Everyday millions of people are affected by an addiction to a drug or to alcohol, a chronic disease that is unrelenting and that changes the lives of not only those who suffer with it but the people who surround them in their families and communities. Chronic diseases like asthma and substance use addiction do not have total cures, but they are still very manageable with proper and persistent treatment. The person seeking treatment must be in the right mind for treatment to be successful. No one can be forced to recover as so much of addiction is more than only a chemical dependence that shows itself in physical side effects like respiratory or cardiac weakness, but it is also a disease that changes the way someone’s brain chemistry works. This is only complicated by the fact that a sizable portion of those suffering from drug or alcohol addiction also suffer from a dual diagnosis or a co-occurring mental health disorder.

When someone realizes that they are suffering from a substance addiction and want to get clean and sober to move on to a new way of life without the drug or drink that is haunting them, the first step to recovery is indeed admitting one has a problem. If the person is still making excuses for their frequent use of the substance in question, even excuses to themselves, if they are unwilling to admit the way they use the substance or the frequency with which they use it, they are not ready to recover from the addiction. They must be willing to admit to themselves in a concrete manner, in more than a passing depressing thought, that they aren’t able to stop and they need help.

Discovery Institute

Admitting to yourself that you’ve become properly addicted to a substance is hard but usually not as hard as the next step in these early stages of recovery. Expressing the truth of their substance use disorder to another person is the next step. It can be difficult to actually vocalize the truth of the matter, but this crucial part of every person’s recovery includes the vital step of actually speaking to another individual about their addiction to drugs or alcohol, thus verifying the fact of the addiction to themselves and the people around them, who very likely already knew or suspected the substance abuse.

After someone has done these two difficult steps, the next thing they’ll need to do is,with the help of the ones they trust, seek out a substance abuse treatment recovery program in New Jersey. There are a lot of different options out there for treatment. Some important things for someone struggling with addiction to keep in mind when looking for a suitable detox and rehab facility is that the best treatment facilities will shape their program to fit the individual addict coming in for recovery. No matter what kind of program the facility offers, the facility should take into consideration the specific drug the person is addicted to, the context behind the addiction such as the person’s way of life, any kind of mental health dual diagnosis the person has coming in, any trauma the person has experienced in the path, among other inputs. With the help of the clinicians at the facility, whatever program the individual addict begins, the first step for the chemically dependent is always going to be medically supervised detox.

Medically Supervised Detox at a New Jersey Detox Facility

One of the biggest pitfalls that people fall into with substance use disorder recovery is that they try to do detox on their own. It seems like it should be easy. Just stop using the drug, deal with a few flu like symptoms, and poof! You’re clean and sober for life, right? Nothing could be more divorced from the truth. The stigma that surrounds drug and alcohol abuse tells the lie that people can just quit using whatever substance they are chemically dependent on. They don’t because they’re lazy or because they’re criminal, or because they are sick. But this is a lie. The reason people don’t just stop using a drug is that withdrawal symptoms, triggers, and cravings are all very powerful. Chemical dependency is a physiological condition that you need medical professionals to treat. When someone goes through detox themselves they all too often end up back on the other side of their substance abuse, hating themselves and getting another fix to quell the cravings.

No one should try to recover on their own. Detox symptoms can vary in severity depending on many different elements like the physical and mental state of the individual going through detox, the amount of drug the person was taking when they came for detox, how often it was taken, and more. The symptoms may differ depending on the person as well. Some people will be more able to resist the symptoms than others, but the truth of the matter is, without medical training, detox can be medically dangerous for someone. In order to be safe, raises the likelihood that someone will resist the triggers and cravings that come up during detox, and will successfully move on to the next step in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

Residential Rehabilitation Treatment at Drug Rehab Centers in NJ

Discovery Institute

When the media portrays addiction recovery they usually show some version of a residential rehab facility. Attending a rehab program can be intimidating, especially because often a side effect of drug or alcohol abuse is a tendency to wall oneself off from other people, to seclude oneself. Rehabilitation is necessarily a place of community. Though it may be uncomfortable at first to be surrounded by other people who are dealing with the same raw truths, the person going through treatment for drug and alcohol addiction needs almost more than anything else, a strong network of accountability and trust. They need support. And when humans go through extremely difficult hurdles with one another it is almost always true that they create a bond. Most people come out of rehab with a ready made collection of close friends that they will know moving forward and who can help them to remain sober when they need the support the most.

Rehabilitation can last anywhere from 20 to 90 days and in rare cases even longer. It really depends on the individual needs of the person seeking recovery. During rehab people who struggle with addiction will begin to go on a journey to better understand their addiction. They will deep dive into what addiction is in general, how that relates to them, the specific implications of the drug they were chemically dependent on, how it affects them physically as well as psychologically. They will begin to investigate the ins and outs of the the context of their addiction – what kind of life events brought them to the point of addiction. They will also do the hard work of dealing with any trauma from their past, as well as working with any dual diagnosis they may have co-occurring with their addiction. If rehabilitation sounds huge and emotionally raw, that’s because it is.  Therapies available include both group and individual therapy and most rehab patients take part in both options.

Aftercare, Relapse Prevention

One of the unsung heroes of addiction recovery is the aftercare that far too many addicts skip. Addiction recovery is a multi-step process for a reason and rehab is most certainly not the last step in the process. It is vital to remember, no matter where you are in the process that recovery does not stop after rehab. Recovery in fact is a lifelong pursuit. Addiction is a chronic disease, it can never be cured. But it can be managed with persistent treatment. Aftercare must be attended because it is the most effective way to avoid relapse. And relapse is a huge overdose trap. When people go home from rehab and get back to normal life without paying much mind to their recovery they get tossed and blown by the chaotic storms of life and all too often end up triggered back to their old nemesis, substance abuse. When someone picks up that needle, or pipe, or whatever it is to take in their substance of choice, they so rarely realize that they should be taking a beginners amount of the drug. They forget that they went through detox, they haven’t used for a while. Instead they take the same amount, or even maybe slightly less of the drug than they were taking before. The body grows tolerant slowly for a reason. It can’t take too much of an addictive substance. Too many people end up in a fatal overdose this way. And one of the best ways to overcome this possibility is via continuing care.

Continuing therapy is a great way to preemptively fight relapse, but it is also a great way to help a person ease back into the outside world. Usually during relapse prevention treatment, or aftercare, people do therapies like dialectic behavior therapies, or cognitive behavioral therapy. Many people also take this opportunity to join a 12 step program if they didn’t already do so. But no matter what someone wants to do to continue their recovery, taking an active role solidifies the motivation and drive to stay sober and live in a new kind of healthy way.

Addiction Treatment, New Jersey Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute

At Discovery Institute in New Jersey a person struggling with alcohol or drug addiction can expect treatment that is made to fit their personal needs. Someone struggling with a substance abuse addiction needs to engage in a multi tier approach to their recovery. We offer every step you need to start a new way of life.

Get in touch with us today and we will be glad to help you determine your next steps toward a life that you have control over again.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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