Thousands of people in Florida suffer everyday from the chronic disease of addiction. It’s a disease that comes with a lot of social stigma attached to it. It’s the kind of disease that though manageable, it does not have a cure. However, if not treated and managed, drug and alcohol addiction likely ends in death. Whether the person’s death occurs over time due to persistent substance abuse that deteriorates various body functions and systems, or whether the death is due to a sudden overdose, untreated addiction will almost definitely lead to fatality.
When someone realizes that they suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction, and first begins to understand that they have a problem, the initial step to quit drinking or using their substance of choice must be to admit that the way they are using drugs and alcohol is not only an unhealthy substance abuse but, even more problematic, it is likely a chemical dependency and substance addiction on a far deeper level than misuse.
After admitting to themselves that they likely have developed a substance use disorder, in order to continue tip toeing toward recovery, the addict should start by speaking to their family or friends about their addiction. Externalizing the truth of their addiction in this way rectifies in their own mind what they already know and makes the truth of their addiction more real. If an addiction isn’t real and present in the addict’s mind, tangible to the person struggling with addiction, it will be impossible to benefit from any sort of treatment program. Talking with friends and family about addiction is intimidating due to the social stigma attached to addiction. It may seem scary to speak with loved ones about addiction and doing so, in all honesty, may result in some judgement depending on the person the addict approaches.
The best thing for an addict to do to safeguard against negative backlash which could lead them away from the progress they are already making,and deliver them back into the arms of solid addiction, is to speak with the friends and family they trust the most in order to find their support structure and ask for help seeking treatment. The people that the person struggling with addiction know will be their foundation until they can rebuild their own because they are trusted and loved friends and family who have shown themselves to be truly compassionate and loving. These will be the people whom the addict can trust to be a source of care and help throughout their addiction recovery.
The next step for the person struggling with substance abuse is to locate substance abuse treatment. Florida has many options for treatment. Some important things for an addict to remember when researching recovery programs is that the best treatment programs will shape the addict’s addiction recovery plan to fit their specific individual needs. No matter what kind of plan the addict ends up choosing, the very first step of any chemical dependency and drug or alcohol addiction recovery program is always medically supervised detoxification.
Medically Supervised Alcohol Detox or Drug Detox at a South Florida Detox in Broward County
Even though detox seems pretty straight forward, attending a medically supervised detox program is a vital step to recovery for an addict. When looking at programs it may become overwhelming because treatment programs are so varied and open to the unique aspects of what the addict is bringing as far as need and history goes. Though it may seem like too much, it is important to remember that even when talking about the somewhat straightforward nature of detox, every body will experience withdrawal symptoms differently. Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on the substance that created the chemical dependency in question. But more specific to the persons struggling with the disease, symptoms will vary depending on how much of it a substance the person was taking habitually before going to detox, what kind of shape their body is in at the time of detox, along with other factors. Symptoms will range from moderate to severe depending on these factors. It is only under the close supervision of a medically licensed and qualified staff that anyone can be sure they are truly medically safe. Doing detox in a treatment center also raises the likelihood that a person will avoid relapse in the detox portion of recovery. Detox brings with it plenty of triggers and cravings. It is much harder to give into those if the addict knows someone is caring for them and has a stake in their recovery.
Residential Rehabilitation Treatment
Residential rehab programs are likely what someone is thinking of when they hear the word “rehab”. Many people find this aspect of recovery to simultaneously be the hardest and most beneficial time of addiction recovery. This phase is hard because in a residential rehab, the person is apart from their comfort zone. They leave their family and friends and spend time at a facility where there are others struggling with addictions just like they are, licensed clinicians who can monitor their physical wellbeing, and qualified therapists to help guide them to learning the life skills they need to rebuild their lives and start living a new sober life. Treatment in a facility like this can last anywhere from 20 to 90 days, or longer for a few cases. Just like all things regarding addiction recovery treatment, length of treatment does depend on the person coming to treatment.
During rehab a person will start to do a deep investigation into addiction in general – learning about the way addiction changes the body, how the particular substance they were using changes the body and what kinds of long term effects the addict may be facing, depending on how long they were using the drug, and about the ins and outs of what brought them to the addiction. If the addict, for example, experienced trauma in the past they will have therapy available to them to understand how that very likely has contributed to their addiction. They will learn about what kinds of mental health disorders may be co-existing with their substance abuse to create a dual diagnosis, how the two co-occurring disorders feed off of one another, and the life skills necessary to deal with both disorders in the event of a trigger or craving.
Outpatient Continuing Aftercare and Relapse Prevention Therapy
Many people think about rehab as the last step in recovery. That is far from true. In fact rehab is only a small part of the recovery process. Rehab is there to teach you the foundational skills you need to move into something known as “active recovery”. Active recovery is hopefully where the addict will be for the remainder of their lives. Because addiction is incurable, active recovery is the state of being where a person struggling with alcohol or drug addiction has gone through detoxification and is clean from their substance, has gone through rehabilitation and is savvy when it comes to dealing with triggers and cravings, and is using the life skills they learned in rehab and continue to learn in outpatient care to manage the disease – maintaining control of their lives where as before treatment the addiction controlled their lives. Recovery for a drug addict or alcoholic never ends. There is always more to learn about oneself and there are always more skills to learn so that staying sober can become your habit, instead of the other way around.
An important aspect of sober living for an addict is after care. Continuing therapy after rehab is a vital way that addicts can be supported through the first few months of coming out of rehab. These are the most vulnerable for an addict. In order to prevent relapse during this time, one must take measures to safeguard against it intentionally and preemptively. One way to do this is to keep working with your rehab safety net through further outpatient treatment. Since you’ve been with the community through detox and rehab there will be an element of safety and kinship that can make these first vulnerable months more bearable.
Not only that but in this time an addict will likely experience triggers they weren’t ready for, continuing group therapy, individual therapy and even joining a 12 step program can be a source of support and good ideas. Working with fellow addicts who are farther along in their recovery journey can bring a type of knowledge that few other resources can match. Making sure to continue taking an active role in their own recovery by setting up relapse prevention aftercare will bring an addict’s likelihood of continuing to live a sober life way up. Recovery doesn’t end after rehab, in fact it doesn’t end at all.
Florida Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment
At 1st Step Behavioral Health a person struggling with addiction can pick from a myriad of different drug or alcohol addiction recovery treatments available to them so a multi-step treatment plan can be made that addresses each aspect of struggle and need that is unique to each addict. Variety of treatment can range from outpatient to inpatient detox and rehab, long term and shorter stays in a rehab programs, different forms of therapy available, etc. 1st Step also has substance specific recovery treatment options such as specific alcohol rehab, or our heroin drug treatment. Broward county drug rehab at 1st Step Behavioral Health is your first step to recovery, no matter what your addiction is and no matter where you’re coming from.
Call now to learn more about how the rehab programs available at 1st Step can work for you or a loved one.