal. To accomplish this, a substance abuse counselor may help the individual do the following:

  • Look at the damaging effects of addiction
  • Explore feelings of denial with regards to the problem
  • Help the person become motivated to recover

During this stage of treatment, an individual’s alcohol and drug use history will be taken, the treatment program will be introduced, and the counselor will work with the individual to develop an individualized treatment plan.

Why Doesnt The Status Quo Work

With all of the options available, why do many people remain addicted or relapse? One reason is that most of the addiction recovery programs in the U.S. are based on the chemical hook theory of addiction that certain substances are addictive and if you use them, you will become addicted. This is, for the most part, a fallacy. Anyone who has had surgery has taken a good amount of heroin in the form of diamorphine! And yet most people who have had surgery are not heroin addicts.

Now, there are some people who truly may have a physical addiction to a drug I have a friend who was given morphine in the hospital at age 10 and says it was the best feeling ever. But, most people who become addicts have something else going on so that the standard chemical hook approach to drying out and avoiding the substance you are addicted to whether you use a 12-step program, rehab, a medical approach or some combination doesnt work. In fact, many people recover from addiction to one substance, then become addicted to something else, such as sex, smoking cigarettes, or working too much.

This supports the theory that pain, whether its physical pain or emotional pain both of which register in the same parts of the brain is the root cause of addiction, not the substance itself. In other words, what addicts are really doing is avoiding pain by using or doing something that makes them unable to feel it.

Drug Withdrawal Symptoms Timelines And Treatment

According to the Centers For Disease Control, in 2017 more than 11% of Americans ages 12 and over used illicit substances within the month before being surveyed.1

Many abused drugs are associated with the development of significant physiological dependenceespecially when consumed in large amounts and for a consistent period. When someone becomes dependent on a substance, they may be at risk of experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using their drug of choice.

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Understanding Outpatient Addiction Recovery Programs

Outpatient addiction recovery programs are not all the same. Typically, there are two main types: intensive outpatient addiction treatment programs and general outpatient treatment programs. An intensive outpatient program likely mirrors an inpatient, or residential program, with the main difference being that the person returns home each night instead of remaining on site. NIDA reports that residential and intensive outpatient addiction treatment programs are very comparable. General outpatient programs may vary in the types of services offered, and these services may be scheduled around other familial, occupational, or school obligations, making it the most flexible type of addiction recovery program.

All addiction recovery programs may include the following services:

Upon discharge from an outpatient addiction recovery program, individuals may choose to enroll directly into these programs in order to keep the transition seamless.

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How Long Does it Take to Recover from Addiction?

When a person with an addiction seeks treatment, odds are they will be directed to a 12-step recovery program such as Alcoholics Anonymous , Narcotics Anonymous or similar spiritual approach to recovery. The AA model was developed by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in 1935, and remains the traditional model for addiction recovery in the U.S. It works like this: You admit that you are powerless over the substance or situation, you recognize that a higher power can restore your sobriety, you examine past mistakes with the help of a sponsor and make amends, then you learn to live by a new code of behavior and agree to help others who suffer from the same addiction.

There are other popular out-patient addiction recovery approaches as well. These include motivational techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy and SMART Recovery, a support group model that employs a 4-Point program of building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and living a balanced life. Unlike AA, SMART Recovery does not accept that individuals are powerless, but rather helps participants find their strengths and use them.

When all else fails, there is jail! Of course, this usually is not a solution.

Also Check: How Addictive Is Nicotine Compared To Other Drugs

Explore Your Addiction Treatment Options

Once youve committed to recovery, its time to explore your treatment choices. While addiction treatment can vary according to the specific drug, a successful program often includes different elements, such as:

Detoxification. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms.

Behavioral counseling. Individual, group, and/or family therapy can help you identify the root causes of your drug use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills.

Medication may be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, or treat any co-occurring mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.

Long-term follow-up can help to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety. This may include attending regular in-person support groups or online meetings to help keep your recovery on track.

What Is Medical Detox

To rid your body of drugs, you must go through the detoxification process. When you stop using drugs or alcohol, your body naturally gets rid of those substances, but this doesnt mean its safe to detox on your own. Detoxing in a medical facility is the safest option. A physician-supervised medical detox program doesnt speed up the process, but it helps you through safely and as comfortably as possible. It also addresses the symptoms of withdrawal that may cause you to relapse.

