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the Take-Away

Taking the right steps toward addiction recovery can make all the difference in whether or not you’re successful and able to remain drug-free for life.

The path to recovery is different for everyone. In general, though, it involves a number of important steps one must take in order to safely and effectively begin a new life free from substance abuse. Here are the main steps you should take in your recovery process.

Ask for Help

When you realize you are suffering from an opioid addiction, it is important to reach out to others and not to feel that you are alone in your recovery process. One of the best ways to find help is to call (800) 407-7195. Our treatment advisors are here to match you with safe, effective rehab centers that fit your needs. When you call, you can also

  • Be matched with rehab programs that will take your insurance plan
  • Ask questions about rehab and recovery to be answered by a real treatment expert
  • Find information about multiple rehab centers, including their phone numbers and locations
  • Build a recovery plan with a treatment expert who can help you create a step-by-step process that will get you into treatment

Even if you have a loved one who is suffering from a substance use disorder, you can call to find a rehab center that will suit their particular needs. Once you have a treatment option lined up for your spouse, friend, or family member, you can begin to plan an intervention.

  • Interventions are meetings where the loved ones of an addict come together and tell the addict their concerns about the person’s substance abuse. It is usually the goal of these meetings that the individual enters treatment.
  • It is best to have a treatment option in mind for the individual before staging the intervention. This is why one should call (800) 407-7195 and choose the treatment program for their loved one before the intervention begins.
  • Interventions usually work best with around 6 people, and everyone should prepare what they will say to the addict beforehand.
  • If the addict chooses to seek help, this should happen as soon as possible. If they do not, it is important for those who participated in the intervention to be clear about any consequences that will come with this decision. Then, they must stick to these consequences until the individual does decide to seek help.

Once you know how you or your loved one will get the necessary help for an addiction, the next step in the process can begin.

Intake

Path to Recovery

The intake process insures you receive the best treatment for your needs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Effective treatment addresses all of the patient’s needs, not just his or her drug use.” This is why it is so important for someone looking for addiction treatment to find the right rehab center.

During intake, you will participate in an interview. The interview might involve questions about your substance abuse history, including which drugs you have abused in the past, how much and how often you use, and whether or not you have previously received any treatment for addiction.

You should also ask any questions you may have before choosing a particular rehab center. You will want to ensure that your treatment program

  • Provides the type of treatment options you need most
  • Lasts the necessary length of time for your safe recovery, which, in most cases, is 90 days or longer (NIDA)
  • Offers any additional amenities or accommodations you will require
    • For example, some people need certain accommodations because of their religion, culture, age, gender, etc.

When you find a treatment center that offers everything you require, you can begin your recovery safely and within a professional environment.

Detox

Detox is usually the first step of a professional treatment process, but it is certainly not the last step in one’s recovery. According to the National Library of Medicine, narcotic addicts who complete detox but do not continue to the next phase of treatment put themselves in serious danger of relapse.

Detox is the process by which one is weaned off their dependence on addictive drugs. In narcotic addiction recovery, medications are often used because, without them, withdrawal from opioids can be extremely painful. Clonidine, methadone, and buprenorphine are the most popular detox medications for opioid abusers.

  • Patients are slowly weaned off the medication so they will not experience the painful and uncomfortable effects of withdrawal.
  • Withdrawal from opioids often feels like a bad case of the flu. In addition, addicts will experience severe bone, joint, and muscle pain, which can be minimized with the use of detox medications.

Once a person has been successfully weaned off their dependence on opioids, they may begin the rehabilitation step of the recovery process.

Rehabilitation

Rehab usually involves at least two different treatment options: medication and behavioral therapy. Some individuals may decide to stay maintained on a medication after the initial stabilization process rather than going through detox right away. This option is called medication maintenance.

  • Methadone, an opioid agonist, and buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, are the options for medication maintenance for opioid addiction.
  • Patients receive their medication whenever necessary (in the case of methadone, daily). The regular dosages minimize withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and maintain the individual so they can focus on recovery.
  • Drugs like methadone and buprenorphine when used as maintenance medications can also block the opioid receptors in the brain, which gives patients a lower chance of relapse.

Behavioral therapy is an extremely important part of rehab as well. In fact, it is used more than any other treatment option for addiction recovery (NIDA). In behavioral therapy, patients learn to change their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward substance abuse and to focus on healthier coping mechanisms. They can also learn to interact with others in a safer, healthier way and to change the way they think about their addictions.

Some of the most commonly used behavioral therapy options in narcotic addiction treatment include

Path to Recovery

Couples therapy will help restore your relationship.

Recovery

Once the patient has finished their rehab program, they can begin the final step of recovery. In truth, this step can last a long time. Living without substance abuse after being addicted takes strength and skill, two things you will gain by attending a professional rehab program. In addition, many individuals turn back to treatment or other options over the course of their long-term recovery.

  • Aftercare options can be varied, and depending on your needs, you may want to choose one to help you navigate your recovery.
  • Booster sessions are an option for aftercare, allowing a patient to revisit their treatment center a certain number of times after their general rehab program has ended.
  • Many individuals choose support groups as an aftercare option, including 12-step programs like Narcotics Anonymous or non-12-step options like SMART Recovery.
    • Being a part of a support group can help you immensely during your recovery, as you will strengthen your social support system and continue using the lessons you received in treatment (NIDA).
  • Some individuals also choose to stay in a sober living home, which is a facility in which residents pay rent and can live in a drug-and-alcohol-free environment.

Recovery isn’t just about aftercare, though. It’s about living your life in a new way, one that encourages healthy choices and discourages relapse. Of course, relapse is always a possibility, which you must remember in order to safely navigate your recovery. If you do relapse (or feel like you might), it is important to seek help from a friend, a family member, a doctor, etc. You may even want to attend another treatment program to refamiliarize yourself with the lessons of rehab.

The important thing to remember is you can get to a better place in your life if you work hard and choose professional treatment over substance abuse. The path to recovery is long and winding, and sometimes, you may take a step or two backwards. But if you stay focused and remember why you are motivated to quit, you can create a better life for yourself starting today.

Get Help Now

The first step, though, is to seek help. Without professional treatment, it is extremely difficult to create the kind of recovery you want. Let us help you begin your life anew by calling (800) 407-7195 today and speaking with a treatment advisor. We will match you with the best rehab option for your current needs. Call today.