No matter how long you’ve been using or what’s in your system right now, detox and rehab can help you create a much better life. The detox, rehab and recovery process has received a great deal of attention and the science behind it is getting more attention. What kind of treatment programs work for addiction? Today, there are many options.
Detox, Rehab, Recovery
No matter the program you enter, the first and safest step is to undergo a monitored detox. During a monitored detox, your body is supported by medical professionals while your intake of drugs is stopped and your body sheds both the drugs and toxins that have built up over years.
Detox can be dangerous if you don’t have support. During the detox process, you can become dangerously dehydrated due to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. You may have cardiac issues caused by this dehydration. You may also suffer from muscle cramps and a great deal of perspiration, leaving you feeling both unwell and unwashed. Detox can also make you pretty unpleasant.
Even if you are medicated to help you manage the cravings, you may say and do things that are far outside your normal comfort level. Instead of trying to do this on your own or in the company of a supportive loved one, protect both yourself and your loved ones by undergoing a detox in the company of trained professionals. Following detox, you will move into rehab.
There are many different treatment options associated with rehab, including 12-step programs in group as well as private therapies. If you are not comfortable with the tenets of the 12 steps, such as the religious connotations, you have other options. There are non-theistic treatment programs as well as online programs where you can look for support outside of in-person group.
The rehab process will be time of tremendous growth. When you come out of detox, you may well be very fragile. You may be feeling physically ill or uncertain about your commitment to the whole process. However, the move into rehab will also help you to speak up about your experiences and even share your hopes for a sober future.
As you get physically stronger and your body begins to heal from the rehab process, you will likely feel good enough to start
- gentle exercise
- eating a healthier selection of food
- sharing your feelings more effectively
By the end of a standard 28 day inpatient rehab or a 6 week outpatient rehab, you may feel strong enough to move back into the world and the recovery stage. Addiction makes huge changes in the brain. Many drugs flood dopamine receptors with such intensity that those receptors actually shut down. Instead of the flood and rush that comes with a dose of your drug of choice, you may feel extremely blah for a stretch of time. As the drugs are cleansed from your system and your brain comes back into balance, you may well find that your dopamine receptors do begin to function more effectively.
For example, dopamine is released when something pleasurable happens to you. A brownie can trigger a dopamine release, as can a relaxing yoga class. Drugs and alcohol generate a dopamine flood. The problem with trying to release larger and larger dopamine floods with drugs and alcohol is that the receptors simply can’t handle the load and stop picking up the chemical. Many addicts find that the first high they experienced is always the best high; they end up chasing the rush that their brain simply can’t absorb anymore.
There are treatment programs that offer rewards, such as cash or gift cards, for participating as an outpatient. While the research is still pending on these programs, it does make sense that offering a reward for health behavior can help stimulate dopamine production and reception. You may learn to build rewards for yourself as you work through rehab. You may need to reach out to a family member as part of your therapy.
Make sure that you pair this activity, which you may not want to do, with a reward. A simple treat, such as a saved dessert, can provide you with a reward in which you can take some pride. No matter the outcome of the exchange, you made the effort and received the reward. Drug treatment is much more than just detox. A skilled rehab practitioner can help you to build ways to properly care for yourself and better understand your triggers and needs. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 855-334-6120.