The Process of Addiction Recovery: From Denial to Aftercare

HomeArticlesThe Process of Addiction Recovery: From Denial to Aftercare

Substance abuse, dependence, and addiction is one of the biggest problems we are currently dealing with as a society. Between the drugs you can get on the streets and from your doctors, it isn’t hard to get addicted to a powerful substance. However, it isn’t easy to get off them. When someone is dependent on drugs, alcohol, or both there is a process of recovery. If a step is skipped, the recovery might not be as long-lasting.For people who are addicted to something, below is the process of addiction recovery.

Admit There is a Problem

The first thing that needs to be done is admit that there is a problem. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to come to terms that they need help. If they can’t get off substances on their own, treatment is needed. It’s necessary to come to terms they can’t stop using on their own. Sometimes this requires an intervention and other times the person comes to terms with it on their own. However the person comes to terms with the idea that they have a problem, this is the essential first step of addiction recovery.

Check In to Detox

After the person admits they need help, they will need to check in for detox. Detox is when the person goes through withdrawals as they come off the substances they’ve been using. Opioid and alcohol detox need to be supervised medically for a lot of people. When someone has been using alcohol or opioids, it’s essential for the person to be supervised as they go through this process to start recovery. It doesn’t matter what you are addicted to, it’s always a good idea to be supervised during the detox process. Once the withdrawal process has ended, you will be able to start comprehensive treatment.

Start Comprehensive Treatment

When the patient finishes detox, it’s time to start long-term treatment. You should begin long-term treatment in an outpatient or inpatient setting. Either way, you will begin receiving addiction counseling, attending 12-step group meetings, and going through dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is the idea that most people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol commonly have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Most people start using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their anxiety, depression, or another disorder. Even if the person doesn’t have a co-occurring disorder, the approach of dual diagnosis is comprehensive, treating the whole person—not just the addiction.

Work the Steps

As the person goes through treatment, they will need to work the steps. This is the 12-step program, which is credited for being the best addiction treatment platform. Group therapy is an essential part of the 12-step program. It’s also necessary to get a sponsor. Sponsors are there for the person when they want to use drugs or alcohol. They provide lessons and wisdom and coping skills. As treatment and recovery progresses, everyone becomes a sponsor to give back and strengthen their own personal recovery.

Continue in Aftercare

When the initial rehab phase ends, aftercare is necessary. A lot of people choose to continue in outpatient treatment or live in a residential treatment center. Known as sober living homes, these treatment centers support people who are initially sober. It’s difficult for a lot of recently sober people to live on their own when they first leave rehab. It doesn’t matter what you need, everyone should take part in aftercare processes to strengthen their recovery. It is pivotal to continue treatment.

The process of addiction recovery isn’t short, but anyone can start off on the right path. First, the person has to admit they have a problem and need professional help. Then the physical process of detox withdrawal will begin. Once the substances are out of the person’s system, long-term treatment begins. Counseling, group therapy, the 12-steps, and dual diagnosis are all important to utilize. Then, aftercare and long-term sobriety begins. A relapse isn’t failure. It’s vital to get back on the path of sobriety and wellness. When you or someone you love is addicted to substances, you shouldn’t skip a step. 

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