If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re sick and tired (literally) of this drug- or alcohol-dependent existence, life is already looking up. Because you’re one step closer to sobriety, though it’s hard to know you’ve finally arrived at “this place”. Wrought with conflicting thoughts and drowning in the numbness you’ve grown to accept, a decision to enter addiction rehab is genuinely a leap of…. Faith. Some may tell you it’s easy. Others may say it’s hell. Anyone else’s rehab experience is irrelevant. The right treatment and recovery program should be all about you. Period. Getting started sooner than later is your best bet. Getting it completed faster isn’t. In fact, sugar coated addiction rehab might sound sweet but it won’t get you sober.
Here’s what it could do. You’ll,
- Believe the hard work is done, in 30 days or less
- Receive a short-term fix instead of a long-term solution
- Enjoy a taste of sobriety but fall back into old habits
- Experience relapse sooner than later
- Undergo PAWS*, without knowing
The Lap of Luxury has Nothing to do with Recovery
There’s no such thing as a rehab shortcut. None. While many would-be clients are bent on finding a treatment program that caters to their personal whims, and looks more like a vacation retreat than a recovery facility, consider the statistical outcome.
In one study, monitoring participants during heroin treatment, there was a 91 percent rate of relapse – with 59 percent of this group relapsing within the first week after their treatment was completed. Not continuing their recovery protocol with an aftercare program was also cited as reasons for the relapse rate.
If you’re looking for the Club Med of rehab, there are plenty of facilities for Malibu drug rehab or detoxing in The Hamptons that will placate a bevy of narcissistic tendencies at a price. No one is saying that the process of recovery must be hardcore. However, the way to effectively move forward through a program and increase your odds for sustained sobriety are to choose a treatment program that includes the following:
- Personalized assessment of your addiction
- Personalized assessment of your physical, emotional and spiritual health
- Personalized assessment of your available support systems
- Personalized assessment of your insurance/financial resources
- Personalized plan for successful detox, recovery, sober living and aftercare
If your drug or alcohol addiction rehab doesn’t include the five steps noted above, consider another program.
Treatment for the Disease of Addiction Is Work in Progress
The initial phase of addiction recovery entails detox, ridding the body of the chemical compounds from drugs or alcohol. The process of withdrawal ensues, with symptoms that can vary in strength and duration depending on the type of substances used and how long the addiction has been in effect. But this is just the beginning.
As the body may come ‘clean’, the mind bears memory to the addiction itself, the life circumstances that may have led to the addiction, and the potential presence of co-occurring disorders (bi-polar, anxiety, depression) that still need to be identified and treated. Now let’s reflect on the obvious, can all of this possibly be accomplished in a three-to-seven day program? Doubtful.
What Short-Term Rehabs Might Not Tell You
As you prepare yourself or someone else, to enter into drug or alcohol rehabilitation, you’ve done your searches online or talked to others who have gone through it before in hopes of getting a solid idea of what to expect. Withdrawals are part of the process. Here’s what you may not know because many other people, just like you, don’t know this either.
Withdrawals don’t always stop when the detoxing phase of addiction treatment is over.
*Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptom (PAWS) Happens
During the first two years of addiction recovery, the body and the brain continue to work towards maintaining a level of healthy balance. Continuous counseling, healthy diet, exercise and practicing mindfulness are integral in a sober living lifestyle. There are instances when PAWS comes into the picture.
PAWS Is a Temporary Disruptor
Just as the withdrawals during detox come and go, PAWS isn’t permanent but remnants of what’s left to heal. The syndrome shows up as psychological or social dysfunction with varied levels of severity. Addiction to benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax) often presents PAWS to those in recovery, engaging panic attacks or anxiety disorders. Depression or psychosis is often associated with recovery from methamphetamine or cocaine. The treatment and recovery process for most substances, including opioids and alcohol, can include PAWS.
PAWS can manifest as:
- Lack of focus
- Negative thoughts (guilt, shame)
- Sleeplessness or sleepiness
- Oversensitivity to pain, physical or emotional
- Memory issues
- And more
This information isn’t meant to scare you but to share the realities of addiction treatment and recovery. Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol compromise brain functionality. Through time and sobriety, collectively, the central nervous system can slowly reverse the damage done.
Why Strong Aftercare and Support Systems Are Crucial
Researchers and medical practitioners in behavioral health continue to study the realm of addiction: the development of the disease, the precursors of development, the process of recovery and the markers for relapse. One overwhelming consistency in the findings points to the importance of ongoing personal development through support groups, acquired and honed coping skills, and abstinence from addictive substances.
In a 2015 article published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Dr. Steven M. Melemis reveals the rudimentary elements of addiction recovery, relapse prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. Read through his work. Keep a copy, and refer to it as you continue the selection process for addiction treatment and recovery and use as a guideline throughout your sobriety journey. It will shed some light on your inner strength and remind you just how far you’ve come in your personal journey towards success.
But it all starts and ends with you. Before you can experience 12 steps, it takes a leap of faith first.
Let’s Talk About Recovery, Let Us Help You with PAWS
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 1-888-NODRUGS
Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.