How Does Life Change after Finding Sobriety?January 5, 2017 - Substance Abuse - 0 Comments
Sobriety is hard. It’s hard to do, it’s hard to attain, it’s hard to live, and it’s hard to maintain. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it can’t be done. A life of addiction wasn’t exactly easy, the self-fortitude every addict found has prepared them for the rigors of sobriety, and it is common knowledge among addicts that drug and alcohol rehab centers are far preferable than the nagging prison guards while suffering through detox.
The Procedure of Recovery
Recovery always starts with an intervention. Ideally, friends, family, and loved ones provide the grace of modesty through a casual intervention rather than an overnight visit to the local jail or hospital which determines the future of the addict.
Detox follows in alcohol and drug treatment centers. It hurts. Detox is physically painful for the addict and sometimes even life-threatening. Fortunately, detox is a short process. The addict is focused on themselves and isn’t usually aware of how their loved ones also hurt during the process, and that’s fine. Everybody is going to feel better after the initial withdrawal is over.
After detox, the patient is in a fragile state which requires ongoing treatment in order to develop the necessary tools to maintain sobriety. This is the period in which the addict begins to understand how their actions have affected the other people in their lives, and such feelings and understanding can often be a trigger which leads to relapse, in turn, defining the need for further treatment.
Eventually, the addict has been sober long enough to understand the meaning of their actions and is ready to get back to life as usual. Life “as usual” doesn’t mean the same to an addict as it may seem to others, it means a life without the drugs and alcohol which are going to be available. Often a safe house, or clearly defined sober home, is required for the addict to learn how to follow the rules of sobriety by following a curfew and regular drug testing as they approach the daily struggle of work and simple chores such as grocery shopping without the crutch of addiction.
During their time in the sober home, the addict continues to learn the skills needed and develop the tools which allow them to live a life of sobriety. Eventually, they will have the resources to maintain ongoing sobriety as they move back in and reclaim the relationships with their loved ones and families which they have worked so hard to maintain through the months (or years) it has taken to define their lives without the use of drugs, and that’s when all the effort shows itself as having been worthwhile.
Common Triggers Which Disrupt Sobriety
Recovery is, in fact, a life-long prospect. There are going to be triggers which challenge the addict’s dedication to a life without drugs after time spent in drug and alcohol treatment centers. It may be a game of golf for one person, or going bowling for another, as these were activities the addict once associated with drug use. The worst triggers are far more simple. One of the most common relapse stories is that the addict stopped to fill up a car with gas, and before knowing what even just happened, there is booze in the car which the gas station sold. And then there are drugs, through no intent or desired activity of the addict, it just happens and there really is no way to describe it to the people who aren’t addicts. A “sober blackout” may perhaps be how to best explain what happened during the beginning of a relapse. And that is when the tools provided by the initial treatment in drug and alcohol treatment facilities come into play by defining how the addict reacts to the relapse and continues with sobriety.
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