How to beat addiction can be one of the most difficult tasks a person can overcome. Know that an addiction and detox hurts the body, people can die from withdrawal symptoms!
It’s important to create daily, monthly, and yearly goals to track you success. Before deciding to detox your body from drugs, get rid of all the temptations around you. Have a relapse plan! On the recovery radio podcast, Michael Walsh discuss having a plan in case you relapse from drugs.
Let’s get into Jared’s story...
A pounding sensation in Jared's head caused him to slowly awaken from a drunken stupor that had left him passed out on the bathroom floor.
As he began to slowly lift his body up from the cold tile floor, flashbacks of the night before came flooding back to memory, “How the hell did I survive a suicide attempt?” A distinct inner voice began to send a clear message that drugs, alcohol and a fast-paced lifestyle would eventually kill him.
Judging by the outside, you’d think that Jared had a pretty good life. A Financial advisor by day, he had a select clientele of upper-class business executives and wealthy businessmen that sought out his advice on how to get ahead in stocks, investments and money markets. At age 28, many of his colleagues were envious of how quickly he rose in ranks at a prestigious banking agency in downtown Washington.
By day a financial wiz-kid, Jared lived by the motto, “work hard, play hard,” and every evening after his last client, would make his way to downtown D.C. to take advantage of nightlife, after-hours clubs, and upscale bars. While men wanted to “be him,” women wanted to go home with him. Jared had a stressful career, and if his clients didn’t make money, he didn’t make money either.
Women, booze and illicit opiates from local drug dealers helped to take the edge off of what seemed to be an endless list of priorities, expectations, and deadlines.
Jared carefully stood up to regain his bearings. As he looked in the bathroom mirror at his bleak reflection he began to contemplate his final thoughts from the night before, “I shouldn’t have tried to kill myself! I don’t want to die!”
The image staring back at him wasn’t something he wanted to look at. Jared looked away in disgust. God must have been paying attention and answered Jared’s plea to go on living. While he felt grateful and glad to be alive, his thoughts began to shift towards the alcohol bottle a few feet away that had a few remaining ounces.
As he stumbled towards the bottle, the promise to sober up that Jared made to God only a few hours ago began to echo louder and louder inside his head. In a brief moment of divine clarity, a profound affirmation caused him to brace himself on the hallway stairwell for support, “If you don’t go to rehab right now, you won’t make it to 30.”
In a moment of profound insight, Jared murmured under his breath, “Damn it! I’ll go!’ In a swift yet trembling moment, he picked up the alcohol bottle and dumped the remaining liquor into the bathroom sink.
Out of an overwhelming compulsion to keep the promise he made to God and himself, Jared quickly called the rehab center that one of his friend’s had completed a few months earlier and scheduled an admission for later in the day. Having packed only a few t-shirts, sweat pants, and toiletries, Jared sat on his kitchen floor and waited for his brother, Jon, to arrive and drive him to the drug and alcohol inpatient facility a few miles away.
A half-hour later there was a knock at the door, and Jared opened it half-thinking that his brother would humiliate or disown him. Jon quickly dashed inside and headed straight for Jared’s bag. He picked it up, threw an arm around Jared, and said the ultimate words of encouragement, “Let’s do this, man. You’re not alone, and we’ll do this thing together.”
It takes moments like these to realize we have to come out of the everyday funk. Pushing the limits of the same daily routines, things start to get old. Imagine an addict. It’s tough for to stop relying on the impulsivity and call it quits.
The decision Jared made was a good one. Let’s look at Jared, and how he beat an addiction.
How To Beat Addiction
One of the most common and successful ways of beating an addiction is with professional help and supervision. It’s recommended to detox your body and then attend drug and alcohol rehab.
7 Things To Expect In Drug Or Alcohol Detox
Walking through the doors of a rehab center was one of the hardest moments of Jared’s life. “How will I cope with the urge to use?’, “What will my friends and family think of me?’ and “What if I can’t stay sober?’ are a few of the questions that cause immense doubt during the first few weeks of drug or alcohol rehab.
1) It can hurt
As you begin to detox from drugs or alcohol, your brain will send messages to your body that something is not right. Your muscles might start to ache, and you will feel like you just ran a marathon or lifted thousand pound weights.
While it’s uncomfortable, it doesn’t last. Usually, the physical discomfort of detox lasts for 3-5 days before starting to ease up slowly. You’ll likely want to spend time alone in your room to sleep and deal with the symptoms - this is understandable; just try not to isolate yourself entirely from people that could actually distract you from the pain of detox.
