When we talk about overcoming addiction, we often talk about taking the “first step.” It’s become so ubiquitous now, it’s almost cliché: “The first step is admitting you have a problem.” That all-important first step is crucial to your recovery, because it’s the one that starts you actually looking for recovery. Denial is a common side-effect of addiction, and it keeps countless people in the dark about their problems. They continue to slide deeper and deeper into addiction, constantly denying the existence of a problem. Breaking that cycle is an absolute must before treatment can begin. But if you’re reading this, chances are you already know that. You’ve probably already determined that you or someone you know needs help, but are completely lost regarding what to do or where to go. That’s okay. There’s a lot to think about, so try not to get too overwhelmed. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting help. Because the first step is important, but equally important is knowing where to go from there.
Determine the Depth of Your Addiction Problem
Just in case you haven’t yet determined the extent of the problem (perhaps you’re trying to convince a loved one to get help), let’s talk about actually isolating the problem. Addiction has some common symptoms between most people, but it doesn’t quite look the same in everybody. So the first and most important thing is to determine if what you’re looking at is a serious problem, or simply a harmless recreational activity. This can get especially muddled with things like alcohol or gambling, which are known to be highly habit-forming, but are still legal. Doing illicit drugs is a more obvious sign of a problem, since the user is necessarily already going outside of the law to obtain their substances. But with legal substances and activities, it can be difficult to tell when a pastime becomes a problem. A drink or two after a hard day of work isn’t a problem, but a drink before and after every day of work probably is. While no test can identify addiction without a doubt, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence has a brief addiction self-test to help identify some of the more common signs of addiction. It certainly isn’t foolproof, but it’s a start to help you identify if you may have an addiction problem, and how serious it may be. If you’re looking for more information, you can always contact us for a consultation. We will be happy to talk with you and give you options for a way forward. The best case scenario is that you won’t have a problem at all, in which case, you can move forward with your life. However, if there is something you may need treatment for, here’s what to do next.
Determine if You Need Detox in Colorado
Rehab isn’t always the right place to start fighting your addiction. While you’re still fully in the grips of drugs or alcohol, quitting cold turkey – even if it’s for rehab – could bring some dire results. Depending on what substances you’re using and how deep your addiction is, medical detox might be an important first step for you to consider. Detox helps you through the most difficult time in your recovery – the first few days, where withdrawal symptoms are at their worst. The medical and holistic treatment you’ll get in detox will minimize the discomfort you feel from those withdrawal symptoms. In most cases, withdrawals can bring a number of negative symptoms, like:
- heavy sweating
All this is in addition to the constant, severe drug cravings that will hound you throughout the process. The symptoms change drastically depending on what substance you’re having withdrawals from. In addition, some substances have more common rates of withdrawals symptoms. People who are classified as heavy alcohol drinkers have around a 50% chance of suffering from some kind of withdrawal symptoms, compared to around 8-10% of marijuana users. One thing to note about withdrawals from alcohol and opioids is that under the right circumstances, they can be dangerous. It’s not just about enduring a couple of rough days. Severe alcohol withdrawals can be fatal without immediate medical attention, and opioid withdrawals are often a precursor to a fatal overdose. If you are looking to go into rehab for either of these substances, you should seriously consider detoxing first, to make the first few days of your recovery both easier and safer.
