Overcoming An Addiction: The 6 Steps On The Road To Drug Recovery
Every individuals addiction recovery journey is different, but the majority of people follow a similar path. The steps that are often involved in drug recovery include reaching a bottom,followed by the decision to overcome their addiction. Then the early stage that involves mental and physical adjustments to life without drugs until it gradually becomes the norm. Along the path, the person works on the problems that led them to turn to drugs in the first place, which helps them to gain more fortitude than they have ever experienced.
It is important to remember that everyone is different. It is equally as important for a person going through drug recovery to be honest with themselves about what they are going through and how they are feeling and to use the recovery tools that are beneficial to them.
S To Recovery From Drug & Alcohol Addiction
Individualized Addiction Treatment
There are many complicated reasons people develop addictions to drugs and alcohol. Depending on a harmful chemical to feel functional when that chemical is destroying your ability to function is ironic and difficult to stomach. But, whatever strategy or program appeals to you, the basic process of addiction treatment remains the same. Whether youre a teenager with an addiction to alcohol and pills or a senior citizen addicted to prescription drugs, these will be your five most important steps to recovery.
What Is The 12
The 12-Step program, first developed and used by Alcoholics Anonymous, is a 12-step plan in order to overcome addictions and compulsions. The basic premise of this model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substances of abuse, but that healing cannot come about unless people with addictions surrender to a higher power. This higher power doesnt need to be a traditional Christian version of God it can be as simple as the community of the 12-step meetings, the universe, or a different version of a higher power fit for your type of spirituality.
The 12-Step movement can be a powerful and helpful force for many people, but some people struggle with what they interpret as a strong religious element of the program. Many addiction treatment programs offer alternatives to 12-Step methodology for those who prefer a more secular foundation for treatment.
AAC is in-network with many insurance companies, and your addiction treatment can be free depending on your policy.
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Understanding The Stages Of Recovery From Addiction
Once you realize you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you begin the long journey of recovery. Making the decision to enter a drug or alcohol treatment program isnt easy, but its one of the best steps you can take to free yourself from your addiction.
When you decide to enter a drug or alcohol rehab program, you will begin a journey through four distinct stages of recovery from addiction as you learn to develop a clean and sober lifestyle.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse developed the four stages of rehab treatment and recovery for its resource, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide, which is intended for healthcare professionals. In this model, recovery is considered a lifelong process.
Here are the four stages of recovery from addiction:
Understanding The Addiction Rehab Process
The journey from a substance use disorder to a healthy, sober life is not a quick and easy one. For many, it takes a lifelong commitment of dedication and hard work. The road toward sobriety may be difficult, but professional treatment helps many people start that endeavor.
Rehab programs can cause confusion and anxiety. Need help understanding whats involved in rehab? Our admissions navigators are here to walk you through the process and answer all your questions.
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Find Support From Day One
Support from family members and friends during your recovery process can make the difficult days that much better. However, youre also going to want to find professional help during your recovery process, from licensed mental health specialists who understand the struggles, the challenges and even the victories youre likely to experience along the way. Whether you opt for virtual counseling, face-to-face addiction therapy or even anonymous support groups led by certified mental health authorities, make sure that you infuse your addiction recovery process with a healthy dose of professional mental health treatment.
Understanding The Stages Of Change In Addiction
The stages of change in addiction, or the transtheoretical model, is a way to describe the process by which people overcome addiction. People apply this approach successfully when treating other behaviors that individuals want to stop engaging with difficulty in . Yet, the stages of change in addiction are best known for their success in treating substance addictions.
The research behind this model began when scientists observed how people overcome their addictions. They noticed that individuals dont necessarily need to be encouraged or prodded in order for them to change. They also dont have anything against themselves and are ready for a new way of life.
People now know this idea as natural recovery. Natural recovery has led health care providers away from confrontational methods of addiction treatment and towards motivational approaches. This includes such therapies as motivational interviewing because it takes an entire person-centered approach rather than focusing on one extreme.
