For an individual who is suffering from drug addiction, successful recovery can seem like an impossible dream. They may have come to believe that there is no way to function or live without drug substances, and that there is no guarantee that recovery can actually happen for them. Individuals who attempt to recover through participation in rehabilitation treatment, only to relapse back into drug use in the future, can become even more convinced of their inability to ever permanently end their relationship with drugs.
The fact is that drug addiction is a complex problem for which there is no easy solution. That said, drug addictions can be and have been successfully resolved time and again, sometimes even after an individual has failed to achieve sobriety through a number of rehabilitation treatment programs. It takes time, patience, dedication and much more, but even individuals who are suffering from extensive drug addictions can successfully overcome these problems and take back control of their life and future.
Admitting That Change is Necessary
The first and often most difficult part of getting help for a drug addiction problem is admitting that one has a problem and needs to make a change. This can be very difficult for an individual to admit because they have come to depend on drug substances in order to function in life, and giving up these substances means that they will have to confront the problems they were seeking to escape from and are no better prepared to handle. Making a change means that the individual will have to find a new way to deal with stress and new ways to spend their free time. It also means that the individual will have to take great care in selecting who to hang around with, and in how they think about their self.
Getting help for and recovering from addiction does take persistence and discipline, and this is no more true that when one is working on changing their life. Some things to consider are the pros of continued drug use versus the pros of quitting drug use, and whether one has the support they will need to successfully make a big change in their life.
Learning About Rehabilitation Treatment
The next part of getting help for drug addiction problems is learning about rehabilitation treatment. Rehabilitation treatment is a lot more than just abstaining from drug use and talking about one’s feelings, it is a thorough process through which one needs to address and resolve each and every cause and effect of their drug use. This means that an individual’s rehabilitation treatment program needs to be designed to meet their own specific needs, helping them thoroughly disconnect with the past destruction caused by drugs and aiding them in building the strong foundation for a better future. No matter how well-designed or professionally delivered a treatment program may be, the fact remains that recovery will not be a fast or easy process, and finding the facility, program and services that work best to meet one’s specific needs can better help ensure that one remains dedicated no matter the obstacles they encounter along the way.
While each facility and program can vary widely, there are some critical services that one should ensure their facility and program provides, including:
- Detoxification to rid the body of residual drug toxins.
- Counseling to help uncover the root causes for drug use and begin to repair the low self-esteem and self-respect caused by drug use.
- Drug education to aid the individual in understanding the truth about drug substances and how they affect the individual.
- Life skills education to give the individual the tools they need to overcome life challenges and difficulties in the future without drug use.
- Aftercare services to help smooth the transition between rehabilitation treatment and the real world environments and routines so that the individual doesn’t relapse back into drug use.
While many drug addicts may desire to handle their drug problems on their own, the simple fact is that these problems can easily overwhelm them and make it difficult for them to achieve and maintain sobriety. It is important that an individual who is trying to recover from drug addiction does so with the support of family members, friends and trained professionals.
As one begins to work toward recovery they may discover that many of the friends they felt they had are not true friends at all, but rather are individuals who simply condoned or encouraged one’s continued drug use. It can be very helpful to break free of these individuals and establish new, supportive and sober friends who will keep one moving in the right direction despite all difficulties that arise along the way. Group meetings for individuals in recovery can also be highly valuable, as they allow the individual to interact with others who are working through many of the same problems they are experiencing.
Handling Stress and Relapse Triggers
Getting help for one’s addiction problems does not mean that they will be able to magically improve their life in such a way that they will never encounter difficulties, challenges, stress or relapse triggers. However, an individual can learn ways to identify these problems when they arise, and successfully address and resolve them so that they don’t lead the individual back into drug use. Some workable ways to deal with stress include participating in regular exercise, taking the time to enjoy the outdoors, participating in yoga or meditation, interacting and playing with a beloved pet, listening to calming music, soaking in a warm bath, getting a massage, enjoying a cup of tea and more.
If one can learn how to identify the triggers that prompt them to relapse into drug use, they can then work on addressing and resolving these triggers, building their self-confidence in the process. It may be that many relapse triggers exist in their environment and they have to learn to change their social routines and recreational activities, but doing so can provide them with great relief when they realize this helps to greatly reduce their relapse triggers.
Set Goals For the Future
When trying to recover from drug addiction, many individuals may find a lot of their attention is tied up on the past – the decisions and mistakes they made, the relationships they ruined, the guilt and shame they experienced and more. However, a successful recovery includes planning for a healthy, happy and productive future, and in fact focusing on a drug-free future can help ensure that the individual remains dedicated to their sobriety.
Many individuals discover that when they finally quit their drug use, they have a lot more time on their hands. It is important to stay busy, and fill that time with meaningful things, like taking up a new hobby, adopting a pet, becoming involved in community service activities, establishing new educational and career goals, improving one’s overall physical health and much more. By setting these goals, the individual will find that they have a more positive outlook on their future and that there is much more to life than simply obtaining, using and recovering from drug substances.
No matter how hard one tries to overcome their drug addiction problems, and no matter how thorough their rehabilitation treatment program may be, they may still encounter difficulties that drive them back toward drug use. At these times it can be incredibly difficult to stay positive and focus on maintaining one’s hard-won sobriety, but this is also when it is most important to do so. One’s confidence in their ability to disconnect from drug use and move forward into a better future is critical to their success, and their confidence is no more tested than when life tries mightily to derail their recovery. With ongoing support and dedication, the individual can succeed.
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