If you’re struggling with an addiction and you’re concerned about whether or not to get help, you should know that addiction is a treatable illness. In fact, recent advances in the scientific understanding of drug addiction clearly indicate that the brain has the remarkable ability to recover after an extensive absence of using drugs, even with such a harsh substance as methamphetamine.
Experts agree that even with prolonged addiction, recovery is still possible. For instance, if you’ve been using cocaine for over 10 years, you can still recover from such an addiction. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s possible and there are many men and women who have recovered.
Treatment for drug addiction is, in some ways, similar to treating a chronic illness. For instance, if you were diabetic, you might find that you need to change your eating habits, weave into your life regular treatment methods, and make new choices about exercise and nutrition. The same is true with healing an addiction. Recovery must include the transformation of deeply embedded habits, thoughts, and beliefs.
For example, as you continue in your recovery, you’ll continue to uncover more and more about yourself and the ways that you have been contributing to a harmful life. This is actually incredibly advantageous. By learning about your thoughts, choices, and behaviors, you give yourself the opportunity to make new choices and behave in new ways.
Yet, before you embark on the journey of self-discovery and change, initial addiction treatment is going to include a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. The therapy can help address any underlying issues (abuse, domestic violence, trauma, or loss) that might have prompted the use of drugs or alcohol in the first place.
Medication – Medication can be used in different ways in the recovery process. For instance, it can be a tool to assist the process of withdrawal in the beginning stages of healing. It can also facilitate the brain’s ability to adapt to the absence of the abused drug, and still other forms of medication can help to prevent relapse by inhibiting the brain’s triggers for craving drugs.
Behavioral Therapy – Behavioral therapy examines any attitudes, beliefs, and thought patterns you might have that contribute to a dysfunctional lifestyle. For instance, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that addresses unhealthy patterns of thought that lead to making poor choices. CBT also provides healthier coping mechanisms to help manage challenging emotions, triggering life circumstances, and stress, replacing any old methods of coping that may have furthered dysfunction and stress. CBT can also enhance the effectiveness of the treatment medication and this, in turn, assists with your ability to stay in treatment longer.
Once you’re done with a treatment facility, you’ll likely want to enter a sober living home to continue living in a sober environment and be supported by others who are aiming for long-term sobriety as well.
Knowing that recovery is possible even if you were addicted to a harsh drug such as cocaine or methamphetamine can provide enormous hope to someone beginning his or her journey towards living sober. In fact, hope along with the treatment methods mentioned above can make all the difference in the world. With the right support, encouragement, and commitment, you can create a drug-free and healthy life.
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