Overcoming addiction is possible, but it can be incredibly difficult. It isn’t simply a matter of will power. If that were the case many addicts would be able to get sober on their own.
Substance use disorders (SUD) are much more complicated. And if the person has a co-occurring mental health disorder, treating the addiction is even more complex. However, complete recovery and long-term sobriety is within reach for those who take the right steps to take back control of their life. Here are five steps that will get anyone with an SUD closer to sobriety.
Understand the Addiction Cycle
The first step to breaking the addiction cycle is understanding it. Many people have no idea how drug use impacts the brain. The drug’s effect on dopamine production (the feel good hormone) and other neurochemicals has a profound impact on our reward system, essentially reinforcing drug use. Substance abuse disrupts connections in the brain, which leads to cravings and ultimately dependence as well as habitual behavior that’s hard to change.
The better you understand what’s going on biologically in the brain the easier it is to get someone the help they desperately need to end an addiction.
Find Support by Stepping Away From Negative Influences
When you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol there’s a very good chance you have negative influences in your life that are encouraging the addiction. Negative influences can be other addicts, suppliers, enablers, things that cause stress or the environment you’re in.
If you are surrounded by those negative influences it’s much harder to find the support you need to get sober. Distancing yourself from negative influences is a huge step that allows you to surround yourself with supportive people that can help you get sober.
Ask for Help
Asking for help with an addiction may seem like the easiest step, but for many people it’s actually the hardest. Asking for help is admitting that you have a problem. Not only that, but you’re admitting you aren’t able to fix the problem on your own. Then there are the feelings of embarrassment and shame that can come along with asking for help to overcome addiction.
The thing is, if you’re asking for help from supportive people you don’t have to worry about those feelings. People who love and support you won’t judge you. It’s quite the opposite. They’ll be happy and relieved that you asked them for help, and they’ll be open to helping you however they can. That is often enough to motivate a person to take the next essential step.
Enroll at an Addiction Treatment Center
Enrolling at an addiction recovery center is arguably the most important step to overcoming an addiction. Detoxing on your own is extremely difficult. With some substance use disorders, detoxing is really only possible with the aid of medications that are administered at an addiction treatment center. Medical personnel can also keep patients safe as they go through withdrawal systems.
Once a person is past withdrawal symptoms and their system is clean, addiction treatment centers provide patients with counseling, support, skills training and sometimes medications. Experts help patients put together a treatment plan for the various stages of recovery that will eventually lead to long-term sobriety.
Another important aspect of enrolling at an addiction recovery center is the oversight, structure and accountability you get. Changing the patterns and behaviors that were created by substance abuse is much easier when you have these in place.
Practice Continuum of Care
Addiction recovery is a long-term, ongoing process. You must be prepared to stick with the new habits and behaviors that you’ve learned at an addiction treatment center. Also, be prepared for a relapse. Relapsing during treatment isn’t a sign that the process isn’t working. Because substance abuse alters the brain, relapse is possible for anyone even years after being sober.
Many addiction treatment centers offer continuum of care. This means that they offer treatment programs, aftercare and relapse prevention services that can be utilized days or years after completing an addiction treatment program. It’s care that’s continuous as a person moves through the various stages of recovery.
Over time you may find that you need treatments, counseling and meetings less often, but it’s good to know the resources exist anytime you need them. And if you do relapse what’s most important is getting the treatment and support you need to get right back on the sober path and keep making progress.
If you’d like to know more about enrolling at a Dallas addiction center or finding Sober Living options, you can give our admissions team a call. They’ll answer all of your questions about what to expect at Dallas addiction centers, explain how Lighthouse Recovery treatment programs work and can even perform a free assessment to determine what type of treatment should be the most effective.