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How Long Do 12
The average length of time it takes for someone to work through the 12 steps once can vary. Many 12-step sponsors encourage sponsees and newcomers in AA and other 12-step programs to attend 90 meetings in 90 days, or at least one meeting a day for three months. Overall, the focus of working through the 12 steps in any 12-step program shouldnt be on the amount of time it takes to get through the steps once, but on how thoroughly you are doing your step work and how you are using the steps to positively impact your everyday life.
Learn To Relax In Any Situation
One of the main reasons people start using drugs and alcohol is to relax and reward themselves. Learning new skills to relieve tension is an essential part of long-term sobriety. If you are able to calm down on your own, then you wont need to use to escape. You may think youre too busy to relax, but that is a lie! Your addiction recovery has to become the most important thing in your life, so taking plenty of time for yourself has to become the most important too.
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Stage : Treatment Initiation
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.
Phase : Recovery And Aftercare Continuing Healing For Long
Regular therapy sessions post-rehab, both individual and group therapy, can help patients stay accountable to their sobriety on their path toward recovery.
Even after patients have completed their initial rehabilitation program, they are not finished with recovery workin fact, recovery is a lifelong process. Prior to completion of an addiction treatment program, the patient will meet with counselors to discuss a plan for aftercare.
Building a solid plan of aftercare is important, but the individual components of aftercare may differ from one person to the next.
Recovery is a lifelong process. Are you ready to start on your path toward sobriety? Call our help line at for assistance. Learn more about who answers and what to expect.
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Do The 12 Steps Work For Addiction Recovery
Programs like AA and other 12-Step groups provide a healthy community of support and solidarity filled with individuals who are all seeking to remain sober on a long-term basis.
Individuals who regularly attend AA meetings are about twice as likely to remain abstinent over those who dontand higher rates of attendance are linked to better outcomesper the Journal of Addictive Disorders.8 The 12 Steps to sobriety can go a long way in providing individuals in recovery with the support they need.
The First Step Towards Addiction
To understand the importance of the first step, its important to know the first step in addiction. Addiction is also a process. You dont begin using drugs and develop an addiction overnight, even though it sometimes seems this way. There are stages of addiction. The first step in addiction is denial.
You may lie about using substances, how much or how often you use them, or the reasons why you are using them for loved ones. However, denial runs deeper than what you tell others. You are also in denial with yourself. Youll find that you tell yourself and others that you dont have a problem. You can stop anytime you want. You are in control of your use. You will ignore the negative consequences that show you that you have a problem because addiction drives denial.
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Admit To Your Friends And To Yourself That You Have A Problem
Sadly, there are so many individuals who will never make it beyond this stage in the addiction recovery process, simply because they cannot admit to themselves and to their peers that they have an issue. Strength isnt found in ignoring our issues its found in admitting our weaknesses, and together overcoming them. Admitting that you have a problem, both to yourself and to the friends and family members youve chosen to accompany you on your addiction recovery journey, is the first step toward reaching the freedom that waits on the other side.
Why Do People With Substance Use Disorder Need More And More Drugs Over Time
People feel intoxicated after using drugs. Over time, the brain is changed by drugs. The brain becomes desensitized to the drug so that more of the drug must be used to produce the same effect.
As the person consumes more, drugs start to take over the persons life. One may stop enjoying other aspects of life. For many people, social, family and work obligations fall to the side. The person with SUD starts to feel like somethings wrong if he or she isnt under the influence of the substance. They may become consumed with the need to recapture that original feeling.
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Rewrite Your Daily Routine
Theres a reason why you first succumbed to your addiction. Maybe you reached a low point in your life maybe you endured a particularly difficult relationship, experienced severe trauma or simply found comfort in an addictive substance. No matter the reason, free people make free choices. And your key to reaching and maintaining freedom lies in how successfully you can rewrite your daily routine, so that you never, ever fall into those habits again.
Take time to examine your entire daily and weekly routine, focusing on junctures where you would typically fall prey to your own addiction. What contributed to those moments? Did you initially resist before giving up? How can you avoid the moments of isolation, loneliness, vulnerability or temptation that directly fed your addiction? Whether its a mobile application for hourly accountability, daily check-ins with a therapist or simply the self-discipline to avoid old habits, rewrite your old habits to pave the way for a better, more productive, entirely less dependent you.