Find the Best Type of Treatment for You in Colorado
Before you just jump into any old rehab center, it’s important to know what kind of treatment suits you best. There are two main options: inpatient and outpatient treatment. Now, there are some smaller differences between each inpatient treatment center and each outpatient treatment center, of course. Many facilities offer both services. Finding the perfect treatment center largely depends on just finding a facility that approaches addiction in a way that agrees with you. But there are also a number of things to think about first. First, let’s break down your two major options, as they both have pros and cons to them. Inpatient rehab at a sober living facility is the more traditional form of rehab in Colorado, and it generally involves recovering from your addiction in a full-time facility. There are variations on this, but the concept of inpatient rehab is to get addicts clean of drugs via several weeks of forced, monitored sobriety. This can be a great option for those who have tried and failed in the past to get clean. Inpatient rehab removes temptation from the life of an addict by giving them a safe place to recover where drugs and alcohol aren’t available. For people who are prone to relapses, removing the risk of a relapse during the important early stages of rehab can make the difference between a successful recovery and a relapse. However, there are some negatives to inpatient treatment as well. For starters, while there is no question that inpatient treatment will get you sober, a complete, forceful removal of all temptation can be a good way to get clean, but it may not be the best way to stay clean. It’s unrealistic to think that you will be able to live your live unfettered by temptation. Eventually, you’ll need to learn strategies to face and cope with temptation. An inpatient treatment center won’t give you the opportunity to cope with temptation on your own. Additionally, it’s important to remember that inpatient treatment is a full-time affair. If you are maintaining a job or a family, taking four weeks or more away from your life can simply be too impratical. Most people can’t just take a month away from work and family commitments, and 28 days is often the minimum term for inpatient treatment. Of course, if you’re managing your addiction well enough to still be in control of your job and family life, it’s possible you might not necessarily need the more intensive care offered by inpatient treatment anyway. Outpatient treatment may be a better option for you. Outpatient treatment doesn’t have you staying in a clean living facility, it has you living at home and coming in for therapy several times a week. But traditional outpatient therapy often fails to give recovering addicts as much support as they need, and inpatient treatment is too invasive for some others. To provide a middle ground, IOP (Intensive Outpatient) treatment was developed, and it is rapidly gaining in popularity. Like traditional outpatient treatment, IOP allows patients to stay at home with their families and attend treatment regularly. However, IOP treatment may have as many as five sessions a week, as compared to only one or two in traditional outpatient treatment. It isn’t quite full-time, like an inpatient program, but there is a lot more time spent with treatment specialists, and patients are never too far-removed from treatment and support. IOPtreatment does expose those in recovery to the temptation of the substances they’re trying to leave behind, and your ability to resist that temptation is something you have to strongly consider when you’re looking into rehab. Many people do better if they can get away from home, because their routines at home can be a trigger for substance abuse – for example, if you’re used to having a drink after work, or at a certain time of day, getting out of there can help break the cycle. Some people feel heightened stress being at home, which they use some sort of substance to cope with. For these people, changing things up with inpatient treatment may be a better option. Colorado has plenty of rehab clinics to choose from, with both inpatient and outpatient facilities, and a variety of treatment philosophies. We’ve compiled some helpful Colorado rehab information for you, if you need it. Understanding the pros and cons of each type of treatment and making the right treatment option for your lifestyle is critically important to making your recovery successful.
Commit to Treatment at Your Colorado Rehab
Okay, so you’ve done your research and you’re ready to make the call. You found a rehab center in Colorado that looks perfect for you. Great! The hard part’s over, right? Time to walk in and get healed. Not at all. Choosing a rehab and walking in the door is certainly an important step, but it is just another step. It probably sounds obvious that you have to commit to treatment, but it bears repeating. You absolutely MUST commit to your treatment. Addiction is a disease that affects your brain, and we know now that it isn’t a choice, a moral failing, or a matter of willpower. You can kick addiction just because you want to – you need more help than that. But, that being said, you still have to want to. Don’t think that walking into the rehab center is going to cure you with no effort. It’s going to take a lot of effort. You have to be ready for a long battle with yourself to overcome this scourge. Rehabbing from drugs is no so different from rehabbing a broken leg. That broken leg will mend up because of medical treatment, and the physical therapists know how to reinforce it. But it’s up to you to put out the effort and get its strength back. Drug treatment is the same. We know how to flush that substance out of your body and get you sober. And we have everything ready to make you stronger so you can overcome your addiction long-term. But you have to come in with an open mind and be willing to work for it. It won’t be easy, but we guarantee it will be worth it.
Find a Colorado-Based Drug or Alcohol Support Group
This doesn’t have to be the last thing you do, even though it’s the last thing on this list. You don’t even have to be in rehab to find a good support group. Some people recover from their addictions with support alone. Many others find support groups to be a great way to keep them honest and sober after they’ve completed their treatment. Two of the most popular support groups in the United States are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. These are affiliated, Christianity-based organizations all across Colorado and the country that build communities around getting and staying sober from drugs and alcohol. There are a number of other options, each with different plans of recovery and different philosophies. We enourage anyone and everyone who needs a little extra support to find a group that suits them and get as much support as they can. Overcoming addiction is a lifelong process, and it doesn’t end after rehab. It gets hard, and having people near you who understand what you’re going through can be an invaluable resource. It’s important to take recovery one step and one day at a time. Savor the small victories. Support groups in your area of Colorado can help you recognize and celebrate those victories.