Effective Lifestyle Changes for Recovering Drug Addicts

People who develop drug dependencies typically settle into lifestyles that involve their addictions at every level. Mundane activities become familiar “triggers” for their drug use. It’s therefore essential that a recovering addict makes permanent lifestyle changes that affect his relationship with people, places, and even physical objects. Fortunately, people have proven that they can acclimate to these changes as quickly as they formed their addictions.,Successful recoveries typically begin at a rehabilitation facility. Though the treatment phase is only temporary, it is also the most stressful part of the process. Most addicts start with one of three types of treatment programs.,During residential inpatient treatment, the client lives at the rehab center for a period of thirty, sixty, or ninety days. This type of therapy is intensive, and the addict usually receives fifty or more hours of treatment each week. For those with severe physical drug dependencies, this type of treatment brings about an amazingly quick change in the mental patterns related to addiction.,In day and night treatment, clients still obtain intensive treatment during the daytime, but they are free to leave the facility afterwards. Their evenings consist of supervised, drug-free living focused on avoidance of compromising people and situations.,Finally, outpatient treatment involves only daytime therapy and supervision. This type of program is typically reserved for those who have already undergone more intensive therapy, or for clients who have relapsed back to active drug abuse or alcoholism.,Once addicts complete their initial treatment, they must undergo individual, group, and family therapies designed to alter drug-related thought patterns. Just as a child’s brain develops an aversion to hot stoves and fires after a burn, an adult brain can develop an affinity for the euphoria of getting high. Environments, people, and objects subconsciously trigger the brain’s desire for that euphoria, and addicts must develop strategies for dealing with those triggers.,In the case of environments, addicts learn to avoid certain places where drug use is bound to happen, particularly clubs and bars. However, most clients can’t just avoid every environmental trigger, so they also learn to cope with their subconscious desires when they drive by a dealer’s house or visit a park where they used to get high. The same strategies apply to dealing with people. Clients avoid drug users, but they also learn to cope with the peer pressure they will inevitably face down the road. Finally, with physical objects, coping strategies are favored over avoidance. For addicts, nearly everything in their lives, from music to movies to hobbies will remind them of getting high. They need to learn to quell those feelings, rather than changing everything they truly enjoyed about their lives.,Overall, recovering addicts must make permanent changes to their conscious and subconscious thought patterns. The mental mechanisms of addiction are so powerful, they are almost defensive; the brain does not easily alter them. However, with preliminary intensive treatment, individual and group therapy, ongoing counseling,, and community support, addicts can make full recoveries and take back control of their lives.,If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please use the links below to get help now. We are one of the most successful rehabilitation centers in the nation, and we have specialists standing by for you now. The first step you must make towards recovery is reaching out for help.