3 Steps to Prevent Being Overwhelmed by the Treatment Process

3 Steps to Prevent Being Overwhelmed by the Treatment Process

Once you begin treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the process

Once you begin treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, it is far too easy to become overwhelmed by the process. Through some combination of poor information, unrealistic expectations and isolation, treatment can quickly lead to a place of despair. However, by applying these three strategies, you can limit the sense of being overwhelmed in your own treatment.

Do Your Homework

Many times an individual finds himself overwhelmed by the treatment process simply because he does not understand what is coming. Each person comes into a treatment program with certain thoughts around what it should look like, but these opinions are often invalid and based on poor information. The best way to combat this source of anxiety is to gain knowledge about the recovery process. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has published principles of effective treatment. These principles are the building blocks for any addiction recovery program.

  • Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
  • No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
  • Treatment needs to be readily available.
  • Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.
  • Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
  • Behavioral therapies including individual, family or group counseling are the most commonly used forms of drug abuse treatment.
  • Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
  • An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
  • Many drug-addicted individuals also have other mental disorders.
  • Medically assisted detox is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug abuse.
  • Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
  • Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously as lapses during treatment do occur.
  • Treatment programs should test patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk-reduction counseling, linking patients to treatment if necessary.

Having a strong understanding of these tenets of effective treatment programs can serve as a foundation for an individual’s expectations.

Managing Expectations

Unmet expectations are the next cause of feeling overwhelmed with the process of treatment. It is important to understand three facts about addiction recovery including the following:

  • Addiction is a , and recovery is intended to retrain the brain, which has been impacted by the disease process. As with any chronic illness, there is a combination of skills and medications that can support a successful recovery.
  • It is not at all uncommon for an individual in recovery to have some missteps along the way. Failure is somewhat normal during recovery. This is not a magic pill but a rebuilding of a life on a new foundation.
  • Progress is slow and steady, not quick and miraculous. Anyone promising a fast cure is likely dishonest.

As a person allows these truths to influence her expectations, she will find her frustration level to be lower.

Be Transparent

It is important to be open and honest about where you are at with the recovery process. You have several resources you can turn to when things get heavy.

Your friends and family are all rooting for your recovery. If you hit a tough spot, most would be happy to take a call from you in order to provider you support and encouragement.

You have counselors and staff members who are also there to give you support. Each member of the staff in any recovery program is highly trained to provide relevant assistance in the midst of dark times. Beyond training, they have experienced this with others going through the recovery process. Beyond that, many are recovering addicts themselves. The team surrounding you at your treatment program is an invaluable resource.

A Change in Mindset Is Necessary

You should not expect to get through a treatment program without some deep lows. This is a tough process and one with many ups and downs. Keep your eye on the future goal of a clean life and restored relationships, and you will find the strength to push through. Visualize a life free of the shackles of addiction, one where you are able to be the best you possible, and the struggles will feel more manageable.

The cost of addiction is too high. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you find your way.

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