Stages Of Change In The Addiction Recovery Process
Recovery is a process that continues after formal treatment ends. The recovery process from drug or alcohol addiction often involves a person making a significant change to improve their quality of life, including overall health and wellness. It can also help teach people to feel empowered in their lives and reach their full potential.
If you or a loved one is starting the recovery journey, or you are curious about what it means, this article will help you understand what the stages of change in the recovery process are, different types of programs and treatment options you may encounter.
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What Are The 12 Steps To Recovery
The idea of a 12-Step program began with Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, a program designed to support individuals struggling with addiction to alcohol in their recovery efforts.3
Over the years, other organizations have been formed to support recovery for all types of substances, not just alcohol groups include Cocaine Anonymous , Narcotics Anonymous , Marijuana Anonymous , to name a few. These recovery support groups tend to follow a similar general 12-Step ideology.3
The 12 steps to sobriety are usually practiced with the support of a sponsor, which is a senior member of the program that volunteers to share their experience and provide guidance to newer members in the 12-Step program.4
But what are the 12 Steps? Lets break down each of the 12 Steps to sobriety.
Get Good Quality Sleep
Sleep 7 to 8 hours a nightmore, if you need it. Good sleep will help your brain and body heal, and improve your mood, energy, and ability to cope with challenges. Avoid nicotine and caffeine late in the day and avoid bright screens close to bedtime. If you have insomnia, try a low dose of melatonin or magnesium. If you have sleep disturbances like night sweats, panic attacks, or bad dreams, get up and walk around to clear your head. Drink a glass of water, listen to music, write in a journal, or read. If youre very upset, call your sponsor, a good friend, or a family member.
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Find A Good Sober Support Network
Ending damaging relationships is not enough, you need to form new relationships with people who will have a positive impact on your life. Everyone needs to connect with othersfor a shoulder to cry on, or to just laugh and have fun. Befriend sober people who know how to have a great night out without drugs or alcohol.
Refer Patients To Outside Support Groups
There are a variety of outside resources available to those recovering from addiction that are beneficial when combined with counseling treatment. As a counselor, referring patients to programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can add another level of outside support.
These community based programs provide an additional layer of accountability to those seeking rehabilitation, and by attending meetings, patients will be surrounded by individuals with similar backgrounds, and can further share their stories, wisdom, and struggles in a non-judgmental environment.
The role of the counselor in addiction treatment involves far more than just talking an addict through treatment. Counselors have to be highly empathetic people, who have a passion for building relationships with their patients. From providing a safe space for patients to openly talk about their struggles with addiction, to guiding family members through the recovery process, to addressing plans to avoid relapse, counselors play an important role in addiction recovery.
The demand for substance abuse counselors is on the steady incline, with a projected ten year growth of 31 percent. Students who earn their Masters Degree in Counseling from Wake Forest University leave with skills necessary to help people in their community heal and recover from addiction.
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Taking Inventory And Admitting Wrongdoing
Steps 1-9 set up a strong spiritual foundation and a new way of life without drugs and alcohol. In Step 10, individuals seek daily accountability for their actions.6
Recovery is ongoing, and individuals continue to examine how their thoughts, words, behaviors, and actions impact daily life and how to keep themselves in line with their faith and Gods will. This means taking inventory every day and immediately correcting any apparent wrongs.6
Phase : Detox Safely Removing Addictive Substances From Your Body
The withdrawal syndromes associated with certain types of physical substance dependence can be markedly unpleasant and/or dangerous. People at risk of developing these dicey withdrawal syndromes benefit from the added supervision, monitoring and, potentially, the pharmacologic interventions availed by medical detox settings. 1,2,3
Detox will be under supervision while at a rehabilitation center and in many instances, medication will be given to ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with certain drugs, including heroin and prescription opioid drugs.1,2,3
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Tips For Finding The Best Drug Addiction Treatment For You
Remember that no treatment works for everyone. Everyones needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. Its important that you find a program that feels right.
Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case youll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment youll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.