2) You will feel confused, alone and defeated
Once you transition out of detox, you will be cleared medically and move into residential treatment. Many patients report feeling embarrassed that they got into the position of needing help for addictions, and wonder if they will be able to recover from drug or alcohol abuse.
Early recovery seems like a lonely time, but it’s supposed to be that way. After all, this is your time. Your time to think about why you started using drugs or alcohol, and your opportunity to work through problems to stop using substances potentially killing you. Embrace the occasions in rehab in which you feel alone because the emotions you experience are part of the recovery process.
3) You will want to give up
The first week of residential treatment is a tornado. You’ll feel like you're being blown all over the place and torn apart from detox symptoms and a new environment. It may seem like people are constantly trying to persuade you to participate in groups that you’d rather avoid or sleep through entirely.
As you listen to your peers talk about their addictions, you’ll feel like they have a better handle on their problems and grasp of recovery than you do. Many times, people feel inadequate as they compare themselves to others who they believe to be “better,” “stronger,” or “more resilient.”
When you find yourself engaging in negative self-talk and wanting to give up, go to your therapist or a staff person that you have a positive rapport with. Talk about the self-doubt and insecurity that is clouding your mind and holding you back. Lean on someone you trust to inspire you and push you forward to persevere through another day. You’ll be glad you did.
4) You won’t sleep (for a few days, a week or longer)
Insomnia. We’ve all experienced it, and each one of us can attest to the fact that it’s a dreadful place to be. Unfortunately, many people in early recovery experience fitful sleep for several days up to several months during drug or alcohol cessation.
Several days to a few months - why the long time gap? Some people are just lucky and manage to sleep through detox. They look around at others complaining about exhaustion and wonder what all the fuss is about. Most people, however, experience at least a few nights of frequent awakening, not being able to fall asleep, or vivid dreams and nightmares.
Poor sleep can persist for a few days or last as long as several months as your neuro-chemistry (brain cells) begins to stabilize to its pre-drug state. The chemicals in your brain responsible for tiredness, sleep, and sleeping through the night we’re altered and stimulated for the months or years in which you abused drugs or alcohol.
Try to develop a regular sleep routine that involves writing, stretching, yoga or other quiet activities that produce a calming effect on your mind and body.
5) You will get mad
Detox symptoms, self-doubt and insufficient rest often give way to addicts in early recovery lashing out at people around them, including loved ones and family members. The anger you feel is normal, and it’s important to experience it so that you can understand your addiction, and how drug or alcohol abuse took over your life.
Take note of situations or discussions that provoke negative feelings, thoughts, or provoke anger. Instead of yelling at your roommate or kicking the wall, channel your anger into productive ways so that you can learn healthier coping skills that will drastically help you in the future when unsettling events arise again.
6) Just when you think it can’t get worse - it gets better
Between weeks three and four, many people report feeling an improved shift in mood, energy, and outlook. Recovery isn’t easy, but a remarkable transformation has occurred, and everyone can see it!
After the first week of detox, you’ll change from going through the motions of rehab to being involved in treatment. You will actually want to be there and soak in recovery tools, lessons and expert advice given to you by addictions professionals.
This change doesn’t happen overnight, but if you stick it out, stay in treatment, and give it everything you’ve got - change will happen!
7) You will smile and laugh again
The discomfort of detox is now a memory, and you are getting at least a few hours of consistent sleep every night. You will feel optimistic as you think about being sober and all the wonderful opportunities that drug and alcohol abstinence will bring. Ironically, only a few days earlier you were consumed with fear and uncertainty about your future.
As the days in detox unfold, you’ll develop meaningful relationships with peers in the program. You’ll begin to discover that others have had a similar experience with addictions and draw strength from their stories of hope and perseverance.
Now that detox is over, you will begin working on your “recovery tool kit,” and it will consist of strategies and resources for you to use when the urge to relapse strikes.
If someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then it’s time to look into a detox center that can provide him or her with addictions counseling and recovery tools that make for a much brighter and healthier life.
Landmark Recovery can help you live freely from substances robbing your health and claiming your identity. There is no time like today. Call one of our dedicated admissions consultants and get your life back!
Do you have a defining moment that led to your recovery? What led you to ask for help and how did you end up in rehab? Perhaps someone told you that you needed help or you realized that an addiction to drugs or alcohol was ruining your life. Let Landmark show your how to beat an addiction!
Landmark Recovery wants to know your: Defining Moments That Led To Recovery and Rehab.
Your story about how to beat an addiction could give someone the courage needed to make a change that could save his or her life. Landmark has individualized treatment catering to your addiction.