The decision to enter detox and rehab will always create a huge change in your life. Depending on the drugs you’ve been using, the detox process can take a great deal of time. Additionally, the length of time you’ve been using will have an impact on your detox and rehab experience. How long have you been struggling with your addiction?
Sadly, the length of time you’ve been using will also have an impact on the community that surrounds you. Addiction may have cost you important relationships and made breaking away from drug and alcohol use a larger challenge. For example, if you’ve suffered a marital break-up caused, at least in part, by addiction, you may have lost access to family members who could offer you support when you leave rehab. If you’ve been using long enough that your friends and connections are in place to make it easier to get access to drugs, or if your social engagements revolve around using, that loss of healthy community may also be a factor in your success in rehab and as you move into recovery.
Start With the Basics
The first step in rehab should include a monitored detox. Undergoing monitored detox will protect you from the dangerous severities of withdrawal, such as
- nausea, vomiting and dehydration
- muscle cramps and high levels of pain
- the mental anguish of cravings
If you feel a sense of shame around your addiction, you may have avoided rehab because detox can be so unpleasant. You may have tried to detox on your own and had a frightening experience.
By entering detox and rehab in a monitored facility, you can get support through the detox process. This may include medications to ease your cravings, especially if you have used opiates. It may include medications to lessen the nausea or IV hydration. While such treatments may seem like a gross invasion of your privacy, it is critical that the medical professionals supporting you through detox have the information they need to support your internal organs as your body sheds toxins.
Support for Your Mental Wellbeing
Addiction radically changes the brain. While it’s natural for humans to feel a basic need for items critical to survival, such as food, water and shelter, the addicted brain moves the addictive substance up on that list of necessities. If you have ever broken the law to raise funds for drugs or bought alcohol instead of groceries, you understand just how invasive the cravings for drugs and alcohol can be.
Many people who struggle with longstanding addiction have been self-medicating. For example, you may use alcohol to fight anxiety. You may use stimulants to soothe depression or hallucinogenic drugs to combat mental illness in a way that you understand and can control. During detox and rehab, you may experience a rebound of those conditions that you’ve been medicating away. Entering a monitored detox and rehab program may provide you with new ways to combat these conditions.
Rebuilding a New Future
Once you’ve gotten through detox and move into rehab, you will learn to build new community. You may have the chance to reach out to family members from whom you’ve become estranged. You may be able to reconnect with a former spouse and even reconnect with children that you haven’t seen in a very long time.
The process of rehab will give you new ways to see your life as you change attitude about your illness. Many who struggle with addiction grew up in a home that was also damaged by addiction. Should you be frightened of reaching out to your family with your struggles, the community support you will build in rehab, both with the help of private counseling and in group therapy, will allow you to change the conversation about your experiences. You may be able to guide your family members into a better understanding of the illness as you work to heal your mind, body and spirit.
Addiction is an incredibly complicated illness. At one time, it was viewed as a weakness of will. However, you have the chance to learn more and share your knowledge. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833.970.2054. No matter the length of time you’re been struggling with your addiction, we can help.