Decide to Make the Change
If you’ve been struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, it’s easy to lose all hope. The disease of addiction is one that doesn’t want you to get better, so it makes you believe that drinking or using is the only way to live. Alcohol or drugs have become your solution to all of your problems, so it’s nearly impossible to think about the world where you can be happy and sober. The truth is that millions of people around the world were once in your same position, but they decided to make the change. You can recover from this seemingly hopeless situation if you seek out the help of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
Explore Your Treatment Options
Once you’ve decided to go to treatment, figuring out which one you should go to can be difficult. The first thing you should do is consult an addiction specialist who uses the ASAM Criteria. ASAM is a criterion that’s specifically designed to discover the level of severity of a person’s addiction so the treatment specialist can recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment. Once this is decided, you’ll need to find a treatment center that has some qualifications and has a detox center as well. The facility should be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CADC), and it’s also beneficial if the treatment facility treats people with a dual diagnosis in case you have symptoms of mental illness as well.
When you’ve decided to get sober, it’s important to make significant changes in your life. Many people continue drinking or using in their addiction to their environment as well as the people in their lives. Addicts tend to hang around other people who drink and use in excess, so you must find a support group who you can rely on when you’re trying to stay sober. The first place to start building a support group is in the treatment center. No matter where you’re from and where your support group members are from, you can stay connected and call one another when you’re struggling to stay clean that day. Once you return home, you should go to 12-step meetings as well so you can introduce yourself and begin to build a sober network back home.
Make Sobriety Last
As you’ll learn in your treatment program, there’s no cure for sobriety. Addiction is a great, progressive mental illness that stays with you forever, which is why complete abstinence is the only way to regain control of your life. To do this, you need to take the necessary steps to make your sobriety last, and you can do this by engaging in the aftercare programs that your treatment facility has recommended for you. Aftercare can include ongoing individual or group therapy, your support groups, and 12-step meetings. Another great way to strengthen your recovery in early sobriety is by moving into a sober living home, so you don’t immediately jump back into your old situation once you leave treatment.
Build a Meaningful Life Without Drugs
A life of addiction causes people to lose sight of the hopes and dreams they once had. Many addicts settle for mediocre jobs or don’t work at all while they’re in their active addiction. When you leave treatment, you need time to focus on your recovery, but you also need to begin planning to become self-supporting. Other than getting a job, it’s also time to change your old ways of being selfish and self-centered, and you can do this by volunteering in your community. The best way you can get away from your old selfish ways is to talk with newcomers at 12-step meetings because your experience, strength, and hope may be what they need to hear to stay sober, and you’ll also find that it helps with your personal recovery.
Never Lose Hope
A common misconception about addiction is that life is going to be perfect as soon as you get sober, but there will be difficult times ahead. The trick is to learn how to deal with them in a healthy way to prevent relapse, but sometimes your addiction can get the best of you. If you should relapse, never lose hope. It is possible for a person never to relapse in their life, but many addicts do. The most important thing to do when you relapse is to remember that there is, in fact, a solution, and you know what to do to get back on the right track. Whether it’s going to more 12-step meetings, moving into sober living or going back to rehab, you must forgive yourself for your relapse and try again.
The Steps to Addiction Recovery for Teenagers
The above steps are beneficial for just about anyone who has struggled with addiction, but teens must take their steps a little bit differently. At such a young age, teens haven’t fully mentally developed when it comes to responsibility and emotions. Teens should first seek help, then embrace new habits, take it one step at a time and then find treatment. Teens can often over-complicate things and feel overwhelmed about all of the above changes, but one must remember that teens are in the early stages of addiction. The teen should remember to take it easy and one step at a time because there’s still time for them to lead a happy, successful life.
Putting it All Together
All of the above steps may seem like a tall order, but they’re very simple. You should always remember that if you put even half as much effort into your sobriety as your drinking or using, you’ll be able to succeed in a life of sobriety. Everything will seem difficult at first. From entering treatment to building a support group and overcoming cravings can be hard, but it does get better. As long as you stay sober one day at a time, staying clean will become second nature, and you’ll be able to live life.