Drugs and alcohol impact the physical body, brain and personal lifestyle in significant ways. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse1, nearly 23.5 million Americans abuse drugs or alcohol each year.
Unfortunately, only a small number, around 11.2 percent, actually seek treatment for addiction. Even though an addiction cannot be cured, it is a treatable disease, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse2. Treatment provides the tools and information that you need to focus on your recovery goals and regain a healthy lifestyle.
reating an addiction requires professional assistance and appropriate programs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse3 explains that no single treatment is an appropriate option for every individual. The key to a successful recovery is a personalized treatment plan that focuses on several aspects of your health and general well-being. Options that are often available in a treatment plan include:
- Individual and group therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive or behavioral therapies
- Exercise programs, which vary based on physical health and personal interests
- Nutrition plans
- Appropriate treatments for co-occurring disorders if they are necessary
- Medical treatments if a medical condition develops
The National Institutes on Health4 suggest that treatment programs adapt based on the needs and goals of the individual. When you are considering treatment for an addiction, expect changes to occur as your physical, emotional and mental health improve. The initial treatment provides the tools that you need to start making positive changes, but it is only the beginning of regaining a healthy lifestyle.
According to Psych Central5, family members and loved ones suffer when you abuse drugs or alcohol. They worry about your well-being and sometimes they decide to walk away from a loved one due to the substance abuse. Rebuilding positive relationships will take time, especially if you have behaved in a negative or potentially harmful way.
Allow loved ones to make their own decisions about their involvement in your recovery. Explain that you have a disease and you are getting treatment for the disease. Do not expect immediate changes or forgiveness. Ask for help when you are ready to seek out relationships.
If family members are not willing to work with you, then build up strong friendships and positive relationships in group therapy. Give loved ones the time that they need to heal.
Focus on Health
It is never too late to start working on recovery and regaining your life. After completing the initial treatment program and rebuilding strong relationships with loved ones, focus on maintaining your health. Web MD6 explains that drug abuse takes a toll on your physical body.
Certain substances leech nutrients from your body while other drugs reduce your appetite. In some cases, nutrient deficiencies develop and it might take time to fully recover your physical health.
Exercise regularly and eat a well-balanced diet. Engage in activities that reduce stress, such as meditation or enjoying a hobby. Stressful situations and poor health contribute to temptations, so take measures to reduce the temptations by focusing on rebuilding your physical and emotional well-being.
It’s Never Too Late
Addiction recovery is a long-term process and temptations will arise when you complete the initial treatment program. Fortunately, it is never too late to recover and you can rebuild a healthy lifestyle if you set goals and start working toward positive changes.
Take a step toward a successful recovery by seeking professional treatment and following a plan of action.
- DrugFacts: Treatment Statistics, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, March 2011, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics
- DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, September 2009, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction
- Principles of Effective Treatment, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, December 2012, http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
- Susan A. Murphy, Kevin G. Lynch, David Oslin, James R. McKay, and Tom TenHave, Developing Adaptive Treatment Strategies in Substance Abuse Research, The National Institutes on Health, October 23, 2006, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1922034/
- Drew W. Edwards, Ed.D., MS, Rebuilding Relationships in Early Recovery, Psych Central, January 30, 2013, http://psychcentral.com/lib/rebuilding-relationships-in-early-recovery/0001323
- David T. Derrer, MD., Maintaining Hope and Health During Drug Abuse Recovery, Web MD, October 5, 2013, http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/drug-abuse-recovery-maintaining-hope-and-health?page=2