It’s true, the first step in recovery is accepting the fact that you have a problem. The next step is seeking out help and truly wanting to be clean regardless of the temptation and cravings you may have. Depending on your drug of choice, your recovery process will differ slightly during the beginning stages, however, you’ll experience the same feelings and need the same level of support as other recovering addicts.
Rehabs.com writes that the first steps in addiction that must take place includes, committing to quitting, determining and setting goals, choosing a treatment plan, getting support during treatment, and planning to live an addiction free life. More often than not, recovery without a treatment plan and the involvement of medical professionals is the best path to choose when tackling addiction. The best will-power in the world cannot overcome something so strong all alone. For this reason, once you put it in your head that you truly want to quit this time and you think about some of the things you want to accomplish in your life once you’re clean, it’s time to seek out a facility that can really meet your needs.
Boutique recovery facilities like Nexus, a treatment center in Los Angeles, personalizes, all treatment plans to their patients so that the likelihood of a full recovery is at its highest. Places like Nexus offer a range of programs for patients needing different levels of supports. Some of the options include partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and aftercare. For the most severe addictions, patients will experience a hands-on, full-time program with a very personalized program and many professionals working to help them get the care they need.
Joining a rehabilitation facility might sound scary to some, but they’re actually very helpful when it comes to staying sober. It’s also recommended that for certain detoxes, the time when you are first becoming clean, be medically supervised. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful and tempting to go back to the drug use. It’s also incredibly hard for a loved one to help you through this time and see you suffering. Once the detox is over, the program will offer you continuous emotional, mental, and physical support.
Treatment centers are also helpful because they keep the patient out of a potentially toxic environment. Just because the recovering addict went through the detox process doesn’t mean that they won’t go back to the drug of choice once they’re exposed to it again. Most likely, the patient’s friends, family, or acquaintances are also hooked on the drug and therefore keeping them away from those people is crucial, especially in the beginning stages of recovery.
Once the patient can successfully graduate from their rehabilitation program, they’re going to need to plan for cravings and think up a plan of action for when they come on strong. Again, during the first stages of recovery, it’s not uncommon for a recovering addict to relapse, therefore it’s important that they’re aware of the possibilities and overcome temptations they cross. Patients should have something that distracts them from feeding the cravings. This could be exercising, music, cooking, or talking to a loved one. It’s crucial that the patient be able to identify what it is that makes them crave the drug. This way they can avoid putting themselves in such a stressful situation.
Keeping loved ones in the loop is also key to a smooth recovery. Doing it all alone can be overwhelming and so it’s not a bad thing to put some of the pressure on someone you trust. You can tell your spouse, parent, sibling, or clean best friend that you should be home right after work. This way, they can hold you accountable for your actions, knowing you’re not supposed to make any pit stops on the way home.
Overcoming addiction can take months or even years, and even then no one is ever fully recovered. Knowing yourself and how your addiction works is critical in being stronger then your addiction.
Here are the few effects of drugs on our body parts:
- Increased levels of dopamine in the brain, giving you the impression that alcohol makes you feel better (happier, less stressed, etc.).
- Slowed thinking, breathing and heart rate within minutes of consumption. This is one of the reasons that drinking too much can kill you.
- Generally, your liver can only process the equivalent of 25ml (one shot) of alcohol per hour. Drinking at a rate faster than that can quickly and dangerously increase your blood alcohol content.
- In those who drink heavily, 90% develop fatty liver disease which can cause fatigue, weight gain and pain.
- Changes in the brain related to information processing
- If you are familiar with weed, you are familiar with getting red eyes. Red eyes are caused by the expansion of blood vessels after using marijuana.
- Increased appetite, or ‘the munchies’ because marijuana essentially flips a switch on the part of the brain that’s responsible for moderating appetite
- Influences two brain areas which regulate balance, coordination, reaction time and posture
- Feelings of euphoria caused by the release of dopamine in your brain
- Sometimes causes hallucinations
- Dilated pupils as a side effect of increased serotonin levels in the brain
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Snorting cocaine regularly can create holes in parts of the nose, often the septum.
- Smoking cocaine can irritate the lungs, sometimes causing permanent lung damage.
- Injecting cocaine can lead to damaged veins, and possibility of contracting blood-borne diseases when needles are shared.
- Reduces the body’s ability to store fat, leading to weight loss at dangerous levels
- Decreased appetite
- Nosebleeds are common, especially in those who snort the drug
Ecstasy (Molly, MDMA)
- High levels of serotonin and dopamine are released, causing users to feel extremely happy, more social, and experience an increased level of empathy towards others.
- Cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’, is also released, causing difficulties in sleeping after taking the drug.
- Enhanced sensory perception
- Excessive sweating can cause serious dehydration.
- Involuntary jaw clenching
- Feelings of increased energy and the inability to sit still for long periods of time
- Feelings of depression, irritability and fatigue the day after use due to lower levels of serotonin in the body
- The effects last, on average, three to eight hours
- Possibility of developing an addiction