Substance misuse and abuse are unfortunately commonplace in today’s society, although there are numerous rehab centers like Elevate offering different routes to recovery. In the past 10 years, there has been a startling increase in the number of Americans addicted to opioid-based drugs as a result of being prescribed highly addictive painkillers.
However, despite these rising numbers and our better understanding of addiction, there still remain some widespread misconceptions and misunderstandings. In this article, we seek to set out the facts and allay the myths surrounding addiction in order to encourage more people to get the help they need.
Addiction Recovery Tips and Facts
- Addiction is an illness affecting the brain.
It is crucial that people understand that addiction is not a lifestyle choice. It is this very misconception that has created a negative stereotype about “drug addicts” that normally bears little resemblance to reality. Although the initial choice to use alcohol or drugs is a conscious one, when someone has developed dependence, they are no longer able to control their cravings or urges to use more.
- There is no “cure.”
Addiction is a relapsing illness which means a person can have left a rehab center years prior to returning to substance abuse. This does not mean relapse is inevitable but it does mean that cravings have to be managed effectively and possibly for the rest of a person’s life after rehab. Many people are familiar with the term recovering addict and some people continue to use the title for years after attending rehab facilities. This serves as a reminder that a person can’t ever be cured of substance use disorder.
- Becoming sober and remaining sober are not the same.
Getting sober is not something that is achieved in detox alone and requires more than just “cleaning up.” When a person is on a treatment program, they will move on from detox to the rehab phase, where they will be empowered to make the necessary lifestyle changes that promote a long-term recovery. At Elevate, we place the specific needs of the individual at the center of each and every treatment program.
- Substitute addictions can be problematic.
Elevate Addiction Services believes in the efficacy of holistic therapies of healing patients in a completely natural way. This is quite contrary to the approach used at many other rehab centers which have more of a focus on using medications to treat addiction. While these meds can be useful, they can also serve to provide patients with a crutch to replace the substance they were abusing before. The most important role of rehab facilities is to address the negative thought processes driving addictive behavior. We feel this is best done without introducing further chemicals to our patients in rehab.
- There is no “one way” in addiction recovery.
Everyone has a unique experience of substance abuse and there are other factors at play that make each case even more complex. A family history of addiction, the presence of a mental illness or a challenging or enabling lifestyle can all contribute to make a patient’s issues more pronounced. We offer a wide range of holistic therapies for patients in recovery so they are very likely to find the most effective route to recovery that meets their individual needs.
- Be prepared to grieve.
Although recovering from addiction is a fulfilling experience, many patients are initially very disturbed to let go of their lives before rehab. One of the fundamental aspects of rehab is that patients have to make significant changes in the people they mix with and the places they go in order to ensure they remain sober. For some patients who may have been completely immersed in a world of substance abuse at home or work, this can be a painful experience not unlike the death of a loved one. However, this grieving process is entirely natural and just another phase that has to be passed through before recovery is possible.
- Actions rather than intentions needed for recovery.
Although daily positive affirmations are valuable in providing motivation, it is still essential to back up intentions with action. Taking small steps to improve an individual’s lifestyle and working towards pre-set goals is important in keeping momentum going while in recovery. Going for a walk each day, working out at the gym or signing up for a class is a good way of motivating individuals in recovery.
- Changing people, places, and things are not enough.
It is not enough to just stop mixing with people abusing substances and avoiding the places where the individual regularly used drugs or alcohol themselves. What is required in rehab centers is that individuals make inner changes in terms of the way they think about substances, themselves, the world around them and their place in it. This is another reason the holistic approach is seen as very beneficial in addiction treatment as it provides patients with the tools for self-exploration.
- Form friendships that include people in and out of recovery.
Support from peers is a crucial component of a successful recovery and this is generally accessed through group therapy in rehab. For many people entering rehab, group therapy is the first opportunity they have had to communicate what they are going through to people who completely understand. Some of the bonds formed in rehab facilities remain very strong and continue to support recovering addicts in recovery for many years after completing a rehab program.
- Overall health is important.
When a person has been abusing substances for a given period of time, they are likely to have damaged themselves mentally, physically and emotionally. This is the principal reason why Elevate’s holistic therapies and treatments are used to heal addiction because they address the needs of the individual as a whole. An Elevate rehab program has components of physical fitness, nutritional education and body rejuvenation to build up a patient’s strength in natural ways. With a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, overcoming addiction is made much more possible.