Drug addiction starts with drug use. Experimental use, recreational use, social use, occasional use, medical use – any use of an addictive substance for any purpose can and often does lead to a dependence upon that drug. While any and all drug use has the potential for harm, the most dangerous type of drug use in terms of the likelihood that it will lead to addiction, is the type that stems from a desire to numb pain or negative feelings or to cope with problems in one’s life.
1. First, assessment – Upon entering alcohol rehabilitation, medical staff will screen you to assess your personal situation and create a program that is unique to you. This will likely include a physical exam, a urinalysis drug test, a psychological screening and an assessment of personal circumstances. The aim here is to understand the extent of alcohol abuse and to create a program that will allow you to succeed.
Individual therapy will help you learn to recognize triggers and cope with them. The therapists may also help you to improve your emotional regulation skills in order to better avoid relapse. Group counseling provides you with the opportunity to practice sober social skills, as well as the coping strategies you learned in individual counseling. Family therapy sessions can help to repair broken relationships, improve communication skills, and build conflict resolution skills. Medication, such as methadone or Suboxone, may be used in combination with behavioral therapy to help opioid-addicted individuals remain abstinent. Once your rehab program nears an end, your treatment team will create an aftercare or relapse prevention plan for you consisting of ongoing support. Ongoing support may include individual therapy, group counseling, self-help group meetings (e.g., 12-step, SMART Recovery), alumni programs, or sober living homes.1,2
While a relapse or slip-up is by no means inevitable, you might face some setbacks during recovery. This does not have to mean returning to alcohol use. A lapse should not signify the end of your recovery, provided you act appropriately, in order to avoid a full relapse. You might even find that this small slip is enough to remind you of why you wanted to quit in the first place.
An inpatient rehab facility is the most structured treatment environment for those overcoming alcoholism. Generally, these rehabs are geared toward treating the most severe forms of alcoholism and require individuals to remain on-site for the duration of the program – 30, 60 or 90 days. Treatment specialists provide around-the-clock care and will prepare you for life after rehab. This may include information on how to overcome triggers, the importance of sobriety maintenance programs and what to do in the event of a relapse.
It is important that you know how to act when triggers or cravings present themselves. If you have a plan in place, it can help to prevent a full-blown relapse. It may be that you will get in touch with your counsellor or sponsor, or perhaps distraction will help. You might find that going for a walk or doing something else to keep you busy can help the cravings subside. Inappropriate Things to Say at a Meeting (Recovery Comedy)
Addiction can be terrifying. If you or someone that you care about has been struggling with a substance use disorder, then you are well aware of the devastating impact that this insidious disease can have on virtually all aspects of life. You know all about the sleepless nights, the despair-filled days, and the pervasive fear that, just when you think it cannot get any worse, it will.