Deciding to start treatment to recover from substance use disorder is one of the most important and bravest decisions you will ever make. We know it was not easy, and you probably have tons of questions, it’s OK – that’s completely normal.
To help guide you through the first stages of the recovery process, we have compiled a list of the Top Five Things to Know Before Starting a Recovery Treatment:
1. Addiction Recovery is Not an Overnight Process.
Let go of the “Instant” mindset. Acknowledge recovery takes time and that it’s a healing process that will require effort and lots of patience on your part. Do not get discouraged if you’re not progressing as fast as you would like to. Baby steps DO add up to progress!
2. You Shouldn’t Try to Go at It Alone.
They say it takes a village. Addiction can take people on some dark paths, and like in life, you can’t find your way out of these without light. Identify your light, your support network (be it a friend, family member, counselor, therapist, doctor, etc.), that person who you can confide in whenever you feel the urge to go back and use or that will be there for you when you need a morale boost.
3. The Importance of Treating Co-Occurring Conditions
Be prepared to address mental health as part of the recovery process.
From depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, and personality disorders, to name a few, all of these increase your risk of addiction to various degrees.
It is important that you choose a treatment that addresses these conditions to help you understand how they relate to each other.
4. It’s OK to focus on yourself.
And no, this doesn’t mean you are selfish. Practice self-love. Know that you deserve to enjoy sober living, and that recovery isn’t a punishment for your mistakes, but the only way forward after a long time spent using drugs.
5. Your life will change.
Read that one more time. It WILL change. From letting go of old friendships, places and things, to experiencing all sorts of emotions, recovery is a journey that will change your life (for the better).