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What to Expect When You Enter Addiction Recovery

A fundamental truth of recovery is that it is a lifestyle choice. One of the most common misunderstandings about addiction recovery is the notion that the addicted person simply needs to go to a drug treatment center for 28 days to get “fixed” and then come home. It is an understandable but dangerous misunderstanding. 


While addiction is a health problem, it is best thought of as a chronic condition in need of management. Addiction isn’t like appendicitis. You cannot go to treatment to have your addiction “removed” and then return to life as it was. 


Recovery is a process and a lifestyle; this is good news though. It means that we get to dedicate ourselves to personal growth for life and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Recovery is about more than healing and overcoming addiction. It is about becoming your best self. Addiction recovery is worth getting excited over. 


Most will begin their recovery journey at a drug treatment center. Safety and stability are the priority if detox is necessary. A comfortable medical detox helps clear the mind and rest the body. Assessments help clinicians best understand your needs. 


A psychiatric evaluation before or after treatment may reveal a co-occurring disorder such as anxiety or depression. All this information helps to formulate an individual care plan. An effective addiction recovery center will not only plan your care during your stay. They will provide you with aftercare planning to carefully chart your course after you leave the center. 


During your time in treatment, you will move through a continuum of care with different levels such as residential, partial hospitalization (PHP) and intensive outpatient (IOP). The idea is to progress towards greater independence during treatment, but the pace is thoughtful and deliberate. 


You will attend both group and individual therapy at the better programs. Emphasis is placed on understanding the nature of addiction and common pitfalls. Learning about your own unique triggers and how to prevent relapse is crucial during this time.


After your discharge is when the rubber really meets the road, addiction recovery is what happens largely after treatment, not during it. Ultimately the goal is to prepare you for a life in recovery outside the treatment center walls. 


While there, your mission is to begin to develop a living recovery of your own. Remember: Recovery is not a spectator sport. The people who are most successful in it tend to be the ones who jump in and participate. Don’t let a fear of social anxiety get in your way. It’s actually quite common, especially in early recovery. Go through the motions and you will soon find your niche. 


The most important things to remember are to find a program that offers support throughout the recovery process. Follow your aftercare plan and recommendations. Take ownership of your recovery and engage with others. Participating in a 12-step fellowship is an evidence-based method for maintaining sobriety. There are 12-step alternatives such as Rational Recovery available, though research into their efficacy has not been conclusive. 


The key is making your recovery at least as important to you as your drug of choice was. Like we said, recovery is a lifestyle choice. Done with conviction and purpose, it can be gratifying in many ways. Sharing your story and helping others is one of the most enriching experiences you can have in recovery. 


Addiction recovery isn’t easy. But you or your loved one doesn’t have to do it alone. The Ranch Pennsylvania will meet you where you are at in your recovery, no matter if this is your first time looking for help or if you need to return to the basics. 


Our recovery specialists can walk you through your options and help you find the best program to suit your needs. Contact us today for more information at 717.969.9126


By Heather Berry

Contributing Writer with Promises Behavioral Health 

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