Having an addiction hurts more than just the addict. Everyone who loves the addict is impacted. The addiction makes the person disappear and leaves a hollow shell of a person who’s only ambition is getting to their next fix. There are very effective treatment programs for helping drug addicts recover from their addiction, but they are only as effective as the desire the addict has to recover.
If you or someone you love is going through treatment programs, there are a few things you should know about it. We’ve put together a few tips for getting the most out of your drug treatment programs:
Four Things You Should Know Before You Go Through Drug Treatment
- Always ask how withdrawals are treated before choosing a treatment program.
When you use drugs, the chemical balance of the brain changes. As you continue to use drug for a long period of time, your brain gets used to the new “normal.” When you stop doing drugs, your brain struggles to go back to being responsible for its own chemical makeup. Some of the symptoms you might experience include mood swings, tremors, depression, and anxiety. Sometimes the struggle of withdrawals makes it next to impossible for a drug addict to get clean.
This is why — whether you are looking for methamphetamine addiction treatment, alcohol addiction treatment, or something different altogether — you should pay close attention to the treatment program’s approach to withdrawals. Some programs administer medication to lessen the effects of the withdrawal symptoms. Some programs put the patient under anesthesia and then administer a drug that accelerates the symptoms while they’re sedated. Some programs take a “tie them down and force them through it” natural approach. The best approach for you depends on you and your needs.
- But the entire person needs to be treated, not just the addiction.
While withdrawal is a physiological process that needs to be treated as such, just removing the impact of withdrawal will not cure the addict of their addiction. Treating addiction requires surveying the entire lifestyle of the addict and figuring out what led them to this point, what triggers their desire to use the drug of their addiction, and finding new coping mechanisms.
For instance, studies show that adults who are unemployed are twice as likely to drink more than eight alcoholic beverages than those who are employed, because unemployed people have higher levels of stress and drugs are a way to forget your stress. Stress is a powerful trigger that leads many addicts to depend on their drug of choice to cope. Identifying what leads you to crave your drug and finding better ways to cope with it is an important step in treating the entire individual, not just their addiction.
- Recovering from drug addiction is a lifelong commitment, not a quick fix.
Relapses are very common for addicts who successfully go through drug treatment programs. Addiction is a lifelong illness, and even after a person is sober, they still must strive to remain sober. In order to truly achieve sobriety, an addict needs to be committed to learning about the chemical process the brain goes through while using drugs and after recovery, to have a healthy respect for staying clean. It is also important for an addict to stay committed to the tools they gained for staying clean.
And if you do happen to relapse after successfully going through rehab, it is important that you’re able to pick yourself up and get back onto the path to recovery. Surround yourself with people who will support your lifelong mission to stay sober, and will give your encouragement when you do make a mistake.
- Get involved in therapy during your treatment program, and beyond.
Therapy is a very common part of drug rehab. There are many life experiences and emotional issues that lead a person to drug use, and psychological and emotional issues that trigger their need for the drug throughout their addiction. By going through therapy, an addict is able to process the painful life experiences their addiction is built upon, and learn new ways to channel it. This is an important element to a successful treatment program, and beyond.
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