What Are the Steps to Recovery?
Posted on 06/14/19: Addiction Recovery \ Relapse Prevention
Recovery is a long and complex process to help someone stop using substances, improve their well-being, and work toward a productive, happier life. It starts with recognizing the problem through symptoms before seeking treatment and preventing relapse through treatment programs that may include medications, therapy, and support groups. Going beyond sobriety, recovery looks different for everyone, but everyone can recover from addiction.
Beginning with hope, the process involves healing and change, including overcoming stigma and shame. It is an empowering, holistic process that works to elevate overall health and needs support from others, such as family and friends, as they work to reenter society stronger and happier. If you suspect that a loved one may be struggling with addiction, it is important to help them get help and start their road to recovery.
What is Addiction?
Caused by the continued misuse and abuse of substances, addiction is a chronic mental and medical illness that impacts the brain in long-lasting, harmful ways. When a person is abusing substances and suffering from addiction, there are significant changes in areas of the brain that control learning, judgment, decision-making, behavior, and memory.
Substance misuse happens through the increasing use and dependency on substances usually to relieve mental illness, stress, and pain. But it can also be the use of a prescription drug belonging to someone else and the use of prescription drugs in ways other than prescribed.
Recognizing the Problem
Those who use drugs generally try to hide their conditions and downplay whatever they are struggling with. If you are worried that a loved one may be using drugs and suffering from an addiction, physical symptoms will probably be the first thing you notice. Signs can depend on which substance is being used. Watch out for warning signs related to anything physical because drug use can affect their physical health and appearance, especially if they are abusing those substances. These warning signs are described below.
One major physical warning sign is change in appearance. This may include weight change, impaired coordination, and glassy, bloodshot eyes and dilated or constricted pupils. If your loved one is suffering from an addiction, they may not look the way they usually do because of decreasing grooming habits and attention to personal hygiene. Other physical warning signs include changing appetite and sleeping patterns, slurred, repetitive speech, shifting energy levels, impaired body coordination, and unusual breath, clothing, and body odors.
Behavioral warning signs include difficulties in relationships with others, unexplained need for money and financial issues, and criminal or irresponsible behavior and legal trouble. These can lead to shifts in mood and lifestyle, secretive and suspicious actions, and high-risk, dangerous behavior. This includes unusual lying and frequent mood swings linked to the change in friends, hobbies, and hangout places.
They may begin borrowing or stealing money from you and getting into fights and accidents. These dangerous situations may include using dirty needles, driving under the influence, and other irresponsible activities. They may also be neglecting responsibilities, which may cause further problems in their relationships and work.
Drug use can lead to drug abuse and addiction, if not noticed, addressed, and/or ceased earlier. Some symptoms may include uncharacteristic thoughts and actions revolving around drug use, as well as the loss of interest in usual activities and a new interest in unexpected activities.
If you recognize these warning signs, take care of yourself, and avoid blaming behavior. When you decide to suggest the idea of treatment, speak to them in an uplifting, gentle, and understanding manner.
There are several methods that have proven to be successful in treating addiction and helping patients fully recover. Research has shown that medication should be the first step in treatment, and it should be combined with some form of therapy. Listed below are these medical options that are provided as part of a holistic treatment program at treatment centers.
- Medical applications and devices used to treat withdrawal symptoms. The applications and devices can help suppress these symptoms during detoxification.
- Medication. Medications are effective when prescribed and used moderately. Medications can also be used to suppress withdrawal symptoms, decrease substance craving to prevent relapse, and regulate brain function.
- Behavioral counseling. This helps to increase healthy skills and choices, changing behavior related to substance use, along with other forms of treatment, such as medication. This exists as different kinds of outpatient behavior treatment, typically involving behavioral therapy in individual or group settings. This is also available as different options for inpatient or residential treatment with 24-hour structured and intensive medical care.
- Evaluation and treatment for combating co-existing mental health issues (i.e. anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Long-term follow-up(s) to prevent relapses, which can happen if one is not careful. Stress cues and contact with drugs are often triggers to relapses in drug use.
Treatment is essential, and treatment centers provide you with the services, resources, and care that will help you achieve a healthier and happier life. Treatment programs are tailored to the needs of each patient, and they should include a range of medical and mental health services along with follow-ups. Follow-up can be recovery support systems, such as support groups and sober living homes.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes function as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the real world. They help people recovering from addiction to stay on their road to recovery while helping them adjust to daily life and reenter society. Allowing patients to come and go, sober living homes allow patients to slowly ease back into a normal lifestyle while helping them develop healthy coping skills and habits that will be useful for when they return home.
Time spent at a sober living home allows someone in recovery to comfortably find a job, locate housing for post-treatment life, make amends with friends and family, and adjust to sober living. Sober Living of Arizona provides residents the tools, support, and services to transition back into society in a caring environment. If your loved one is recovering from addiction, now is the time to help them on their long road to recovery.
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If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.