The risk of relapse in drug addiction recovery is substantial, and that makes outpatient aftercare programs vitally important for newly-sober individuals, as well as for those working to maintain their recovery. Regular therapy sessions and 12-step (or alternative) peer group meetings can provide much-needed guidance and moral support to people in the midst of making major lifestyle changes, and family participation in ongoing relapse prevention programs can boost their effectiveness even further. While aftercare programs don’t guarantee permanent wellness, they can significantly decrease the likelihood of relapse and make it easier for recovering addicts to get back on track if and when they slip.


While detox is often looked upon as one of the most difficult aspects of the recovery process, addicts aren’t in the clear once they make it through withdrawal.5The real work of recovery takes place post-detox in the therapeutic portion of treatment. In therapy, both individual and group, recovering addicts uncover the root causes behind their substance abuse, helping them to address these issues so they don’t cause them to return to substance abuse at a later date.3
The patient's response determines the physician's next step. If the patient denies the problem, recommending joining AA will not work. Involving the family and/or suggesting a trial of abstinence is useful, and, importantly, the physician should follow up with the patient in a few weeks. The patient might be angry initially and storm out of the office, but then the patient might recall the physician's warning months or years later and stop drinking. For patients who recognize a problem and will consider referral, the cheapest (free) and most accessible option is AA.
A good residential treatment programme takes mental health seriously. Facility staff recognise that the mental health of patients will be impacted by treatment one way or the other. As such, they do everything they can to ensure that the impacts are positive. Remember, one of the goals of residential treatment is to treat patients holistically. That means treating them in body, mind, and spirit.
It can be heartbreaking to realize that your loved one has a problem with alcohol. You want to do anything you can to help — but you’re afraid that if you speak up, you could destroy your relationship, or even drive your loved one deeper into addiction. At first, it’s much easier to deny the problem. But as time goes on and personal, financial, or legal problems increase, you’ll have to face the possibility that your loved one could have a substance use disorder. Learning to recognize the red flags of alcoholism could not only save your relationship, it could help you avoid a tragedy.
Without a proper withdrawal recovering alcoholics are at risk of experiencing some or all of the symptoms mentioned above. The most common ones are chills or sweats, anxiety and depression and irritability and mood swings. More severe cases can lead to seizures, blackouts or DTs (delirium tremens). Untreated withdrawal symptoms peak in the first few days of detoxification. Every individual experience of detox is different, depending on the level of alcohol abuse. This can last from a few days to six with a varying level of severity. Our experienced medical team will work to help alleviate the associated risks and symptoms.
Just as some people with diabetes or asthma may have flare-ups of their disease, a relapse to drinking can be seen as a temporary set-back to full recovery and not a complete failure. Seeking professional help can prevent relapse — behavioral therapies can help people develop skills to avoid and overcome triggers, such as stress, that might lead to drinking. Most people benefit from regular checkups with a treatment provider. Medications also can deter drinking during times when individuals may be at greater risk of relapse (e.g., divorce, death of a family member).
Addiction medications make the recovery process easier by easing the cravings and side effects associated with withdrawal. In the advanced stages of recovery, some people continue to take these medications in order to maintain their sobriety. Addiction medication should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision. These drugs can have serious side effects, including physical dependence and tolerance. Ironically, the medications used to treat opiate addiction have addictive properties themselves.
Denial is common among those suffering with alcoholism. Your loved ones may have tried to discuss the problem with you, but you were unable to see things as clearly as them. Denial is one of the body’s defence mechanisms and is employed by the brain to protect you from a harsh reality. It can be useful for a short period but if it continues, can end up causing harm.
Alcohol dependency is not a failure of will or lack of strength of character, as was believed for many years. However, progress in science over the last few decades has shown us that alcoholism is rooted in both biology and behaviour, making it a ‘bio-behavioural disorder’. Biology and behaviour are two sides of the same coin, and alcohol dependency cannot be treated by just focusing on one side alone.
You’ll want to be thorough while searching for the substance abuse treatment program that is right for you. Not all rehabs are equal, so it’s important that you know what you’re looking for. Not everyone will benefit from the same type of rehab so some priorities may depend on the individual’s preferences, but some standard things to look for include:
Bradford Recovery Center’s fully accredited drug rehab center is nestled in the rolling mountains of north central, Pennsylvania. Our integrated drug and alcohol programs were designed to address the complex needs and challenges arising from alcoholism, drug abuse and drug addiction. We specialize in several levels of care including Drug & Alcohol Detox, Inpatient Residential Rehab and PHP. Our team is comprised of caring professionals with decades of experience in the identification, evaluation & treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction.
We respect that your time and energy is limited. You want to make up for lost time with your friends and family, and commit yourself to your responsibilities. You are more than your past addiction, and while it is important to maintain strong bonds with the recovery community, it should no longer take up your whole life. Searidge’s aftercare program offers a variety of options that will work with your specific daily responsibilities and needs.
Contemplation represents the first evidence of dynamic behavior. The individual expresses a tentative belief in the possibility that alcohol use might be harmful. The hallmark of this stage is ambivalence and skepticism. Skepticism is not the same as denial but instead allows some degree of personal reflection. The patient is receptive to new information, or just as likely reassured that current behavior is acceptable, in the absence of information. Thus, the clinician should influence the ambivalence characteristic of contemplation in a direction favoring change. This can include pointing out that the patient's actions are not congruent with their goals, giving pamphlets concerning alcohol abuse, and suggesting an abstinence trial.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
Internationally, the U.S. and Eastern Europe are the countries with the highest substance abuse disorder occurrence (5-6%). Africa, Asia, and the Middle East were countries with the lowest worldwide occurrence (1-2%). Across the globe, those that tended to have a higher prevalence of substance dependence were in their twenties, unemployed, and men.[42] The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports on substance dependence/abuse rates in various population demographics across the U.S. When surveying populations based on race and ethnicity in those ages 12 and older, it was observed that American Indian/Alaskan Natives were among the highest rates and Asians were among the lowest rates in comparison to other racial/ethnic groups.[43] Miles Overcomes Heroin |True Stories of Addiction | Detox To Rehab
Outpatient treatment programs give you the flexibility to continue to live at home and work or attend school while participating in a program. There are varying levels of outpatient treatment depending on the level of care the patient needs. Some outpatient programs may involve several hours of therapy per day while others might require varying amounts of time throughout the week.5  Program requirements vary, and you can research the various programs to find what works best for you.
At Hazelden Betty Ford, inpatient treatment for substance abuse begins with our clinicians getting a good understanding of your specific situation. Our treatment team will evaluate your medical health, mental health and chemical use history in order to design an individualized drug and alcohol rehab plan for you. With your permission, our rehab staff may also talk with your family members and other professionals you might already be working with to address your needs and challenges.
Urge surf. Many people try to cope with their urges by toughing it out. But some cravings are too strong to ignore. When this happens, it can be useful to stay with the urge until it passes. This technique is called urge surfing. Imagine yourself as a surfer who will ride the wave of your drug craving, staying on top of it until it crests, breaks, and turns into less powerful, foamy surf. When you ride out the craving, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think. Alabama rehab
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