25 Oct The Best Way to Quit Addictive Drugs
The first step in conquering drug addiction is to make up your mind that failure is not an option and you’re staying on the sobriety train for the long haul. If you approach detox with an attitude of, “I’ll give this a quick shot and see if it works,” that’s the same “quick fix and instant gratification” attitude that likely got you addicted in the first place. And the best of San Bernardino drug rehab centers—or the best of detox rehab centers in California, the United States, or the world—can provide only temporary relief to those who aren’t fully committed to work hard at helping themselves.
1. Always seek help from a professional rehabilitation center.
“Just quitting” or “home detox” is seriously risky business at best, especially with drugs such as benzodiazepines or alcohol that have high potential for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Even with opiates, which generally earn the quip, “Withdrawal won’t kill you—however it may feel at the time,” there’s the possibility of dehydration, suicidal behavior or even heart damage. Seek your detox at an established medical center with a good reputation, where you’ll receive informed care, plus quick professional assistance in case of a bad reaction.
(Note: Not all “addiction treatment centers” are reputable, so don’t just take the first option that comes up in a Google search for “San Bernardino rehab centers cocaine rehabilitation,” “San Bernardino drug rehab centers,” “San Bernardino rehabilitation center heroin,” etc. Besides, this approach can bury the actual treatment center lists in a pile of general health articles. Ask your doctor or health insurance company for recommendations, and always investigate a place online and in person before committing yourself. Check our blog archives for detailed articles on finding the right treatment center.)
2. Consider very carefully the pros and cons of medication-assisted treatment.
The typical benzodiazepine or alcohol detox center does use medication-assisted treatment to get patients through withdrawal, because cold-turkey detox from these drugs is particularly dangerous. With opiates, though, the question of “alternate medication or cold withdrawal?” is highly controversial. Suboxone and methadone detox centers are becoming as common as heroin detox centers, because so many people find it easier to stay on the alternate opiates indefinitely than to taper them off and risk another withdrawal.
We recommend opiate treatment programs that don’t use long-term replacement medications: yes, it will be more difficult to deal with cravings, but there’ll be one less challenge to deal with in planning for lasting sobriety. If you think you may be in danger of a life-threatening reaction to withdrawal—say you have heart disease and face special risks from rising blood pressure and a sped-up pulse—make sure that any alternate medications used will be discontinued as quickly as possible.
3. Plan on investing at least three months of your time in detox and preparations for long-term sobriety.
One week for physical detox, twelve weeks for therapy and sobriety coaching. Sounds like a long time, but most major life problems don’t develop overnight, nor are they solved overnight. Getting professional help in pinpointing the stresses that “drove you to drink” is vital, so you can learn alternate ways of coping with those stresses and won’t return to drinking as soon as they reappear. Anyway, a long stay in the typical San Bernardino rehabilitation center, with outdoor facilities in a beautiful climate, is no hardship.
(Note: Whenever you do leave rehab, if you take the attitude that the world now owes you an easy ride in return for your efforts, you’re going to be at double risk of relapse when the world’s refusal to cooperate leaves you bitter as well as stressed. Whether you’re religious or not, determine to live by the famous opening lines of the Serenity Prayer: “Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”)
4. Always leave detox with a long-term relapse prevention plan and goals for the future.
You’re only ready to face the “real world” again after you’ve decisively answered these questions:
- Under what circumstances have I taken drugs?
- What will I now do in those circumstances instead of taking drugs?
- What situations and venues push my buttons the hardest?
- What will I do to avoid those situations and venues?
- Who will support me in long-term sobriety? How will they do it?
- Am I willing to accept responsibility, have reasonable expectations of myself and others, avoid blame and make amends for the problems my addiction has caused?
- What hobbies, dreams and goals will I focus on to make a sober future worth living for?
5. Have a solid support network for the long haul.
As the ancient proverb goes, “If either of [two people] falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up!” (Ecclesiastes 4:10, New American Standard Bible.) Yes, some people manage to stay sober alone, but why make it harder than it has to be? An organized support group of peers also in recovery can do wonders for helping you feel understood and not alone. In addition, continue professional therapy, let your regular doctor know the situation, and get your family involved in supporting your new lifestyle.
The best way to quit addictive drugs isn’t necessarily the easy way (if any way of getting off addiction can be called easy). But it’s the way that best makes lifelong sobriety possible and worthwhile!
If you’re seeking effective drug or alcohol rehab convenient to San Bernardino or any other major metropolitan area in southern California, Inland Detox offers heroin and prescription-opiate treatment, benzodiazepine rehabilitation, methamphetamine treatment, cocaine rehabilitation, an alcohol detox center, and methadone and suboxone detox centers. Call us at 888-739-8296 to learn more.