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Drug Addiction Recovery

Drugs can take a powerful hold on an individual's life, and it can be difficult to stop using drugs even with the best of intentions. It is possible to overcome drug addiction however, and many addicts have found the right help at the right time which helped them beat it. There are a variety of different drug rehab programs available for individuals struggling with drug addiction, many of which have helped countless numbers of people get off of drugs. There is no quick fix however, especially for long term addiction. Addicts and their families and loved ones should not be disillusioned, as drug addiction recovery can take several months to a year. Many addicts require further treatment for many years, as it can be difficult to readjust to life without drugs. Whatever the case may be, the sooner drug addiction recovery begins the sooner the addict can really begin living again.

Denial is sometimes one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in the drug addiction recovery process. The addict can be in denial that there is a problem, and even family members and close friends may avoid the subject altogether for fear of the truth. It can be hard to think of your son or daughter hooked on drugs, and many parents for instance would rather pretend that there is no problem and believe the excuses given them than think of their child in this light. Once the truth is out there, there is no turning back. The sooner everyone involved comes to terms that there is a problem, the sooner the addict can get help and stop living a lie.

It is important to understand the warning signs and strong indicators that someone is using drugs, so that you are not bamboozled. The last thing you want to get caught up in is a world of denial and enabling an addict. Be aware of drastic changes and obvious signs that something has gone wrong in the person's life or environment. Some common signs to look out for include:

  • Changes in the types of friends and acquaintances that the individual chooses to associate with
  • Long periods spent alone or isolated to oneself
  • Long and unexplained absences
  • Lying and stealing
  • Problems with the law
  • Strained relationships
  • Obvious signs of intoxication, i.e. being incoherent or unconscious
  • Severe changes in mood and/or behavior
  • Poor performance in the workplace or in school

If any of these common signs of drug use sound familiar, there is most likely a problem and the individual needs help. There is a common misconception that drug addiction recovery cannot take place unless the addict wants it, or has reached "rock bottom". This couldn't be farther from the truth, and is the cause of many a lost soul. Don't wait until it is too late, and the consequences of long-term drug use have taken their toll and you are paying for a funeral. The time to act is now.

If the individual does not reach out for drug addiction recovery on their own or is hesitant to accept the help of others, an intervention is a powerful tool that can be used to turn the tides and get the individual started on the path to drug addiction recovery. A drug intervention is commonly used after other attempts have been made unsuccessfully to get an addict to accept that they have a problem with drugs, and is a coming together of family and friends that is done out of love and concern to get them started in drug addiction recovery. While an intervention is not necessarily a guarantee that the addict will accept treatment and begin drug addiction recovery, it is a tool that has been successfully used to save many lives. An intervention can be held with just a couple of people or several, and the more successful interventions are conducted by a professional interventionist who has been trained in this process. Professional interventionists can come in handy when the addict is resistant to help, and most are licensed or credentialed specialists who offer guidance and support during the entire process. They can offer their expertise prior to and in preparation for the intervention, overseeing the actual intervention itself so that it is a success, while also following through on the post-intervention process i.e. getting the individual started in the drug addiction recovery process. The ultimate goal is to get the individual started in drug addiction recovery immediately.

The first step of drug addiction recovery is the drug detox process, which can either be done at a facility which specializes in drug detox or at a drug rehab facility which can accommodate the needs of someone who is going through detox and withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can begin within 3-24 hours of drug cessation, and comes with intense drug cravings as well as uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable physical symptoms. How long withdrawal symptoms last depend on what types of drugs the individuals is coming off of and other factors, but typically last anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks. If the individual is in a drug rehab setting, their withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings can be managed safely and the process can be much smoother than trying to detox on one's own. They will also have all of the positive support to get through this process so that they can get started on the next steps of treatment. It is important that individuals understand that just getting through drug detox is not in itself considered "treatment", and individuals who only get through detox and nothing else most often relapse.

