If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, or substance use disorder, finding help can be an overwhelming process. It might feel like it is too difficult to overcome, or too expensive, or you may think you can kick it on your own. Addiction chemically alters the brain, making it difficult to control your behavior and impulses, especially in regards to the substance. This means, the most effective way to get sober and remain sober is through a certified rehab facility.
Substance use disorder is a common mental disorder among people over the age of 12. About 20 million Americans suffer from some type of substance use disorder. It is a common chronic mental illness, but it is treatable. For more statistics on substance abuse disorder visit https://drugabusestatistics.org/.
Before deciding to enter a rehab center, make sure you are ready to take the steps required to complete the program and remain sober. If your substance abuse disorder is creating unhealthy relationships in your life, with work, and with families, it might be time for a change.
Before you enter a rehab facility, it’s important to understand what addiction is, and how it affects the brain. Every addictive substance reacts slightly differently in the brain, but all of them do one thing the same: they flood the brain with dopamine. This produces the “high” or feeling of “pleasure”. After prolonged use, the brain adapts by lowering the sensitivity to the dopamine, requiring more and more substance to create the same pleasure. This is what creates the cravings common in addiction.
The brain creates dopamine with natural experiences as well. Dopamine can be produced after a good social interaction, a fun activity, or a sexual experience. As the substance dulls the pleasure receptors in the brain, these experiences will no longer produce enough dopamine to create that pleasure. Since we want to feel pleasure, we will keep seeking out the substance that can produce that feeling, despite negative consequences.
In a healthy adult, the ability to control those impulses can be regulated by decisions and logic. In an addict, the brain’s behavior and impulse control circuits are disrupted, leaving less room to make those decisions for yourself. This is why addicts are not able to stop using the substance, they physically can’t. If you want more information about how the brain is affected by substance use disorder, check out this website.
While it can be difficult to overcome addiction, it is possible. Addiction treatment is more available than ever. In 2014, the Affordable Health Care Act made substance use disorder, and other mental illnesses covered under regular insurance plans. Now, most insurance plans offer coverage for rehab facilities and substance use disorder treatment.
Treatment for substance use disorder typically involves three parts: detox, therapy, and aftercare. While there are many programs that can help with addiction, they all include these same components. Finding the program that works for your lifestyle and beliefs is important. When finding a treatment program, it can be helpful to talk to your doctor and family to make the best choice for you.
Some programs offer live-in options, which could be good if you need around the clock care and monitoring. These typically are very structured and rigid, and work really well if the addict needs less outside influence as they move through the process. Other options provide a loose structure, and allow you to remain at home as you complete the program. This works well for those who need to remain a part of their lives as they get clean. The centers found at Sunshine Behavioral Health in Aurora offer a variety of programs and options for your treatment. Before committing to a center, make sure it works with what you need and want out of the program.
No matter the program you choose, you will have to participate in detox, therapy, and healthy habits to remain sober.
Detox is the process of removing all the toxins in your body from the substances you use. For some substances, this process requires medical attention. Withdrawal symptoms as the toxins leave your body can be extremely uncomfortable to even painful. When detoxing, medical supervision can be necessary to help keep the pain levels manageable, and monitor your vitals to keep you healthy during the process. For these substances, detox may need to happen in a medical facility.
For other substances, detox might not be as severe and can be performed at home. If detoxing at home, make sure you talk to your doctor to ensure that you will be safe during the process. Eating healthy during a detox can help your body fight the withdrawal symptoms.
Therapy is the most important part of treatment. In therapy you will start to restructure your brain to help you combat the cravings and impulses of using. Behavioral therapy can help change your behaviors associated with the substance. This includes learning tools and skills to cope with triggering situations. These sessions will help the patient address the drive behind their substance use, and help them create healthier coping mechanisms for everyday stresses.
Most programs will also include group therapy sessions which will help create a community around the addict. These sessions will provide safe environments for the addict to confront their addiction and learn to talk about it openly and honestly. These sessions are a great way for patients to get help and comfort from the people around them. It is important for addicts to learn how to seek and ask for help as they continue their sobriety journey.
Aftercare is the ability for the addict to exist in society without those substances. This involves learning healthy habits, finding motivation to remain sober, and leaning on their support system when things get hard. Aftercare requires willpower and dedication to sobriety to keep making the healthier choices. This part of the process involves taking all the tools learned in therapy and using them every day to create healthier habits that can last a lifetime.