Home > The Complex Nature of Addiction and Recovery
Addiction recovery takes place when an individual recognizes they have a destructive substance abuse problem they can’t control, they’re motivated to change and willing to seek help. While medical detoxification will safely remove harmful substances from an individual’s body, addiction is as much a psychological disorder as a physical dependence. Facing challenging life situations typically prompt substance abuse and won’t necessarily cease cropping up, so it is important those in recovery honestly evaluate all that contributes to their addiction. Recovery happens not only in a treatment facility, but in the daily life of an addict after they leave. It involves creating a new life based on principals that promote sobriety, health and well-being.
Understanding the deep connections between the psychological, emotional and physical aspects of addiction are at the heart of every addiction recovery program. In order to break the habit of relying on substance abuse as a solution, it will be necessary to make simultaneous changes in one’s attitudes and coping skills. Drugs are chemicals which not only change the way the brain works, but often have been used to numb or dull unwanted emotions by the user. When thoughts and feelings begin returning from the haze of drug abuse, their force and clarity can be shocking to an addict, who has in many ways stunted their ability to appropriately manage them. Early recovery can be a roller coaster of relief, anxiety and a spectrum of emotional responses while an addict begins to confront their life again. The tools learned in treatment will prepare a recovering addict for the challenges ahead, ensuring they have the help and support necessary to achieve freedom from addiction.
Staying sober is much more than cultivating the strength to say no to one’s substance of choice, addiction recovery will prepare an individual to prevent falling back into habits of using alcohol or drugs to deal with problems and stress. Relapse prevention is a cognitive-behavioral approach with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations and understanding warning signs. Prevention begins well before the opportunity for relapse occurs, with a comprehensive plan accounts for social interactions, emotional triggers and the development of positive coping mechanisms.
Staying sober is not a solo gig, it is essential recovering addicts and alcoholics interact on a regular basis with others who understand the complex nature of addiction and who can offer moral support. There are times when individuals are feeling isolated by the disease process itself and having a figurative set of tools to handle these situations is important. Cognitive techniques provide people with ways to reframe habitual thinking patterns and change the process, this paired with behavioral techniques include the use of lifestyle modifications to promote individuals healthy coping mechanisms, and keep sobriety as a stable way of life.
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Drug or alcohol rehabilitation works at DARA by taking you away from your daily triggers and stresses that lead to your drug or alcohol use in the first place.
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DARA can use a model to help conceptualize the process of recognizing there is a drinking or drug problem and taking action to do something about it.