Most people with a substance abuse disorder always think that they will overcome the addiction on their own one day. However, many of them only end up disappointed after quitting, only to relapse after a couple of weeks or months. This is not surprising because the idea that you can quit without rehab is much harder than you can imagine. It is why most substance abuse professionals insist that people with drug dependence should seek addiction treatment.
Addiction Is a Disease
The National Institute on drug abuse (NIDA) explains that substance abuse is a complex mental disorder. Addiction is a brain disease that causes profound changes to the brain structure. The changes make it extremely hard for a person with drug dependence to quit drugs without rehab.
Addiction is a major physical illness that requires professional treatment and management, just like most chronic diseases. In some cases, the patient might need to spend time at an addiction treatment facility or rehab center for close monitoring. During treatment, the patient receives medication, behavioral therapy, and recovery support.
Withdrawal Can Have Major Consequences
Quitting certain drugs or addictive substances on your own is very risky and can even put your life in danger. If you have become dependent on opioids like heroin, sedatives, or alcohol, quitting can trigger extreme withdrawal symptoms with severe consequences. Withdrawal symptoms include heavy sweating, muscle pain and tremors, hallucinations, depression, insomnia, delusion, and suicidal thoughts. For some people, withdrawal can cause heart attacks and seizures, both of which can result in permanent disability or death.
Due to the high risks of withdrawal, it is advisable to have the process managed by an addiction professional or a physician. For instance, alcohol and opioid addiction is usually treated with FDA-approved drugs or treatment programs to ease withdrawal symptoms. Most rehab centers offer inpatient and intensive outpatient programs to deal with withdrawal symptoms. Typically, a trained medical professional oversees the detox process taking the necessary precaution to ensure that the withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening.
Most Patients Need Mental Health Treatment
Research indicates that most people with drug dependence also have mental health problems. People with substance abuse disorders also struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, mood swings, PTSD, and psychosis. That is why experts insist on integrating mental health treatment into the rehabilitation program through an approach known as dual diagnosis.
Mental health treatment often takes the form of behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). Sometimes the therapists may diagnose underlying issues such as anxiety or trauma. Other patients may require medication to treat extreme behavioral disorders such as hallucinations or phobias.
Link Up With a Support Group
Attempting to quit drugs without rehab often involves going through the motions alone without much support. In contrast, when you go for professional treatment, you will be added to a support group consisting of people who are recovering from addiction.
Unlike family or ordinary friends, members of a support group can relate to the effects of addiction and withdrawal and will encourage you and share their experiences. Most support groups have counselors who provide group therapy. Joining a support group also shields you from peer pressure that pulls you back to drug use.
If you, your friend or family member has a substance abuse disorder, you should seek professional addiction treatment. The best chance of full lasting recovery will come from 30+ days of inpatient addiction treatment.
Get Addiction Treatment Help in Fresno, CA
First Steps Recovery provides addiction treatment and rehab services to residents of Fresno California. Our addiction programs include detox, inpatient treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment. Call 844-244-7837 for a free consultation.