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Steps to recover from addiction

Steps to recover from addiction

Addiction to harmful substances is a chronic relapsing disease that enforces compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug-seeking behavior, as well as harmful consequences and long-term alterations in the brain. Being a chronic disease, it is essential to seek treatment for early recovery from the problem of addiction.

The path to treatment is usually not as easy and simple as it appears to be. Unlike other treatments, it cannot be cured in a short period. In order to achieve sobriety and ensure early recovery, it is essential to undergo a long-term treatment that requires continuous care and a life-long conviction to curb cravings.

Addiction treatment has the following goals while treating a patient:

  • Stopping drug abuse
  • Making one stay drug-free
  • Helping one become a productive member in the family, work and society

Successful treatment programs have the following steps-

  • Detoxification
  • Behavioral counseling
  • Medication
  • Evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
  • Long-term follow-up to prevent relapses

Rules of treating addiction

To determine an effective treatment program, it is essential to ensure that it is based on the following key principles that have been in effect since the mid-1970s:

  • No standard treatment for all.
  • Ensures quick access to treatment for those in need.
  • Addresses all of the patient’s needs, not just his or her drug use.
  • Staying in treatment critical, irrespective of the duration.
  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most common forms of treatment.
  • Medication is an integral part of treatment, especially in combination with behavioral therapies.
  • Must be often reviewed and modified depending on the patient’s needs.
  • Should be able to address other possible mental disorders.
  • Medically assisted detoxification is the first line of treatment.
  • Need not be voluntary to be effective.
  • Ensures continuous monitoring of the drugs administered.
  • Screens patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases along with awareness on the ways to reduce the risk of such illnesses.

Additionally, both medical practitioners and patients should keep in mind that addiction is a treatable disease. Moreover, an effective treatment includes a combination of both counseling and other behavioral therapies and medication is an integral part of treatment.

Medications used during different phases

Certain drugs aid in the management of withdrawal symptoms, prevention of relapses and treatment of co-occurring conditions. Some of such benefits of drugs during the different phases of the treatment of addiction are mentioned below:

  • Management of withdrawal symptoms: Drugs can be effectively used in inhibiting withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has highlighted the findings of a 2014 study that indicate that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications.
  • Prevention of relapses: Drugs can play a significant role in re-establishing the normal functioning of the brain and suppressing cravings.
  • Treatment of cooccurring conditions: Since addiction has the potential to cause mental disorders, such as depression, certain drugs are available to treat such comorbid conditions.

Role of behavioral therapies

Since addiction causes major behavioral changes among the users, it is essential to undergo behavioral therapies during the treatment to modify one’s outlook and behavior toward drug use, increase healthy life skills and avoid other forms of treatment like medications. As such, behavioral therapies can be administered in different settings with different approaches, such as-

  • Outpatient behavioral treatment: It provides a platform for patients to engage in behavioral therapies with health counselors on a regular basis. Some of the behavioral therapies that are practiced in outpatient treatments are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing and motivational incentives.
  • Inpatient or residential treatment: Such a type of treatment provides 24-hour assistance and intensive care to patients. It is often considered effective for co-occurring conditions and severe mental conditions. Some residential treatment settings are therapeutic communities, short-term residential treatment and recovery housing.

Treatment is key to curb addiction

When a person is grappling with the problem of addiction, it is essential to undergo treatment to avoid major life-disruptive consequences. One of the first steps toward sobriety is detoxification that expunges toxins stored due to the addictive substances.

If you or your loved one has developed drug addiction, contact the Colorado Detox Helpline to access a holistic detox through the best evidence-based plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-730-5807 to connect to the best detox centers in Colorado. You can also chat online with our medical representatives to access any information on the detox treatment centers in Colorado.

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