How Do I Recover?
How Do I Recover?
What is detox? Why would it be necessary?
When drugs and alcohol are used for a long period of time, the body and brain undergo physical and chemical changes that leave an addict dependent on them. Suddenly stopping the intake of these substances without medical aid can lead to symptoms of withdrawal that are uncomfortable and difficult at best, and can cause severe health problems or even have fatal consequences at worst.
Detoxification - or detox - is a process used to alleviate and manage these withdrawal symptoms, bringing an addict's body back to normal after being accustomed to dependence and helping them adjust to living without drug or alcohol use. Detox may or may not use medications as part of the process. It is not meant to be a treatment for addiction alone, but rather a first step in a long-term treatment program; after detox, other treatments are necessary to deal with the underlying issues that lead to addiction in the first place.
Many treatment centers offer detox services – browse our Treatment Center listings right here at Sober Nexus!
What is treatment? How does it differ from detox?
Treatment or rehabilitation for drug and alcohol addiction continues the process started with detox and focuses on providing behavioral therapy, counseling, and (if necessary) medication to assist a recovering addict in returning to a life without substance dependence and building tools to prevent relapse. This includes dealing with any other mental or social disorders that contributed to or arose from their addiction; it can also involve encouraging and aiding the addict in rebuilding their relationships with friends and family that were damaged by their addiction, and creating new friendships among fellow recovering addicts. Some treatment centers also utilize meditation, spiritual activities, or holistic techniques as part of the process.
There are two general types of treatment – inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient, or residential, treatment involves living at a treatment facility, normally for thirty to ninety days, while undergoing intensive treatment during each day. Outpatient care, or intensive outpatient programs, are not live-in programs but still require a major commitment of time, allowing patients to schedule around work or school; the addict typically meets at a treatment center at least three days a week for 2-4 hours a day. Partial hospitalization is another options, for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but have a stable living situation; the patient will usually meet at a hospital three to five days a week for 4-6 hours per day.
Treatment centers offer many different techniques and amenities; it is important to find one that best fits your individual needs. Many advertise a luxurious environment with tranquil vistas, while others focus on specific styles of treatment or providing a range of various activities for residents. Prices can also fall along a wide spectrum.
Browse the listings for Treatment Centers across the nation right here at Sober Nexus!
What is sober living? Why is it a good idea?
Sober living is not always part of the treatment process, though some are integrated with treatment centers, but taking residence at a sober living home can be an important step in recovery and is highly recommended. Rather that returning home after treatment, a sober living home or “halfway house” provides a supportive, supervised, and highly structured environment free of drugs and alcohol, surrounded by a community of other recovering addicts. It can be extremely helpful for people recovering from addiction with nowhere to go after treatment, or who feel returning home too soon may expose them to a greater risk of relapse.
Most sober living homes encourage a community or family setting, expecting residents to contribute to household chores. They are also usually required to submit to regular drug tests, obey curfews, and demonstrate that they are taking steps towards lasing recovery and reintegration into sober life, including job searches and attending group support meetings. Though co-ed sober living homes exist, most are gender-specific, allowing only men or only women; others are targeted specifically at young adults. Many sober living homes are staffed by psychiatric nurses, social workers, and other specialists who focus on keeping recovering addicts on track and supporting them through long term sobriety.
Coming straight from rehab or treatment is not a requirement for entering most sober living homes; anyone who feels they need the structure and support to avoid relapse may choose to move into one at any point.
Browse the listings for Sober Living Homes across the country right here at Sober Nexus!
Support in Sobriety
How can I stay sober? What if I need help?
Detox, treatment, and sober living all contribute to helping addicts recover from substance abuse and its lingering physical, mental, and social fallout. But eventually, a recovering addict must return to independent and self-sufficient life. Recovery does not end when you leave sober living – it is a lifelong process that can be challenging to face alone. Fortunately, there exists a wealth of resources and support available nationwide to help recovering addicts and keep them committed to sobriety. Many sober living homes and treatment centers are partnered with the following resources, encouraging (and sometimes requiring) residents to participate in such programs during their stay.
