Making the Change: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

It is unfortunate, but nevertheless true, that society still places a great stigma upon those brave enough to seek out help for the serious and sometimes debilitating disease of drug and alcohol abuse. Lets face it, if you are not of celebrity status and fame, it is not sheik or hip to have drug and alcohol rehabilitation listed on your life’s resume. If you’re not lucky enough to make the roll call of one of television’s talk shows, or you do not possess the talent for writing a book detailing the accurate accounts of your trials and tribulations with drug and alcohol rehab, you just become one of the many who have battled and conquered the devastating disease of addiction; and for that alone, you should be proud.

Addiction is a compulsory behavior to repeat a certain behavior despite the outcome or consequences. In this case, drug and alcohol use become the compulsive behavior a person engages in. People who become addicted do so for numerous reasons. Usage may have started out as a socially accepted behavior seen within one’s environment. For instance, a child raised in a household, where it was common for mom or dad to rush to the liquor cabinet every time life threw a curveball, or because society made it the thing to do to unwind after a hard day, may grow up to repeat the behavior, leading them toward their own personal addiction. Those who suffer from mental illness are likely to use and abuse drugs, alcohol, or both, as many mental illnesses assist the person down a road of negative compulsive behaviors. No matter what the causes are, one thing that rings out common is that addictions to drugs or alcohol leave a path of hurt and destruction in its wake.

Our human instinct, when we see a loved one life spiraling out of control due to substance abuse, is to immediately intervene and encourage the person to get help. However, getting treatment is not always an easy event. If the person is not at the point where they feel they have a problem, any treatment they do seek may only wind them up back at the start and using again. It is extremely painful to watch a loved one spiral out of control, but all you can really do is encourage them to seek help, while not allowing yourself to become their crutch-be tough. Also, depending on the person’s financial means, it may interfere with the type and quality of treatment they are able to receive as part of their drug or alcohol rehab.

There are lots of different types of drug and alcohol rehabilitation out there. There is outpatient, in-patient, group programs, one-on-one, 12 step programs, retreats, religious counseling, cold turkey, and more. Sometimes, a person might need to be in an in-patient facility with the safe guard of constant vigilant watching as they detox and sober up. These types of drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer a well rounded form of treatment, which generally includes one-on-one counseling aimed at helping the person understand why and what causes them to abuse drugs or alcohol, group sessions with others who have been down that similar path of destruction, and all aimed at teaching the person how to live their life free from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The 12 step program is another good means of drug and alcohol rehab, which is basically a form of group counseling aimed at giving the recovering person a system of support to lean on as they continue on the road of clean and sober. Cold-turkey treatment for drug or alcohol abuse is a method where the person just quits the compulsive behavior, and never looks back. It is a difficult means of treatment, and one that may be more successful with someone who has really hit their bottom, and came to the realization that enough is enough. Whatever method of drug or alcohol rehab that is chosen, it will be a long road, but a positive one in the efforts of taking back one’s life.

Someone, who makes the decision to go through drug or alcohol rehabilitation, should be prepared for the possible side-effects that occur initially as the body begins to clean out from the drugs or alcohol. They can expect to experience symptoms of withdrawal, which can be an extremely unpleasant experience. As the body cleans out, the person may have bouts of nausea and vomiting, there body temperature will fluctuate from hot to cold, some have been known to hallucinate and become paranoid, and insomnia is commonly experienced. A person going through alcohol detoxification may experience what is known as delirium tremens, while someone coming clean from barbiturate abuse may have severe seizures. In some cases of extreme withdrawal, the doctor may be able to prescribe medications to make the transition easier; however, most do not like to encourage the use of another drug to help clean a person from substance abuse, as this may create a new addiction.

The key to drug or alcohol rehab is admitting one has the addiction, then seeking the necessary help to kick the habit. The main objective and goal of rehabilitation will be to help the person gain a new perspective on their life, identify the underlying causes that made it easy and possible for them to use, teaching them new and positive ways to approach the negatives in their life’s, eliminating the need for dependency, and helping them get back on a path to a rich and rewarding life.

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