You’ve probably heard of this famous quote by the American author Mark Twain that condenses the struggle of quitting addiction in a few words.
“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a hundred times.”
The journey to sobriety begins with a decision and commitment but needs to be followed up with dedication, resilience, and a supportive network. It is a common struggle among addicts to give up alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs one day, only to relapse because of some common triggers: meeting up with drinking partners, having a bad day and being unable to manage stress and anxiety, or getting overwhelmed with life’s problems. Not only does that bring you back to square one, but it can also leave you feeling a little less confident in your ability to follow through with your decisions.
Once you have decided to give up your addiction, the next step is deciding which approach to take for your recovery. Going to rehab has been proven to work very well, but if you don’t think it’s the right option for you, there are other ways to get sober without rehab.
Support Group Meetings
Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous have been around for a very long time and are very successful in the results they yield for the patients. The way they operate is they provide a safe space for people to discuss their struggles with addiction, talk about their journey and provide a support and accountability network. They have a 12-Step Facilitation Therapy, where people are taken through different recovery processes step by step. It is a method that has shown increased chances of recovery with long-term sustainability.
An inpatient rehab such as The Palm Beach Institute is one of the best options for quitting addictions, but if you cannot afford to stay in a facility for months or weeks, then you may consider an outpatient program. They offer similar treatments and therapies as inpatient rehab, but it is limited to only a few hours a day. They implement several kinds of therapies and educate you on the recovery process and prevent a relapse.
However, that means the person may still live in the same environment risks relapse due to triggers. A solution is searching for a sober living home that can provide you with a clean, uplifting environment while you recover.
Detoxification is a process in which you let go of addictive substances under medical supervision. This process is necessary because going cold turkey (quitting instantly and completely) can have nasty withdrawal symptoms that, in some cases, can be fatal. Detoxification is usually employed together with other therapies for better recovery.
Individual therapy is another good way to combat addiction because it targets the subconscious issues that contribute to addictive behavior. Therapy seeks to find and correct mental patterns, for example, an inability to cope with unpleasant emotions such as anxiety, stress, grief, etc. it also focuses on treating any mental disorders the addicted person might have. Therapy is effective because it cures the root problem and gives insight into managing and retaining sobriety.
Some types of therapies that are used in addiction recovery are:
- Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Technique (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
- Contingency Management
A medication-based treatment plan involving behavioral therapies can go a long way in assisting recovery. Medicines can help manage withdrawal symptoms, minimize addictive behaviors, and positively impact mood.
Withdrawal medications help reduce the unpleasant symptoms, some examples of benzodiazepines and anticonvulsants. Naltrexone is a drug administered to numb the gratifying effects of alcohol. Drugs such as lofexidine can be used to reduce alcohol cravings.
Benefits of Professional Therapy
While alternate methods you can apply on your journey to sobriety, an inpatient rehab program is still advisable. Not only does it give you round-the-clock care by being removed from your immediate environment, but you can also stay away from any triggers that may cause a relapse. You are far removed from reminders of your addictions, as well as people that enable your addictive habits. Some considerable benefits of residential treatment are:
Having a care and support system throughout the day means that help is on hand if you go through unpleasant or potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms and need medical assistance. During recovery, since you are adjusting to a new way of life, it is common to be plagued by cravings that may lead to relapse. Through medical assistance and medication, the effect of these cravings can be lessened and controlled.
Most inpatient rehabs have a program focused on improving health, including a diet that ensures all your nutrition needs are met and a healthy sleep cycle. Drug and substance abuse usually leads to individuals being very low on health. If their food and sleep are focused upon, their mood will be positively impacted, which helps immensely in their recovery journey.
During recovery, patients are provided with different therapies that help them sort out addictive thought patterns and trauma that led them to search for escapism to addiction in the first place. They are also taught healthy coping strategies to deal with the stresses of everyday life so that when they return to their normal lives, they are well equipped to deal with it without relapsing into addictions at the first hint of stress.
New Habits and Goals
A person struggling to get over a life centered around addiction also has to deal with the wreck their life had been. Often, their day has no meaning, schedule, or discipline, and to a successful recovery, it is important to create healthy habits. Inpatient rehab programs focus on setting long-term and short-term goals, which can help them focus on visions of a better life, motivating them to rebuild their lives again.
There are multiple ways on the road to recovery if you are determined. There are outpatient programs that treat you but without you having to spend your whole day over there. There is also the option of support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where you proceed step by step with a group of people. Various therapies combined with other treatments, such as medication, also help. The best thing for a holistic care option is a residential treatment program. You can choose whatever you feel might work best for you. You can even consult your health care provider for advice.
Recovery is a long journey that looks different for everybody. Prioritizing your health and your life and keeping your promise to yourself of getting better is what’s important in the end.