Alchoholics AnonymousPerhaps the largest, oldest, and most well-known addict support network, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been around since the 1930s. They are a non-denominational group of men and women who focus on peer support from fellow alcoholics in a group environment with reliance on a “higher power” as each individual understands it; they do not preach or push any specific religion or doctrine, nor do they align with or oppose any political or social agendas. Central to their philosophy and success is AA’s famous “12 Steps,” which have been adapted and utilized by many other support groups, and guidance by their “Twelve Traditions.” AA meetings are organized and run by members in thousands of communities across the world; there is no membership fee to join or attend; the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
For more information, visit http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.
Narcotics AnonymousAn offshoot from Alcoholics Anonymous, rather than focusing its attention and membership on those suffering from a single kind of addiction, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) aims to be all-inclusive and makes no distinction between any addictive substance, including alcohol. They are otherwise based on the same foundation of the 12 Steps that AA utilizes. NA ise almost as well-established and known as their parent organization, and operate under a similar structure and philosophy.
For more information, visit http://www.na.org.
Secular Organizations for SobrietyFounded by addicts who saw the wisdom and effectiveness of peer support groups like AA and NA but preferred a non-religious or spiritual approach and perspective to achieving sobriety, the Secular Organizations for Sobriety or Save Our Selves (SOS) emphasizes personal responsibility and group support over reliance on any “higher power.” However, SOS does not reject religious individuals seeking attendance to meetings. Their core philosophy centers around the “Suggested Guidelines for Sobriety,” which focus on prioritizing sobriety. SOS is not in competition or opposition to AA/NA or any other program, and simply provide an alternate, secular path to recovery.
For more information, visit http://www.sossobriety.org/home.html.
Self-Management and Recovery TrainingAiming for abstinence from alcohol or drugs through self-reliance based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, the Self-Management and Recovery Training program (SMART Recovery) organizes both worldwide in-person meetings and daily online meetings; they also offer support via their message board and 24-hour chat rooms. SMART uses a “4-Point Program” to guide members through recovery, teaching self-empowerment and techniques for self-directed change and encouraging proven scientific treatments.
For more information, visit http://www.smartrecovery.org.
Women for SobrietyStatistics have shown that recovery rates for female alcoholics participating in programs like AA are lower than the rates for men; Women for Sobriety (WFS) believe that a different approach tailored specifically for women is required for the best support in recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, and were the first such program founded and organized by women, for women. Centered around their “New Life Program,” thirteen statements of acceptance that encourage emotional and spiritual growth, WFS bases their philosophy on the understanding that, while most treatments and tools for recovery from addiction work equally for both genders, women have different emotional needs that must be addressed and supported throughout recovery.
For more information, visit http://www.womenforsobriety.org.
Recovery ProfessionalsAside from organizations that provide group support and therapy, professional support services can provide help to addicts on an individual basis at every level of recovery. Interventionists aid family and friends in bringing an addict to the point where they can admit they have a problem and start acting to free themselves from it; counselors provide psychiatric and/or psychological therapy to address an addict’s mental health and recovery; life coaches ensure recovering addicts remain motivated and goal-oriented in their new sober lives; and sober escorts keep addicts accountable and free from temptation outside of treatment or sober living environments.
Browse our listings for Recovery Pros right here at Sober Nexus!
Religion-based RecoveryMany recovering addicts find their struggle eased by turning to the support and ministry of their faith and the community that comes with it. Fortunately, organizations exits that bring recovery from a faith-centric perspective. If you would like to share information for recovery services based in other faiths not yet listed here, please contact Sober Nexus and let us know!
-The Recovery Rabbis A network of Chabad Rabbis that are dedicated to serving Jewish addicts and alcoholics in need, by creating Jewish recovery networks in their respective Jewish communities. Trained in the 12 steps, the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, and other recovery techniques and philosophies, they are able to merge those life-saving concepts with Judaism in recovery. The Recovery Rabbis are always available for addicts and alcoholics as well as their families to listen, counsel and support during times of personal crisis.
For more information, visit http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/732837/jewish/Recovery-Rabbis.htm.
-The National Association for Christian Recovery The National Association for Christian Recovery (NACR) is a not-for-profit religious organization who focus on cultivating and growing recovery communities within, or in partnership with, Christian churches. The NACR sponsors workshops, conferences and supplies materials to groups and churches looking to inspire recovery in their community.
For more information, visit http://www.nacr.org.