‘Doctor, how long will it be until I am better?’ This is a question that lingers in most addicts mind and nearly all of them will ask their doctor, therapist, or counselor at some point or another. The honest answer is that there is no simple answer to give. This is a complicated question, but it can be explained in a way so that addicts, as well as their families, can try to understand the treatment and recovery process.
Stage 1: Treatment for the Addiction
In order to begin the process of recovery, the addict must quit drinking alcohol or using drugs. There are many ways to do so, but the most common and effective method is through inpatient treatment at a rehab center. Sometimes the addict will go through a detoxification to help with the withdrawal and eliminate left over toxins resulting from their abuse. Whether or not a detox is appropriate will depend on the type and length of addiction. Inpatient rehabilitation treatment will allow the addict to learn about addiction, discover a variety of therapies, and implement various techniques to help aid them throughout the rest of their recovery. This is a great time for the addict to build a solid foundation to help them remain sober. When it comes to an allotted amount of time to spend at an inpatient center it will depend on the individual. Work, family, and financial responsibilities must be considered; however, the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends spending more than 30 days at a rehab.
Stage 2: Early Recovery
Once the addict has completed their inpatient treatment at a rehabilitation center, or any other type of treatment for that matter, they have moved onto stage 2 or early recovery. This will be the most difficult time for the addict. This is because while the addict was in rehab, they had little or no daily stressors. They had one responsibility and that was to stay focused on their treatment and recovery. Now, they are at home and are faced with daily stress, job issues, family problems, cravings, and several other situations that could be considered triggers and put the addict at risk for relapsing. During this the newly recovering addict must learn how to re-live their life without drinking or using. It is likely that they must stop hanging out with most or even all of their friends. They must discover how to have fun without getting drunk or high. Even though treatment teaches the addict various ways to overcome these struggles, when put to the test, they can prove to be difficult. This is the time that their sobriety is most vulnerable; it will take a lot of strength, support, and patience to get through it, but all the happiness that sobriety will bring about is defiantly worth any problems that may occur in this early stage of recovery.
Stage 3: Nurture
Once the first 90 days have passed, the addict in recovery can move onto the third stage. During this time, reintegrating into life as a sober person has begun to really set in; it is important for the addict to continue to nurture their self as a whole. This means to focus on applying the recovery tools and techniques learned at rehab to all areas of their life. They may have to reopen books or meet with their counselor to be reminded of skills and lessons that may have not been used as of yet or may have been forgotten.
Stage 4: Advanced Recovery
It is only until about 5 years after the initial first stage that many individuals feel ‘fully recovered’. Even so, at this stage, one must continue to nurture their self because there will always be a potential for relapsing. The advanced stage of recovery is ongoing. During this time, the individual can work on improving relationships with people they may have hurt during their using times. They may also focus on other problems that they struggle with such as depression or anxiety. The addict in recovery may choose to go back to school, make new sober friends, find new hobbies, or begin a new career. This is an important part of addiction recovery and can last years, even decades, but it can also be an incredibly happy and joyful time.
So, how long will it be until an addict is better? It depends on the individual and how dedicated they are to their recovery. Some will get treatment and never touch drugs or alcohol again; others will relapse. It is ultimately up to the individual.
If you or someone you care about has an addiction, contact The Cabin Chiang Mai today. We can help you heal your addiction and take back your life.