Recovery From Addiction
For a person with substance use disorder, life is an unending quest to feel better. And often, a fruitless pursuit of a way to achieve that quest. Addicts are told they’re helpless, useless, lazy, selfish. When they are given recovery options, it’s often court-ordered. They are told by well-meaning family and friends to “just quit”. To “be strong”. They are targets of long-winded speeches regarding the costs of their addiction, lists of what their addiction takes from their loved ones as well as themselves, and predictions of the doom that the addiction holds in store for them. All of these things are true, but in themselves are not enough to enable the addict to achieve recovery.
When they are given more well-grounded options, they’re often given one drug to wean them free from the grip of a worse one. They attend NA meetings, enter a “detox” program, switch to a “milder” drug, or a combination of all of these. And in a majority of cases, fail. Which brings about the repeat of the whole addiction cycle. Because without a clear focus on all aspects of their addiction, these methods are rarely successful for the addict, and most often just frustrating to both the addicts and those who love them. It’s easy to see why most admitted addicts despair of recovery!
Recovery requires more than just one or two of these options. It requires a treatment plan which is tailored to the individual addict. One which focuses on all levels of addiction: physical, mental, and emotional.
-Physical: Withdrawal from the chemical addicted to, treatment of the malnutrition that often accompanies addiction (characterized by loss or impaired use by the body of vitamins and minerals required by the body for proper functioning), treatment of illnesses or injuries caused by the addiction, and return back to proper eating, sleeping, and exercise routines necessary for a healthy body.
-Mental: Education about the effects on the body of the chemical addicted to. Education on coping skills, trigger recognition, patterns of addictive behavior, and skills necessary to a successful and continued recovery. Helping the addict recognize and get treatment for the underlying causes of the addiction.
-Emotional: Rebuilding of the pride, confidence, sense of worth, respect, capability, and trust that addicts generally lose while in the grip of their drug of choice. Empowering the addict by giving them the control and the choice in the success of their recovery process. The understanding for a person with substance use disorders recovery issues and challenges, and the support to help the addict face those challenges and overcome them.
The most successful recovery from any addiction is one that is built around the individual addict and focuses on each of these levels. By paying attention to the needs of the individual addict the treatment can build supports and strategies to overcome the difficult parts of the recovery process, while reinforcing the strengths the addict already possesses.
There is hope for recovery from addiction. Recovery is an achievable goal. Life can be reclaimed with effort, understanding, and a comprehensive and complete drug treatment plan.
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