Overcoming a drug addiction takes time and professional support, from the early stages of intervention and detox through to the later stages of maintenance and aftercare. Whether you’re struggling with alcoholism, prescription drug abuse, or illicit drug addiction, each phase of treatment has an important role to play. If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it’s important to contact a specialized treatment center as soon as possible.
5 Important Stages of Drug Addiction Recovery
Detoxification programs are often initiated at the outset of the treatment process, followed by inpatient or outpatient drug rehab and aftercare support services.
1. Drug Abuse Awareness and Early Acknowledgment
Drug addicts are often in denial about the existence or extent of their drug problem, with secretive behavior and lies also common. Before effective recovery can take place, it’s important for people to develop awareness of their situation by acknowledging the negative consequences of their compulsive and impulsive drug habits. A crisis intervention may be needed to instigate this process, with direct confrontational and indirect invitational methods both available.
2. A Shift From Awareness to Action in Drug Addiction Recovery
The next stage of recovery involves active preparation as awareness shifts into action. While being aware of your drug problems is a great start, recognition is not enough in isolation. There are many ways to act when faced with drug addiction, including talking to friends and family, enrolling in 12-step support programs, and researching rehabilitation centers. It’s important to speak with a professional counselor and research your options before enrolling in a drug treatment program.
3. Exploring Drug Addiction Recovery
People react to drugs and alcohol in very different ways, with the substance and extent of addiction greatly affecting the treatment provided. For example, physical drug addictions often require medical intervention, including medical detox and long-term pharmacotherapy. In contrast, psychological drug addictions can often be treated through behavioral and cognitive measures alone, including counseling and behavioral therapy. Before starting a treatment program it’s important to explore all recovery options available to you.
4. Early Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery
The early stages of recovery are very important because they lay the foundations for the entire process. Depending on the nature of addiction, medical detox may be needed to help the patient stop using drugs and manage associated withdrawal symptoms. This is especially the case for central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as alcohol, opiates, and prescription sedatives. Patients who are unlikely to experience physical-somatic withdrawal symptoms are often admitted directly to rehab, including people addicted to marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
5. Active Recovery and Maintenance
While detox helps people to stop using drugs in a safe and supportive medical setting, it does little to address the emotional and cognitive issues underlying addiction. Psychotherapeutic treatments are also needed in the weeks and months that follow drug discontinuation, including family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy among others. Aftercare support programs also play an important role in treatment, including 12-step support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and counseling programs such as SMART Recovery.