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July 14, 2022 at 10:00 a.m

Huntsman Mental Health Institute

Information in Spanish

If you are starting or thinking about recovery, you need to understand why you became addicted to drugs and how they changed your behavior. You’ll also want to know what to expect from drug addiction recovery and how to avoid relapse.

Drug addiction can affect many aspects of your life. “When using drugs or drinking becomes your goal, you’re tempted to pull yourself away from the things you enjoy and the people you love to pursue your addiction,” says Rebecca Hyde, MA, service manager at recovery at Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI). ). “The most important thing to remember is that asking for help makes you strong: you have the strength to want more and to see a better future.”

Why did you become addicted to drugs?

Your road to drug addiction probably began by taking drugs for recreational use or using a prescription for an illness. Over time, your ability to choose not to take drugs became compromised. Seeking and depending on drugs became compulsive. Long-term exposure to drugs changes your brain and can have harmful and long-lasting consequences.

How have drugs changed your behavior?

Addiction affects the parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and behavioral control. Addiction can lead to negative behaviors such as:

  • Inability to stop
  • Changes in mood, appetite and sleep
  • Continued drug use despite negative consequences
  • Denial
  • Participate in risky behaviors
  • Legal and financial problems
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Putting the substance or use ahead of other parts of your life, such as family, work, and other responsibilities
  • the secret
  • Using ever-increasing amounts of substances
  • Take more substance than you wanted
  • Withdrawal symptoms

What can you expect from drug addiction recovery?

“A lot of people think they can stop using them and stay sober on their own,” says Hyde. “They may have periods of sobriety, but then find themselves falling back into their old patterns. Recovery programs provide the skills, support and accountability that allow people to succeed.”

By complying with behavioral therapies, appropriate medication management, experiential therapies, family therapy, and aftercare, participants can acquire skills to manage and balance family, community, and work situations and help prevent relapse.

Treatment is usually intensive at first, with frequent and long sessions. After completing the initial, intensive treatment, patients move on to less frequent sessions and weekly check-ins to help maintain recovery.

Successful treatment includes:

  • Medically assisted detoxification (if needed)
  • Medicines to reduce cravings, control withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse
  • Assessment and treatment of co-occurring mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
  • Behavioral therapies to modify attitudes and behaviors related to drug use, increase healthy life skills, and improve relationships.
  • Education about healthy relationships, boundaries and other life skills
  • Long-term follow-up to avoid relapses

Patients can receive treatment in many different settings and approaches:

External clinics

  • Management of substance use medications and co-occurring conditions
  • Individual and group counseling

Intensive outpatient programs

  • Group therapy sessions
  • Family support groups
  • Educational groups for patients and their loved ones
  • Art therapy/recreation
  • Relapse prevention groups

Recovery housing

  • Short-term accommodation for supervised patients, following hospital or residential treatment
  • Support for the transition to independent living

Residential treatment

  • Licensed residential treatment facilities that provide intensive, structured 24-hour care, including safe housing and medical care (programs typically last 30 days)
  • Various therapeutic approaches to help patients develop sobriety

Hospital medical detoxification

  • Medically supervised detox from alcohol and other drugs (usually takes two to five days)
  • Staff-assisted development of effective treatment continuation plans for patients

How will you avoid a relapse?

It is essential that you maintain the treatment for a prescribed and appropriate time. Drug abuse can change the function of your brain, and many things can “trigger” your drug cravings after drug addiction recovery. Learning to recognize, avoid, and deal with triggers is key to maintaining sobriety.

Emotional and mental relapse can begin weeks or even months before the physical relapse event. During treatment, you will learn the early warning signs of relapse and specific prevention techniques for each stage of relapse. You’ll also have systems and people you can reach out to to support your continued sobriety.

“People with addiction find themselves in a world that’s getting smaller and more isolated,” says Hyde. “The opposite of addiction is connection. If you have substance abuse problems, reach out for treatment. This first step will ultimately allow you to build a world of healthy relationships with family, friends, and yourself themselves”.

Source: Take Successful Steps to Drug Addiction Recovery