Medical detox is highly recommended for anyone with a substance use disorder. If you are addicted to alcohol and benzodiazepines, its necessary. We highly recommend it for the other types of addiction because it gives you the best chance possible at a healthy, sober life.

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Stage : Recovery Exploration

Initially, some addicts feel they can wean themselves off a substance. They may cut back and try to abstain from using. However, after some failed attempts, they eventually will realize they cannot do it alone. This is when an addict will start to seek outside help, either by starting to attend support group meetings or checking themselves into a qualified treatment program.

What Happens When You Stop Taking A Drug

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What happens when you stop taking a drug will depend upon what type of substance you were using, how much, and long you have been using. If you are using a substance that does not cause dependence or withdrawal, like hallucinogens or inhalants, then nothing may happen. If you are using a substance that causes dependence, then you may develop withdrawal symptoms within hours or days of stopping.

Substances that cause withdrawal include:

  • Alcohol

  • Opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers

  • Benzodiazepines

  • Stimulants like cocaine

Cravings are also common when stopping a drug or alcohol. They can last for days, weeks, months, or even years, depending on the person. They can also range in intensity from mild to severe. Cravings are uncomfortable. If not dealt with properly, they can sometimes lead to relapse. That is why taking steps to manage your cravings is so important in early recovery.

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Stage : Early Abstinence

Once you have made a commitment to continue treatment for your substance abuse problem, you will enter the second stage of rehab, known as early abstinence. Early abstinence from alcohol is significantly associated with positive treatment outcomes. This can be the toughest stage to cope with because of many factors, including:

  • Psychological dependence
  • Triggers that can tempt you into a relapse

Challenges at this stage of treatment include cravings, social pressure to drink, and high-risk situations that can trigger alcohol consumption. It is during this early abstinence stage that your trained addiction counselor will begin to teach you the coping skills that you need to lead a sober lifestyle. The tools that you learn to use now will help you throughout your recovery.

Early abstinence issues that are worked on at this point in treatment including learning about the physical and psychological aspects of withdrawal, learning to identify alcohol use triggers, and learning how to handle alcohol cravings without drinking.

Some strategies that can be helpful include:

  • Encouraging participation in healthy activities
  • Finding alternative behaviors to engage in rather than turning to alcohol
  • Participating in self-help groups that offer support and information
  • Recognizing environmental triggers that lead to cravings, including people, places, and things

How Long Does It Take To Detox From Alcohol

If you drink alcohol to excess and suddenly stop, you can expect withdrawal symptoms to start within a few hours or a few days. Your alcohol detox symptoms may merely be uncomfortable if you havenât had a drinking problem for long. But if youâve abused alcohol for years, they may be severe and even life-threatening.

Medical and treatment professionals urge alcoholics not to attempt detox without constant attention, preferably from a doctor. Even if your symptoms are mild enough to try to detox at home, youâll need someone standing by in case of problems, and you should expect daily doctor visits. Many professionals recommend a period of inpatient care.

âWhen a person with an alcohol dependence stops drinking without a medical detox, it can be extremely dangerous and even fatal,â Lin Sternlicht, a licensed mental health counselor in Manhattan, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

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How Long Is A Detox Treatment Program

Detox treatment programs are designed to assist individuals during the process of withdrawal. While the time it takes to detox from substances varies from person to person, detox programs are generally 3, 5, or 7 days long. Detox is considered the first phase of recovery from addiction and should not be considered a substitute for any necessary rehab or therapy to follow.

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Detoxification alone does not address the psychological, social, and behavioral problems associated with addiction and therefore does not typically produce lasting behavioral changes necessary for recovery.

– National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2018

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With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.

How Long Does It Take For An Addict To Change

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I recently received a call from the wife of an addict in recovery. She was pleased that her husband was no longer using, but frustrated that his behavior continued to reflect many of the characteristics that had been a source of pain and anger during the years of his drug addiction. How long would she have to wait before he changed back into the man she had married? Why was he not thinking clearly now that his brain was no longer fogged with the daily use of prescription medications?

What this woman failed to realize was that abstinence from drinking and using drugs is only the first step in the journey we call recovery. While obviously a very important milestone, there is much more to be accomplished than the progress seen in the first few weeks of sobriety. Recovery is best understood as a life-long battle for wellness against a chronic brain disease that can be subdued, but never fully conquered.

