When you’re recovering from an addiction, most experts recommend that you spend time in a recovery center. A recovery center involves rehabilitation after you detox. Experts recommend having a medically supervised detox, especially if you’re addicted to alcohol. But detox isn’t the end of your rehabilitation. A recovery center will help you understand your triggers, treat the underlying causes of the addiction, and learn healthy coping mechanisms for the future.
Understanding and Addressing Environmental Triggers
When you’re dealing with an addiction, you’ll likely have certain environmental triggers. “Environmental trigger” is a phrase used to describe the aspects of your normal environment that might cause a relapse into your addiction. These triggers might be conflicts with other people, the overall influence of certain people, or stresses in your day-to-day life. They may also just be exposure to your substance of choice.
A recovery center gives you a safe place away from the potential environmental triggers at home. You’ll have a harder time acquiring your substance of choice, and you’ll also have mental health professionals on hand to speak to when you’re tempted to relapse. Furthermore, you’ll use individual counseling and therapy to better understand your environmental triggers. Following this, you’ll learn coping mechanisms to deal with the triggers when they arise.
When you turn to addiction, you’re attempting to self-medicate an underlying problem because you don’t have the coping skills to healthily address that problem. While you’re in the recovery center, you’ll learn coping skills that you’ll be able to use for the rest of your life. Coping might involve creative therapies like art and music therapy. It might also involve journaling, communing with nature, and practicing mindfulness techniques.
Your recovery center will usually involve your family in the recovery process. Many centers offer family therapy to family members who are close enough to attend. During family therapy, family members learn coping mechanisms of their own. Families also have a chance to talk with each other about their boundaries, environmental triggers, and any past pain that needs to be resolved. All of this is done in a safe space with an impartial mediator to healthily facilitate the discussion.
The Intersection of Addiction and Other Mental Illness
Addiction is a serious mental illness. In many cases, an addict is using their addiction to self-medicate another mental illness or illnesses. When mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, sometimes the high that substances cause can feel like a cure to the original imbalance.
When you go to a recovery center, the kind and caring professionals there will give you a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether an underlying mental illness is a factor in your addiction. From there, you may be prescribed medication such as a mood stabilizer or antidepressant to deal with your mental health issues.
Many mental illnesses are chronic conditions, but this shouldn’t discourage you. With continued outpatient treatment, you’ll be able to live a fully realized and self-actualized life.
The Importance of Outpatient Treatment
Most recovery programs will last for a period of a few weeks. The exception would be if you enrolled in a residential treatment program, which might last for six months to a year, or alternatively might not have any end date scheduled.
Many people make the mistake of believing their addiction has been “cured” after they complete their initial inpatient program. But battling addiction will be a lifelong process. It’s important that you comply with your doctor’s discharge instructions, which will likely include treatment on an outpatient basis. If you’re taking medication for mental health issues, it’s likely that your treatment will be handled by a psychiatrist. You’ll also probably see a therapist or counselor, regardless of whether or not you take medication.
Outpatient treatment is especially important for the first few weeks following your discharge. This is the time period during which you’re getting used to day-to-day life again. If environmental triggers play a part in your addiction, your chances of relapse are highest following your discharge. You need to stay in contact with your therapist or counselor to increase the chances of a successful overall recovery.
Your recovery center might offer outpatient services, or they might refer you to another place. Regardless, inpatient treatment is the best place to address both your physical addiction and the underlying mental causes. Call 833-762-3739 to speak with one of our trained counselors about your recovery options. We’re available to help at all times.