There are a variety of drug addiction recovery programs available, and one should be chosen which best suits the needs of the individual. For example, there are short-term drug addiction recovery programs which are mostly inpatient programs and typically last anywhere from seven to 30 days. At a short-term drug addiction recovery program, professional drug treatment counselors deliver an intensive but relatively brief counseling and modified twelve-step approach. Group counseling sessions and individual counseling sessions work to address certain aspects of the individual's life that will help them cope with life once treatment is complete, such as making important lifestyle changes that will help them avoid relapse. Individuals are also assisted in managing their urges and drug cravings so that they can stay sober when they return home. A short term drug addiction recovery program is typically recommended for individuals who only need a moderate level of treatment. This type of drug addiction recovery program may be a workable option for someone who has a short duration of addiction, as opposed to someone who has struggled with years of addiction to drugs or alcohol.

A long-term drug addiction recovery program is designed for individuals who have struggled with an extensive history of addiction and require a more intensive course of treatment. It is referred to as long-term because this type of drug rehab program can last anywhere from one month to a year. While most drug addiction recovery programs which are short-term or outpatient offer a success rate of about 20%, long term-drug addiction recovery programs boast much higher success rates, with some of the more successful programs being as high as 75%. One of the reasons a long term drug addiction recovery program is most beneficial for more serious cases of addiction is because individuals are rarely able to overcome the physical side effects of suddenly coming off of drugs in a 30-day period, let alone addressing the underlying causes of addiction. It can take considerable time to fully address what caused the individual to begin using drugs in the first place. If these issues are left unresolved, it leaves the individual vulnerable when they leave treatment and most will relapse. Long-term drug addiction recovery programs utilize counseling and behavioral therapy to fully address these issues and arm the addict with the tools to be able to live a drug free life.

One of the reasons an individual or loved one may chose a short-term program over another more long-term program is because of inability to cover the cost of such treatment. Most short-term drug addiction recovery programs are either government funded programs, or the only programs covered by private health insurance. However, some long-term drug addiction recovery programs are covered by private health insurance, and some even offer a sliding fee scale which is based on one's income or other circumstances which could make paying for such a program difficult. Long-term drug addiction recovery programs will often work with the addict and their families to help come up with the resources to make more effective drug addiction recovery possible.

Due to a growing need, drug treatment professionals and medical staff are becoming trained on how to identify individuals that may be struggling with what has become known as co-occurring disorders. It has been found that individuals in need of drug addiction recovery sometimes struggle with both drug addiction and either a mental health or co-occurring alcohol disorder. Professional treatment staff can assist in getting these individuals properly diagnosed so that they can address both in the course of drug addiction recovery. If not, the individual will be at risk of relapse due to the disorder which was not addressed popping back up at any given time. It has actually become commonplace for individuals to address either mental health issues or a co-occurring disorder while in drug addiction recovery. This is called "dual-diagnosis", and is a common occurrence in which treatment is available in most drug rehabilitation programs and alcohol rehab programs. There are drug rehab facilities which specialize in dual-diagnosis addiction treatment and integrate this treatment as part of their program.

Many drug addiction recovery programs have expanded the scope of treatment to include an additional services that includes respite care, transitional housing for women/men, as well as educational workshops and classes. Whichever drug addiction recovery method is chosen, it has been found that the most successful outcomes are a result of a strong aftercare program plan designed to enhance the progress made in recovery. Individuals can work with their drug addiction recovery counselors to design an aftercare plan that is based on their individual needs and plans once treatment is complete. For instance, it may be necessary for the individual to take part in an outpatient treatment program or a 12-step program where they can receive further counseling and therapy.

It is recommended that some individuals reside at a halfway house or sober living facility following a short or long-term drug addiction recovery program. This type of facility is designed to help individuals during the transition period from treatment to the real world. A halfway house or sober living facility provides a support system that may not be available back home, which is drug-free as well. The individuals who reside at this type of facility are encouraged to take part in both individual and group counseling that will help them with their transition and make it possible for them to go back to a normal life without the fear of relapse. Some facilities even allow individuals to bring their children to live with them at the facility until they are ready to move on. Individuals are encouraged to seek out jobs and even take GED classes or trade classes which help them be able to support themselves and start a new life once they leave the facility.

Drug addiction recovery is a process that takes a lot of hard work, and it possible through effective treatment and the love and support of family members, friends, coworkers and the drug treatment professionals that are dedicated to making recovery possible. There is no magic number or timeframe that one can put on drug addiction recovery. It takes as long as it takes. The long-term programs have the highest success rates, and individuals who want to experience the best results will benefit from getting through such a program.

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