Each person’s recovery from a substance abuse problem is an individual experience that will require a personal time period and lifestyle choices that ensure they do not go back to abusing. There are two steps in the recovery process – abstaining and taking a new approach to life. Abstaining means not using alcohol or other drugs. Taking a new approach to life includes new ways of thinking and acting that can help a person enjoy their life. Realize that recovery is a lifelong process that is made up of stages. In each stage, a person learns to recognize the things that lead them to use and they will begin to change things about themselves that lead to their addiction.
The first step in the recovery process begins when a person accepts that their drinking or drug use is a problem. After this admission or understanding, the process of recovery is different for everyone, but typically includes three stages:
In this stage, a person’s whole life may focus on recovery. Goals in this stage are:
• Learn about the addiction
• Build new, healthy habits
• Find healthy ways to handle problems and stress
• Avoid making hasty decisions
• Examine good and bad personality characteristics
Goals in this stage are:
• Changing values to reach a better way of living
• Making life changes
• Making up for wrongs and the pain that was caused by the addiction
• Balancing Life
This stage of recovery will go on for life. Goals in this stage are:
• Experience personal growth
• Experience the joy in living
During the recovery process there will be many times when it is tempting to return to abusing a substance. This is why it is important to be aware of the triggers that cause these cravings. Never think that just one more drink or just one more hit is okay. It is the surest way to relapse into old abusive habits. Ways to combat cravings include attending a meeting, calling a sponsor, seeing a mental healthcare provider, talking to a trusted friend or loved one, listing reasons not to use and/or distracting oneself. Recovery is a lifelong process that can be achieved if it is made a priority every day and a person gets all the help they need.
Learn More About Chemical Dependency Services at Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital
Please call the Outpatient Clinic with questions, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 918-491-3700. Laureate Hospital is available 24 hours/7 days for all emergencies at 918-481-4000.