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Addiction Recovery Process

The addiction recovery process is a paradox, in that, in some ways it is the same for everyone and in other ways, each person's journey is unique. And, as a process, recovery cannot be put on a timeline.


Steps to Healing

This idea frustrates many who first go down the road to recovery who want to know how many days this phase or that phase may take. If addiction recovery were a procedure, one may be able to build an MS Project timeline for it, but since it's a process no such timeline can be built.

The addiction recovery process involves five broad steps including giving up denial, seeking help, going through detoxification, working the recovery program and maintaining sobriety.

The first step of recovery is breaking through the denial in addiction. The substance abuser has to acknowledge that they do indeed have a problem and are out-of-control when it comes to dealing with the problem. Many times, there is a precipitating event that will help get the addict out of denial such as a DUI (DWI in some states), accident, death of a friend or family member from similar causes, or an intervention with family and friends.

Once the person abusing drugs or alcohol has admitted to themselves that there is a problem, the next step is that they addict has to be motivated enough to take action. If the person simply admits they have a problem but is not motivated enough to make a change, the chances for recovery are nil.

Now, once the person admits they have an addiction and are willing to take action to make a change, the next step is to seek help. This help could be in the form of an alcohol or drug rehab program, from a group such as a 12-step group, even through their employee assistance program or through their church. Some will go straight into individual counseling as well. There are many avenues in which to seek help and this is part of the "individual" nature of addiction that is also share by many.

No matter which avenue is chosen to begin with, one of the next steps to recovery is to stop using and start going through the withdrawal process. The substance abuser many wish to check into a detox rehab center in order to safely facilitate this process as the process itself may be fatal for severe addicts or for those with other serious medical problems.

Depending upon the severity of the drug or alcohol problem, the person's age, the length of the addiction and general temperament of the substance abuser they may wish to next seek help in an inpatient, outpatient or residential rehab center to continue their recovery. Most of these rehab centers also offer detoxification programs onsite. Many rehabilitation centers, like this one here, offer a relaxing and peaceful setting so one can get away from every day stresses and focus on recovery. For only moderately severe cases of addiction, the addict may want to try recover through other means such as individual therapy and a 12-step program or other addiction group.

Addiction recovery is fraught with pitfalls and unrealistic expectations. For instance, many of the same thoughts, beliefs, patterns, cravings, feelings and behavior tend to happen over and over again through the recovery process. Those in recovery from substance abuse need to have realistic expectations about these recurring themes in the road to recovery. Denial will come and go and relapses are common even though the addict is headed in the right direction.

Minimizing contact with enablers and toxic people will be another step in the road to recovery as will building a healthier support group and finding healthier substitutes for the addiction. For instance, when some people feel the cravings for their drugs of choice, they may want to choose a healthy substitute such as exercise, meditation, prayer or some other activity that will help until the cravings go away.

Addicts may need many services such as medical, psychological, individual therapy, group therapy, 12-step or 12-step alternative groups, employee assistance, legal assistance, transportation and emotional support from family and friends in order to gain and maintain their sobriety. Once the addict has developed a new, healthier support system, as has some time in recovery under their belts, they may need additional community support and /or may wish to help their own sobriety by helping others through religious groups or through activism and advocacy.

Most recovering addicts see sobriety as a lifelong process that has to be worked every day, one day at a time, for as long as they live. The benefits, however, far outweigh the amount of effort put into an entire life of clean and sober living.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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