Substance abuse is a pattern of using alcohol, illegal drugs, over-the-counter or prescription medications in amounts or by methods that are harmful to an individual. Abusing drugs can lead to a chronic disease, i.e., an addiction that affects every part of a person’s life. This relapsing disease causes long-term physical as well as psychological damage and requires ongoing care. However, it is important to keep in mind that recovery is possible, hence, to break the cycle of addiction, receiving treatment is vital.
The first step to recovery can be the most difficult one; acknowledging that substance abuse has become a problem and wanting to make a change. It’s common for addicts to feel conflicted about giving up drugs, but once you recognize the negative impact it’s having on your life and your family, you should start exploring your treatment options. These options may depend on several factors, such as the type of addictive disorder you have, the length and severity of your use, and its effects on you.
Here are 8 things you should be aware of before receiving treatment for your drug addiction:

Detoxification Is The First Stage Of Treatment

The first step in the recovery process is to tackle the physical side of the addiction. This is because if you’re physically unwell, you’ll struggle to deal with any underlying mental health problems as well. This is where the process of detox comes into play. Detoxification involves the removal of the substance from the body and limiting withdrawal reactions ( unpleasant symptoms an addict experiences when they stop taking drugs or alcohol). The most common withdrawal symptoms include nausea, sweating, agitation, headaches, and intense craving for the substance, etc. However, a medically assisted detox does not treat the addiction itself rather prevents as many symptoms as possible. Additionally, patients who do not receive further treatment are susceptible to resume their drug use.

Drug Treatment Programs Can Be Highly Effective

Long-term treatment programs are available for addictive disorders that focus on remaining drug-free and resuming social and professional life. Thus, residential facilities exist to provide a safe housing environment and any necessary medical assistance for patients. In addition, there are different types of rehabilitation programs available, such as short-term residential treatment, outpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, or sober living communities.

Medication Plays A Vital Role In Treatment

Medication can be an essential component of effective treatment. They may be taken on a continuous basis for different reasons during the recovery process. Medicines can be used to:
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During detoxification, medicines are mostly used to suppress withdrawal symptoms.
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In the process of recovery, the potential for relapse is always present. Thus, the long-term use of medications can help to re-establish normal brain function and reduce cravings. If a person uses more than one drug, then they require a specific prescription for each substance. 
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The possible mental health conditions of a patient may be contributing to their addiction. Thus, other medications can be used to treat illnesses such as anxiety or depression.

Counseling And Behavioral Therapies Are The Most Common Form Of Treatment

Behavioral therapy can be valuable in treating addiction. Since it helps patients modify their attitude and behavior related to substance use, strengthen healthy life skills, and persist with other treatments by providing them with an incentive to abstain from drugs. Moreover, this form of treatment is usually intensive at first but is gradually reduced as symptoms improve.
The different settings of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, and motivational interviewing. Apart from these traditional counseling methods, the people behind Changing Tides recommend using complementary therapies as well. Therapy settings like exercise classes, music therapy, and nutrition courses can help patients relax and bond with their care providers. Furthermore, they can help recovering addicts reconnect with themselves.

Insurance Plans Cover The Cost Of Treatment

The cost of getting treated can be a barrier to recovery for most people. Luckily, many insurance companies cover the cost of rehab since addiction is also a medical disease. However, no insurance coverage can pay for your entire medical expense, thus the company decides to include certain aspects depending upon the severity of your condition.

Finding Support Is Essential For Recovery

No matter which treatment approach you use, trying to deal with it all alone is not the right way to go about it. Having positive influences and a solid support system is an invaluable asset during your road to recovery. Moreover, being surrounded by people who encourage and guide you through the whole process can make the treatment easier.

Self-Help Groups Play An Important Role In The Recovery Process

Addiction self-help groups help to recover individuals, meet people with the same addictive disorder and share their life experiences with each other. The people in these recovery groups boost each other’s motivation. Additionally, spending time with people who’ve gone through the same phases as you can reduce feelings of isolation. Although they can be a helpful source in your recovery journey, they cannot act as a substitute for formal treatment. This is because many addicts need intensive medical and therapeutic intervention. Thus, if you’re struggling to stay sober, you can search for recovery meetings taking place in your community.

Long-Term Follow Up Can Prevent Relapse

It’s common for people to face triggers that make them return to using drugs or alcohol. After completing the residential addiction treatment, the stressors outside the facility can challenge the newly sober individual’s recovery. Thus, to address these issues, they should consider outpatient counseling or therapy. These services can assist you in developing a relapse prevention plan and fight the urge to misuse substances again. If you’re concerned about maintaining sobriety, you should discuss your need for ongoing therapy with your rehab program.
Apart from the formal recovery process people go through; they can also support their drug treatment by engaging in activities that bring meaning to their life. Additionally, setting goals and working towards them will give you a sense of purpose. Thus, substance disorder can be a complex disease, but you can get on your path to recovery by receiving treatment and support.


Daria Brown