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Attempting to battle drug addiction without treatment and support is like marching up the down escalator. Eventually you will tire of your futile efforts and be carried back down into the addiction. Without professional help and social support there is no way to conquer the demon.
To succeed in recovery takes a two-pronged approach. The first prong is addiction treatment—the starting place. Through a treatment program you will gain the therapy and medical support needed to make the basic changes necessary.
This will mean a shift in thoughts and behavior patterns through talk therapy, as well as medications that reduce cravings. The second prong involves social support networks, such as Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.). N.A. meetings provide the much needed peer fellowship piece of recovery.
Signs it is Time for Residential Treatment
When a loved one begins to show the classic signs of drug addiction it can catch you off guard. In many instances, prescription drugs meant for managing pain may have led to an unexpected dependence or addiction.
Addiction to opioids and other drugs can happen quickly, even in as little as two weeks time. Being aware of the warning signs can help you or a loved one get the treatment they need. These might include:
- Obsessing over acquiring the drug, having enough on hand, looking forward to next dose
- Increased tolerance that led to higher dosing
- Doctor shopping when primary doctor does not approve refills
- Buying drugs from strangers or online
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Trying to quit but can’t
- Stealing pills from others
- Nodding off, drowsiness
- Chronic constipation
- Increased anxiety
- Sneaky behavior
- Decline in work or school performance
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Changes in eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping
- Experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back
If you or a loved one are showing these signs of addiction it is highly likely that treatment is needed.
What to Expect in Rehab
When someone decides to go to rehab for a substance use problem they will begin the process of treatment by completing detox and withdrawal. The detox step is hard. There can be major discomfort, with the symptoms being different based on the substance. So, for example, withdrawal symptoms for opiate detox will be different from cocaine detox.
Treatment involves many different therapies and activities that all work together to help the person break free from the substance problem. In general, this is what to expect in rehab:
DETOX: On average detox takes about a week to complete, although some substances take longer. Medications will be provided to help ease the symptoms and reduce discomfort.
PSYCHOTHERAPY: Therapy centers on helping the person to change the way they respond to triggers that have led to substance abuse in the past. There are many types of therapy used in rehab, with the most popular being CBT.
ADDICTION EDUCATION: Classes teach about how drugs lead to brain changes and addiction. People will create a relapse prevention strategy as well and learn new coping skills.
GROUP SESSIONS: Group therapy helps people learn from others and form bonds during treatment.
TWELVE STEP PROGRAM: Recovery meetings, such as N.A., help provide extra peer support while in rehab.
HOLISTIC: Learning ways to relax can be helpful during treatment, and after. These include meditation, massage, yoga, and keeping a journal.
Unwinding the brain’s dependence on opiates takes time, requiring patience and an abundance of personal commitment. But with a positive attitude along with an effective opioid addiction recovery program to guide you through, you can once again enjoy a life filled with hope and promise.
N.A. evolved out of the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program in 1953. It was felt that people who struggle with drug addiction had unique challenges that differed from alcoholism.
N.A. serves individuals struggling with addiction to heroin, prescription opioids, cocaine, meth, benzodiazepines, or any mind-altering substance, including alcohol.
N.A. groups are available nationwide and are always free of charge. Anyone is accepted in N.A. as its doors are open to all, regardless of race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.
The only requirement for attending N.A. is that the person be open to attaining recovery from drug and alcohol use. N.A.’s main purpose is to support members in a safe, nonjudgmental space, and for recovering addicts to find fellowship.
Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous
The official N.A. website lists these twelve steps of the program:
- We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
- We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- We humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.
- We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
N.A. as Part of Continuing Care After Rehab
N.A. meetings are a core element in helping to maintain sobriety in recovery. The N.A. setting allows people in recovery to share their own stories and feelings with others who can relate. Through the meetings members begin to form friendships that can help foster a sober social lifestyle.
N.A. also provides chances to help others in the program, such as supporting and encouraging newcomers. This social support piece of aftercare, once rehab is completed, has been found to be protective against relapse.
Ken Seeley Communities Provides Residential Treatment and N.A. Meetings
Ken Seeley Communities is a Palm Springs substance use recovery center. The program covers all phases of addiction recovery, including detox, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and sober living housing. To learn more, please contact the team at (877) 744-0502.