Substance use can quickly devastate a person’s life. What commonly starts as casual use can quickly spiral into a full-fledged addiction, broken relationships, financial insecurity, job loss and major health repercussions.
If you’re interested in sobriety, you know better than anyone the toll drugs or alcohol can take on your life. Finding healing may seem like a long shot, and taking the first step toward recovery can feel impossible — especially when you don’t know what that first step is.
When you’ve decided that addiction has been in control too long and it’s time to take back the power, here’s what you’ll want to know about the steps of recovery.
The first steps in recovery
Before breaking down early recovery steps, it’s important to first clarify that the process of detox, treatment and sobriety is rarely a linear journey. While some individuals start rehab and never abuse substances again and excel in creating a sober lifestyle, for the majority of people emotional and physical relapses are common.
While there will be setbacks along the way, you do have control over the damage done. Each time you choose to overcome a challenge and recommit to treatment, you’re stronger for it and more aware of your own needs, strengths and weaknesses in recovery.
Despite rocky roads in your journey, you’re sure to find the path gets smoother with time. Get started towards life-long freedom by following these recovery steps for the first days of your new life.
1. Accept that substance use has to stop
The beginning of your journey starts with a mental shift. In this step, which could take a moment or build up over years, you have to make the mindset change from “I can keep living like this” to “I need to change my life, it’s time to get sober.”
Substance use makes daily life miserable, our goals unattainable and our bodies feel difficult to live in. The harm of addiction is often clear to others before it’s clear to us. However, the destruction of addiction becomes apparent to you, let it fuel you towards sobriety and make a commitment to get professional care.
2. Reaching out for help
The next step, which can happen immediately after the first, is to reach out for help. Whether you tell a friend, a mentor, a parent, or a spouse or directly call a substance abuse treatment center, the key to sustainable sobriety is avoiding the pitfall that you can achieve recovery totally on your own.
Getting serious about recovery means that you’ll need to partake in professional care, especially during the first days after your last use. Drug and alcohol treatment is the safest, most effective way to overcome addiction.
3. Beginning rehab
Once you’ve gotten connected with professional treatment and involved your loved ones in your goal of recovery, the next step is attending your first day of rehab. Generally, this portion of care is residential and designed to get you through the tough days of withdrawal in a medically-supervised setting.
4. Celebrating the end of the withdrawal
Detox generally lasts anywhere from a few days to two weeks, and at this point in recovery, you can celebrate a major milestone in your recovery. Ideally, you’ll only ever have to endure withdrawal once, and the worst of the physical symptoms will be over.
Applaud yourself for enduring these hard days and reflect on the strength you’ve shown.
5. Continuing services
After detox is complete, you’ll want to decide which type of recovery program to continue with to ensure you stay away from substance use. You may continue residential care, or opt for outpatient services. Depending on your flexibility, work schedule, family life and other factors, you and your care team can make a treatment plan to carry out.
6. Assessing progress
All throughout your journey you’ll find this recovery step is necessary. You’ll want to consider your goals, your treatment plan, your living situation, your triggers and so forth. Change what isn’t working and reinforce what is.
Tips for getting through the first addiction recovery steps
If you have a loved one who is taking the first steps toward recovery, it can feel like a tumultuous time. The emotional stress, indecisiveness, agony of withdrawal, anger, frustration and other obstacles your loved one is facing can all pile up and make you feel powerless to help.
While the decision to get sober and stay sober is never your responsibility to make, there are ways you can support your family member or friend in early recovery. Here are a few tips.
Focus on encouraging professional treatment
Understand the science of drug addiction and brain reward circuitry
Do research on relapse statistics
Listen without judgment
Take care of your own stress levels
Practice self-care together
Offer to provide or set up transportation to treatment
Help with basic necessities, like picking up prescriptions or grocery shopping
Show support during rehab with phone calls, letters or sending photos
Offer to assist with childcare if applicable
Research local treatment providers and peer support groups
Attend a support group for family and friends of people with addictions
Support medication management in line with a treatment plan
Affirm your loved one on progress in treatment
Find personal ways to celebrate small victories
Encourage others in your social circle to show support
Understand your limited role and don’t enable addictive behaviors
Remember that while your compassion and support are invaluable, you shouldn’t try to help your loved one more than he helps himself. At the end of the day, recovery will only last if it’s a personal decision.
Whether you or a loved one are seeking care for a drug or alcohol addiction, Freedom Detox can help. Find the personalized healing you’ve been looking for and make an appointment today.
Our center is one of the only accredited and certified free-standing detox centers in North Carolina. We pride ourselves not only on this accomplishment, but also in the way it is reflected in the care of our patients.
Customized Treatment Plans
We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. We meet with each client and customize an individualized course of action to ensure that all of their needs are met.
State of the Art Amenities
Our team wants to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your entire detox process, so we offer a wide array of amenities to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible.
We Do More Than Just Help You Detox.
Read reviews from past clients who have taken their first step to sobriety at Freedom Detox.
“Freedom Detox gave me a new outlook on being ‘Free.’”
“The love, time, and care y’all give is amazing, and I couldn’t be more grateful, and thankful.”
“I’ll never forget the time you guys spent with me.”
“You guys gave me hope.”
“You brought me back to reality.”
“This “family” of folks will always have a special place in my heart.”
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Let Our Team Help Your Loved One
Freedom Detox is here to serve everyone, whether you want to find help for a family member, friend, or yourself.
Our team knows how much pain a person’s addiction can bring to their family members or friends who feel powerless to help. Plenty of people have had to watch those they love suffer a life of addiction and substance abuse, and no one else should have to live through that struggle.
One of the most selfless things you can do to help your loved one is to seek help when they can’t do it themselves. Our team has experience with taking in addicted clients and can help establish mutual trust so they feel safe with us.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as medical advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a doctor-patient relationship.