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Addiction Treatments: First Step, Types, And Medications

Addiction Treatments: First Step, Types, And Medications

It is no exaggeration to say that overcoming addiction is one of the most difficult things a person can do. Many will hear this claim and jump to dispute it. Athletes will say that it is not as hard as their preferred sport, while academics will say that their field of study is far more complicated.

But dealing with substance dependency is a very different challenge than either physical or mental exertion. When you are dealing with addiction, your body literally thinks it will die without your vice. It will do everything within its power to force you to act in a way that gets you to use.

Work ethic can push you through the pain of physical strain and the stress of mental labor. But what can you do against your body destroying itself trying to get a fix?

There are answers to that question, but the crux of it is that you do not do it alone.

Today, we are going to go over how to get started with getting treated for addiction. That includes what you will need, how it will be administered, and a timetable of when it will work.

What You Need to Treat Addiction

The best way to think of the tools of treating addiction is to break it down into three categories:

1: Personal Tools

These include medication for dealing with the side effects of both detox and withdrawal. They can also include changes to personal behavior, such as exercising and eating better. Studies show that these consistently help relieve cravings and side effects of addiction.

The main medications for dealing with withdrawal are methadone and buprenorphine. These act on the same parts of the nervous system that opioids and alcohol do, making them critical for surviving the worst of the aftermath of quitting a vice.

2: Environmental Tools

You can change your own behavior, but you cannot change the behavior of others. That means one of the best tools for treating addiction is altering your environment or changing it completely.

This can be one of the hardest steps simply because not everyone has perfect control over where they spend their time or who they spend it with. But the key is getting away from people who might lead you, directly or directly, to use.

3: Therapeutic Tools

Medication and healthy eating can only do so much. Dealing with addiction is an emotional struggle as much as it is a physical one. That means you need therapy to help deal with it.

This will usually mean personal therapy, but it can also mean group therapy.

How Treatment is Administered

Personal treatment for addiction is called as such because it is the treatment that you have the most control over yourself. That starts with the changes to your own behavior. Exercising, having a stable sleep schedule, and eating properly are all proven to fight addiction.

But obvious, none of it is going to happen if you do not have the medication to deal with the symptoms. It is possible to overuse methadone and other medicines for dealing with detox, so you should not self-medicate. However, it is up to you when you need it in order to function.

Environmental treatment is, as we said earlier, difficult. Not to sound trite, but it can be administered by simply altering your environment or changing it completely. That includes finding new friends, a new job, or a new living space.

However, those three things are known to be huge struggles for people even without an addiction. The thing to remember is that getting new things is not always correct. Sometimes the most economical method for applying this kind of treatment is altering what is already there.

Therapeutic treatment is done either through one-and-one therapy or through group therapy. The method here is to get you talking about your struggles and recognizing them. People often feel weighed down with guilt for having gotten addicted to anything in the first place.

The goal of therapy is to help recognize what you can control and what you can’t so that guilt does not weigh you down.

When Treatment Happens

The first step of the treatment process is detox and withdrawal. You could call this the hardest part, but every part is the hardest part. It really depends on the person and the intensity of the addiction. Much to many peoples’ surprise, the worst of detox will last only two days.

Detox and withdrawal both will last from two weeks to a month. That includes the symptoms of debilitating nausea, how and cold episodes, and intense mood swings. Obviously, this is where personal medicine is the most useful for treating the addiction.

It is worth noting that cravings are not a symptom of detox. They will certainly appear during detox, but they are actually a craving of being an addict in general. That is what makes the time after detox so hard: You have to go an function like a normal person while craving your vice.

After that initial period of detox is when you can start to make lifestyle and environment changes. Before that it will nearly be impossible. But as time goes on the ability to plan out these decisions will become easier, even if your ability to do them is still bound by circumstance.

Therapy, however, is interesting because it is something you can start even before doing detox. It is also something you can wait to start after you have completed detox. Though while it is tempting to say, “you can start when you are comfortable,” that is not exactly true.

Therapy is never comfortable. But you will need it to deal with the mental burden of addiction.

With the right medicine to deal with the physical symptoms, the right environment to deal with the mental symptoms, and the right support to deal with the emotional symptoms, overcoming addiction can be possible. It is never easy, but at least it is not out of reach for anyone.

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