Recovering from an addiction is a process that requires a lifelong commitment. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or NCADD, explains that recovery means that an individual is actively seeking help and solutions to avoid substance abuse and improve his or her physical, emotional and mental health.
It can take time to start working toward realistic goals, but it is possible to improve personal well-being and start seeing positive changes when you or a loved one decides to work toward recovery.
Acknowledging the Problem
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that addiction is a complicated problem. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, only about 2.4 million individuals out of more than 23 million actively seek treatment for an addiction. When you are concerned about a loved one or you are concerned about the way that a substance is harming your body, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a problem.
An addiction develops when an individual is actively taking a substance, even when it is having a negative impact on his or her health and well-being. Drug-seeking behavior may develop and the amount of the substance that is abused can gradually increase over time. The first step of the recovery process is recognizing that a problem has developed and that it is necessary to seek professional help.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that an addiction can be treated and managed if an individual is willing to commit to a treatment plan and start working toward realistic recovery goals.
After deciding to seek treatment, it is necessary to go through the detoxification process. Drug or alcohol detox refers to the first days that an individual is discontinuing the substance. Depending on the drug, it may be dangerous to go through a detox process without medical supervision.
A professional detox program will provide the medical assistance that is necessary to help if the withdrawal symptoms become difficult to handle or dangerous to an individual’s physical health. It is particularly important to make sure that a detox program is medically supervised when treating an addiction to alcohol, heroin or other drugs that may have severe withdrawal symptoms.
Treating the Causes of Addiction
After the detox program, the next step of recovery is going through a treatment program. The duration of time that is required will depend on the needs of the individual.
Treatment options that may be available include:
- Nutrition therapy
- Dual-diagnosis treatments
- Cognitive treatments
- Fitness therapy
- Life skills courses
- Holistic treatments, like yoga, massage therapy or acupuncture
Since the causes of an addiction can be complicated, a treatment plan should be personalized for the individual.
Moving Forward After Treatment
When a treatment program is completed, the next step of recovery will depend on the needs and goals of the individual. For example, some individuals may benefit from a sober-living environment that offers a greater amount of structure. Alternatively, an individual may decide to continue with an out-patient treatment program to help with the transition into a healthy lifestyle. The goal of recovery after treatment is to maintain a sober lifestyle and limit the risk of a relapse.
Addiction treatment and recovery is a long-term process, but it is possible to recover and start rebuilding a healthy lifestyle. The key is recognizing that it is time to seek professional help and then taking the first step to start a treatment program. A commitment to a healthy and drug-free lifestyle can take time, but there are options that can make it possible to reach your goals.