Like addiction, addiction recovery can get very complicated very fast. The fact is, being “in recovery” can mean different things to different people. After all, the decision to get help for a substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder is a personal one. Read on to find out about Detox Nashville and addiction recovery services.
What is Addiction?
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. The medical community has classified addiction alongside other chronic diseases, such as diabetes or arthritis since addiction can affect people in cycles of relapse and recovery.
It also has observable signs and symptoms, progresses through stages of intensity, and can be treated but not cured. Treatment happens via services like those offered through Detox Nashville addiction recovery offerings.
Addiction is a Family Disease
There is a famous saying in recovery circles—addiction is a family disease. This is because many of the most harmful consequences of addiction affect the addict’s entire family. For instance, families can keep secrets from one another to cope with a loved one’s substance abuse. Moreover, they can find scapegoats for the addicted relative’s behavior and engage in toxic behaviors like denial, delusion, hopelessness, and blame.
In fact, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) further explains the effects of addiction. It’s defined as “a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family’s unity, mental health, physical health, finances, and overall family dynamics.”
Both individuals who need professional help to recover from addiction and their families should actively seek it. The result can help everyone directly or indirectly involved in the harmful effects of substance abuse.
The Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
The signs and symptoms of addiction—including substance use disorder and alcohol use disorder—can vary greatly, depending on the substance and the physical makeup of the user.
However, there exist signs and symptoms of addiction that tend to appear across all substances:
- Loss of control
- Regularly needing to use the substance
- Cravings for the substance
- The building of tolerance, or needing more of the substance to achieve the desired “high”
- Continued use despite negative life consequences
- Inability to stop using despite repeated, good-faith efforts to stop
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when not using
- Engaging in risky behaviors while on the substance or to obtain more of the substance
The Three Stages of Addiction
In addition to being a disease of the brain as well as a family disease, addiction is a progressive one. This means addiction gets worse through increasingly intense stages if left unaddressed. Therapists and medical professionals may differ on the exact number of stages and what they account for. However, the progress that addiction makes within an individual is essentially the same.
Therefore, in general terms, addiction progresses through three main stages:
- Recreational or experimental use of a substance: This stage accounts for the individual’s introduction to the substance and them trying it for the first time.
- Social or infrequent use: This occurs when the individual begins taking the substance within certain parameters. This can include using during social gatherings or “only on weekends.”
- Problem use: This stage happens when the individual begins taking the substance outside of more socially accepted times and settings. This can be in the mornings or while at work, or at great risk to one’s career, physical health, and personal relationships. At this stage, the individual’s substance use can be labeled substance abuse.
What Does Nashville Addiction Recovery Look Like?
Addiction is a progressive disease, moving through different stages of increasing intensity. Addiction recovery care moves through its own stages. As one might guess, the early stages of addiction recovery are fraught with vulnerability, self-doubt, and fear.
However, as one spends more time learning and thinking about the dangers and motivations behind their substance abuse, the individual gains a deeper understanding of their behaviors and their emotions.
The Four Stages of Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery requires time, effort, hope, and the support of others. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the four addiction recovery stages are:
- Treatment initiation: Treatment initiation is the act of reaching out for professional help with one’s substance use disorder. For this to happen, the individual must be ready to actively participate in their own recovery. Then they should recognize that addiction is a chronic disease, and so addiction recovery is a lifelong process.
- Early abstinence: Once a commitment to one’s recovery has been established and a detoxification program has been completed—usually within three to five days—early abstinence begins. This can be the most vulnerable stage of recovery since physical cravings and other withdrawal symptoms continue to occur. However, counselors and therapists tend to impart coping skills needed to maintain sobriety.
- Maintaining abstinence: The maintaining abstinence stage usually occurs about 90 days into one’s recovery. With the most withdrawal symptoms mostly gone and the psychological dependence on the substance fading fast, one of the priorities at this stage is relapse prevention. Counselors and therapists often work with patients to help them recognize warning signs and come up with measures to avoid relapse.
- Advanced recovery: Advanced recovery does not occur until about five years of continuous sobriety. It is at this time that the individual will be in a strong enough position, thanks to self-confidence and the establishment of a routine, to consider long-term goals.
The Importance of an Aftercare Plan
As with any chronic disease, addiction recovery requires an aftercare plan. This helps the individual minimize the risk of relapse. Therefore, developing and sticking to a plan after detox is crucial. An effective aftercare plan calls for the individual to have a thorough understanding of their disease.
They would also need the ability to identify potential “triggers” for relapse all make up an effective aftercare plan. This allows the individual to maintain individual or group therapy sessions, and medication management appointments. Relapse occurs among those in addiction recovery with some frequency. However, addiction aftercare helps individuals build self-confidence, develop healthy coping skills, and establish healthy routines.
Get Quality Hands-On Addiction Recovery in Nashville, TN
You can safely detox and embark on a successful recovery journey with help from Detox Nashville in middle Tennessee. We provide the sort of supportive, caring, and healing environment that empowers people to put in the hard work of addiction recovery and win long-term sobriety and wellness. We also accept Aetna, BCBS, Cigna and UHC insurance to help with costs.
Contact us today to learn more about the importance of effective addiction recovery in Nashville.