It is not easy to come to terms with the fact that your use of a mood-altering chemical has reached problem levels. This is particularly true for those who are using legal substances such as alcohol or prescription medication. However, until there is acceptance that there is a problem, you will not be able to move on and get your life on an even keel again. There are many reasons some individuals find it hard to admit to having an addiction. One is that they are ashamed or embarrassed and are worried what others will think about them. Another is the fact that they fear what rehab will be like and are worried about what happens after addiction treatment.
Is Fear Stopping You from Getting the Help You Need?
It is common for those with addiction to be reluctant to reach out for help because they are frightened. It may be that they fear admitting the truth as they know that when they do that, they will have to take the next steps on the road to recovery.
Some addicts are still convinced that the substance they are using is the only thing that provides them with any relief from their problems. They fail to see that their abuse of these substances is actually causing more harm than good.
Fear of rehab is another obstacle to recovery. There are so many people who do not want to even attempt a detox or rehabilitation because they are afraid of being unable to cope with it. The fear of failure is often stronger than the fear of succumbing to their addiction. Others do not see the point in trying to get better because they are worried about what happens after addiction treatment and believe that they are bound to just relapse anyway.
To prevent fear getting in the way of your recovery, you should learn all you can about addiction and what the process of rehabilitation is like. Knowing more about what to expect before, during and after treatment can help to make the process easier.
Accepting a Need for Treatment
The first step on the road to recovery is admitting to needing help. When you can do this, you will be ready to take the next step towards a life of sobriety. What you should know at this point is that you are not to blame for your addiction.
No matter what anyone says, addiction is not a lifestyle choice and it is not something that you have any control over. You are not addicted because you are weak or have no willpower, nor are you addicted because you have made bad choices.
You should also know that anyone can be affected by addiction, no matter how old they are, where they come from or how much money they have. It is all too easy for people to make assumptions about addiction and the individuals affected, but in most cases, these assumptions are false and not based on fact or reality.
Anyone who uses mood-altering substances such as alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication is prone to addiction if this person allows their use of these substances to spiral out of control. But you should know that just because an individual uses mood-altering substances, there is no guarantee that he or she will become an addict. In fact, the vast majority of those who do use chemical substances do so in moderation without ever having any problems.
What you need to think about is your use of these mood-altering substances and how much control you have over your use. Do you find that you have little control once you start? Or have you tried to quit but found yourself going back to them again? These are signs that you could have a problem.
Another sign that you may need help is an increased tolerance to the substance you are using. If you need more of it now than you used to in order to get the feelings you desire, you might have an increased tolerance. This means that your body is producing fewer feel good chemicals, called dopamine, in response to your use of these substances.
The result of this is that you are probably now consuming more drugs or alcohol than you used to and you may even find that your body is craving these substances whenever the effects wear off. If this is the case, it is likely that you have a physical dependence and will need treatment to turn your life around.
What to Expect from Addiction Treatment
To overcome an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it is usually necessary to complete a comprehensive recovery programme that incorporates a detox, rehabilitation, and aftercare. To start with, a medical detox is likely required.
If you have a physical dependence on alcohol or drugs, you will need to break the cycle of abuse in the first instance. This is necessary before rehabilitation can begin because you must have a clear mind and body to be able to deal with the emotional issues that are likely to arise during rehab.
A detox begins when you stop drinking or taking drugs. It is a natural process that the body undertakes as it tries to get back to normal. After years of substance abuse, the body will attempt to right various functions that were affected, which can result in a number of withdrawal symptoms occurring.
For most people, a few mild to moderate symptoms will occur, but for others, more severe symptoms can cause complications. Severe withdrawal symptoms can be a medical emergency, so it is important that whoever is on hand at the time knows how to react.
It is possible to detox at home under supervision, but most will find that it is far safer and much more comfortable to complete a medical detox in a dedicated facility where professional staff are on hand to monitor progress and act in the event of an emergency.
