The road to being addiction-free begins with small steps. Begin your journey by reading our step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process.
Drug rehab is the process of committing to recovery from addiction – it is an uphill task, but it is well worth the effort. They say that the journey of a million miles begins with one step, and so it is with drug rehabilitation too. The road to sobriety requires you to take one step at a time, with the support and help of your family, friends, and drug rehab experts. While the exact process of drug rehab includes factoring in a number of variables such as the specific treatment plan you’ve signed up for, the type/s of drugs you’ve been addicted to, and so on, the basic recovery process remains the same. That is why we have compiled this step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process to help you understand the basics of a drug rehab program.
The first step in our step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process is simple. You need to get into a drug rehab program. This intake process includes medical diagnostic tests to check the extent and severity of the addiction, financial paperwork, and counselling on personal and familial drug use history.
There are a number of drug rehab programs that you can choose from which will show you how to detox from alcohol or drugs. However, finding the right program to fit your specific needs is incredibly important. If you are comfortable with the treatment methodology of the program you’ve signed up for, the chances of you sticking to it and maintaining a lifelong commitment to staying off drugs are that much higher. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends choosing a drug rehab program that addresses all aspects of the addict’s life (social, psychological, family relations, environmental, medical, etc.), that offers monitored medication when needed, and is accredited and licensed.
While there are plenty of addicts who accept the fact that they have an addiction problem, not many take that important step and get enrolled into a drug rehab program voluntarily. In general, addicts are required to go to drug rehab by the judicial process, or coaxed/compelled by family and friends. And that is alright. The chances of getting on the road to recovery are high for addicts who go through a drug rehab program, even if they did not want to be there in the first place, as they will learn how to detox from alcohol and drugs.
An Outpatient drug program allows addicts to go back home at the end of the day. Such a program is better for those who have a relatively stress-free life at home, have responsibilities to tend to, and have had shorter addiction history. Certain lifestyle factors and environmental triggers aid and abet addictions. An Inpatient drug rehab program focuses on removing the addict from their familiar way of life and moving them to a medical drug rehab facility. In most inpatient programs, the addicts receive 24/7 medical supervision (especially during the drug and alcohol detox phase), and are cut off from the outside world. In time, family members and friends may be called in to offer support or attend group therapy.
Depending on the drug you are addicted to, in our step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process, we advise that you may have to attend a drug and alcohol detox session before rehab starts. Basically, when an addict has been consuming a certain drug regularly, their body becomes used to ingesting and processing that substance. When you detox from alcohol or drugs, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when your body no longer receives the drug.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, there are a number of withdrawal symptoms that a drug addict might face, whether it is a drug detox or a detox from alcohol, including but not limited to, extreme depression, fatigue, insomnia, excessive sweating and agitation, cramping, nausea, trembling, head pain, muscle pain, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, increased heart rates, etc. In some extreme cases, hallucinations, strokes, seizures, and heart attacks are also possible. The severity of withdrawal symptoms largely depends on the drug, dosage levels, and the time period for which the addict has been abusing the drug.
While cocaine and marijuana addicts face few symptoms, certain drugs are known for causing severe withdrawal symptoms, such as a heroin detox, or drug detox from opiate prescription medications. While on a drug detox, the facility might administer maintenance medication to combat the severity of withdrawal to some extent. Some maintenance medications may be addictive too, so it is important to check with your drug rehab directors so as to not substitute one addiction for another. For example, methadone is a popular medication to help addicts who are on a heroin detox or drug detox from opiate prescriptions drugs. However, some recovering addicts continue to use methadone for the rest of their lives.
Once your drug or alcohol detox is completed, the next step in our step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process, is the main core of the program, which is rehabilitation and therapy. This is where patients work with medical professionals to understand the underlying reasons that led to their addiction. By tackling these issues, patients get a chance to regain control of their lives and stave off addictive behavior in the future. This is done through a mix of therapy sessions:
Drug rehab is not a one-time process. It requires a lifetime commitment to recovery and staying addiction-free. After following the step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process, for some people, the process of recovery might be easy, but others might have to strive hard every single day to ensure that they do not relapse, and stay on the path of recovery for the rest of their lives. Faced with such a daunting challenge, it is important for patients to have access to lifelong support and good aftercare.
Before leaving the drug rehab program, patients will speak with counsellors to create an effective and supportive aftercare program that includes frequent follow-ups, weekend touch-up stays, regular therapy sessions, and more. Many patients choose to continue living in sober living facilities even after the drug rehab program is over. Other effective methods to stay on the path of recovery include signing up with group therapy sessions offered by local 12-step group therapy programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). In many cases, recovering addicts are encouraged to mentor newly recovered addicts in these aftercare support groups. This helps to foster a sense of responsibility and oneness of experience.
If you or your loved ones are addicted to drugs, signing up for a good drug rehab program is the first step to recovery. By reading our step-by-step guide to the drug rehab process, you will realise that the process may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
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