After the initial detox period, there’s a period of enormous relief. The physical withdrawal symptoms subside. Alienated friends and family are relieved to hear you’re sober, and they might begin speaking to you again and reestablishing lost relationships. You might even feel like a million bucks, even if you’re only a month or two into your journey. Some people even start feeling better two weeks into recovery. Every day is a new day, and it seems like you’ve learned your lesson.
Curiously enough, many alcoholics and drug addicts relapse during this period of reprieve. It’s the moment that the pain is in the past, that they start feeling better, that they are most tempted to believe they’ve defeated the problem and can now safely have a drink or two, or maybe they believe they can have a pill or two. Before they know it, they’re right back in the cycle, wondering how they went from feeling so good to being stuck right back in the place they were in before.
Early Recovery Basics
Early recovery is tough during the detox stage, but it’s a period of extreme relief and hopefulness after the initial physical symptoms wear off. Because of this, it’s a dangerous period for some alcoholics and drug addicts. More than a few have gone through this cycle a few times before finally deciding that the seemingly overnight recovery a month in are but an illusion. Recovery is a long-term deal, and you’re never able to safely go back and have a drink or drug or two.
Long term drug treatment is a good idea for a number of reasons. The dangerous 1-2 month period where you think you’ve conquered addiction is a good example. No, you’re not having withdrawal symptoms, but that’s because you haven’t used. If you relapse, you’ll surely go right back where it all started, and so many addicts and alcoholics fall into that trap of using after only a short time sober. Long-term treatment facilities and sober living communities give you the chance to establish long-term sobriety in a safe environment. The longer you’re sober, the better.
Long-term Treatment Means Long-term Sobriety
When you enter a long-term treatment facility, you’re committing to learning the principles of recovery that are so difficult to grasp on the outside sometimes. Temptations lurk around every corner in the real world, from the happy beer commercial to the friend who calls you up for a toke or two. Someone once said that freedom is a prison of its own, and there’s no better example of this. Sometimes you want to give up some of your freedom for the safety of a sober living environment.
Long-term residential programs allow you to work on the outside, too, but they hold you accountable for staying in the program. For example, they let you go to work and come back to the residence, but they will also randomly drug test you to make sure you’re following the rules of the program. For many addicts and alcoholics, this overseeing and holding accountable is a blessing that keeps them sober longer. Yes, one day they’ll have to get back out there, but for now, they’re learning how to live life on life’s terms, with the help of trained counselors and staff.
The final reason that long term programs are so helpful is because there are some people in recovery who lost their entire lives to addiction. They may not have food, a home, or a job. Starting over from scratch wouldn’t be easy for anyone, but it’s especially trying for someone who’s dealing with real life without drugs for the first time in a long time. A sober living facility provides some measure of financial, occupational, and food support to people rebuilding their lives.
Don’t get sober for a month or two and assume “that’s that!” Recovery is a lifelong adventure, and it only gets better as time goes on. By staying in a long-term residential program or by staying in for another longer-term program for a couple of months, you’re going to increase your chances of learning the basic principles of recovery and life on life’s terms. You’ll also have access to greater community resources that can help you rebuild a life that’s not just drug free, but happy, too.
If you’re interested in a long-term drug treatment program, just call us when you’re ready to get started at 800-737-0933. Our team will show you how great life in long-term recovery can be.