There are many different phases of recovery, as well as programs created to help people through each step of addressing their addiction to alcohol, drugs, or any other addiction. Each phase addresses a certain goal while also scaffolding the life and coping skills necessary to help someone continue to progress through each phase of their recovery.
The phases build upon strategies for creating lasting, long-term sobriety. However, each phase comes with a large degree of change. The phases of detox, residential treatment, and outpatient treatment, each have their own set of hurdles to overcome.
Preparing for Detox
Deciding that it is time for someone to address their addiction is a huge step. It is something that requires a person to not only acknowledge a problem with their usage of drugs, alcohol, or any other kind of addiction, but also seek an alternative for their use. There are many changes that someone should expect when beginning this phase of their recovery.
During detox, someone is put under medical surveillance while the toxins from their addiction are processed and expelled from the body. In order to address ongoing sobriety, someone first has to achieve a sober state on a chemical level. It is during this phase that withdrawal symptoms are the most intense. There can be mental and physical side effects to these symptoms.
Anxiety, depression, mood swings, aches and pains, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and difficulty sleeping are all common side effects of withdrawal. It is during this phase that someone begins to learn about different coping and grounding strategies in order to deal with their own symptoms. While this phase may last between 7-10 days, it is necessary in order for someone to set goals and plan for their new sober life.
Residential and Inpatient Treatment
Getting to this phase is difficult. Going through detox is a very trying time for anyone, both mentally and physically. However, understanding the necessity for detox can help someone embrace the purpose of inpatient treatment. During inpatient or residential treatment, people continue to build on their own coping mechanisms and grounding techniques, as well as explore the social needs of recovery.
By interacting with other people with similar goals, inpatient treatment is a time for people to challenge their feelings of isolation. People in recovery will typically stay in residential treatment for about a year or more. It is encouraged that people stay as long as possible in this phase, even if they are feeling fairly confident about moving to an outpatient program.
Residential treatment continues to instill core life skills into people, such as community and identity. The structured and scheduled environment also teaches time management and responsibility in the forms of various chores and community living. While having such a structured environment can seem stressful, it is all in place to help a person move on to outpatient treatment.
The Tectonic Shift to Outpatient
Outpatient treatment takes place when someone has to take all of the skills, coping mechanisms, grounding strategies, life, and social skills they have learned and apply them to their lives. During outpatient treatment, patients are no longer living in carefully, professionally curated, therapeutic environments.
Instead, the environments they may find themselves in may be riddled with reminders of their past triggers that can all greatly challenge their recovery. Staying in residential treatment for longer is helpful, as it provides the necessary time for individuals to develop and practice essential skills that they will need during this next phase.
It is also strongly suggested that a person not move out of residential treatment until they have set up an intensive outpatient program for them to attend a couple of times each week. Having an established plan can help alleviate the difficulties of this particular transition.
Access to group therapy during outpatient treatment can also help a person feel less isolated and have a functioning support system. Having the necessary techniques in place before moving to the next stage of recovery can help create the best chance for ongoing success.
Recovery isn’t something that can be rushed. Addiction is a disease that affects someone on a biological level, and rushing recovery can even lead to making problems worse or lead to negative coping strategies. However, planning out each phase can help individuals make the right call regarding when they should move on to the next step, or when they should take a bit longer at their current phase.
Making the decision to move on from one phase to another is a sign of healing. Challenging one’s beliefs during recovery is the hallmark of someone not just acknowledging change, but wanting it. There will be no shortage of challenges, but there will also always be a way for people to use their skills and knowledge to make the best decisions for their personal goals in recovery.
If you are struggling with addiction, Lighthouse Recovery is ready to help you take the first step. Each phase of recovery has its own difficulties, but Lighthouse Recovery can personalize each person’s own recovery plan to address their unique challenges and own goals. Lighthouse Recovery takes a holistic approach to recovery, addressing not just any addiction that someone may suffer from, but also the underlying mental health and environmental factors that may coincide with it.