Do I Have a Drug Problem?
The first thing we need to do is set the record straight: addiction is not a moral issue and it has nothing to do with whether or not someone is good or bad. Addiction is a chronic disease that rips away any chance we have of saying “no” and living a healthy, productive life. At one point we may have made the choice to shoot up or have multiple drinks in one sitting, but extended use left us incapable of stopping. When addiction strikes, it removes any and all potential priorities and replaces them with the notion that we need to use again. Without our dependent substance, withdrawal symptoms set in as a way of driving us back to abuse. Sometimes even knowing that the next hit is coming is enough to offset the withdrawal effects.
If you use a substance, whether it be alcohol or an illegal/prescription drug, and are asking yourself “do I have a problem?” then the short answer is likely “yes.”
The entire goal of rehabilitation is to help an addict re-enter society and become a productive, healthy member. Addiction changes behavior in all aspects of life: work, friendships, spouses, family, hobbies all take second place to the substance. The mind develops a dependency and forces the body to act upon it, leaving only ruin in the wake of trying to get the next hit. Rehabilitation helps you to organize priorities properly again by giving you the tools you need to fight addiction.
Drug rehabilitation involves the processes of detox, treatment, medical management, and therapy that are used in order to help you live a clean life. In the detox phase your body will be without the substance it is dependent on: you will go through the stages of withdrawal and will be supervised while your body cleans itself of the hazardous toxins the narcotics put in your system.
Treatment can be done through a variety of outlets, such as inpatient, outpatient, extended care centers, recovery houses, mental health and medical care, and local support groups like Narcotics Anonymous. Treatment involves medicinal management of withdrawal symptoms as well as implanting therapy.
The goal of therapy is to give the addict a means of resisting triggers and urges that would drive them to using a substance again. Many recovery and rehabilitation clinics endorse continuing therapy even after treatment is complete.
Rehab and Therapy
Addiction is an ongoing battle that is, unfortunately, incurable, but it can be resisted. Therapy is incredibly effective in combating addiction because it allows the addict to have a positive stress-reliever as well as providing skills and tools necessary for the fight. Therapy can take many forms: one on one sessions with a psychiatrist/therapist, group sessions with other recovering drug addicts, exercise, music, art, and animal care.
The idea behind each and every one of these is to give an addict insight into their own lives and learn communication skills and productive outlets for stress. Sessions with a therapist are particularly effective because it will allow you to work with a professional who can help you to identify both known and unknown triggers. Once you discover the underlying reasons that lead you to use in the first place, strategies can be formulated to make sure you can get clean and stay clean for the rest of your life.
Other forms of therapy teach you how to communicate with family and friends again. Often times an addiction will create collateral damage on friends and loved ones, leaving them just as scarred as the addict. The goal is to reopen the channels of communication, mend burned bridges, and help everyone to become a support system for one another again. Family therapy is truly a wonderful method because it strengthens the client’s foundation and support system, giving them multiple avenues for aid.
Rehabilitation takes work and dedication. Rehab centers are not prisons; anyone can leave whenever they like. No one will handcuff you to the bed and force you to stay, making it that much more important that you keep on the road to recovery and stay in treatment until you are truly ready to go back out into the world. Dealing with reality can be a chore and you need to know how to handle it without resorting to drugs or alcohol in order to make things better. There are a thousand different ways you can deal with life that don’t involve drug abuse or drinking, and won’t cause potentially fatal health risks.