In reality, no two recovery journeys are the same. Just like everyone’s addiction is different, recovery from addiction is too. Nonetheless, there are fundamental steps to help you understand how to recover from addiction. In most cases, it involves recognizing your addiction and seeking help from those around you, including professional assistance.
Most people start their recovery from addiction by acknowledging their problems. While it takes a rock-bottom moment to realize it for some, others can start this journey sooner. Let’s run down some of the most common steps to recovery from addiction and how to start this journey yourself.
1. Learn About The 12 Steps of Recovery From Addiction
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, launched in 1983, gives people a 12-step journey to understand and recover from addiction. Although created for alcohol addiction, this books adaptation for Narcotic Anonymous can be applied to any addiction and guides the user through a journey. The 12 steps are as follows:
- Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Step 3: Decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Step 5: Admitted to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these character defects.
- Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when injuring them or others.
- Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and promptly admitted it wrong.
- Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
2. Find Support
Addiction recovery is a challenging journey that can’t be done alone. There are many ways to seek help and find support. For most addicts, the first step is usually attending group meetings. 12-step meetings are free, anonymous, and widely available. Here, people can experience a sense of belonging without judgment. 12-step meetings are based on cultivating fellowship and connections. For most addicts, having a safe space to talk about their struggles and feel understood is a must-have for progress.
Still, meetings aren’t the only space to seek support. Those in recovery need to find a supportive environment and surround themselves with friends and loved ones that understand their struggles. No matter how or where you must find support to keep you working towards your goal.
3. Try Detox
Detoxing is a vital step in recovery from addiction. Regardless of the substance, most people will experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. While some can be managed at home, others will require professional assistance. Opioids and illegal drugs have the worst withdrawal symptoms that can often be life-threatening. In this case, medical detox can help prevent severe withdrawal symptoms and consequences.
4. Find Rehab
While group support meetings are highly effective, a professional rehab center can help people navigate the journey to recover from addiction. Research shows that support paired with behavioral therapy and sometimes medication is one of the most effective ways to recover from addiction. If you’ve tried by yourself to quit your substance without success, consider joining a rehab program. Here, you’ll receive tailor-made therapies and treatments for recovering from addiction and addressing your unique needs.
5. Focus on Relapse Prevention
Addiction is a chronic brain disease. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for addiction – but it can be managed. Part of a successful recovery journey is to focus on relapse prevention. In rehab, most patients draft a relapse prevention plan before leaving. Relapse prevention is critical for long-term and sustained recovery. This often includes attending support meetings, checking in with a sponsor, scheduling behavioral therapies, and more.
While the steps to recovery from drug addiction are different for everyone, recovery from addiction is possible. If you or someone you love is ready to beat addiction, find a local rehab center to start your journey today.