Rehabilitation is an extensive therapy program that aims to effectively eliminate dependence on drugs and also rectify drug-seeking behavior. It teaches coping mechanisms to avoid temptations and relapses.
After the therapy is successfully over, the patient can seek aftercare services that continue to provide long-term addiction care and support to encourage sustainable recovery for years to come.
Understanding the Addiction Rehab Process
Achieving sobriety is no quick endeavor. The journey from accepting that you have an addiction-related problem to achieving a healthy sober life can take some time. For a lot of individuals, it’s often a lifelong commitment that requires ongoing dedication.
But, even though the process may be a bit difficult, you should know that professional help is available for everyone. And, millions of people have successfully kicked away their addiction for good.
4 Stages of Alcohol and Drug Rehab Recovery
Stage 1: Treatment Initiation
This is the point where rehab will work with the individual to commit to active participation in the program and to accept that achieving sobriety and maintaining abstinence is their goal. To achieve that, a counselor would work with the patient to discuss the following elements –
- Help the patient realize the kind of damage addiction is having on his life
- Conduct drug and alcohol detox where needed
- Bring the feelings of denial to the surface
- Instill a sense of motivation to recover and become addiction-free
Stage 2: Early Abstinence
There’s a direct link between early abstinence and the long-term positive success of residential alcohol treatment. However, there can be many roadblocks at this stage. It’s often the toughest to cope due to several factors like –
- Physical cravings
- Continued and often painful withdrawal symptoms
- Triggers that can cause relapses
- Psychological dependence
Below are a few strategies that residential drug rehab centers can deploy at this stage to overcome those roadblocks –
- Work on environmental and personal triggers that are causing cravings. This can be things, places, and people.
- Encourage healthy activities like yoga, exercise, meditation, painting, arts and crafts
- Find alternative behaviors that distract the mind from thinking about drugs
- Participate in a network of groups to seek inspiration, information, and support
Stage 3: Maintaining Abstinence
Some of the best rehab programs last 90 days. After that period is over, you will move towards the 3rd stage of recovery. This stage is all about maintaining abstinence and avoiding relapses.
This is the stage where you will be using all the tools you learned during rehab to lead a truly sober lifestyle.
Here are some of the coping skills to use –
- Build positive and healthy relationships
- Avoid seeing drug substitutes
- Anger management
- Focusing on health, nutrition, and exercise
- Learn money management
- Focus on employment and career
- Seek a drug-free lifestyle
Stage 4: Advanced Recovery
This stage comes after you have successfully abstained for 5 years. This is the final stage of rehab, and it comes long after you have completed an in-patient rehab program. At this point, you will continue to use all the skills and tools that you've learned during your counseling sessions to lead a fulfilling, productive, and drug-free life.
Below are a few strategies that help with advanced recovery –
- Focusing on long-term life goals
- Surrounding yourself with people who don’t do drugs
- Partaking in healthy recreational activities like exercise, painting, reading, etc.
- Creating a daily schedule and sticking with it
- Having spiritual goals to achieve happiness while also focusing on social activities, community work, and religion to find a deep sense of fulfillment
Tips to Help You Stay Sober
Stay Out of Risky Situations
You need to cut off contact with people who drink or do drugs. This also means avoiding places of drug consumption. If possible, move to a different location to start a new life, find new friends, and new places to hang out and work.
Find a Support Group
Join a group (whether offline or online) to seek inspiration from their success stories. You can also go for family therapy and counseling to find a similar kind of support.
Support groups are a highly effective place to deal with your personal issues and inner struggles. Make sure your circle of friends is sober. Always maintain contact with your sponsor. Get immediate help when you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or tempted to do drugs.
Learn to Manage Urges
Most urges last from 15-30 minutes but they can be difficult to handle. It’s better to go for substitutes like repeating a powerful affirmation or chewing on gum. Try to stay busy to avoid thinking about drugs. You may even keep a journal to clear your mind. Focus on things you're grateful for. Anything that brings you joy.
Partake in Meaningful Activities
Partake in activities like exercise that will fuel a natural sense of happiness. You can also find meaningful causes like volunteering at a hospital, animal shelter, or helping out the homeless. It will give you a sense of purpose and higher self-esteem.
It’s true that achieving sobriety in the long-term can be a challenge. But, with the right kind of support, counseling, and coping mechanism, it’s possible.