Usually, an addicted person doesn’t know he is an addict and considers himself a casual user or drinker. However, the family members, significant others, and friends detect the warning signs way early than the addict himself. But acknowledging the problem is difficult, in fact, for some, they hit the rock bottom until they realize the problem. Although, early detection and treatment of addiction enhance the recovery and remission chances, however, deeply rooted addictions can also be treated.
If you are planning on seeking rehab for your or your loved one’s addiction but have some doubts, then this article will definitely answer your questions and clear your queries.
Recovery vs. Rehab
Recovery and rehab are often used interchangeably, however, both concepts held slightly different notions. Recovery is the lived experience of a person and it is a process of change that helps the individual to improve health, have a purpose in life, have a supportive, loving, and helpful social circle, and strive to reach full potential.
On the other hand, rehab means the treatment services offered to the person during the process of recovery. Thus, rehab is part of the recovery. Rehab can be inpatient or outpatient where extensive medical and psychological services are provided to help through the process of recovery. The recovery and rehabilitation process is different for every person.
Stages of recovery
Recovery is not a smooth journey. A person has to go through various ups and down during the process. Following are four major stages of this wild ride.
1. Treatment initiation
This is the most important phase because you let go of your guard, work on your denial and ambivalence and move past your fears. Seeking help is very brave but a well-matched counselor or therapist makes a great difference and can smooth the process. Detoxification, medical treatment, and therapy are the important components of recovery.
2. Early abstinence
Early abstinence is roughly marked as one month to one year of no drug use. You will experience withdrawal, psychological dependence, cravings, and urges. However, your counselor will help you manage your cravings, identify and avoid the triggers and change your habits and lifestyle in general.
3. Sustained abstinence
Sustained abstinence is the period of one to five years of complete abstinence. This stage mainly focuses on long-term remission. Your underlying issues leading to addiction will be addressed in your therapy. You will also learn anger management, assertiveness, social skills, building relationships, and managing finances.
4. Stable abstinence
A person enters this stage when he is drug-free for more than five years. At this stage, a person developed a new and healthy lifestyle and habit, and now doesn’t experience cravings and urges, can handle triggers, and is excelling in personal life. Most people also choose to mentor and sponsor new recovering addicts and guide them through the process with their experiences.
During the recovery self-love and self-care and secondly, a strong social circle will help you a lot. You can learn to love yourself unconditionally with all your flaws and shortcomings. However, having a trustworthy and lifting social network is a blessing. If your loved one is going through addiction recovery, your support and care can go a long way. Following are some tips for the friends and families of recovering addicts.
Tips for family and friends
• Stop blaming. If you seriously want to help your loved one, talk to him. Have dialogue and explain your concerns.
• Learn about co-dependency and enabling. These are the practices that are common in the household of addicts but are not realized by family members. Co-dependency is a relationship pattern where a person is emotionally dependent on and controlled by a person with pathological condition. It is possible that whenever you talk about the addiction of your husband, he threatens to leave you so you don’t confront him.
o Enabling is a phenomenon where you enable the addiction of the person by facilitating him by hiding his problem from family and friends, lying for him to his boss, or giving him money for drugs.
o These both patterns escalate the addiction and maintain the problem. So, work on your behavior patterns as well for the sake of yourself and your loved one.
• Be prepared to practice tough love. Make him realize that you love him but will not tolerate his addiction.
• Actively involved in the recovery and rehabilitation process. Drive him to the sessions, join the therapist in sessions when asked for, help him practice homework and be present for him.
• Remember that recovery is a lifelong journey and you need to be there for them.