Yep, this is The Big One.
Before anyone can truly help themselves, they need to accept that they have a problem and then decide they want to find a way out. For real.
the road to recovery
"I was so wrapped up in my own addiction I'd lost the ability to be step back to figure it out for myself. I think sometimes it takes someone who's been through it to help someone who's going through it. For me, I had to first decide it was time to try."
In recovery speaking.
I went cold turkey and could have died. There are two drugs that you can die from in detox…
Detox is short for detoxification -- getting the toxins out of your system, or at least neutralizing them, before treatment can begin.
When you begin down the road towards recovery, your first step will be detoxification, to give your body time to rid itself of traces of the substance. This typically takes about a week as you're guided through through the process with the support of a medical professional or treatment center.
Improper detoxification off of alcohol and off of bvenzodiazepines ("benzos”) run the highest risks of fatality.
After detoxification, the rehabilitation process begins, which may be on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Typically including individual and group therapy, treatment is the process used to free yourself from substance addiction. (Treatment may include medically-supervised detoxification).
Inpatient treatment requires a stay in a specific, secured location and typically lasts anywhere from 28 to 90 days with around the clock care. In some cases, successful treatment can require a year, or more.
For outpatient treatment, patients live at home and come into a therapy location during the course of the week for group or individual therapy sessions.
Treatment comes in different forms and may include medication assisted treatment (MAT), if deemed appropriate. Some programs are faith-based while others are secular.
To begin your journey to find the treatment that's right for you, identify your needs and research your options. Reach out and ask questions. Contact treatment centers, your insurance company and your doctor to make sure you find the best fit. Costs vary depending on service, amenities and your ability to pay. There are options available to those who lack insurance coverage for treatment.
Just as you choose a doctor or dentist, you’ll want to take these things into consideration for a treatment center:
Distance from your home
Treatment philosophies and types
Accreditation (look for a facility with Joint Commission Behavioral Health accreditation)
When deciding whether inpatient or outpatient is best, take into consideration the depth of addiction. Outpatient can be appropriate for those deemed to have a mild form of addiction or for those in need of a continuation of care or support following inpatient treatment.
If you need help navigating the treatment process, you might consider these resources:
While successful treatment may require a significant financial investment, the cost of untreated addiction can be much higher.
After treatment, you enter into the process of recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), recovery is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential.” In their list of guiding principles, it states that abstinence is the safest approach, but “recovery occurs via many pathways.”
These are some of the options of support in recovery:
Peer-to-peer services are groups or organizations made up of trained individuals who have been through treatment and are in substance abuse recovery themselves. Surrounding yourself with people who have the same goals as you can help reduce your possibility of relapse. Peers can help you with anything from identifying and eliminating "triggers" (objects, situations, people or places that create a desire to use substances), to helping you map out a new career path.
Sober living homes or halfway housing
Sober living homes are for those who wish to live in a safe, supportive and drug-free environment following treatment. Halfway housing offers a similar environment but are typically are staffed by clinical addiction professionals. Most halfway houses require that residents have already completed treatment or are currently enrolled in a treatment program. Stays in halfway houses are for less than a year, while stays in sober living homes can be for much longer.
After successful treatment and integration into a supportive group or environment, a person may feel the urge to use again. This is normal and many people experience a desire to use even years into recovery. Participating in a support group can be crucial to continued success. Dealing with such cravings may include talking to a peer in recovery, practicing coping skills learned in treatment, attending a recovery group meeting or seriously thinking through the consequences of a relapse.