Moving Through the First Few Days of Recovery

Posted by | Alcohol and Drug Use, Relapse Prevention, Treatment Programs | March 10, 2015

You’ve decided to get sober. Of course, there are other ways to get clean – not only through abstinence. However, the most common way of ending the use of alcohol or drugs for good is by cutting it out of your life cold turkey. And if that’s the decision you made,  then the first days of your recovery are going to be difficult.

But you knew this going in. Giving up a chemical dependency means that you’re going to experience psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms. And you’re going to need help to do this. Most people going through this difficult process get help by attending an addiction treatment center. They use the aid of mental health professionals, physicians, and others who are also in their recovery to facilitate the change they’re seeking.

And if this is true, if you’re considering admitting yourself to an addiction treatment center, you might be intimidated by what to expect. You might be wondering about the process of admission, your stay, and what leads to the next step of your treatment. Typically attending an addiction treatment center will include:

Initial Assessment: In order for addiction treatment to be successful, it has to address the various factors in a person’s life that may be contributing to the continued use of alcohol or drugs. For instance, an assessment is often a self-report of your experience to assess the severity of your addiction. Along with family mental health history, and other essential information gathered by the psychologist, psychologist, or therapist, an assessment can be crucial tool in diagnosing and treating addiction.

Medical Detox: This is a period of time in which an individual with an alcohol addiction undergoes alcohol detox, that is allowing the body to go through a process of detoxification.

Psychotherapy: Individual therapy typically involves sitting across from a compassionate mental health professional, who is listening and responding to you. There are generally two forms of therapy: those that promote insight or revelation regarding your thought pattern, history, behavior, or life choices are called insight therapies. And those therapies that focus on how a disorder manifests in your life and aim to teach new forms of behavior are called learning-based or cognitive therapies. Individual psychotherapy may include both, perhaps separate times.

Behavioral Modification Therapy: One effective form of alcohol addiction treatment is a behavioral therapy (mentioned above) called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It essentially aims to change behavior by identifying negative and distorted thinking patterns. This successful form of therapy emphasizes the link between thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and more importantly, it attempts to identify the way that certain thoughts contribute to the unique problems of your life. By changing the thought pattern and by replacing it with thoughts that are aimed towards a specific therapeutic goal, you can slowly begin to change. For example, instead of “I am worthless”; the new thought might be “I can do this”.

Family Therapy: This is a type of therapy that focuses on the systems and relationships within a family network. It aims to change the relationship within families in order to help them better manage the specific problems they might be facing.

Group Counseling: Group therapy includes the presence of a therapist, psychologist, social worker or other mental health professional who is facilitating the group experience. Also in the room are others who are all experiencing the same addiction or life problem. For instance, adults who were suffering from a mental illness in addiction to their alcohol abuse might make up a group in therapy. Typically, everyone in the room, aside from the therapist, is experiencing the same life challenge. Group therapy can be incredibly supportive and healing.

Support Groups: Groups on healthy eating, decision making, job hunting,  and more may facilitate creating a new life after addiction.

Chemical Dependency Education: This an opportunity to learn about the nature of addiction and it’s dangerous cycle. Staying informed about alcohol abuse, addiction, and treatment can facilitate your path towards sobriety.

In addition to participating in the programs provided at an addiction treatment center, you can strengthen your decision to stay sober by attending 12-step meetings. New recovering addicts are strongly encouraged to attend 90 meetings in 90 days.

If you’re set on getting sober, congratulations! Now, you simply need to seek the support that’s going to help you stay that way!

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