Beating drug or alcohol addiction can be very hard but it is not impossible. If you have been using illegal or prescription drugs for some time, it has probably changed your brain’s neural landscape so much that you get cravings all the time. The road to recovery will probably not be an easy one and will probably consist of many road bumps and setbacks. However, if you recognize that you have a problem and are willing to change, that is the first step.

Know that it is okay if you feel undecided, torn, or even if you’re questioning if you have what it takes. Recovery takes time and motivation and it is a 24/7 job. You will also have to consider many aspects of your life such as what you will do in your free time, get to a point where you know that you’re deserving of the good in life, and any prescription medications you may take. You may also need to change who you hang out with.

Another thing you will need to consider is whether or not you suffer from clinical depression. While not everyone with clinical depression becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs, those who do often increase the intake as soon as the high wears off. Alcohol and drugs initially act as stimulants. With every increased amount of substance, the less that the high lasts. Which means that you will probably keep having more and more crashes until your body literally gives out. Unless your addiction and depression are addressed at the same time, your chances for recovery will probably not be that good. It is currently estimated that up to 60 percent of those struggling with drug addiction relapse at some point.

Before you get to a rehab, some of the first things you can do are:

  • Track your drug or alcohol use, including when and how much.
  • List your pros and cons for quitting. Including how much you spend on your habit.
  • Consider who and what you want to live for, your kids, your partner, your career, etc.
  • Ask yourself exactly what’s stopping you from quitting
  • Ask someone who you believe will be non-judgmental and you trust for his or her opinion about your drug use

Once you believe that you are completely committed to quitting, explore your treatment options. This will likely include an inpatient (or live-in) rehab treatment. The Hollywood treatment center has all of the following steps:

  • Detoxification. This is a necessary step to completely purge the effects of all of the drugs from your system. It also helps to manage the withdrawal symptoms.
  • Medication may follow if you still need it to manage withdrawal and prevent a relapse. Also, if you have a pre-existing mental health challenge, such as clinical depression, you may receive medication for that as well.
  • Behavioral counseling. This can include individual, family and group therapy to help you get at and destroy the root trigger of your drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Follow-up. This may include attending meetings at organizations such as AA or NA in order to help you stay on track and prevent you from relapsing.

A few other options:

  • Partial Hospitalization. You go to the center for 7-8 hours a day but go to your normal home at night. This is if you need ongoing medical monitoring but want to go home to a familiar environment.
  • Outpatient treatment. The opposite of inpatient treatment. You can schedule it around your job or school
  • Sober living communities. This is a community in which recovering addicts can live with and help each other in healthy ways in a safe place. This is available if you’re worried that going home too soon could lead to a relapse or if you don’t have your own home.

Published by Arina Smith