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Understanding The Addiction Treatment Journey

Addiction affects not only the physical body but the mind as well, and it can trigger or worsen mental disorders. Understanding how the addiction also manifests in different ways is important. Common symptoms include impaired control of one’s craving or urges; social problems like the inability to maintain professional or personal relationships; continued use of the substance or participation in an activity despite the risks that come with it; and physical effects like increased tolerance for the drug and withdrawal symptoms upon stopping its use. The use of and addiction to substances like tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs is also a key contributor to the many cases of preventable disease and death in the US.

7 Minute Read | Published Oct 06 2023 | Updated Jan 23 2024

However, despite the well-documented detrimental effects of addiction, many people who suffer from the condition remain unable to overcome their compulsive behaviors. Compassion also comes sparingly for a person with addiction, as the prevailing public opinion on the disorder is that it’s a choice, a consequence of being a bad person, or a sign of weakness and poor judgment. At the same time, people with addictive behaviors are often burdened with shame, self-blame, and stigma, which can prevent them from seeking the help they need. At Better Addiction Care we can help you find the resources.

Stages of Addiction and The Journey

Addiction typically progresses through three stages: experimentation, regular use, and dependence. During the experimentation phase, an individual may try a substance or behavior out of curiosity or peer pressure. If their behavior becomes more frequent, it can lead to regular use and ultimately dependence. This is when the individual experiences physical and psychological symptoms when trying to quit or reduce their use. The progression of addiction can vary depending on the substance or behavior, as well as individual factors like genetics and environment.

What is Living in Denial?

Denial plays a significant role in addiction. Refusal to acknowledge the reality of one’s situation is a form of self-deception that allows people to maintain a positive view of themselves. People in denial cannot cope with negative events and they may consciously or unconsciously put up defenses to avoid negative feelings. Addiction may damage an individual’s health, career, relationships, and prospects, but the person will not include these negative effects in their decision-making process. In this way, denial contributes to their inability or unwillingness to ask for help.

On the other hand, living in denial can also stem from feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-worth due to the addiction-related struggles the person is experiencing. Acknowledging the effects of addiction means coming face-to-face with the consequences of one’s addictive habits. The individual’s habits may undermine their values and responsibilities and hurt the people they care for. Recognizing the repercussions of their behavior requires the person to quit the habits that contributed to them in the first place. Denial, then, can be an attempt at avoiding the psychological toll of quitting the habit and fully taking responsibility.

Many people who struggle to realize the consequences of their addictions need help to recognize the problem and begging their journey to recovery. Our team provides a free guide to addiction rehabilitation programs for this reason.

Overcoming The Addiction with Interventions

An alcohol or drug intervention initiated by family and friends can help the addict see exactly how their addiction has affected the lives of their loved ones. An intervention is a carefully planned process in which the person with the addiction is confronted with the consequences of their disorder to convince them to attend rehab. Ideally, interventions are led under the guidance of a doctor, interventionist, or drug and alcohol counselor.

The intervention should provide examples of destructive behaviors that made an impact on the person’s loved ones, offer a treatment plan with clear goals and a structured program, and state the consequences of refusing substance abuse treatment.

Interventions require proper planning, research, and a core team of participants. Therefore, it’s important to take detailed notes of what each individual should say and to decide on what the plan of action should be if the addict rejects treatment. For instance, the person may have to move out of the family home if they refuse to seek treatment.

After holding the intervention, the team should continue supporting their loved one in their journey to sobriety. Loved ones can do this by signing up for therapy sessions, participating in counseling sessions with the addict, or researching methods on how to avoid relapse and how to deal with it, should it happen.

First Steps to Recovery

Choosing to participate in a rehabilitation program is a solid first step toward healing. Here are the preliminary steps that a patient typically has to go through when signing up for a rehabilitation program:

  1. Admission. The process to enroll in a rehabilitation program can be initiated by a call from the patient or their loved ones. This is the start of a life-changing process, and it’s normal for patients to feel apprehension during this step. Addiction treatment centers understand this, which is why admission processes are designed to provide as much assurance and comfort to the patient and their loved ones as possible. During this time, the center may ask the patient or their family for the following: medical records, mental health history, and insurance information.
  2. Intake. Once the patient is admitted to the facility, staff members can inspect their belongings to ensure the patient has not brought any forbidden items into the center that will compromise the sobriety and safety of other patients and the staff members.
  3. Assessment. The goal of this step is to determine the specific needs of the patient. The assessment process focuses on the details of the addiction disorder, such as the substances the patient is addicted to and how long they’ve been using them. Information from this step is then used to formulate a treatment and recovery plan that is suited to the needs of the patient and maximizes their chance of success.
  4. Detox. Detoxification refers to the process where the body eliminates harmful substances. This is done so that the patient can safely manage withdrawal symptoms. Everyone has a different experience when it comes to detox. However, most treatment facilities administer medications so that the patient can stay comfortable as their body goes through the detoxification process.

Finding Rehab Options That Work For You

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction, and what works for one patient may not work for another. Fortunately, there are different methods to combat addiction. An effective treatment program should enable the patient to stop using addictive substances, stay drug-free, and be a productive member of society. Here are the two main methods of treatment addiction treatment centers use:

  1. Inpatient Care. Residential or inpatient treatment requires the patient to check into a controlled facility that offers 24-hour structured care and emotional and medical support. Inpatient facilities are often recommended for clients who have more severe conditions or co-occurring disorders. This type of treatment can take up anywhere from 6 to 12 months. There are also short-term inpatient treatments that focus primarily on detoxification, intense counseling, and preparing the patient for community-based programs.
  2. Outpatient Care. Outpatient treatment programs offer addiction care that doesn’t require patients to stay within a rehabilitation facility. This type of treatment is less restrictive and involves patients visiting a nearby treatment center for a few hours each week for 3 to 6 months. Outpatient programs are suitable for those with milder forms of addiction disorders, as they offer social support for recovery. If you’re looking for effective addiction care that fits your lifestyle, outpatient treatment may be a good option to consider.

Additionally, patients who are on the mend may live in recovery housing where they can make the transition into living a more independent lifestyle, one that is free from addictive substances.

Importance of Family Recovery

The person with the addiction disorder is at the center of the treatment process, but it’s also important that they pay attention to their living environment and the people around them. After treatment, the patient must stay in a home that is stable enough to sustain their recovery.

Many treatment centers address addiction disorders as a family issue, and it isn’t uncommon for rehab facilities to consider family therapy sessions as part of an effective treatment program. These individual and group treatment sessions may be conducted by social workers, religious officials, or mental health and medical professionals. The sessions give family members the time and tools to examine behaviors and thought patterns that may contribute to substance abuse disorders in the home.

Stages of Recovering From Addiction

Recovering from addiction is a lifelong process. After completing inpatient or outpatient programs, it’s important to adhere to an aftercare treatment plan that will help patients sustain a sober and productive life. Post-treatment care may involve continuing addiction counseling and education, support group meetings, or learning how to prevent relapse and deal with stress, among other helpful skills and techniques.

Our National Rehab Directory Is Here to Help

People with addictions often think that they are beyond help, but our team at Better Addiction Care believes that everyone has a chance of living a life that’s free and independent from substance abuse. We have a localized directory of rehab facilities that can help you find the treatment you or a loved one needs to get sober. Call us today to get started on your journey to recovery and check out our addiction treatment blog to learn more from our experts.



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