At our rehab and detox center in San Diego, we have a number of first-time patients who have no idea what rehab entails, or what going into rehab is even supposed to be like. Rehab from drug or alcohol addiction is the first step on a long journey. The goal of rehab isn’t to bring you back to where you were before addiction, it’s to empower you and guide you towards a transformation into a stronger, more resilient individual. To start this process, rehab focuses on three essential goals: detox, recovery, and empowerment.
What to expect with Detox?
Detox is the most physically challenging part of treatment. In this phase, we begin to guide patients off whatever substance they are addicted to. Research at Harvard has even suggested that addiction relies on the same brain systems as learning, enforcing why addiction becomes so quickly and effectively engraved in our brains.
Our brains are physically altered by addiction to expect massive dopamine rushes in quick, consistent doses. When we don’t get these doses on a regular schedule, our brain starts to experience cravings, and our bodies go through withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the substance, the time and intensity of use, and a variety of other factors, these cravings and symptoms can vary. Each person needs individual care and guidance in this phase. While many people have tried to go “cold turkey,” or cutting the substance immediately from their lives, many people may find the withdrawal symptoms too intense and fall quickly back into a relapse.
The Process of Addiction recovery
In a professional recovery center, there are a few tools you can expect to help you overcome this hurdle. Medications, nurses, doctors, and therapists are on-hand to offer relief from the more severe side-effects, like vomiting, pain, and fevers. In severe cases of opiate addiction, some synthetic medications can be provided to reduce cravings, and lower the chance of dangerous side-effects. Depending on the length and style of treatment, the next part of treatment can focus on full physical recovery from the substance.
Once the initial detox side-effects have lessened or been addressed, the focus is shifted to helping patients understand and overcome the reasons they were impacted by drugs or alcohol, to begin with. Many begin using as a coping mechanism, often because of depression, stress, trauma, illness, or social conditions. Exiting rehab without addressing the underlying causes of addiction is like bandaging a bullet wound without disinfecting or removing the bullet. It will only fester and continue to be a growing problem.
Empowering a Sober Life
Finally, the last phase of recovery focuses on establishing the skills and independence needed to lead a life free from addiction. Our brains have natural ways to fight addiction, but it requires effort on our part. Improving physical fitness through exercise, yoga, and daily practice is one way to cut cravings and empower yourself. Proper sleep hygiene can reduce stress, raise inhibition, and help you establish a sense of control. Stress management can help you develop healthier coping skills to the many inevitable life stressors like employment, arguments, and bad luck. Finally, accountability partners and networks of support can give you the continued motivation to keep improving, and the resources to find help when you need it most. If you or a loved one are thinking about professional rehab and recovery, and want to learn more at no obligation, please call AToN recovery directly at (619) 639-7325.