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3 Steps to Break Free of Substance Use Disorder

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If you’ve decided to seek treatment for substance use disorder, you may be wondering what to do next.  Where to go for treatment?  How long do I need to stay in rehab?  The options can be overwhelming, but if you focus on the basics, the process will be easier.  

Substance Use DisorderAlthough treatment for substance abuse is a complex process, skilled, licensed professionals will help make your time in addiction treatment a positive experience.  

It’s important to keep in mind that addiction treatment is a series of steps or phases that you will progress through at your own pace.  Here are the 3 steps you can take to achieve freedom from substance use disorder.

Step 1: Detox and Withdrawals 

The first and most crucial step in addiction recovery involves detoxification. The body must be cleansed of the substance to eliminate cravings.  As part of this process, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that can be uncomfortable or intense.  

Many people avoid detox because they fear the withdrawal process, but if you want to be free of SUD, detox is an essential step.  Typically, withdrawals vary depending on the drug involved and may include:

  • Uncomfortable physical or mental symptoms.
  • Intense cravings for the substance of choice.
  • An overall feeling of being unwell.

Detox under medical supervision allows you to manage withdrawal symptoms in a controlled environment.  Medications can be administered if needed, and you will be monitored 24/7 to ensure your comfort and safety.  Without professional detox, your chances for relapse are significant.

Step 2:  Prepare for Addiction Treatment

Detox has two goals.  The first goal is to eliminate the physical dependence on a substance.  The second goal is to prepare you for rehab.  Following detoxification, addiction specialists agree that rehabilitation is the best option for lasting recovery.

After detox, you will get information about how rehab works and why it is necessary.  You’ll also learn what to expect during treatment for substance abuse.

Step 3:  Enter Substance Use Disorder Treatment

You don’t want to waste the gains you made in detox, so entering a treatment program right away is the next step.  Treatment for substance use disorder is where you’ll learn more effective ways of dealing with life’s daily challenges without drugs or alcohol as a coping tool.  

In your search for an addiction treatment program, you’ll find that they differ in several ways.  However, most facilities adhere to the same basic principles.  The primary goal of rehab is to help you address the mental and emotional aspects of substance use disorder.  

Some of the things you can expect to learn in rehab are:

  • Methods for avoiding relapse.
  • How your thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs contribute to the addiction.
  • How to change negative thought patterns, beliefs, and behaviors.
  • Methods for improving interpersonal relationships and communication skills.
  • Skills to help you reclaim your place in society as a sober individual.

Rehab helps you achieve these goals with various classes and activities.  They may include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Group and Individual Counseling, Exercise and Fitness Routines, Holistic Therapies, Family Therapy, and more.  

You want to find an addiction treatment program that is customized to fit your specific needs.  This is important because everyone responds to treatment differently.  What works for one individual may not be the best approach for you.  Talk with the facility’s representative about their program options before making a decision.

What Happens After Rehab?

Rehab is just the beginning of a rewarding and sober lifelong journey.  After rehab, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over.  Despite this, you can benefit from an aftercare program.  The continuing support and guidance provided by an aftercare program will help you stay on track and motivated during this sensitive time.

After rehab, you will realize some things that prove it was worth the effort.  As an example, you may experience the following benefits:

  • Improved physical health – Stopping substance use gives your body time to heal from the toxic effects.  Most people neglect their health when they use drugs or alcohol.  They don’t get proper nutrition, adequate sleep, or exercise.  This can lead to many health problems, but some can be reversed if caught early enough.  
  • A healthy mental state – Substance use usually involves mood swings, anxiety, paranoia, depression, and irritability.  Detox helps improve these symptoms and rehab teaches you how to manage them effectively.  When you learn how to resolve these problems, your mental wellness and quality of life improve significantly.
  • Happier, healthier relationships – When you finish a rehab program, it shows that you are committed to living a sober lifestyle.  Your friends and loved ones see that you are making progress and getting your life back in order.

Detox and rehab help you understand that lasting recovery requires both physical and emotional sobriety.

Begin Your Steps to Healing from Substance Use Disorder at Design for Change Recovery

Recovery from substance use disorder won’t happen overnight.  It is a process that involves commitment and determination.  At Design for Change Recovery, we will help you develop the skills and confidence you need to stay on track.  

If you are ready to choose a rehab and get started on your recovery, contact our Lancaster, CA facility today.  We’d like to tell you about our unique, evidence-based treatment program that can be customized for your specific circumstances. 


3 Steps to Take If You Want to Break Free of Substance Use Disorder