Long Term Recovery After Detox
Addiction is a complex brain disease and, like other chronic illnesses, relapse is all too common. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) between 40 and 60 percent of patients who go through a detox treatment program relapse.
”Every American is acutely aware of the negative impact of drug and alcohol addiction; it’s impossible to ignore. Yet we have somehow missed a very positive story about addiction that is right in front of our nose: Tens of millions of our fellow citizens come out the other side to live substance-free, healthy and productive lives. This study is a wake-up call to the reality of recovery in America, as well as a source of hope for the millions of American families who are currently struggling with drug and alcohol problems.” —Keith Humphreys, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine
Insight from one of the Experts in the Field of Substance Abuse and Addiction on a survey done by the Office Of Alcoholism And Substance Abuse Services on Americans in recovery programs. Read the full report here.
Relapse Can Be Dangerous
What most people do not know is that relapse after detox can be especially deadly as detox resets your system and returning to previous usage levels can easily lead to a life-threatening overdose. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to remain drug- and alcohol-free after detox and programs for those that do relapse.
A detox program takes a patient through the process of purging drugs or alcohol from their system in safe manner and in a specialized facility. However, detox is only the first step in drug and alcohol abuse treatment. To sustain recovery and avoid relapse, a patient will need some form of follow-up treatment and aftercare.
After a detox program, it is important to make lifestyle changes. The most important change is to remove yourself from people who youíve used drugs or alcohol with and stop going to places where you used to do drugs or alcohol. Staying away from your old drug-using social circle is a major step that will help you change habits and build new and healthier relationships. Making these changes removes the primary temptations in the early stages of recovery and will help to reduce trigger points that call you back to your addiction.
Detox Should Be Handled With Professional Care
Drug and alcohol addiction affect the reward centers of your brain and alters the motivational pathways leading to dependency on the triggers that help you to keep getting the “high” that you’ve come to crave. Detox allows a patient to reach physical stabilization, but the next step is to find a healthy psychological balance as well. After detox, you will need help to remain on track and drug-free. The most effective and most guaranteed way is to enter into a drug rehab or treatment program that includes individual and group therapy and other complementary treatments.
Counseling and therapy helps you to determine the root cause of your addiction and what led you to abuse to begin with then helps you modify these negative behavior and thought patterns.
Some of these therapies include:
- Psychotherapy in it’s simplest terms it is “talk therapy” and works by defining your social, emotional, and environmental triggers that lead to addictive behaviors.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT helps a patient make positive changes in the brain related to anxiety and fear, which are triggers for substance abuse.
- Evidence-based treatment models utilize current scientific research in tandem with a mental health or medical professional and take into account a patient’s personal experiences and goals in order to determine a treatment model that is best suited for success.
Drug treatment programs can be inpatient or outpatient.
Inpatient is where a patient stays in a treatment facility for a period of time and receives more intensive 24-hour care or they can be outpatient, where a patient stays in their own home and attends sessions or meetings during the day or in the evenings.
Inpatient treatment helps an individual to push the reset button on their life and offers a safe and confidential environment to learn new coping mechanisms and life skills that will assist that individual in maintaining sobriety.
Outpatient treatment is generally reserved for those who have a strong and involved support system at home. Medical professionals at rehabilitation centers facilitate a comprehensive assessment and then determine the method and level of treatment that is right for a patient’s needs.
Outside support such as a peer group, 12-step programs, or a church group all help to supplement counseling and therapy by surrounding a person with other people in similar situations and providing a safe place to share emotions and personal stories. These groups can help keep a recovering addict accountable and offers them a place to turn to when they are tempted to return to their addictive lifestyle.
Most treatment programs will provide you with educational opportunities to help someone who is considering getting into a program to know about what to expect in the recovery process. These opportunities help a person be better prepared to handle what may come.
Family support and counseling helps a patient rebuild personal relationships that may have been affected as a result of their substance abuse. Detox removes drugs from your body, but it is the commitment to dedicated counseling and therapy after detox that will insure that long-term sobriety is maintained.
Physical Aspects of Addiction
Addiction takes a tremendous toll on the human body both physically and mentally. It can affect your appetite and cause you to make poor lifestyle choices when it comes to eating healthy. Replenishing the nutrients in your body will help increase energy levels and promote recovery and healing at a much faster rate. It is important that during recovery and ongoing recover you eat foods rich in protein and high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, and avoid processed foods and foods with high amounts of sugar and fat while limiting caffeine and tobacco.
After detox you may experience a higher level of hunger as most addicts replace food by sating their hunger with drugs or drinking. To maintain your health you should develop good eating habits by sticking to mealtimes and eating healthy snacks. And, the importance of drinking water cannot be overstressed as drug abuse can leave you severely dehydrated.
You should also take vitamins or mineral supplements to complement your body’s ability to bounce back and heal. Over time, drug abuse can damage internal organs and wreck havoc on your internal systems as well as your brain. A nutritious eating plan will help your body to recover much more quickly after detox.
Exercising during recovery can also help to prevent returning to drug use will help you to feel better physically. Regular exercise releases natural endorphins and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression while increasing self-esteem and confidence levels. Studies published by Frontiers in Psychiatry found that regular aerobic exercise may be a significant factor in reducing substance abuse.
Not only can exercise tone and condition your body and promote heart and lung health, it can also function to reduce stress and increase overall well-being.
Detox and the recovery process may not be an easy journey however, it is one that millions of people have made who are now leading successful, healthy lives. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction call today.
Watch for Detox and Long Term Recovery Part 2.