Drug and alcohol addiction are currently recognized as chronic mental health disorders. These are complex diseases that affect both the brain and its chemistry. Known respectively as substance use disorder (SUD) and alcohol use disorder (AUD), both conditions are understood as being treatable but not curable.
They can be managed over time, but they will never go away. Successful addiction recovery requires a lifelong commitment to abstinence and diligent relapse prevention. For a recovering addict, even a single relapse event can result in a rapid return to full-blown addiction.
However, although rehab cannot technically cure addiction, it does create a stable foundation for lifelong sobriety. In rehab, people learn more about the nature of addiction, and they have the opportunity to identify their personal risk factors and the underlying causes of their disorders.
Learning the Causes and Risk Factors for Addiction
People begin abusing drugs for many different reasons. Among these are:
- Feelings of low self-worth
- Unresolved guilt or grief
- Social or environmental distress
- Co-occurring mental health disorders
In recovery, understanding the catalysts for addiction is important. The key to successfully managing substance use disorder lies in knowing and mitigating its cause. In rehab, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and other therapeutic approaches are used to address trauma, unprocessed emotions, low self-esteem, and more.
People are also encouraged to develop higher levels of distress tolerance, improved stress management skills, and healthier coping techniques. When co-occurring disorders exist, dual diagnosis treatment is provided. Co-occurring disorders include issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
When these conditions are undiagnosed and have yet to be treated, people often abuse substances as a way to alleviate the mental and emotional discomfort they cause. As such, access to dual diagnosis treatment in rehab can greatly minimize a person’s risks of relapsing.
Developing Healthy and Effective Coping Techniques
Both during and after rehab, recovering addicts are bound to encounter challenges and opposition that cause stress. Unmanaged stress is a common catalyst for relapse events.
When people feel sad, frustrated, neglected, or overwhelmed, the idea of returning to substance use often becomes appealing. The development of healthy coping techniques in rehab ensures that regular exposure to outside stressors does not throw a person’s recovery off course. These can include strategies like:
- Deep breathing
- Diligent self-care
- Proactive problem-solving
Whether taking timely and strategic actions, purposefully avoiding unnecessarily challenging people and locations, or simply remembering to eat well, sleep well, and regularly socialis, having a large and diverse cache of healthy coping techniques makes withstanding relapse infinitely easier.
Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders and other Mental Health Support
Untreated co-occurring disorders are a common cause of both addiction and relapse in recovery. Not only do people with untreated co-occurring disorders yearn for fast-acting and effective ways to alleviate their mental and emotional anguish, but they often also struggle with:
- Impulse control
- Fluctuating moods
- Self-defeating or limiting beliefs
- Flagging motivation and energy
Dual diagnosis treatment in rehab promotes mood stability. It also eliminates a major reasons for abusing substances: the need to self-treat. In rehab, all patients take part in a diverse range of therapy types. Learning how to establish and maintain mood balance is important. To this end, many rehab professionals share the acronym “HALT” as a means for showing people how to keep their minds clear and their resolve firm. HALT reminds recovering addicts that they should never let themselves get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, and it stresses the importance of good general self-care.
Establishing a Stable and Sustainable Lifestyle
When people think about rehab they often think of structured detox services and regular participation in group and individual therapy. Although all of these things can be found in these environments, rehab is also a place where patients can engage in long-term life planning. After all, some of the greatest barriers to successful recovery include:
- Legal troubles
- Financial troubles
- Other sources of overwhelming stress
Rehab professionals share a vast range of helpful resources. They also assist patients with goal-setting and other essential tasks. They additionally prioritize the establishment of individualized and multi-pronged relapse prevention plans. Although rehab cannot cure your addiction, it can give you the tools to successfully manage it. With the right options in addiction treatment, you can enjoy lifelong sobriety and all of the freedom and autonomy it provides. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today at 844-639-8371.