Those who are addicted to either alcohol or drugs can have a very difficult time asking for help. They might not know how or they might have time, financial, or social limitations that keep them from getting the help they need. To avoid the headache of going through treatment, they plan on detoxing themselves. They might just figure that they will slowly wean off the substance and everything will be fine. However, this is a dangerous course of action, and this article will explain why.
Trying to get clean on your own has medical, psychological, and emotional dangers to it. First of all, there may be a medical complication that arises during the withdrawal period requiring the expertise of a doctor. There might be an illness or another health concern that has developed as a result of the addiction. For instance, with excessive drinking many organs of the body, especially the liver, are at risk for being damaged. And crystal meth and other types of methamphetamines are dangerous drugs and can severely affect the brain and the body.
At the start of your recovery, even before you enter treatment, a medical doctor can assess your current physical condition. He or she can determine whether hospitalization is required in order to be prepared for detox. Furthermore, a doctor can help determine what kind of support you’ll need throughout your recovery. For example, less than 25% of people who quit the use of opiates (painkillers and/or heroin) can remain sober for a full year. For this reason, treatment for an opiate addiction (heroin or pain prescription medication) is commonly medically administered.
And it’s important to not only have a doctor by your side, but also a psychologist and possibly a psychiatrist. A psychologist or therapist can assist the with emotional and behavioral complications that arise. Typically, someone going through detox and withdrawal will experience a wide range of emotions, some of them difficult. Because of the challenging emotions as well as side effects of the withdrawal, a person might have strong and irresistible cravings to use again. A therapist or psychologist can help a person learn new coping tools, strategies for resisting cravings, and self-confidence.
In fact, in addition to a doctor and mental health professional, research shows that having a community of others who are also getting sober is a key part to sobriety. Being in a community can give a person strength, companionship, and hope. Without a community, people often relapse – even if they do have the support of their doctor and psychologist.
Ideally, when a person is ready to get sober, he or she should begin to involve both a doctor and a mental health provider. Or they can call a residential treatment center which would provide these as a part of their treatment service. However, if a person is not going to reside at a treatment center, then there should be a discussion among service providers about the various factors in a person’s life that may be contributing to the continued use of alcohol or drugs. Of course, in order for addiction treatment to be successful, treatment has to address the many facets of a person’s life.
Getting sober on one’s own isn’t going to fully ensure sobriety nor is it going to prevent against relapse. Everyone with an addiction faces obstacles to getting help. However, when your life is at risk, you find a way to move past those obstacles in order to stay safe and sober.
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