Rehabilitation From Substance Abuse

Most of us have a loved one in our lives who grapples with addiction. For a long time it was believed that self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, and unsafe sex was merely result of a lack of morals. Medical doctors these days know that addiction is actually an illness, and that is good news for those who suffer from addiction. Thinking of addiction as an illness offers optimism, rather than giving addicts an excuse for their behavior. Because of the recognition that addiction is a disease, addicts are able to look for ways to recover through addiction rehab and become productive members of society.
The first thing that family members can do to assist those with the disease of addiction in their lives is to absolutely refrain from enabling the addict’s addictive actions. Often it is the addict’s spouse or parents that will feel helpless and guilty, and wind up providing the resources for the person to keep acting on their addiction, but it could be anyone. The disease of addiction makes people do things they don’t want to do, to get things that they don’t want to get. This can even include manipulating the very people they respect the most, so that they can continue their self-destructive actions. The person has no choice but to confront the harsh reality of their disease, once the enablers in an addict’s life refuse to be complicit in their loved one’s addiction. Now begins an uncomfortable time for friends and family as they observe the addict they love deeply struggle and can give no help, but it is vital for addiction rehab that they absolutely do not step in and offer an easier softer way.
Addiction rehab offers the resources that help to create a firm framework for recovery. First and foremost, detox facilities help addicts get through the unbearable period of withdrawal. Some addicts, like those abusing alcohol and barbiturates, need special medical attention because their withdrawal can pose a real physical damage. Withdrawal from opiates and other substances may not cause physical harm, but being in a detox center drastically improves the person’s chances of making it through the discomfort of withdrawal without relapse. Other addictions can have withdrawal symptoms as well. There is a real withdrawal from gambling, sex, food, gaming or any other addiction, although it might be hard for non-addicts to see.
In addition to helping addicts get through detox, spending time in an addiction treatment and rehab provides addicts with multiple other resources for their recovery. Becoming a member of a recovery group within the rehab gives the recovering addict a sense of belonging and shared experience that they probably haven’t felt since their addiction began. The rehab workers provide guidance and hope, especially in counseling sessions where the recovering person has an opportunity to vent and explore issues that they may have hidden away out of fear or feelings of shame. Maybe most importantly, time in a rehab can prepare the addict to re-enter society, by exposing them to supportive groups such as 12 step fellowships.