Those who’ve struggled with substance abuse, or have family members who have, may have a basic understanding of the disorder. However, there are several aspects of addiction that may not become clear until a person enrolls into a rehabilitation program.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a very complex issue. Understanding how it works, the root causes, and what to expect when you enter into recovery is essential for successful rehabilitation.
Here, we’ll discuss some important addiction facts that anyone being affected by alcohol or drug abuse should know. We’ll also look at the first steps to take on the road to recovery.
Addiction is a disease
The question if often asked, is addiction a disease? Addiction is a multifaceted illness affecting all aspects of an addict’s health. It entails the compulsive use of one or more substances, despite experiencing severe health and social ramifications.
Like many chronic diseases, addiction results from a combination of behavioral, psychological, biological, and environmental factors. These factors interact in ways that make addiction a challenging condition to understand and treat effectively.
Addiction physically changes your brain and the chemicals in your body
It’s very important to understand that addictions to drugs or alcohol have a real physical aspect. Addiction interferes with various areas of the brain that govern reward, motivation, learning, judgment, and memory.
Part of addiction treatment is detoxing the body from the addictive substances being used. This allows the brain to make a physical recovery and process hormones and other body chemicals the way it should again.
It’s important to note that detoxing at home is rarely a good idea. Tremors, increased blood pressure, and even seizures are during detoxification. So, it’s always best to detox under the supervision of a health care provider.
Genetics play a large part in addiction
Substance use disorder frequently has a hereditary component and tends to run in families. This is because the condition can be passed down from parent to child through genes.
Therefore, family history can provide insight into how susceptible someone may be to addiction. If a close family member has been impacted by addiction, a person should be particularly cautious about their own substance use.
Each individual inherits a distinctive blend of genetic variations. In the case of substance use disorder, there can be various genetic causes underlying the condition. Furthermore, individuals who possess certain high-risk gene variations may or may not express the trait associated with addiction.
Determining the exact genetic cause of addiction is challenging. However, research demonstrates that genes play a significant role in substance use.
Compassion is necessary for a successful recovery
When entering into treatment programs, it’s important to choose a facility with a compassionate staff. These people are there to provide guidance, care, and support during the transformation from addiction into recovery.
At Whispering Oaks Lodge, we employ caring substance abuse counselors that aren’t there to judge our patients. We’re here to provide them with the mental and emotional support they need.
Recovery comes in several stages
When entering an addiction treatment center, there’s not a set time frame for a person to recover from addiction. Every person must go through the process based on their own needs.
There are several stages to recovery. Mental, emotional and physical detox, along with changing personal outlook are the first steps. A person must want to be physically and emotionally free of these substances to achieve recovery.
Addressing other health issues is necessary
A focus of our center is to address any other underlying mental health issues that may have led to addiction. Many people suffering from emotional issues find themselves self-medicating to ease the emotional and mental pain.
By addressing issues such as anxiety and depression, we have a very successful recovery rate with our patients.
It’s okay to try, and try again
We’re sure you are familiar with the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” This is true in so many areas of life, but particularly in alcohol and drug addiction treatment. Many people who relapse after leaving a recovery center think that they can’t break the habit. Therefore, they choose not to try again.
Everyone is different, and every program won’t work for every person. If someone has tried one program and had a relapse, all that means is that they should try a different approach. They can break the addiction and can enter into full recovery, preventing further drug or alcohol abuse. They may just have to try, and try again.
The wonderful news is that they’re not alone. Most people have been to a rehabilitation center more than once to overcome their addiction.
This doesn’t mean that they’re a failure! In fact, it’s just the opposite. Reentering a treatment facility shows that they’re determined to succeed in breaking the addiction.
Controlled freedom adds to the recovery success rate
One facet of our recovery program is called controlled freedom. As a person enters into the advanced stages of their recovery, it’s important to reintroduce our patients into social situations. This is so they feel comfortable interacting with others without their substance dependence.
We help our patients adjust to being social without being high by providing field trips to restaurants and other local events. They’re able to experience these things in a controlled manner. As a result, they can feel comfortable in these situations once they leave the program.
Controlled freedom has been noted as one of the most important steps in our program. People learn self-worth when they are given these freedoms and prove to themselves that they can manage in social situations without being under the influence.
Recovery is a long term project
When someone walks out of a drug rehabilitation center, they must still work at recovery. At first, it may be difficult, and they may even slip up, but that is okay.
Over time, it will become much easier to stay sober. They’ll find that family and friends will respect their efforts. Our treatment program has many resources in place to help our patients continue to live in recovery once they’ve finished residential treatment. As part of the important step of aftercare, we can refer you to support groups, and family therapy sessions.
There is help
No matter what the addiction is, the important thing is taking that first step towards recovery. Every individual responds to treatment differently and thus treatment should be on an individual basis. However, the facts outlined here are applicable in just about all cases.
With our understanding and compassionate staff, along with programs such as SMART Recovery, Whispering Oaks Lodge is the ideal facility for you or your loved one. We encourage you to see what our amazing facility can offer so that you can begin your journey to recovery.