Gaining the upper hand against the physiological power of addiction is often the easier challenge. The body begins a process of renewal soon after the use of drugs and alcohol ends. With the help of good nutrition, exercise, and better lifestyle habits, health will return. Researchers believe the lingering physical effects of addiction in the brain can last for 12-18 months, with the greatest improvement occurring in the first 30-60 days.

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The 6 Stages Of Change In Addiction Recovery

Recovery requires a total lifestyle change, but for a person or loved one of someone who is considering treatment or is early in recovery, a life free from addiction may feel like a million miles away, especially if youre unsure what to expect throughout the process.

Decades ago, alcohol use disorder researchers James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente created the six stages of change, also known as the transtheoretical model, that offer insight into how treatment works and how recovery is achieved.

There are six main stages of change in addiction recovery: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination. Although people can move through these stages in order, its also common for people to go between stages, forward and backward, or be in more than one stage at a time. However, observing the stages of change as a sequential cycle helps to visualize how change occurs, as well as how addictive behavior can be treated and managed.

Behavioral Side Effects Of Lortab

Someone who takes Lortab will typically experience a period of euphoria, particularly if they take a high dose or arent using it to treat pain. After that euphoria ends, the person may be drowsy or confused. People who use very high doses of Lortab may start to nod off after taking it or appear depressed following the period of euphoria.

Also Check: Can You Get Addicted To Morphine

Signs Of A Porn Addiction

After watching X-rated movies for some time, many people ask themselves if they are addicted to porn? So, when does watching porn become a problem?

Its important to define what porn addiction is, and how it differs from regular or moderate pornography consumption.

Just because someone regularly views adult materials does not mean that theyre addicted, or that they need to seek treatment.

To understand the addiction to erotic movies or magazines, one should understand its resemblance to other addiction types.

For example, common signs of addiction to any substance would include:

  • Constant craving for the substance
  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop
  • Increased tolerance to the substance
  • Compulsive behaviour leading to lack of control
  • Continually being preoccupied with the activity

What Qualifies As An Addiction

A Recovering Addict Gives Back

Addiction is a term that refers to a person having a problem with a substance, like drugs or alcohol. It can also include behaviors like gambling, shopping, or sex. People who are addicted to a substance or behavior find it hard to control their urges. They may keep engaging in the addiction, even when it causes serious problems for them.

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How Long To Reverse Effects Of Alcohol Abuse

Long-term use or abuse of alcohol has been empirically demonstrated to be associated with many different types of negative health issues and damage to numerous organ systems in the body. Volumes of studies and numerous books are devoted to investigating these effects and any attempt to list all of the potential negative effects associated with alcohol use/abuse would require a volume of works. Some of the major areas affected by alcohol abuse and how some of this damage is resolved once an individual stops drinking are discussed in this article.

How Long Does It Take To Break An Addiction

If you or a loved one is interested in setting out on the road to recovery, you may wonder how long it takes to break an addiction to drugs or alcohol? Recovering from addiction will vary depending on the individual and substance being abused, but there are a few common stages most experience.

At Westwind Recovery®, we offer addiction treatment programs for those at all stages of the journey to recovery. Learn more by contacting our team at .

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Ways To Recover From Addiction To An Energy Vampire

If you are addicted to an energy vampire or narcissist, you are likely an empath and are highly capable, hard-working, intelligent, compassionate and able to make everything else in your life work expect your relationships. The good news is, there are steps you can take to get your life and your relationships back on track and extricate the energy vampires in your life for good.

  • Admit you have a problem. This may sound like a cliche, but when dealing with addiction you must admit you have a problem. The difference here is that you must admit that the problem you have is that you believe everyone is good. Once you admit that you are in a relationship with a predator who lacks empathy, character, and compassion, you are ready to do what you need to do to avoid being their narcissistic supply.
  • Disconnect from your vampire. As with any other addiction, abstinence is the best solution. In the case of an energy vampire, you must assume they will never change and you must give up on them. Once you disconnect it will take time, but you will develop total indifference. This state is necessary to achieve in order to regain your health and start plugging your energy leaks.
  • Read my book. My book, Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empaths Guide To Evading Relationships That Drain You and Recovering Your Health and Power, gives you all the latest research and information on vampire-empath relationships.
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