The First Steps of Recovery And Rehabilitation
All About You
I just don’t do it. I will not believe that if I do something then I have to follow a certain path because it was written for normal people. People who aren’t special. People who don’t have tiger blood and Adonis DNA –Charlie Sheen on being clean again.
Charlie has been in and out of rehab for years. In this latest round he says he won’t slip back because he’s “special.” We hope he’s right, but only time will tell.
You probably don’t have Charlie’s “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA.” Nor do you have his money or fame. But what you do have right now is you.
Whatever your background or blood type, hopefully you realize you need help with your addiction. Whatever got you here doesn’t matter. What matters is you’re looking for answers, wondering what your first steps should be.
Things started great, right. You felt on top of the world, in control. Then the drugs or alcohol started burrowing into your body and mind. They started to control you. You didn’t realize it at first. But then…
You woke up thinking about drugs or alcohol.
You were using drugs or drinking at work.
You lied about how much you use or drink.
You felt it was impossible to live without your drugs or alcohol.
Do any of these sound familiar?
If you’ve admitted that you have a problem, you’re on your way to the first steps of treatment. If you’re still wondering, this next step is for you, too.
First Step: Getting Help
It takes a lot to admit you’re addicted. You’ve probably felt shame, helplessness, and loneliness many times along the way. Now you need to ask for help. That’s the first step.
Talk to your doctor, therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, friend or family member. Tell them you need help with your addiction.
Admitting to someone you’re addicted will be hard; you’re letting the cat out of the bag. But it’s an important first step.
Unsure you’re addicted? Not ready to ask someone you know for help? Find a treatment center in your area. Call for a pre-screening consultation. You’ll get many of your questions answered over the phone including addiction signs, treatment plans and payment options.
Some even have online “live support” so you can ask questions. Most have email options for questions.
First Steps for Family Members or Friends
You know your loved one is addicted. Maybe you’ve confronted them face-to-face. But to no avail. The most effective first step is an intervention. Read more about that here.
An intervention is a meeting of family and friends with the addicted. The goal is to get the individual to accept treatment immediately.
The primary parts of the intervention are:
- Each person gives examples of the loved one’s destructive behaviors and how that’s affected friends and family.
- Each person states what they will do if their loved one refuses treatment.
- The intervention group offers a prearranged treatment plan.
The intervention is facilitated by a licensed counselor or psychotherapist. The interventionist will educate the group about the disease and provide ways to overcome objections from the addicted individual.
Interventions often have to be the first step. And the good news is they work. Statistics show that from 85% to 90% of patients enter treatment as a result of an intervention.
Admitting you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol is the first step. Then you need to ask for help either from a medical professional or family member or friend. You can also contact a treatment program directly from Recoverycorps.org's listings. For family and friends an intervention is often a good first step to help a loved one.