Substance Abuse Counseling: The Stages of Treatment

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Are you or a loved one struggling with addiction?

Recovering from drug abuse is one of the most difficult and important things someone can do. Going to rehab is a sign of immense courage. The key to any good program is top-notch substance abuse counseling.

Understanding the true nature of drug addiction and how to treat it is critical to success. It’s a multi-faceted issue with physical and mental components. Overall, it’s a healing journey that needs to continue after rehab.

Throughout the entire process, substance abuse counseling will be critical. With a counselor, you’ll get the support you need to begin your recovery and thrive after it. Here’s a breakdown of the stages of substance abuse treatment

Stage 1: Getting Initial Help

The very first stage when it comes to addiction treatment is accepting help. Accepting that you need to go to a drug rehab center or undergo similar treatment is a crucial first step. It’s also one of the hardest steps on the road to recovery.

These will vary based on each circumstance but follow the same pathways. First, you need to get clean and undergo detox to get any substances out of your body.

Next, you need to embark on sustained early abstinence. Finally, you have to survive those initial cravings and temptations to relapse. We will talk about each step of this first stage in more detail.

The First Step Is Important

In most cases, no one can make you go to rehab if you don’t want to. A teenager might get forced by their parents, or a court might order it. However, no one can make you take the program seriously other than yourself.

Often the most difficult step in addiction recovery is accepting help. It can be scary considering going to rehab. What a good rehab counselor will do is talk to you one on one to answer your questions.

They’ll give you a rundown of the facilities and how the program works. You’ll get presented with options and engage in a conversation with the counselor. What sets great rehab centers apart is that the counselors will talk to you like a person.

They won’t lie to you or try to trick you. They’ll get an initial read from you and offer solid advice. If they think rehab is the right choice, they’ll help you stay strong during those first few hours.

The decision to stay or start treatment will always be yours. The same is true if you change your mind at any stage. If you agree to start, you’ll go through some paperwork and begin your detox process.

Early Abstinence

The first few hours of being clean can be difficult or super easy. It varies from person to person. Once you complete your detox and flush the substances out, the withdrawal will set in.

This is one of the most crucial steps on the road to recovery. It’s also one of the most difficult steps and where most patients struggle. It will be hard to stay the course and commit at times, but your counselor will be there.

Regular conversations with your counselor, as well as healthy activities, will help you. Getting through the first few weeks is necessary to help your body and mind heal. This means surviving withdrawal.

Surviving Withdrawal

Aside from treatment, rehab offers healthy activities with others who are part of the program. It will keep your mind off of the withdrawal and serve as a substitute. You’ll also develop a level of camaraderie and equal support from each other.

During this process, you’ll also build a deeper rapport with your counselor. You’ll begin to explore some of the emotional and mental challenges which cover the bulk of Stage 2. At this point, you’re trying to get past your chemical reliance.

You’ll come to understand and appreciate that addiction is a multi-front battle. There is a physical battle with addiction and the mental, emotional, and psychological one. There are always underlying conditions and reasons for why anyone begins using drugs.

At some point, it becomes habitual or addiction-related. What’s important to remember is that the journey to addiction is always unique. The path to recovery will also be unique.

Understanding and discussing how difficult fighting addiction is will always be important. Through this, you’ll also learn not to beat yourself up for wanting to relapse or having to try again. You’ll get the help you need to push through the first stage of getting clean and fighting to stay clean.

Stage 2: Internalizing Impacts and Staying Strong

The second stage is super important for addiction recovery. It involves continuing to grow your understanding of drug addiction and recovery. You’ll develop an understanding that substance abuse disorder is an actual concept.

People don’t choose to be addicts, and addicts come from all walks of life. An avalanche of personal reasons sits behind every drug addiction story. These are also often joined by mental health challenges.

Drug addiction treatment these days understands this. It won’t be enough to get clean. You’ll also work on the psychological side of internalizing the impacts drugs have had on your life.

Understanding Drug Addiction

With your counselor, you’ll unpack the real reasons why you took the path you did. Then, you’ll work on these and treat any mental health foundations at the same time. This is often known as dual diagnosis.

This means that challenges like depression or anxiety can be closely linked to drug abuse. Dealing with both at the same time stops one from bringing the other back. You’ll continue to do the healthy activities you started during the first stage.

You’ll do these alongside others as substitutes for drug use and build a wider sense of community and friendship. Everyone is on the same path to recovery, even if our paths to and from the problem look a little different. By talking to your counselor and sharing with other people seeking help, you’ll gain something else.

You’ll develop an understanding of how destructive and unhealthy your old life was. You’ll learn to separate the things that were good for you and those that were not. True friendship and your sense of self will always remain.

Toxic relationships with people, objects, places, or substances will get pointed out. You’ll learn how to rebuild the connections you’ve lost. The same is true for the new connections you’ll need to forge.

A vital insight you’ll gain during this stage is that you can and will take control of your destiny if you stay clean.

Stage 3: Learning to Build a Strong Post-Recovery Life

This is one of the most overlooked and difficult stages. At this point, you’ve become clean. You’ve also developed an understanding of why and how you ended up with drug abuse issues.

You know in your heart and mind the importance of staying clean, but now you have to rebuild that new life you want. Aside from stage 1, where many end up relapsing, stage 3 is also full of difficult challenges. It can be super challenging to know what to do with your life.

You might know what to do on paper, but acting it out is difficult. Substance abuse counseling can help.

Preparing a Better Future

Socioeconomic factors like poverty can make things more difficult. It can start to feel like the deck is always stacked against you, leading to relapse and failure. Remember that many addiction stories begin with a personal struggle.

Mental health challenges like anxiety can lead to drugs as a coping mechanism. In addition, economic uncertainty can cause stress and homelessness. To avoid getting overwhelmed, you need to build back stronger.

When you come out of recovery, you can’t go back to your old life. That way leads only to relapse. The final stage of treatment prepares you for this reality.

You’ll talk to your counselor and utilize all available resources. Together you’ll practice making a resume and doing job interviews if that is likely to help. If employment isn’t an issue, then you’ll tackle whatever is.

Financial management and relationship struggles with friends or family are examples. You might also start looking for a literal new beginning by moving homes. The overall goal is to make sure that when to leave rehab, you have the support you need to stay clean.

A good rehab treatment program can give you the space and tools to get clean and start the healing journey. The most important thing is using the program to learn how to keep going after you return to normal life.

Substance Abuse Counseling Is the Key

When it comes to the several stages of treatment, substance abuse counseling is vital. It helps give you the support you need to get started and the tools to understand the process. By feeling like you participate in your own recovery, it’s more likely to work and last.

The most important is to understand that your struggles and experiences are legitimate. Working on addressing them and rebuilding a stronger life needs a good rehab center. If you’re in Georgia, Eagle Overlook provides great care and counseling, so give us a call today.