We received an email from one of our subscribers, Adam Cook, who recently lost a good friend who suffered from drug abuse. Adam has now made it his mission to assist and encourage people who are addicted to drugs. The following was written by Adam:
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If you’re one of the 23.5 million Americans suffering from addiction, you’re not alone. But, now’s the perfect time to give yourself the gift that will last a lifetime, sobriety. No matter what your vice, where you started, or when you started, there’s no better time than now to challenge yourself back to health.
Let’s get started. The first thing you’re going to need to do, is to decide on the level of support you need. Support is usually broken down into these categories:
Medically supervised detox is required for some patients because their long-term addiction has affected their physical health, as well as their psychological health; this is typically done in an inpatient medical setting.
Residential inpatient care typically offers patients a 30, 60 or 90 day program to live on the premise where round the clock care is provided. These highly structured programs offer valuable individual and group therapy sessions.
Partial hospitalization programs are offered at some facilities. Patients typically seek extensive therapeutic treatment during the day, and return to a sober living facility, in the evening.
Counseling for drug and alcohol is the least expensive option because it offers a far less extensive treatment plan, usually an hour of counseling once or twice a week. The best approach to ensure complete recovery is to consider this after completing one of the above.
Once you leave an addiction treatment center, you’ll need to start incorporating healthier habits [br1] in your daily routine. Forming new habits is a critical part of addiction recovery.
Where you live. If you’re returning to a residence where you’re surrounded by others who are addicted and getting care, you’re going to need to strongly consider finding a new place to live. Your successful recovery will depend on who you surround yourself with; search for a neighborhood where you see lots of healthy folks living.
Who you spend your time with. When you’re recovering you need to avoid triggers that may cause a relapse; friends who are still using, is a huge one. Surround yourself with healthy friends who aren’t dealing with addiction.
Exercise. Addiction affects both the mental and physical part of your body, and exercise works to heal both parts. Many recovered addicts report that group exercise was an integral part of their post rehab routine; this is likely because of the exercise and mental health connection and the socialization and mental health connection.
Volunteer. If you’re well along in your addiction recovery, now would be a good time to share your wisdom and experience with others. Consider volunteering to address young people in schools, for example. If you’re newer to the process, volunteer in something that you’re passionate about. If you’re an animal lover, check out volunteer jobs at the local Humane Society.
Get good rest. A study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine reported that the incidence of insomnia was five times more likely in a recovering addict than in the general population. The National Sleep Foundation recommends:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule for both falling asleep and waking.
- Thirty minutes before bed follow a repeated ritual that relaxes you, such as reading a book, taking a bath, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
- Don’t eat too much or too little before bed, both disrupt your sleep.
- Incorporate daily exercise.
- Eliminate light and sound as much as possible. Consider eyeshades and white noise machines to block these out.
Focus on your positive. Part of the 12 Steps of Recovery call for a “fearless and searching moral inventory.” During this exercise, addicts focus on both their positive and negative qualities. All too often, though, addicts tend to find primarily the negative. Use this time instead to focus on your best traits.
Hopefully, after reading this you’ve accepted the challenge. There’s no time like the present to commit for the win!