Is addiction recovery mostly a mental process, or does outside support make a difference? As someone who has been effected by addiction, whether directly or via the struggles of a family member, this question has probably crossed your mind at least once, in some form. You may be wondering if counseling and long term therapy are enough to break the chains of addiction, or if outside assistance should be sought out.
The reality is, the road to recovery from addiction can be drawn out and painful. Drugs and alcohol change the structure of the brain in myriad ways, clouding judgement and digging fingers of dependence deep under the skin. Without coping techniques and support, an entire life can be destroyed by addiction to harmful substances.
There’s a ray of hope in all this negativity though. With a time-tested program, anyone can overcome their addiction struggles. It won’t be easy. Sometime you’ll want to throw in the towel. With a firm, guiding hand, life can return to normal and the chains can be released.
Changing Thought Patterns
Over time, drugs and alcohol damage brain cells, rewiring circuits in a way that makes the user crave more and more of the substance, more and more frequently. This creates both physiological and psychological addiction, both of which take hard work and plenty of time to reverse.
Work done during therapy is crucial for recovery. It’s during therapy, whether one on one with a therapist who specializes in addiction treatment, or as part of a group session, that these negative thought patterns and behaviors are systematically addressed.
Therapy is needed for months or years, far after recovery. While talking with someone during the beginning phases of treatment is important to help cope with the huge emotional battles that come with withdrawal, it’s even more imperative that one continues talking with a therapist after becoming sober.
Relapses are common and heartbreaking, but certain things can help make one less likely. Therapy is one of those things. In particular, it’s great for working through common relapse triggers, such as:
High levels of stress. Stress in general isn’t good for you, and this is even more true when you’re an addict in recovery. Even seemingly trivial stresses, like those caused by a demanding job or an extra full schedule, can push people back into the arms of their addiction.
Exposure to triggers. Therapy can help people manage cravings they get when exposed to triggers, like a friend who still uses drugs or a certain location where usage was the norm.
Outside support, like that from a treatment center, can be the driving force behind the initial phase of addiction recovery. By completely pulling a patient out of their normal circumstances, they have the opportunity to attack their addiction single-mindedly. Without the worries of keeping up a home, job, and life in general, an individual will be much more likely to succeed in overcoming their addiction.
A quality treatment program can be a live-saver, in a few ways:
It can help prevent the patient from being triggered into intense cravings. By taking the person away from their social circles and ingrained habitats, they are snapped out of reality. This break from what they know can jump start change and keep them from relapsing.
Being surrounded by people who are going through the same thing as you are can be healing and comforting. At home with family members, addicts might feel antsy and misunderstood. Outside support can help a person feel less alone and more willing to make a change.
Though a treatment program can be designed and implemented without much outside support, it isn’t recommended. A lot has to be factored into the decision, including temperament of the patient, how long substances were abused for, and in what quantities.
The more severe the addiction, the more important it is that the usage of an outside treatment center be considered.
A Two-Pronged Approach
The road to recovery is long but worthwhile. For best results, therapy and mental rewiring techniques should be used alongside outside help in the form of an addiction treatment center. If you’re in need of help, we’re here for you. Give us a call at 833-610-1174 today.