A Personal Perspective
Some people need medically assisted treatment for detoxification when they enter recovery. The sudden absence of substances can have physiological effects on the body. While detoxing facilitates clearing the body of these substances under medical care, it does not address the underlying issue of addiction. I never needed to go to detox when I quit drinking and using drugs but I did need to address the many catalysts that led to my addiction. I chose a 12-step program right from the get-go.
Some individuals opt for long-term residential treatment. This is a process that deals with the psychological reasons for addiction and focuses on how we get back into mainstream society. This is a rigorous and structured environment that focuses on our patterns of behavior and teaches us how to refocus those patterns once out of treatment. Long-term treatment can be anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Some long term treatment uses a 12-step program and encourages involvement in one they leave.
Short-term residential treatment is from 3 to 6 weeks and is, although very faced paced, usually based on a 12-step program. Short-term programs also offer individual and group counseling for addiction treatment. Counselors explore the psychological issues of the individual and usually encourage participation in a 12-step program once treatment is complete.
Spirituality is the core of 12-step programs. One needs a power greater than selves, referred to as a High Power to gain, and maintain sobriety. There are valid reasons for an individual to choose the path that works for them.
In a 12-step program, the tenants are quite simple. I came to realize that something (drugs, alcohol, overeating) had taken control of my life and reached a place where there is no sense of hope for relief on my own. I realized that life does not have to be lived in this way and the only way out is to find a power greater than me. Once I found that power, I surrendered to it. I then looked internally at the course of life that led me there. I realized the harm I did and desired to right those wrongs. I now keep myself in spiritual health by seeking a daily relationship with that power greater than myself and I try to help others find freedom.
This process has not only helped me get sober, but I’ve maintained sobriety for almost three years. I do not discount any one’s path to freedom from addiction, but this works for me.
Types of Treatment Programs. Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved April, 2017.