If you’ve just admitted to yourself that you’ve got a drug or drinking problem – you’ve already taken the first step of recovery.
However, it’s hardly ever as simple as waking up one morning and deciding you’re going to quit. Rather, it’s recognizing that you’re ready to start the journey toward smart recovery and enlisting the help of others to make sure you enjoy recovery for life.
So how do you know you’re truly ready for the recovery journey that’s ahead of you, and what treatment programs are available?
5 Signs You’re Ready for the First Step of Recovery
1. YOU Want to Do This, You’re Not Doing It for Someone Else
If you’ve said you’ll enter an alcohol recovery program because someone you love has asked you to, it’s highly unlikely you’ll succeed. You’re only ready for recovery when the desire to stop using comes from within.
2. You Feel Like You Want to Quit but Aren’t Sure How
When you admit to yourself that you want to quit, this is a clear-cut sign you’re ready to get clean. A lot of addicts want to quit but are unsure or scared about how to do this. Asking for help and enrolling in a specialist program will help you on the road to recovery.
3. You Dream About Life Without Alcohol or Drugs
Do you constantly envision a future without alcohol or drugs in it? A day when you wake up and drugs or alcohol aren’t the first things on your mind?
These ambitions mean you think being clean and sober is the way forward – and that’s an amazing mindset to have.
4. Your Health’s Deteriorating
Drug and alcohol abuse can have an overwhelming impact on your body, both mentally and physically. Finding that you’re sick and tired of feeling ill, depressed, and anxious can be a good sign that you’re motivated enough to make a positive change.
5. Using Isn’t Fun Anymore
You used to enjoy using, whether it was taking drugs with your friends or drinking socially, but this is no longer the case. And as friends and family become increasingly distant, you feel more and more isolated as each day goes by.
Getting treatment for your addiction can make your life fun again.
The Types of Treatment Programs Available
The type of program you’ll be recommended for will depend on the severity of your addiction and your previous history with addictions.
However, the first step of recovery will be detoxification. This involves medically-managed withdrawal so your body clears itself of all alcohol and/or drugs, potentially preventing the negative side effects of your abuse.
This won’t address all of the psychological, behavioral, and social problems associated with your addiction, though. So you will need referring for alcohol or drug treatment. This may be one-on-one drug counseling several times a week, or it may be conducted as part of a group. Or, for more comprehensive treatments, a short-term (3 to 6 weeks) or long-term (6 to 12 months) stay in a recovery house may be recommended.
The Road to Recovery
Remember – no one is ever completely prepared for recovery. But by recognizing your addiction and researching how you can overcome this, you’ve already taken a remarkable first step toward recovery.
Dr. Ronaye Calvert-Conley is the CEO and Founder of Revive Detox, a Joint Commission Accredited and Legit Script Certified Addiction Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University in Los Angeles in 2007 and has extensive experience working in the addiction and recovery field and the LGBT community. To learn more about Dr. Calvert-Conley click here.