Whether you’re looking for help for yourself or a loved one, dealing with addiction to alcohol or prescription drugs, if you are dealing with substance abuse in any capacity it is essential to get the help and support that will help you or your loved one overcome that addiction. Every individual is unique and requires different types of support but keeping these five steps in mind on your recovery journey will help you on your journey to recovery from substance abuse.
1: Acknowledge Your Problem
The idea that the first step to recovery is acknowledging you have a problem is so overused as to become cliché at this point, but it is nonetheless an essential step on your journey. This step doesn’t only involve acknowledging that there is a problem, but it also comprises taking a critical look at your substance abuse issues and how they are affecting your life. Not only will this step allow you to confront your substance abuse issues using your inner willpower rather than outside pressure, a far more sustainable and successful source of inspiration, you will also be able to begin to find the ways in which your current mode of living is feeding into your substance abuse.
2: Create a Plan of Action
This next step to beginning to recover from substance abuse is realizing that you can’t do it alone. A strong support system of both professionals and your friends and family will be essential for your journey. If you try to overcome addiction cold turkey, you could be putting your health and your recovery at risk. The best option is to find a drug and alcohol rehab center that offers a program suitable for your addiction and your lifestyle, create a plan of action with the professionals there, and inform those who comprise your support system of your intentions.
3: Detox from Your Addiction
Addiction is a complicated thing, having physical, psychological, and behavioral components. The first component that you will have to address, however, is the physical, and this can be the most dangerous part of your recovery if not handled correctly. Detox is the stage in which you eliminate drug or alcohol consumption. Those who go through the detoxification process will often experience withdrawal symptoms depending on their addiction, and with certain substances withdrawal can become deadly. Fortunately, there are a number of short-term and long-term detox options that can work for any lifestyle, from brief hospitalization to a long-term stay in a rehab facility.
4: Begin Your Rehabilitation
After detox, it’s time to dive into the root causes of your addiction and focus on making lifestyle changes that will cause your recovery to be sustainable. A range of therapies and treatment methods can dig deeper and reveal the root causes of your addiction and how to resolve them. Some of these options include an inpatient rehab facility or intensive outpatient program. No matter what kind of therapy or treatment you choose, you must be willing to stick with it and engage in constructive life changes in order to continue with your recovery. Some of these changes may be quite difficult, such as avoiding certain places or friend groups to prevent a relapse, but they will be well worth it in the end.
5: Don’t Become Discouraged
The journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, but it’s still a journey of a thousand miles, and recovering from substance addiction is a journey like any other, a process that will take anywhere from years to the rest of your life. In addition, as many as half of all rehab patients’ relapse after their first attempt to kick their substance addiction. If you are having a challenging time with cravings and triggers, discuss it with your therapist and realize that these feelings are completely normal for someone in your situation. You are not a failure for your cravings, nor are you a failure for any potential relapse. The best time to start your journey is today, this moment, and that holds true whether this is your first or your fifteenth attempt to kick your addiction. The only thing to do and the only direction to go is forward.
Substance abuse is a difficult thing and attempting to recover from it can seem mountainous at first. By reading these five steps, the road ahead of you should hopefully look a little less overwhelming and a little clearer.