Anyone that's abused drugs or alcohol for any length of time understands how hard it is to maintain sobriety when they try to stop especially when facing life's ups and downs and normal stresses. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol their life becomes unmanageable, their health is compromised and their way of thinking becomes impaired.
Substance abuse affects a person's memory, concentration their physical and emotional health, relationships and overall well-being.
Many people attempt to quit drinking or using substances on their own but eventually find themselves back where they started from because issues and areas of their life haven't been addressed and they haven't learned the necessary skills needed to manage their recovery while they heal. For some people, mental health issues were never diagnosed and the symptoms of depression or other mental health disorders continue to feed their need to escape from reality. There are many reasons a person can find themselves dependent on alcohol or drugs and it's not easy to stop using, heal and recover without help and support.
It's important for anyone seeking help for substance abuse and addiction to find their own path of recovery but they need guidance and healthy support during this time. We have already discussed Phase 1 which deals with detoxification and the availability of medications that can help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted detox also helps the individual to focus on their healing and recovery instead of the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal.
Phase 2 of recovery consists of comprehensive individualized treatment that's based on full assessments that are done on each client entering a substance abuse recovery program. With a full evaluation (assessment) treatment can be designed to meet the unique needs of each person. If there are mental health issues occurring at the same time (co-occurring disorder) they will be diagnosed during the evaluations and addressed in treatment along with the addiction. Behavioral therapy, counseling, addiction education and the skills needed to prevent relapse are also provided during treatment in many recovery programs that promote long-term sobriety and healing.
Phase 3 After Care
Many residential inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment programs provide their clients with aftercare and follow-up programs after they have completed their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. This is equally as important as detoxification and substance abuse treatment in terms of a person's successful recovery from addiction. It's not easy maintaining sobriety every day when we're faced with unexpected challenges that come up in our daily lives.
It helps to have the support and guidance of professionals once recovery has been completed or group support from a fellowship program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Some substance abuse treatment providers don't offer aftercare when recovery is completed and programs like AA or NA can help keep you motivated and provide strength and encouragement while you maintain your sobriety for the long term.
Some people prefer to follow up after substance abuse treatment is completed with individual counseling which is also a good choice. Finding a good counselor or therapist in your area that specializes in addiction can help you with guidance and support when times get tough or you just need someone to listen.
Stress is a part of life that we all need to learn how to manage but it definitely isn't easy whether you're a recovering addict or not. Stress, anxiety and depression can make managing daily recovery quite difficult and can also lead to relapse if we're not proactive about our recovery. If your treatment program doesn't provide aftercare, make it a point to attend AA or NA meetings whenever possible or find a good counselor that you can turn to from time to time.
Managing Daily Recovery from Substance Abuse and Addiction
It's important that we work on managing our recovery every day. Addiction is a disease that can be managed very successfully on a daily basis but is an illness that can never be completely cured. This is part of the reason so many people relapse after they stop drinking or using drugs, they haven't learned how to manage their sobriety. They haven't modified or changed their lifestyle in order to stay sober and successful. We also have to make changes in the way we think, behave and react to situations in life that are negative and unhealthy for us.
It's hard to learn this on our own, we can't change something we don't see or understand .That's why it's so important to find a substance abuse treatment program that provides all of the necessary services, programs and tools needed to promote healing and long-term recovery. It's equally important to continue with a support group or counseling after your recovery program has been successfully completed.
There really is 'life after addiction' and you really can live a substance free life-style with long term success.
As long as you receive effective treatment, healthy positive support, and you're working on your recovery daily. Just make sure your treatment program provides all the necessary programs and services you need to successfully stop drinking or using drugs, maintain sobriety and promotes long term recovery. Follow-up with support groups or counseling especially when life becomes stressful because these are times when we're challenged and we can begin to lose our focus on the goals we have set for our future.
Never give up and never stop trying, you owe it to yourself and the people in your life who love and care about you!