We cover a lot of topics related to recovery in this blog. And all of them, if we do say so ourselves, are important.
But sometimes it is helpful to get back to fundamentals. In this entry, we will revisit some previous posts dealing with the central components of substance use disorder treatment: detoxification, rehabilitation, and the continuum of care.
Among the reasons these are good topics for review is that, for some people, a fear of the unknown can stand in the way of seeking out treatment. If that describes you, having a clear understanding of what to expect in treatment can help allay that fear and make it easier for you to decide to seek out the help you need. With that goal in mind, we offer the following description of the treatment process.
Medically Supervised Detoxification Defeats Withdrawal
When you are struggling with drugs or alcohol but reluctant to seek out treatment, you might try to give up the substances on your own. That approach comes with significant challenges—including a host of withdrawal symptoms that can be devilishly hard to withstand. We addressed this issue here:
[D]etoxification can be difficult and unpleasant. But that’s all the more reason to pursue medically-supervised detoxification in a residential treatment environment. While under the care of medical professionals with expertise in treating substance use disorders, you will have help and encouragement in dealing with the challenges of withdrawal.
For some people, the symptoms of withdrawal may persist for 24 to 72 hours. Others may find themselves dealing with withdrawal symptoms for several weeks. And in a few extreme cases, the detoxification process may be ongoing for months or even years as the body recuperates from the damage caused by drugs or alcohol. The support and guidance of a trained treatment team is the best way to address the symptoms no matter how long they last. …
[G]iven the severity of some [withdrawal] symptoms, it is extremely unwise to attempt detoxification on your own (by, for example, going “cold turkey”). A trained, compassionate staff is a key part of the process—especially if your situation calls for assistive medications to support the body as it goes through detox.
Rehabilitation Includes an Array of Approaches—Including Group Therapy
In a robust rehabilitation, you have the opportunity to learn a range of strategies for maintaining your sobriety over time, get treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, and prepare for challenges you might face upon your return to day-to-day life. Group therapy will be part of that mix.
Recognizing that group therapy might seem scary or uncomfortable, we listed some of the advantages of the approach here. Among them:
- The opportunity to work on social and relational skills. The safe space provided by group therapy sessions can help you develop the skills and confidence needed to build good relationships and overcome anxiety in social situations.
- The opportunity to prepare for family therapy. Group therapy involves learning to listen well and to respect a variety of viewpoints. It also helps participants learn a variety of ways to express thoughts and feelings without being confrontational. All of these skills will translate to family therapy, which can make that experience more productive.
- The opportunity to get comfortable with the 12-Step model. Most 12-Step programs are built around systems of group support. Taking part in group therapy in a residential treatment center may help you feel at ease when you first experience a program like Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous.
- The opportunity to learn to balance individual accountability and fidelity to a community. Group therapy is about building connections while also learning how to live up to your personal responsibilities—to the group and to yourself.
Count on Our Continuum of Care
In a previous entry, we argued that “detox and rehab will get you started, but they probably won’t be enough on their own to transform your life over the long haul.”
That’s where our continuum of care comes in. As your recovery journey gets underway, you can count on us to provide ongoing resources and support. We described it this way in that previous blog:
Options that might be included in a person’s continuum of care plan include participating in an intensive outpatient program as a transitional step between residential care and independent living—or even temporarily moving into a “sober living home” shared with others who are in recovery. It is likely that making a connection with a local 12-Step (or other) recovery group would be part of the plan. And there may be get-togethers and support groups that include others who have gone through residential treatment at the same facility.
We Are Ready When You Are
If you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, our sincere hope is that this reminder of the three primary parts of the treatment process has inspired you to take that important first step of reaching out to us. At Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Indiana, we can help you regain and maintain your sobriety. Whenever you are ready (and we hope that it will be sooner rather than later), we will be here.