How Does Treatment Get Me from Addiction to Recovery?

Addiction is a multi-faceted condition that needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Quality treatment programs recognize this and focus attention on multiple areas of need. Although no one program is the right choice for every individual struggling with addiction, there are commonalities among effective treatment programs.

Undergo Detox and Withdrawal

Addiction treatment helps people to accomplish the steps needed to fully recover. The first step in this process is always managing detoxification and withdrawal symptoms. Effective treatment helps individuals withdraw from substances safely. Most drugs of abuse, such as amphetamine, cause the body to develop tolerance and physical dependence. This occurs because the substances affect neurotransmitter levels, often by increasing their production or by making receptor cells more sensitive. Because the body is always attempting to maintain balance, or homeostasis, it adapts by reducing the production of the involved neurotransmitters or by altering receptor cells.

As the body adapts, it needs larger amounts of the drug to achieve the affects once achieved by a smaller dose. This is known as tolerance. If an individual continues to consume drugs or alcohol, the body continues to adapt until neurotransmitter levels are only in balance when the drug is present in the system. This is physical dependence. When the substances are not in the body, withdrawal symptoms are experienced.

Detoxification, or detox, is the process of undergoing withdrawal under medical supervision. Symptoms are monitored and treated, and patients are made as comfortable as possible. Although detox is an important first step in addiction treatment, it does not constitute treatment on its own. lists the components of detox as evaluation, stabilization, and the preparation of patients for substance abuse treatment.

Address Ambivalence and Understand Addiction

It is common for people to enter the treatment process with ambivalent feelings about giving up their substance of choice. Change is generally a process that includes pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. Counselors help patients recognize where they are on the spectrum and move to higher levels.

It can also be very helpful for people to begin to understand what is happening within their bodies and what to expect as healing progresses. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines addiction as a brain disease that changes both the structure of the brain and the way that it works. Patients can learn how to care for their brains as they heal. They can also learn about protracted withdrawal symptoms that they can expect to experience during the healing process.

Learn Relapse Prevention

After detoxing and beginning to understand the root causes of addiction, patients will need to begin identifying and understanding their relapse triggers. Relapse triggers can be both external stimuli, such as sights, sounds, and smells associated with substance use, and internal states, such as stress, boredom, or anger. Although some triggers are almost universal, there are others that are particular to individuals because of their personal history. Counseling that helps people identify patterns and recognize their personal drug use cues can be very important.

Individuals will then learn relapse prevention practices, including techniques such as urge surfing or distraction and recognizing and addressing negative emotional states. Anger management can be useful, as can relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation. Patients in addiction treatment will build a toolkit of skills that can be used when circumstances require them.

Identify and Address Co-occurring Disorders

It is very common for addiction to co-exist with a mental health condition such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or anxiety. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that more than half of all drug abusers and about a third of alcohol abusers also experience a mental illness. The best treatment outcomes are seen when the conditions are treated at the same time, in a coordinated and integrated way, and preferably within the same treatment facility.

At this time patients can also explore the use of supportive medications to treat both mental illness and addiction. Although medications do not exist to treat every type of addiction, in some situations, medications can be used and can be a helpful adjunct to other aspects of treatment. People addicted to opiates or opioids may be prescribed methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone. Methadone and buprenorphine help relieve cravings and naltrexone blocks opioids from attaching to receptor sites. Individuals addicted to alcohol may use naltrexone, acamprosate or disulfiram. Medications are being developed for addiction to other substances.

Build Accountability and Support

Finding a substance-free social and support system is an important recovery task. This often begins with group sessions within the treatment program. When people travel to attend rehab, they may not maintain the same support group after completion of the program, but learning to be open and accountable to others is a skill that is often developed during treatment.

Give Us a Call

If you are addicted to amphetamine or other substance and ready to begin the journey from addiction to recovery, give us a call. Our helpline is toll-free, and available 24 hours a day. We understand the issues and are always ready to answer your questions and help you find the treatment program that is best for you. We can help you identify your options and can even check your insurance coverage for you if you wish, at no cost or obligation. The recovery journey can begin today. Why not call now?