Our guest author this month is Kimberly Hayes. Kim is writing a book about Alternative Addiction Treatments. We welcome her contribution this month.
By many estimates, the rehab industry in the United States right now pulls in annual profits of about $35 billion. So it may come as no surprise that there are plenty of treatment options for people recovering from drug addiction. Some of the most common types of programs include medically assisted inpatient and outpatient care. These range from a long-term stay at a treatment facility to a drug clinician visiting your home while you carry on your daily routine. Unfortunately, many people can’t afford these programs, either because they don’t have time, they’re too expensive, or their healthcare doesn’t cover it. If this is your case, consider seeking alternative recovery methods. Here are some tips on how to get started.
Types of Alternative Recovery Methods
Generally speaking, the safest and most effective drug recovery treatment are those procured in a hospital under the supervision of a clinician. Seek those out first. However, you may consider turning to alternative recovery methods, for instance, when 12-step programs such as AA don’t yield meaningful results for you. (The success rate for AA hovers between 5 to 10 percent.) One popular form of alternative recovery for addiction is holistic treatments. These include yoga, meditation, gardening, pet therapy, acupuncture, and art-based therapy. Keep doing them if they help you abstain from drugs, but also don’t rule out other treatment methods.
Harmful vs. Healthy Behaviors
When you were on drugs, you may have gotten into some bad habits. People who battle addiction can find themselves staying out too late, neglecting their jobs, burning through money, or engaging in unsafe behavior. Reversing those habits means investing as much time in undoing them as you put into establishing them. That takes work, but here are some ways you can start. Identify the habits you want to change. Remove the triggers from your life. Accept that progress happens in steps. You won’t change overnight, but at least you’re moving forward.
One of the best ways to keep up the fight against addiction is to exercise. Drugs flood your brain with feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. But when that overstimulation fades, drug users are generally left with a redoubled feeling of anxiety or depression. Exercise helps wean your body off drugs because it supplements your body with those same neurotransmitters, only in healthy doses. Regular workouts also structure your day while you’re in rehab, instilling discipline in you and letting you set goals and achieve them. (Usually, with visible results that boost your confidence.) Additionally, exercise lowers your stress, helps you sleep better, and gives you an outlet for your anxiety and frustration.
Forging a support network is vital for anyone recovering from drugs. That’s why people in AA are encouraged to find a sponsor – because you have somebody on the other line ready for you when you’re tempted to take a drink. Studies have shown that people in support networks enjoy life more and feel connected to others, and the chance that they’ll relapse goes down. Try to include a drug counselor or family therapist in that network so that you can attempt to root out the source of your addiction. Also, some people find solace in talking to a religious leader like a rabbi, priest, or imam. Whoever you surround yourself with, make sure that you trust that person’s wisdom and advice.
Recovering from an addiction can be a huge burden, and most people find they can’t shoulder it alone. You also can’t do it in one day. Be sure to exercise, confront your harmful habits, and find people who want the best for you. The point of any recovery program is that you get off drugs.
About the Author
Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.