So, you’ve decided to go it alone in recovery but have a plan for how you will be able to stay sober long-term. Maybe, you have decided to attend a few recovery meetings, or you have found a great book that tells you how to recover alone. It is wonderful that you are motivated to change your life for the better, but lack of professional help with your addiction treatment plan may mean that you are going to be lacking some important element you need to build a strong sobriety. Here are just six reasons your plan may not be sufficient to get you to where you want to go.
1. No Safe Method for Detox
If you have decided to go through an unsupervised detox, you might be okay, especially if your alcohol or drug use has not been too prolonged or heavy. You will be taking a risk though because you could potentially develop withdrawal symptoms that are more serious; delirium tremens, for example, can kill. Tackling detox alone can also be risky for another reason – this is the time when you are most likely to relapse. You can reduce this likelihood by choosing a supervised detox in which you can be kept comfortable.
2. Unresolved Issues
There is likely to be a reason why you fell into addiction in the first place; maybe you experienced some trauma as a child or have issues with self-esteem. You may have been using alcohol or drugs to manage this inner-pain. The risk is that if you do not deal with these issues it will just mean you later relapse or turn to new addictive behaviours. One of the advantages of going to rehab is that you get to spend time with a therapist who can help you deal with any underlying issues behind the addictive behaviour.
3. The Existence of a Dual Diagnosis
One potential reason why individuals fall into substance abuse is that they have been dealing with a dual diagnosis. This is where you experience the early symptoms of something such as depression or anxiety disorder but gain some initial relief by using alcohol or drugs. You may be completely unaware that your symptoms are due to some underlying issues but just know that you feel better when you self-medicate. The problem here is that when you stop drinking or using drugs, your mental health problem will become more obvious, which can make it impossible for you to find happiness in sobriety until it is treated. Most rehabs now offer dual diagnosis treatment, which means any issues you have can be dealt with as part of the one programme.
4. The Ability to Deal with Stress
If you have been using alcohol or drugs to help you deal with your stress levels, you may not have an effective tool to replace the substance abuse. This can mean that you suddenly feel overwhelmed by stress in your new life. Substance abuse is actually a terrible way to deal with stress, but it can feel as if it is working some of the time. It is vital that you develop new effective coping strategies so you can handle the challenges that you are likely to face in early sobriety.
5. The Tools for Building a Better Future
By getting sober, you put yourself in a position whereby you can begin to build a much better life – this just could not happen while you were still drinking or using drugs. Getting sober is just the first step in a longer process that will lead you to happiness. The goal of a proper treatment programme is not just to get you physically sober, but also to help you gain the tools you need to find happiness in the future. Without these tools, you might not be able to get the most out of your new life
6. Not Enough Support in the Early Months of Recovery
One of the most common reasons why many relapse after a period of sobriety is that they were not getting enough support. It is hard to make this type of major life change without others there to encourage you, offer you advice, and provide feedback on your progress. By choosing a rehab programme, you get all the support you need during those crucial first few months.