Substance abuse is a disease. It is life-altering for those struggling with it and those with a loved one battling it. Addiction is not a flaw in your character. It is a physical demand from the body to use a substance it has become dependent on. But, addiction is treatable if you will be open to getting assistance from your loved ones who are concerned about you as well as from professional help.
Prescription drugs, alcohol, and illegal drugs, along with other addictive substances, are not only physically safe to stop, but they create an emotional and mental struggle for everyone involved. As a result, you need to view your addiction as a battle. Fight it like you would any other disease.
When you learn how to fight addiction, you’re empowered to change your life comprehensively. As you begin this battle, it’s essential to use proven methods that have helped thousands of people fighting the same struggle to overcome this disease and achieve a solid path to recovery.
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Road To Sobriety
So, what does it take to fight addiction and win? The right addiction treatment is at the heart of it. But, it also takes dedication from you to achieve this. To achieve this, then, it helps to have the correct values in place. These are components that help to give you the support you need to do well. Here are a few important places to start:
- The importance and achievement of goals; may include achieving successes at work, sports, at home, or succeeding in school.
- Activity is critical; it is essential to give the body the exercise it needs to remain healthy.
- Healthy eating and overall well-being become essential in overcoming addiction; the food you eat contributes to your long-term success because it feels healing.
- Consciousness is essential – you need to be awake and aware of your surroundings to create positive life experiences.
- It would be best if you had self-respect; you need to see the value you bring to your family, to your future, as well as to your community.
When you commit to these steps and you work with a well-designed addiction treatment program, you can achieve the goals you have. In addition, a customized addiction treatment plan will be essential to you for sustained, long-term recovery. Committing to creating these goals, working with your addiction center, and staying on the path isn’t easy, but it is what will give you the life you desire.
Here are some ways you can support a friend or family member’s recovery process:
- Learn more about substance or behavior dependency and the treatment.
- Stay connected, like trying to go to meetings with them.
- Provide a sober and trigger-free environment.
- Speak up and show attention when there is a relapse.
- While you can treat addiction, in most cases, someone with addiction must want to change for recovery to be successful.
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Treatments for Substance Use Disorder
It’s often challenging to discontinue substance use alone without help from a trained professional.
The first treatment step for some substance use disorders, including those involving alcohol, benzodiazepines, and heroin, typically comprises medically supervised detoxification. This won’t heal the condition, but it can help people get through the withdrawal process securely.
From there, one (or a combination of) the following is usually advised.
- Rehab, or residential treatment, involves staying at a treatment facility where trained treatment specialists provide medical attention and support. Some programs only last a few weeks, while others might last several months to a year. Many rehab programs also include components of the following treatment approaches.
- Psychotherapy and addiction counseling can help with recovery, mainly if someone started using substances to deal with distressing emotions. A therapist can help them explore some of the causes behind their substance use and develop new coping strategies for dealing with difficulties.
- In some cases, medication can help people going through addiction have great success with recovery. It can help block relapses in people dealing with substance use disorder involving alcohol, meth, or opioids. These medications work in different ways, but they frequently help reduce cravings for the substance and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Treatment providers typically recommend using medication combined with other treatment approaches, like therapy, to address underlying determinants.
Support Groups Help For You
- Twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous help many people manage recovery. These programs rely on self-help treatment methods and involve anonymous group support from other people working to recover. Comfort and guidance from others working toward recovery can make a lot of difference. However, these programs typically don’t give enough support on their own. Also, the 12-step model doesn’t work for everyone.
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Principles of Effective Treatment
Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patient. The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services. See below a summary of principles of effective treatment and see for yourself how you can get help and be less anxious in the process. 
Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition) According To The National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
- No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patients.
- Treatment needs to be readily available.
- Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just their drug abuse.
- Remaining in treatment for an adequate time is critical as you’ll need appropriate duration depending on your needs.
- Behavioral therapies—including individual, family, or group counseling—are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
- Medications are an essential element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
- An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets their changing needs.
- Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse.
- Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.
- Treatment programs should test patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases, as well as provide targeted risk-reduction counseling, linking patients to treatment if necessary.
When To Contact a Treatment Professional
Anyone abusing substances, even socially, should discuss them with a medical professional to ensure safe use and monitor for manifestations or symptoms of addiction.
However, a person with addiction may not be eager or willing to seek professional medical help despite the negative impacts on their well-being.
If a person experiences a substance overdose, those around them should seek emergency medical assistance immediately. In addition, a person who has recovered from an overdose may want to inquire about professional help to treat their addiction.
When a person is ready and wants help with their addiction, they may wish to contact a medical professional to discuss options for treatment. These options include rehab, therapy, detox, and medication.
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Preparing for Your Appointment
It may help to get a perspective from someone you trust and who understands you well. You can start by discussing your substance use with your primary doctor or ask for a referral to a professional in drug addiction, such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor or a psychiatrist or psychologist. Bring a relative or fellow along.
Help For You & What You Can Do
Before your appointment, be prepared.
- Be honest about your drug use. When you engage in toxic drug use, it can be easy to downplay or miscalculate how much you use and your level of addiction. To get a basic idea of which treatment may help, be honest with your doctor or other mental health professional.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins, herbs, other supplements you’re using, and the dosages. Tell the expert about any legal or illegal drugs you’re using.
- Make a list of inquiries to ask your doctor or mental health professional.
Help For You to Overcome Addiction
To overcome addiction, your first step is to commit yourself to getting help by recognizing there is a problem. Then, call and talk to a counselor about yourself and your needs. You will find that you are not alone and that many people have walked your path and created the life they desire. You can do the same. With the right tools, you can fight addiction and win the battle for yourself. If you have any questions about starting the path of recovery and how to get help for you, give We Level Up New Jersey a call today.
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 Principles of Effective Treatment – National Institute on Drug Abuse