Getting clean and working towards long-term sobriety can be a difficult and long journey. So, we take it day by day and step by step. Breaking it down to day-by-day can help keep anyone looking for help from feeling overwhelmed. Getting clean is a process. The longevity of it does not have to be intimidating. At any and every point, there is a place and people that can help you. Getting through the tough times is worth it because this is your life. Your life is worth fighting for.
Detoxification, or detox, is the first place an addict will find themselves when checking in for help. These are one to two-week programs. These two-week programs will help those going through withdrawal symptoms. After that last fix or drink, there are going to be some uncomfortable to painful withdrawal symptoms. Certain substances can cause serious reactions from the body, so being in an environment where medical professionals are available around the clock can keep everyone safe. For example, heavy alcohol abuse’s withdrawal can include hot and cold sweats, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, shaky hands, and intense anxiety.
Some people may have seizures or see and hear things that aren’t there or hallucinations. In this state, no one should be alone. Substances have such an impact on the brain chemically that initially addicts and alcoholics should be in a safe place. While in a detox there are certain medications available to help some of those symptoms. Detox can help you get through this painful time and help you begin your journey to long term sobriety.
Rehab, or rehabilitation centers, are longer-term programs. After detox, these can last thirty to ninety days. That depends on what you and your recovery specialists think will work best for you. Programs and therapies have to be as individualized as every person that has gone through or will go through their doors. Rehabs have come a long way in the ways they can help. There are a few different ways residential rehabs can help. There are individualized rehab programs that are created with each person that comes into a facility. No two people are the same. There may be similarities in our journeys, but what we have experienced is our own. There are people there that can help you on a one-on-one basis or in a group setting. Residential programs give an addict or alcoholic time to work through their problems or issues. This provides time without substances in the body to begin to think about what their own sobriety will look and feel like.
After leaving rehab it can feel like jumping right back into your hometown, almost like you never left. The thing is no place will ever change. The change that has happened is within. That change is worth fighting for. Before you leave, you and your recovery specialist should come up with an action plan. There is a whole new community waiting for you when you get back home. There are 12 Step programs for both the alcoholic and the addict. There are 12 Step programs for anyone that may need help. There are maintenance programs. MATs, or medically-assisted treatments. MATs are the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD) and can help some people to sustain recovery. Medications like Suboxone, Methadone, or Vivitrol are there to help. It is important that the focus is always on your recovery.
Sometimes, maintenance programs aren’t right for everyone. Regardless of where you go after rehab, be sure that the people around you like family and friends are a part of your support group. The community surrounding recovery is massive and non-judgemental. There are people in these communities that are willing and can help with bigger problems and day-to-day issues. It is up to you to utilize the tools available. These options can help achieve long-term sobriety.
From getting clean to your 5th year anniversary to forever your sobriety is going to be with you. If you can make peace with yourself and get to the place mentally where you need to be- you can be the next person to help someone. You can live a healthy lifestyle, have fun, and have a life. You can make your world what you want it to be. Getting out of that cycle of addiction is hard, but can be so rewarding. Sobriety is not boring. It is a life you create without substances. Drugs and alcohol will never change. You know what they are and what they do. So, why not try sobriety? You might like it. If you or someone you know is struggling- reach out for help. It is worth it.