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The word “alone” and “recovery” simply do not go together. Facing the prospect of breaking free of a drug or alcohol addiction, no matter how determined or sincere your desire, is just not possible to accomplish without support and guidance. Most people are not aware of the profound brain chemical changes that have taken place as a response to the substance abuse. This sets up a neurological battle ground between your wish to become clean and sober and your brain’s deeply etched neurotransmitters that have become dependent on the substance to function.
Some mistakenly believe that a good detox is all they need to put their life back on the right track. Wrong. Detox without the addiction treatment is a recipe for relapse. The detox will remove the chemical toxins from the body but does absolutely nothing to change the addictive behaviors that are a slave to the addicted brain. For this reason, seeking out an addiction recovery center that provides detox, addiction treatment, and aftercare services is the best way to achieve sustained recovery success.
How Addiction Impacts the Brain
It is important to understand the way that substances can impact brain functioning, often for the long-term, which is why addiction treatment and therapy is so essential if recovery is to succeed. Drugs and alcohol affect the brain by targeting the reward system and flooding it with dopamine. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters active in the mood center of the brain, where emotions, motivation, and feelings of pleasure are regulated. When this region of the brain is activated under normal circumstances we feel pleasure. But when drugs or alcohol cause excessive stimulation of these neurotransmitters, feelings of euphoria result which can reinforce a “memory” that the brain will prompt the individual to experience again.
By interfering with the natural brain chemistry, substances of abuse can create a false version of the transmitters that lead to abnormal messaging within the brain. Some drugs create such an overload of dopamine that the brain cannot process it, only adding to the disruption within the brain pathways.
6 Fast Facts About Achieving a Successful Recovery Outcome
Sometimes it is smart to review some tried and true facts regarding addiction recovery, just to keep it real. Here are six helpful reminders as you enter the recovery journey:
- Be prepared to be in it for the long haul. Recovery is a process on an unending continuum that needs to be respected, managed, and nourished for life.
- Recovery is about action, not good intentions. No matter how much you say you want to live a sober life, talk is cheap. Actions are what matters in addiction recovery.
- Expect to make lifestyle changes. After addiction treatment, returning to the same old druggie friends or alcohol-soaked happy hour scenes will ensure failure. Make new friends and find new activities and venues for joy and fulfillment.
- Expect to miss the old days. Grieving for the drug of choice and the former lifestyle is very common as you forge a new path in life. Honor these emotions and process them while moving forward in recovery.
- Be patient. Recovering from addiction takes time, so don’t expect immediate results, especially because lingering feelings of depression will be the norm for awhile. Take baby steps and improve your life in small increments.
- Nutrition and fitness matter. Addiction can wreak havoc with your overall health. Restoring physical and mental health through regular exercise and good nutrition will help boost mood and strengthen you in recovery.
What to Expect in an Addiction Recovery Center
Once a safe, supervised medical detox is completed it is time to get busy with proactive measures to make the necessary changes in negative or irrational thoughts and behaviors that had a role in fueling the repetitive and compulsive behaviors that fed into the addiction. Addiction therapy is an integrated effort, mingling several different forms of therapy for the most comprehensive approach to recovery.
The addiction recovery center will offer such activities as:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family or couples rehab
- Medication management if applicable
- Guest speakers and classes that teach about the process of addiction
- Planning a relapse prevention strategy
- Holistic activities and recreation
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Addiction often coexists with a mood disorder, creating a more complex and challenging treatment plan. This “dual diagnosis” is best treated by a rehab that specializes in providing therapies for both disorders simultaneously for the best recovery outcome. Common dual diagnoses include benzodiazepine addiction with anxiety disorder and alcoholism with depression, but there are a variety of combinations that exist.
Solutions 4 Recovery Premier Addiction Recovery Center in Orange County, CA
Solutions 4 Recovery is an addiction and dual diagnosis recovery program in a coastal community serving Southern California. Accessing a smorgasbord of proven therapies and complimentary activities that enhance therapy, Solutions 4 Recovery will design a completely customized treatment plan for your specific needs. At Solutions 4 Recovery, each client is valued and respected as a person with gifts and potential who just needs compassionate support to launch a new life of purpose and joy. For more information, please contact Solutions 4 Recovery today at (888) 417-1874.