For most people, a drug rehabilitation program (rehab) is the first step in recovery from drug addiction. While it may be tempting to try it alone, addiction is a chronic disease that is very difficult to overcome without some kind of professional support. In some cases, detoxing from drugs at home can also be extremely dangerous.
If you only occasionally use drugs or alcohol, you may be able to quit by yourself. However, if you have developed an addiction or physical dependence on the substance, it’s time to seek treatment.
This blog outlines some of the signs of addiction and dependence, as well as some common questions about substance abuse and rehab.
1. Drug or Alcohol Abuse Has Become the Priority in Your Life
If acquiring or using drugs or alcohol has become the priority in your life, you may have developed an addiction.
When you have a drug or alcohol addiction, you may find that your thoughts are constantly preoccupied with drug use and that you plan your days around it. You might begin to neglect other responsibilities – as well as your own self-care – to make time for using drugs. You may also find yourself in difficult financial situations because of your drug use.
If any of these things sound like you, it’s probably necessary to seek professional help. Addiction treatment programs can support you to overcome addiction and reconnect with the things you love. Once you are sober, you can re-engage in your hobbies, fulfill your obligations, and pursue a meaningful life.
2. You Experience Cravings to Use a Substance
Drug addiction is characterized by physical changes in the reward pathway of your brain that reinforce drug-seeking behaviors. These changes can produce cravings to use a drug – a strong motivational state directed towards using drugs that can be extremely difficult to resist.
If you are experiencing cravings, it’s likely you’ve developed an addiction to the substance. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists cravings as a symptom of a substance use disorder.
Managing cravings is often one of the biggest challenges of addiction recovery. Strong cravings can cause people to relapse even after long periods of abstinence.
However, addiction treatment can provide you with skills and coping mechanisms to overcome cravings and stay free from drug or alcohol use. This may involve:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy and other types of talk therapy
- Self-care and mindfulness techniques
- “Surfing the urge” – learning to accept a craving and acknowledge that it will pass rather than trying to resist it
3. You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms When You Try to Stop
If you repeatedly take a substance over time, your body becomes used to the presence of the substance in your body. It begins to adapt its own functions in response so you can continue to feel normal. If you suddenly stop using drugs or alcohol, you usually experience a series of withdrawal symptoms as your body readjusts.
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms or developing a tolerance (where you need to take more and more of a drug to feel the same effects) are signs of physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms are often uncomfortable – and in some cases dangerous – so it is important you seek professional treatment advice before trying to quit.
For certain types of drugs, severe withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening if left untreated. In these cases, attending a medical detox program at a drug and alcohol rehab or another healthcare center is essential. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) recommends a twenty-four-hour supervised detox for withdrawal from benzodiazepine, opioid, and alcohol addiction due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
4. Your Substance Use Is Affecting Your Relationships
When the addiction becomes the priority in your life, it can put a strain on your relationships, especially with loved ones. You might start neglecting home and family responsibilities because of your drug abuse.
Drug and alcohol addiction can also change the way you behave towards the people you love. You may lie or act secretively to hide your drug use or act aggressively when under the influence. Research shows that addiction may lead to relationship dissatisfaction and instability.
If your drug use is affecting your home life, it may be time to go to rehab. As well as supporting you to overcome addiction, an addiction treatment program may also help you to heal relationships with family members and other loved ones.
Couples therapy can help you and your partner build a healthy relationship with better communication and conflict management while supporting your addiction recovery. Family therapy can help the whole family to understand how they have been affected by addiction and develop the skills to maintain a more stable family environment.
How Long is the Rehab Process?
The length of a rehab treatment depends on each individual, the severity of their addiction, and the presence of co-occurring mental and physical health issues.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, longer treatment durations are associated with better outcomes, and most people need at least three months of treatment to significantly reduce their drug or alcohol use.
This may seem like a long time, but it’s worth remembering that treatment does not necessarily involve a residential stay at a treatment center. You can also attend outpatient programs where you continue to live at home and balance your other obligations and duty while recovering from addiction. Many centers also offer telehealth programs where you can participate in therapy sessions and other treatment sessions remotely.
Whatever your situation, you can find a recovery program to suit you. Substance abuse treatment centers and other healthcare professionals can help you to find the best option for your needs.
Can My Family Make Me Go to Rehab?
If you are under 18, your legal guardians may be able to enter you into rehab programs without your consent. Laws vary from state to state, so you should research what legislation applies to you.
If you are over the age of 18, your legal guardians cannot force you to go to rehab. However, you can be involuntarily committed for other reasons – such as if you present a danger to yourself or others. People may also be mandated by court order. Research shows that treatment doesn’t need to be voluntary to be effective and mandatory participation can ultimately increase the success of drug treatment interventions.
Cirque Lodge Drug Rehab Center
Cirque Lodge is a private and exclusive drug rehab center in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Our luxury facilities and the surrounding scenery offer the peace, comfort, and inspiration you need to recover from addiction.
We offer a holistic and individualized recovery program focused on personal growth, mind-body connection, and spiritual healing. Our treatment programs combine traditional talking therapies with exciting experiential activities to provide a transformative treatment experience. The 12-Step program underpins our approach, providing the foundations of a varied yet cohesive recovery program.
At Cirque Lodge, we understand that recovery doesn’t end once you leave our treatment facility. We offer personalized aftercare programs to support you in the next stage of your journey as well as Alumni services so you can stay connected to the place you got sober.
If you are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, call us today. Our compassionate team is available twenty-four hours a day to answer any questions you have and talk you through the next steps. All calls are fully confidential and we treat every client with empathy and respect.
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