Getting sober can be a tricky process filled with confusion and frustration. In this article we break down the complex affair of getting from drug addiction to sobriety into seven steps that you can follow.
1. Admit you need help
Generally, the first step in solving a problem is admitting that you have one. Acknowledging that you are struggling with an addiction may be a new revelation for you, or it may be something you’ve known for years. Whether the severity of your addiction is news to you or not, it’s time to call for help.
Some people like to enlist a friend or family member for support at this point, too. The more accountability you have, the more likely you are to stick to treatment, so tell your loved ones for a boost. You’re sure to get an extra dose of encouragement.
2. Find the right services
The next step in your journey to sobriety is going to be finding the right services for your needs. There are a wide variety of treatment options for different substances, so doing some research can guide you to the most appropriate services.
Don’t worry if you’re not positive which interventions are best, though. When you connect with a treatment facility, you’ll get a level of care assessment to match you with the most appropriate services. These assessments will take into account the intensity and duration of drug usage, age, symptoms and environmental factors. You can also ask for a rundown of what treatment will look like at their facility and ask any specific questions you have before you start. Your comfort is important to your success in treatment.
The vast majority of drug addiction treatment begins with detox. Detox is the process in which your body releases toxic chemicals and begins to repair itself. For heavy users, detox often takes longer and manifests in more painful side effects as the body re-adjusts to a system without drugs.
Rehab is always best in a supervised and licensed facility. When you start your treatment with detox you’ll also have access to one-on-one counseling, group counseling and medication-assisted treatment, which can give you the boost you need to get through the most physically grueling days.
4. Inpatient treatment
Many individuals will transition into inpatient (or residential) programs immediately following detox. These programs provide a smoother transition back into society, especially when a former environment may invite opportunities for relapse. Residential programs can offer a safe haven for those who need more stability in the early days of treatment.
Inpatient treatment offers many services beyond what can be accomplished during detox, such as education on addiction, housing preparation and job skills training. Because residential programs operate around the clock, you’ll have much more time to focus on changing thought patterns to avoid using them again. You’ll also start to build skills to combat triggers and cope with cravings.
5. Partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs
A step down from inpatient treatment is a partial hospitalization program or intensive outpatient services. While these models don’t operate on a 24/7 schedule, they are much more intensive than other outpatient services. They may occur on a work-week schedule for around 8 hours a day, but each program will differ.
These services are the middle ground between inpatient and outpatient services, offering counseling and life skills assistance. Some may provide medication-assisted treatment, too.
6. Outpatient treatment
This step of addiction recovery is less time intensive, but occurs for a longer stretch. Outpatient services are most effective when they continue for years after the last use. This stage is most effective when it includes individual therapy or counseling.
In outpatient treatment you’ll continue to identify triggers, learn skills to manage cravings and build up a life that supports sobriety. Triggers will always be present, but as time passes, you’ll be able to handle them independently. Many choose to augment outpatient services with participation in a 12-step program.
7. Life-long sobriety
When you’ve finally reached a place where drug addiction isn’t an everyday battle and you’ve made peace with yourself through treatment, you’ll know you’ve reached sobriety. Managing temptations will come with ease and you’ll be able to handle stress in healthy ways. When you’ve made it this far you deserve to be proud of yourself and celebrate.
Getting to a sober place
Nothing beats the freedom you’ll have when you’re sober. There’s no doubt that the steps are challenging, but there’s also no denying that it will all be worth it. There’s no reason to wait- you can start getting sober today. At Freedom Detox you can find the help you need to get on the right track, and the support you need to stay on the path. Start the next chapter of your life right now and call 800-475-2312.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as medical advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a doctor-patient relationship.