Detox programmes tend to run for around seven to ten days and, during this time, you will stay in a comfortable environment with around-the-clock care from fully trained professionals. Medical staff can administer pain-relief to help ease any symptoms you experience; they may even be able to prescribe appropriate medication to help prevent the worst symptoms from occurring.
What is Addiction Rehabilitation Like?
After detox, it is vital that the process of rehabilitation begins. It may be tempting to quit the recovery process at this time, but this is inadvisable. Although you may be feeling great and are convinced that you will never take drugs or drink alcohol again, you are likely to find yourself in a position at some point in the future when the urge to use chemical substances occurs again. Without having developed positive coping strategies for this, you will most likely find that you are unable to resist.
The aim of rehabilitation is to get to the cause of the addictive behaviour and to help you learn new ways of dealing with triggers to this behaviour going forward. If you want to avoid a return to addiction at a later date, you must complete a detox and a programme of rehabilitation.
Addiction rehab takes place with professional counsellors and therapists in either an inpatient or outpatient setting. The choice of treatment programme depends on your needs and how quickly you want to begin treatment. It also depends on how much time you can commit to your recovery in the early days.
For example, if you would like to get started on your rehabilitation as soon as possible, you will probably need to consider treatment with a private clinic. The reason for this is that most free programmes that are provided by the likes of the NHS or charities have very long waiting lists. They are often unable to meet the demands placed on them and patients must usually wait a few months before being provided with a place. This can be detrimental to progress as many addicts lose their motivation to get better when forced to wait.
If you are ready to commit to a programme of recovery and want to overcome it in the shortest possible time, you will also need to consider private treatment. Private residential treatment offers the best chance for successful recovery in the shortest possible time. These inpatient programmes are run over a period of between six and twelve weeks. Most people will stay for up to eight weeks, but those with more complex needs will generally require a longer stay.
Inpatient programmes are intensive and concentrated; patients complete a structured programme of care that has been designed around their needs. Although the programme is intensive, the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, and you will stay with other recovering addicts in comfortable and secure surroundings.
The alternative to an inpatient programme is one that takes place alongside daily life. Outpatient programmes are far less intensive than inpatient programmes and run for longer. If you choose this option, you will likely attend regular counselling or therapy sessions in the clinic or hospital but will not stay overnight. You will need a great deal of motivation and strength to overcome your addiction while also getting on with everyday life. This type of programme is ideally suited to those who do not have a severe addiction and have plenty of support at home.
What Happens When Addiction Treatment Finishes?
What happens after addiction treatment is another issue that can affect some people’s decision to get help. There are those who believe that relapse is inevitable and as such, they will not even try to get well as they think there is no point.
Nonetheless, there is no reason for you to suffer a relapse if you are determined to stay sober. If you fully commit to your programme of rehabilitation, you will learn all about how to prevent a relapse and will be helped to identify your personal cues and triggers so that you can avoid them.
There are many things that you can do after addiction treatment to help you stay clean and sober. Maintenance of sobriety is an important part of the recovery process and it is the reason that most rehab providers include aftercare as part of their programmes.
During the first twelve months of recovery, you will be susceptible to a relapse, particularly if you become complacent. It is important that you have plenty of support at this time; one of the best places to get this additional support is with a local fellowship support group.
Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcanon, and Narcotics Anonymous often prove to be instrumental when it comes to staying sober. Attending regular meetings and getting involved with sober activities can help you to avoid a return to addictive behaviour. These groups have helped millions of people around the world to get sober and stay sober, so they must be doing something right!
You will probably find that your rehab provider encourages you to get involved with a local support group when you are ready to return to daily living. In fact, many rehab providers use elements of the 12-steps, which are the basis for these fellowship support groups.
If you are interested in detox, rehabilitation and what happens after addiction treatment, please give us a call here at Liberty House Clinic. Our aim is to help you break both the physical and psychological elements of your illness in comfortable and secure surroundings. If you choose to overcome your addiction with us, you can expect to be treated by a team of fully trained, counsellors, therapists, doctors, and support staff who will do all they can to ensure you get well again.
We want to help you beat your addiction once and for all; please call us today to find out more about us and what we can do for you.