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The Steps to Complete Drug and Alcohol Recovery

Someone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction may feel like recovery is an impossible process. However, when taken one by one, the steps to addiction recovery are generally quite manageable. Addiction must be approached one step at a time, which is also an easy way to identify the components of the addiction treatment process.

The First Step to Addiction Recovery

The first step to addiction recovery is deciding that you need to make a change. Maybe you can see how your addiction is creating problems in your life, or maybe your friends or family members have approached you to tell you that they are worried about you. Regardless of why you have decided to make a change, the important thing is you are making it, and are motivated to improve your life and your health by putting an end to an addiction to alcohol or drugs, or whatever behavioral addiction or disorder is holding your life captive.

Change Can Be Hard

Making changes can be difficult, and nowhere is this more evident than when you are dealing with an addiction. Breaking habits involves making a lot of simultaneous life changes, including:

  • How you cope with stress
  • Who you spend time with
  • How you spend your free time
  • How you feel about yourself

Exploring Your Treatment Options

addiction treatment centerOnce you have decided to make a change, start exploring your rehab treatment and recovery options. This is the second step in the recovery process. When looking for a treatment facility, you need to keep in mind that there is no treatment that is right for everybody. You will have the most success when you find a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. The treatment plan that you select should deal with your alcohol or drug abuse, or your behavioral addiction, but ideally, it should also deal with any underlying issues that you have, including problems with your friends and family members, your professional life and your mental health.

Once you find a addiction treatment program that seems right for you, commit to it! Being committed to the process increases your chances for success dramatically. If you are ready to change, we will help you find a treatment facility by using our toll-free help center at 1-888-966-8334.

Finding Support

"Sadly, in many cases, your friends or even your family members may have been supporting your addiction."Finding support is the third step of the recovery process. Regardless of the treatment program that you select, you will need help along the journey. You should talk to your friends and family members about your choice to enroll in a treatment program, and you should ask them to support you.

Sadly, in many cases, your friends or even your family members may have been supporting your addiction. For this reason, it is also important to build up a network of sober people. With a sober network, you will have the extra support needed during your recovery. Your sober friends can help you find new social outlets, and they will also have an additional understanding of what you are going through. If necessary, you may even want to consider moving into a sober house.

Learning New Habits

After you have completed drug abuse rehabilitation, you will need to learn new habits. You may have been using your drug as a reward or to help you deal with stress. As the fourth step of the recovery process, learning new habits should help you deal with stress. You will also need to find new social outlets and, in many cases, new hobbies.

Controlling Triggers and Avoiding Cravings

Getting sober and completing a drug abuse rehabilitation program are among the first major steps in the recovery process, but once you are sober, you will need to essentially retrain your brain to want to avoid drugs. This is the fifth step.

Thinking that you can leave a course of recovery and be completely “craving-free” is a lofty goal, and one that not everyone can achieve. Still, if you can recognize the warning signs of an impending relapse and stay steadfast in your resolve, you can often keep from falling back into bad habits. One of the most effective ways to manage your cravings involves making a concerted effort to avoid the people, environments and scenarios that act as triggers for you. Ideally, you should take the following steps to keep your cravings under control and reduce your triggers:

  • Distancing yourself from your old drug or drinking buddies
  • Avoiding bars and clubs where drug and alcohol use is prominent
  • Being honest about your drug abuse history when talking to doctors or other healthcare providers about your health
  • Acting cautiously when accepting prescription drugs from your doctor

Building a Meaningful Life Without Drugs

Rebuilding your life, your hobbies and, in some cases, your loves around a healthy life is a time-consuming but critical part of the process (the sixth step) and can ultimately be one the most fulfilling.

Ideally, you should get involved in activities that you enjoy and that make you feel valid and important. After completing drug abuse rehabilitation, many people turn to volunteering in their community while others start a new hobby. Setting life goals can be an invaluable part of this step, and looking after your health is also important. When people get enough sleep, eat right and exercise, they tend to feel better and experience less stress. This can help them prevent a relapse.

Never Lose Hope

The seventh and final step of the addiction recovery process is to forgive yourself if you have a relapse. Relapses can be frustrating, but they can also be a learning experience. If you are suffering from a relapse, you probably need to find another program. Contact us at 1-888-966-8334 and we will help you get back on the wagon.

Relapses can be caused by various things. Many people relapse when they are in a negative emotional state, and others relapse because they are experiencing physical discomfort. Some relapse because of social pressure. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, relapses are more common when someone is facing stress. Regardless of why you have relapsed, it is important to forgive yourself and make a plan to get back on track.

Twelve-Step Drug Abuse Recovery Programs

Many self-help groups use 12-step programs to help people who are struggling with addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the use of the 12-step model can be an invaluable part of the recovery process. These groups and their steps provide social support to people when they need it, and this support can help addicts maintain healthy habits over the course of their entire lifetime. Some of the most popular groups that offer a 12-step approach to drug abuse recovery include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.

The Steps to Addiction Recovery for Teenagers

The steps discussed above outline the basic parts of the addiction treatment process. However, if the sufferer is a teenager who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the steps may look slightly different. The National Institute of Drug Abuse has outlined several steps for teenagers undergoing the recovery process. According to NIDA, there are four core steps in the teen recovery process:

  • Seeking help
  • Embracing new habits
  • Taking it one step at a time
  • Finding treatment

Putting It All Together

The steps to addiction recovery vary depending on the program you use. However, the basic steps in the addiction treatment process are detailed above. By taking this process one step at a time, you can improve your chances of being successful.

If you are ready to start this process, we are ready to help you. When you call us at 1-888-966-8334, you are taking the first step, and we will help you find a substance abuse rehabilitation program that is right for you.