A dependency on drugs will most often lead to addiction. Once an addictive disorder begins, an addict will continue their habit despite putting themselves in harm’s way as well as harming others. Addiction affects the addict’s way of thinking, feelings and actions. 

Many drug users might know that they have an addiction problem, but they can’t handle it on their own and need help. The common factor among all addicts is that none of them ever planned on becoming an addict. Nearly every one of us has been exposed to drugs at one point in our lives, but not everyone who has experimented with drugs became addicted; the same way not every person is allergic to a certain food, for example.

What is an addiction?

Addiction occurs when prolonged drug use has caused the chemistry in the brain to change. Addiction and dependency do overlap, but while dependency can be tapered off bit by bit, addiction is overcome through treatment. 

What happens during rehabilitation?

Rehabilitation might only last from a few weeks to months, depending on several factors, such as the duration of the drug abuse, the drug used, the frequency of using the drug(s), among other factors. Having said that, recovery is a lifelong process. Every day, one-time addicts work on maintaining their sobriety and living a drug free life via treatments and therapy. 

What is the first step?

The first step in any rehab center is to detox and rid your body of the drugs. It’s a difficult step because of withdrawal symptoms, but an absolute requirement. Some people will try to go it alone, but detoxing under medical supervision is the recommended way. Rehab centers are located everywhere across the US. Whichever state you’re in, search online for a center near you. If you live in one of the bigger states, like Texas, you’ll be fortunate enough to find several Texas drug treatment centers, in more areas than you would in smaller states. You’ll want a treatment center near you because after detox, you’ll have the option to seek outpatient treatment, which leads us to our next point.

What happens in treatment?

Each case is different in terms of the duration of detox and rehabilitation. It could be weeks or it could be around a year. If you started in a residential treatment program, you can move up to a counseling phase of your rehab program as an outpatient. This means you can be at your home, continue to work or study as usual, and attend the treatments of a center as an outpatient.  Rehab continues with various behavioral therapeutic interventions after detox is complete. Individuals in rehab participate in group and/or individual therapy sessions, and programs to identify and address the underlying causes of their addiction. 

This phase is crucial as you learn how to apply new coping methods, and how to replace drug use with other means when you are under stress, angry, or feeling other emotions. People who do not continue this level and believe that quitting drugs is enough, usually relapse because they have not gained the coping tools they need.

What happens next? 

From the start, you will learn so much about your addiction. Though the duration differs from one person to another, rehabilitation has a beginning and an end, but there is no final stage of recovery; it’s an on-going process. You will learn what triggers your drug cravings and learn how to deal with cravings when they occur. The goal is to maintain what you have reached up till now, and then enhance it further. You will regain control over your life that you had lost when addicted.

Better, healthier, productive

Thousands of people who thought they were beyond help have gotten their life back on track again after going through rehab, and continue to recover. They become better people and improve their relationship with others, even more importantly, improve their relationship with their own self. As they do so, they learn how to live a healthier and more productive life, and this leads them to make better decisions and experience a happy life without drugs. 

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