The disease of addiction causes great suffering for those affected, their families and friends. Misunderstandings about the condition can interfere with getting the help needed. Often, an alcoholic or addict will postpone getting help or even deny having a problem. A crisis of some kind or legal difficulties may provide the catalyst required to get started on the road to recovery. For example, a judge may assign an online drug and alcohol course to someone arrested for public intoxication. The alcoholic may hear or see something in that material that helps them realize the problem is bigger than they had realized and prompt them to ask for help.
Fortunately, many resources are available to sufferers that make recovery possible for anyone willing to apply themselves. Approaches to recovery range from 12-step support groups to inpatient treatment. Different personality types, individual circumstances and the degree and type of addiction all play a role in which method of treatment will be most effective. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you choose the path of recovery.
Meeting Makers Make It
Studies on recovery indicate that those who get involved in 12-step support groups of some kind and stay involved are more successful at maintaining sobriety long-term. The 12-step programs of recovery, first codified in Alcoholics Anonymous, emphasize helping others who are trying to stay sober as an effective approach to maintaining one’s own sobriety. The practice of having a sponsor or mentor who has been sober for a longer period of time provides a framework for this principle.
These fellowships have regular meetings in most cities. A quick search online will usually produce either a schedule of local meetings or a hotline phone number to call for information. Alcoholics Anonymous maintains a website at AA.org where resources are available to anyone seeking help.
Some cases of addiction have advanced to a stage at which recovery may require a period of inpatient treatment. Medically supervised detoxification may be necessary to safely transition through withdrawal from physical dependence. Many hospitals and rehabilitation facilities offer this service. Some facilities provide inpatient treatment lasting from a few days to months in which an addict or alcoholic can establish an initial period of sobriety. Often, transition assistance to sober living facilities is also available once inpatient treatment has ended.
The disease of addiction does not have to destroy a person’s life. Once acknowledged and confronted appropriately with treatment and continued support, it can be dealt with successfully like other chronic medical conditions.