a recovering addict experiencing withdrawal syndrome

What To Expect On Your Addiction Recovery Journey

Addiction affects millions worldwide, as they may develop unhealthy and harmful habits that could eventually have serious repercussions. According to data, 1 in 166 people with addiction problems receive targeted help to get their lives back on track. 

Admittedly, the addiction recovery journey can be long and winding, but positive outcomes are achievable. If you’re recovering from addiction, here are six things you should expect on this journey.

1. Withdrawal symptoms

When you stop using drugs or alcohol, your body will go through a withdrawal period. The symptoms range from mild to severe, including nausea, tremors, anxiety, and insomnia. The severity of your withdrawal symptoms will depend on various factors, including your type of addiction, its duration, and your overall physical and mental health.

Withdrawal can be dangerous or even life-threatening in some cases, especially if you are withdrawing from alcohol or benzodiazepines. That’s why seeking medical attention is important if you are considering detoxing. Alcohol rehab will be your safest bet if you’re trying to stop the habit. 

Moreover, a medical professional can help you manage your symptoms and ensure your safety during detox. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and looking for a rehab center in the US, it is important to do thorough research to find a facility that meets your specific needs. Factors such as location, cost, types of treatments offered, and staff qualifications should all be considered.

One helpful resource is addiction treatment at addictiontreatmentdivision.org. Using these resources like this help to take the first step toward a successful recovery.

2. Cravings

Even after the initial withdrawal period, you may experience intense cravings for drugs or alcohol. These cravings can be triggered by people, places, or situations associated with your past use. Cravings can be one of the most challenging aspects of addiction recovery, but they are a normal part of the process. 

The secret here is to master the urge to return to your old habits and commit to your newly chosen path to permanent recovery. Many strategies can help you cope with cravings, including distraction techniques, mindfulness, meditation, and exercise. You may also benefit from therapy or support groups, which can provide the tools and resources needed to manage your cravings and stay sober for an extended period. 

If you fail to overcome these cravings, the risk of a relapse is often higher, and recovery might be longer than expected.

3. Emotional ups and downs

a young guy going through emotional ups and downs

Recovery is an emotional journey; you may experience highs and lows as you work through your addiction. It’s common to feel anxious, depressed, or irritable during this time. These emotions alternate, and ignoring them is impossible when they come flooding in. Sometimes, you may experience feelings of guilt, shame, or regret over past habits and decisions. 

According to specialists, the risk of self-harm at this stage is sharply increased, making it essential to avoid being isolated during this period. Remember that these emotions are a normal part of the recovery process, and feeling them is okay. The only problem is if these emotions trigger unhealthy thoughts. 

Research has shown that people who can’t deal with the intensity of these emotions often return to their old habits. You can avoid this by talking to a therapist about your feelings. They are trained professionals who can support and guide you through your emotions.

4. Changes in relationships

As you enter recovery, you may find that some of your relationships change. It may become crucial to distance yourself from people who enable your addiction. When you do this, it is advisable to surround yourself with supportive people who understand your journey. 

It can be a difficult and sometimes painful process, but it’s important for your long-term sobriety and mental health. In the early stages of your recovery, you may have to cut all contact with people who encourage your old habits. Fortunately, you will have a renewed inner strength to resist them after full recovery. 

Communicating openly and honestly with the people in your life about your recovery journey is important. You may find that some people are more supportive than you thought, while others may struggle to understand your decision to get sober. Ultimately, the people in your life must respect and support your decision to put your health and well-being first.

5. A long-term commitment

Addiction recovery is a lifelong process requiring a long-term commitment to sobriety. While recovering from addiction and living a fulfilling life is possible, it’s important to remember that you will need to work on sobriety every day. Remember that it takes time and consistency. It would help to remember that your risk of returning to an old addiction is twice higher. 

Therefore, consciousness and deliberate positive actions are crucial. When you’re in the early stages of recovery, focusing on short-term goals, such as completing a treatment program or staying sober for a week or a month is easy. However, it’s important to remember that addiction recovery is a long journey with its ups and downs, and there’s often no cure for it other than overcoming it. 

Indeed, recovery is an ongoing process that requires a long-term commitment to sobriety. That often includes attending therapy or support groups and constantly being aware of your potential triggers. This way, you reduce your likelihood of falling into relapse.

6. Significant lifestyle changes

significant lifestyle change from addiction to recovery

Addiction recovery often involves significant lifestyle changes, and this is a deliberate action. You may need to find new hobbies to fill the void stopping an addiction often creates. The emptiness you feel is usually one of the early signs of withdrawal. 

Therefore, avoiding certain places or activities and establishing new routines that support your sobriety becomes crucial. It can be challenging, but it’s an important part of the recovery process. Working with a therapist to develop a plan for carrying out these lifestyle changes would be helpful. 

They can help you identify potential triggers and develop strategies for managing them. It often works well when you search deep within to identify routines that make you happy. Meanwhile, it would help if you consciously stuck to the new healthy habits and routines you establish until they become a part of your everyday life.

Being aware of the various hurdles and changes to expect on your recovery journey can help make the process more manageable for you. It will also help you to stay focused, get the support you need, and avoid being too hard on yourself.

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