Addiction treatment and recovery can be a long and challenging journey, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding one. It’s also normal to have some questions and uncertainties about what to expect.
What To Expect in Recovery:
What is Detoxification?
This is the process of safely removing the addictive substance from your body. It can be uncomfortable and even painful, but it’s an important step in the recovery process
- When starting out in recovery, usually you go through a detoxification stage that is managed by a professional. You may feel physically better after the substances are out of your system, but this is just the beginning. Your cravings and emotional well-being are not yet on track.
What can I expect during the Detox Process?
You may feel wavering levels of confidence, have intense feelings, experience mood swings, or have difficulty concentrating in the first month of sobriety. For several months you may have depressive episodes, possible anger outbursts, and cravings that lead you to justify why using again could and should occur; in short, it will be a struggle.
Just like the roots of a vine in rocky soil searching for water and nourishment to become strong, treatment and healing may take months before the roots of your recovery have become deep enough and strong enough to withstand the challenges before you.
Recovery is more than stopping use, taking a pill, or going to a support group.
Each of those elements can be important, but they need to be framed by a skilled team of professionals utilizing multiple interventions and supportive therapies.
What To Expect in Addiction Treatment:
The Aviary Recovery Center’s integrated treatment approach will help you learn and develop healthy living skills, nutrition and exercise routines, and life skills to develop resiliency so that you can manage the cravings that are a hallmark of addiction. Our Residential Treatment and Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provide a supportive environment while you experience the changes of recovery.
Residential and Outpatient Treatment
During residential or outpatient treatment, expect to dedicate time with a therapist to work through some of the struggles on the path to recovery. This time includes:
- Uncovering significant emotional barriers
- Building empathy for others
- Learning from others’ challenges
- Testing the support you get and give to others
- Learning more about how the disease of addiction affects all aspects of your life
- Developing skills to foster and create healthy relationships
- Exploring the potential need for medication to address addiction and co-occurring disorders
This is an important time to reframe your relationships with those who may have been affected by your substance use, including yourself. We will help you reconnect with what is important to you and get back to who you want to be.
You’ll likely need to make some changes to your lifestyle in order to maintain your sobriety. Maintaining sobriety is a challenging but incredibly rewarding journey, and making positive lifestyle changes plays a crucial role in strengthening your foundation. This may include things like changing your diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding triggers. Here are some key areas to focus on:
Mind and Body:
Develop a Structured Schedule: Having a daily and weekly routine provides stability and purpose, reducing chances of slipping into boredom or unstructured time that might trigger cravings. Include work, leisure, social activities, and self-care in your schedule.
Prioritize Physical Health: Regular exercise like running, yoga, or team sports releases endorphins that improve mood and combat stress, both common relapse triggers. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides sustained energy and strengthens your overall well-being.
Practice Relaxation Techniques: Mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation can help manage cravings, anxiety, and stress. These techniques promote calmness and emotional regulation, essential for navigating challenges without resorting to addictive substances.
Seek Professional Support: Joining therapy or support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offers invaluable guidance, shared experiences, and a sense of belonging. Therapists can provide personalized strategies for coping with triggers and underlying emotional issues.
Identify and Avoid High-Risk Situations: Be mindful of places, people, or activities associated with your past substance use. Limit or avoid them altogether, replacing them with sober alternatives and supportive environments.
Build a Strong Support Network: Surround yourself with people who understand your journey and actively encourage your sobriety. Build genuine connections with friends, family members, or sober peers who offer positive reinforcement and celebrate your achievements.
Practice Assertiveness: Saying “no” to triggers or temptations is crucial. Practice asserting your boundaries with confidence and clarity, even in uncomfortable situations. Remember, prioritizing your recovery is non-negotiable.
Self-Discovery and Purpose:
Explore New Hobbies and Activities: Engage in activities you enjoy, discover new passions, and develop healthy pursuits that fill your time constructively. This helps replace the void left by substance use and adds meaning to your life.
Practice Self-Care: Prioritize activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. This could include journaling, spending time in nature, listening to music, or engaging in creative activities. Taking care of yourself builds resilience and fosters emotional well-being.
Set Meaningful Goals: Having personal goals for the future provides direction and motivation. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to work towards, celebrating each milestone along the way.
Challenges and setbacks:
Recovery is not always easy. You may experience challenges and setbacks along the way. Maintaining sobriety is a journey, not a destination. There will be challenges and setbacks, but focusing on these positive lifestyle changes and seeking support when needed will significantly increase your chances of long-term success. Don’t give up!
Here are some additional things to keep in mind:
- The length of treatment will vary depending on your individual needs.
- There are many different types of treatment programs available.
- It’s important to find a program that is a good fit for you.
- Be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are many people who want to support you on your journey to recovery.