There are multiple steps in the recovery process, from the initial decision to get help, to continued, long-term sobriety. The number of steps within this process will certainly depend on the individual in recovery and the treatment program he or she enrolls in.

However, it’s clear that, in every case of addiction recovery, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. After all, making the choice to go through treatment usually doesn’t happen unless a person knows that he or she actually needs help.

After an individual recognizes that there is a substance use problem in his or her life, the next step in recovery is to do something about that problem. If you have recently realized that you have an alcohol or drug use problem, seeking treatment through an addiction recovery program will put you on the right path to true recovery. From this point on, you can engage in your recovery and work hard to avoid relapse.

Starting an Addiction Recovery Program: The First Critical Steps

Receiving treatment through an addiction recovery program is never easy. However, the best part of treatment is the support and guidance you receive to promote lasting sobriety. You have the opportunity to build relationships with other recovering individuals, relationships that last a lifetime. Also, throughout your treatment process, you will even experience proud moments and make memories you’ll never forget. These memories and successful moments will serve as a reminder and an encouragement as you continue on your journey to recovery.

While it’s certainly true that rehab can be challenging and difficult, it’s also true that this journey can prove to be rewarding and life-changing for you. But, the only way in which you can really benefit from a professional treatment program is to commit to your recovery, being sure to stay dedicated to your treatment goals. Honesty with yourself, the therapists and clinical care providers will be absolutely necessary throughout this process. 

Remaining dedicated during your substance abuse treatment can be hard, especially in stressful moments when thoughts of relapse come to your mind. But, your support system of colleagues and therapists will help you to stay on track and continue moving in the right direction!

The first two steps through an addiction recovery program include:

Admit You Have a Problem

Have you hit rock bottom? Have you seen the problem after a bad experience? Or are you just tired of the cycle of addiction? No matter how you get to the point of admitting you have a problem, you have to get there. Again, it’s really the first step toward recovery. After all, if you’re not sure that you have a problem or you don’t believe your drinking or drug use has become an issue, it’s like that you won’t feel the need for treatment. Or, treatment might not be effective for you. 

Perhaps you’re not suffering from a substance use problem. Maybe someone you know is dealing with drug or alcohol abuse. Likely, you’ve noticed some harmful patterns in your loved one’s life.

You might have recognized some signs of a serious alcoholism or drug abuse problem. If you’re trying to help a loved one come to terms with their addiction, support with early intervention can help you to encourage the individual to enter rehab.

Seek Out Support

Getting the support you need is the key to starting (and continuing) your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. No one should have to go through recovery alone, including you. Support can come from caring friends, family members, healthcare providers or an addiction recovery support group. You can also reach out to addiction recovery programs you’re interested in to gain entry into a world of people who are ready and able to provide the help you need.

Having the support of those who truly want the best for you will definitely help you in more ways than one. As you begin treatment, you may face a lot of challenges and obstacles. It might be uncomfortable at first, especially as many individuals in your life may not really understand why you need to go to treatment. You might be facing many uncertainties as it’s sometimes hard to know what to expect in rehab. 

Good friends and loving family members can really help to make your transition into treatment much easier and more comfortable for you. Sometimes, however, it might be difficult to get the support you need from loved ones.

Perhaps, some of your family members are also using alcohol and drugs and haven’t felt the need to get help. This can be toxic for you and it’s likely that your family won’t be the best support system for you. 

If this is the case, don’t worry! You can establish a great support system during rehab, connecting with like-minded individuals. All of you will be working toward the same goal of lasting sobriety. This in itself, helps to create a sense of understanding amongst your group. 

Early Recovery

Roll up your sleeves after you gain support. Get ready to reinvest in yourself. You deserve a better life with a safe, healthy, and exciting future!

The early stages of recovery are often challenging. This is usually the part of the process where individuals are going through detoxification and beginning to learn how to live without drug or alcohol use. 

Individuals who are in the early stages of recovery are often faced with the need to be more vulnerable and open with their therapists and counselors, which can be difficult. But, this is why support is so necessary. 

Detoxification

When you talk to a recovery program you’re interested in, the next step is detoxification, also known as detox. This process cleanses your body of the toxins of alcohol and drugs. But, it’s only the first step in the treatment process.

Basically, addiction affects people on multiple levels and in several areas of life. So, treatment should address all of those areas. Addiction is a physical, emotional, and mental problem. Detox addresses the physical part of recovery, helping people to end physical use and dependence. 

As you go through detox, you can also build physical and mental strength for rehab. You’ll feel great upon leaving detox and must harness this positive energy to take the next steps.

Rehab and Early Sobriety

After detox, you will begin an actual rehabilitation program. In rehab, you might still experience cravings and the insecurity of new sobriety. Nonetheless, support and guidance can get you through this and encourage you as you move towards a stronger sense of self and true appreciation for sobriety.

Rehab will also give you therapeutic options to learn why you turned to drugs or alcohol in the first place. Throughout the treatment process, therapy can help to identify the underlying causes of addiction in your life. This is helpful because it enables you to develop ways to prevent those things from leading to relapse. 

The underlying causes of addiction might be any number of things. For some, it’s stress or fear. For others, it might be a mental health disorder, such as PTSD or schizophrenia. Dual diagnosis treatment can help to address the mental health needs of those in treatment.

Help with Co-Occurring Conditions

About eight million people in the United States suffer both addiction and mental illness, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. In fact, you have a 40 percent chance of mental illness if you suffer addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Whether you started abusing your substance as self-medication for mental illness or the mental condition began because of your drug use or drinking, you will need treatment and supervision during recovery. Through co-occurring condition treatment at your chosen rehab, you gain recovery from both conditions.

When you try to quit on your own and fail, you simply need support, guidance, and help from the right resources. These resources include therapies, education, skills development, addiction treatment professionals and peers in recovery. All of these elements of successful recovery exist in an addiction rehab environment.

Establishing a Healthy Life During and After Treatment

Building a healthy life takes work and practice. You begin the rebuilding process in rehab. Family therapies heal old wounds and enlighten loved ones about your addiction. Individual psychotherapy and group addiction therapy will teach you about yourself and your needs.

It’s also important to establish and continue a healthy routine. Early in sobriety, this routine creates forward momentum in your life that you cannot deny. From that momentum, you gain confidence and productivity you want to maintain.

Preparing for Life Outside of Treatment

The last two steps in recovery are big ones, and they should continue for the rest of your life in recovery. Set goals for your new life and start working toward those goals. Take one day at a time and reach for bigger and better things.

Avoiding relapse is your biggest priority in life after rehab. Be sure to avoid becoming complacent. Always apply the skills you learned in rehab, especially when you encounter triggers and things that could lead to an addiction relapse. 

It’s important to keep a strong support system around you as you continue working toward a life of lasting sobriety. With the right people in your life, you can keep moving forward without fear, knowing that your friends and family are there for you!

The Support and Treatment You Need

You now realize the positive changes in your life and the challenges you overcame. This is the life you dreamed of at “rock bottom,” so treasure it and keep it safe. Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina provides substance abuse treatment programs you need for lasting recovery. Benefits of treatment at Crest View Recovery Center include:

If you or someone you love is ready for lasting recovery from alcohol or drugs, contact Crest View Recovery Center by calling (866) 986-1371. You’ll never face addiction alone with our team at CVRC.

References:

https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-treatment 

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindfully-present-fully-alive/201712/fundamental-factors-success-in-addiction-recovery 

Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.