One of the biggest problems addiction sufferers have to deal with is their own inability to accept they have a problem. Most people don’t even know that addictions are classified as illnesses. Is it possible you have an addiction illness but find yourself unwilling to accept the fact your life is out of control?
The only way you are ever going to be able to deal with your addiction and find sobriety is if you are willing to take the most crucial step: admitting you have an addiction. Once you can clear that hurdle, you can move on to your next quandary, how to ensure you never get caught in the cycle of addiction again.
No one should have to tell you how powerful drug and alcohol addictions can be. There’s nary a person with an addiction who doesn’t suffer some form of damage to their health and life in general. That doesn’t mean addiction has to be a permanent part of your life. The question you have to ask yourself is, “what can I do to recover from my addiction disease?”
CAN I DO IT ON MY OWN?
To keep you from suspense, you deserve to know right away that the answer to the titled question is NO!. I all likelihood, you will not be able to arrest your addiction on your own. An in-depth explanation should make it clear why this is so.
First, the internet is filled with self-help methods for “curing” your addiction. The medical and addiction treatment communities will tell you addictions are diseases for which there is no cure. At best, you can hope to arrest your addiction, leaving it dormant in your mind and soul for the duration of your life. The problem with self-help solutions is they don’t address the dangers of going through withdrawal, nor do they provide the addiction sufferer with a way to deal with the driving force behind their addiction. For those two aspects of recovery, you are definitely going to need help.
DEALING WITH THE DANGERS OF WITHDRAWAL
After spending a lot of time abusing drugs or alcohol, your body and mind build up a dependence on your substance of choice. Eventually, drug dependence is going to turn into a full-blown addiction. At the point that happens, your body and mind are going to react violently to any efforts you would make to stop using. These violent reactions are called withdrawal symptoms.
The likelihood you will encounter such symptoms will depend a great deal on four factors:
- The length of time you have been abusing your drug of choice
- The amount of drugs/alcohol you are using in a day
- The frequency of your substance abuse
- The applicable substance or substances
While usually temporary, withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be just as dangerous as the drug abuse itself. As a point of reference, here are some of the withdrawal symptoms a heroin addict might encounter:
- Severe breathing problems
- Increase heart rate and blood pressure
- Hallucinations and nightmares
- Severe cramping in the stomach muscles
- Tremors and convulsions
- Loss of motor control
- Psychological issues like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideology
Take a really good look at this list. Does it seem like a good idea to go through withdrawal on your own? Hopefully, you realize just how dangerous that would be.
If you seek help from a professional detox center, you would be allowed to go through withdrawal under the watchful eye of medical professionals. If anything were to go wrong to put your health in jeopardy, there would be a doctor there to help. The goal of a detox program is to keep clients safe and comfortable as they go through withdrawal. If prescription medications are necessary to make that happen, so be it.
Don’t put your life at risk and try to detox on your own.
DEALING WITH THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND YOUR ADDICTION
Short of kidding yourself, there is no good reason to become addicted to any substance. When it happens, there are reasons why the addiction sufferer fell into the cycle of addiction. Without addressing those reasons, chronic relapses are all but guaranteed.
Here’s the thing. There are mental, psychological, and psychical reasons why you feel the need to self-medicate. Those reasons will continue to exist until you decide to address them. You cannot address them on your own. You need a professional therapist to help you identify the root causes of your addiction. You’ll also need the help of your addiction therapist(s) to develop the coping skills you will need in the future to avoid relapses.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM TREATMENT
At this point, you should already understand the reasons why you are going to need help finding the road to recovery. You also have a general idea about the treatment process. At this point, it seems appropriate to paint the entire addiction treatment process to help motivate you to get the help you need.
The process will start with an intake process. There will be an intake clinician that wants to gather information about your addiction and personal circumstances. With this information in hand, they will be able to determine the proper course of treatment for you.
If your addiction is significant, you can expect to go through a detox program. While it would be great if you could detox without medical intervention, that would be optimum. Unfortunately, very few addiction treatment clients can get through the detox process without some level of medical care.
After completing the detox process, you should be in good enough shape to handle the rigors of therapy and counseling. The good news is there are a lot of different ways a therapist could approach your case. In all likelihood, you’ll probably work through individual, group, and even family therapy programs. You’ll be looking for the truth about your addiction.
Once you have a clear understanding of what is driving your desire to self-medicate, you’ll have a better idea of what coping skills you will need to combat temptation and your triggers. By the time you leave rehab, you should be in a position to resume living your life without the need for drugs or alcohol.
Before you leave rehab, you’ll get a chance to develop a good relapse prevention plan. This plan will include all the support resources you could turn to should you start to feel a little jittery about your sobriety. Among the most popular aftercare support resources, you’ll find there are 12 Step meetings (AA and NA), sober and transitional living homes, and additional outpatient counseling from your rehab.
Hopefully, the information presented above will clarify all the reasons why you don’t want to try to establish recovery on your own. The truth is the relapse rate for people who try to rehab themselves is in the mid 90 percent range. Those aren’t good odds.
The fact you are reading this information indicates you might be on the cusp of addressing your addiction issues. If that’s the case, now is the time to start looking for a rehab that will provide you with the help you need. Instead of wasting time trying to fix issues you may not clearly understand, you would be better served to put your faith in addiction treatment specialists who can truly make a difference in your life.