When things are dark, they are often very dark – especially when it comes to addiction. It may be hard if not nearly impossible to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it really is there. Sadly, there many people suffering from dependence and addiction to alcohol or drugs, and many of them feel hopeless. The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 8.1% of the United States population over age 12 – that’s 21.7 million people – needed substance abuse treatment that year. Unfortunately, according to that same study, only 2.5 million got it. And of those who got treatment, far fewer stayed clean and sober from that point forward.
However, although it’s true that when things are dark, they are often very dark – the old saying is true as well. It really always is darkest just before the dawn, and no matter how bad things get, there is hope. Drug and alcohol treatment has saved the lives of millions; it’s impossible to know the true number of success stories – but people can and do recover. Regardless of how terrible things may appear right now, you can get help, and you can get clean and sober.
When someone is deep in the depths of their addiction to any substance, it’s likely that they want to get out. But how? Sometimes taking the first step seems impossible and insurmountable. Many people simply do not know where to begin, so they just don’t. However, the first steps to getting help are simple – you just have to begin taking them, one step at a time. You can do this!
How Recovery Begins
These simple steps will help you to begin your recovery journey. Although they all may seem obvious, it’s always helpful to have a guide to lead you when moving forward on any daunting undertaking. Stay focused, get strong, and persevere, and you have an excellent chance of succeeding on this very important, truly life-or-death mission.
- Accept that you have a problem. This first step in the process is often the most difficult of them all. No one wants to admit and accept they have a problem, but you simply must. If you think you need help, you probably do. If someone told you that you need help, you probably do. If you’re still unsure, there are signs you can use to evaluate your use. If you’re still unsure after that, seek a medical professional, and he or she can conduct a simple assessment to determine if it is time for you to seek help. Beware of denial and ambivalence. Both of these attitudes are the enemy of recovery.
- Choose to make a change. It’s one thing to accept you have a problem. It’s another thing to actually do something about it. You must consciously decide that you want to make a change. Take a look at your life. Is it all that you dreamed it would be? If drugs and alcohol are the main things standing in your way, it should seem obvious that something needs to be done – and you are the only person to do it. Once you have accepted you have a problem and have decided to make a change, true recovery can begin.
- Find professional help. There are many options for substance abuse treatment. There are inpatient facilities and outpatient facilities. You will find short term programs and longer term programs. Some programs are run by the state, some are private, and some are run by religious organizations. Treatment programs are located in hospitals, clinics, independent facilities, doctor’s offices, and elsewhere in your community. Some programs are covered by health insurance, some are subsidized by the government, and some are paid for out-of-pocket. You will find drug and alcohol treatment programs in every city, state, and country in the world. Find one that works for you. Call around and ask questions. Each program is different, and one will feel just right.
- Write down your goals. What have you always wanted to do with your life? Writing down goals for your clean and sober future can work as an excellent motivator. If you can imagine with your life will look like after you break free from drugs and alcohol, you will likely do whatever it takes to get there. Also, set smaller goals for your recovery. Of course, the focus of recovery is to take things one day at a time, but look ahead into the future, plan rewards for yourself, and remind yourself that you can do it, every moment of every day.
- Educate yourself. There’s a lot to learn about recovery and there are many resources available to you. Go online. Read books. Talk to professionals. Check out medical journals. You are your own most important project. You should learn as much as you can about the methods used and experiences had on the path to a clean and sober life.
- Recruit a support team. Your friends and family want to help you and the majority of these people will likely be extremely supportive when you tell them you are seeking treatment. Find some people close to you to lean on for support. Choose people you can count on and that you can call anytime, day or night, when you need a friend or some kind words. This support system will be a vital part of your recovery process.
- Understand that there will be bumps in the road. This isn’t going to be easy, and sometimes, you may slip. However, realize that a slip doesn’t mean you should give up. Dust yourself off, get back on your feet, and start over, all over again.
- Begin to make a healthy turn. Find healthy hobbies to replace the time you spent using and trying to bounce back from using. Get outside. Do yoga. Meditate. Read. Run. Spend time with people you love. Travel. Volunteer. There are so many wonderful things you can do when you are clean and sober.
- Stay positive. Again, recovery isn’t going to be a walk in the park – especially at first. You will be challenged. You will want to give up – but don’t. Keep going. Keep doing what you are doing and you have a long and happy life ahead. Stay positive and keep smiling and you will get there!
Although recovery may seem like a foreboding mountain to climb, it can be done, and breaking free of drugs and alcohol can be achieved. You can live a healthy life. But to do so, it is up to you to make the first step. No one else can do it for you. You will find a wealth of support on your journey, but you must want to make that change first. Now is the time. Seek help. Find freedom!
At Clear Sky Recovery, we want to help you on your recovery journey. Our ibogaine detox treatment is innovative and effective, and we would love to welcome you to our facility in Cancun, Mexico. Ibogaine is different from other treatment programs. Your ibogaine experience, administered and supervised by our knowledgeable and experienced staff, will help you get to the root of your addiction. Many of our clients report few or no withdrawal symptoms after their time with us. Please give us a call today to find out if ibogaine is right for you. We are standing by to answer your questions. Please contact us now, and make your first moves to recovery.
Dr. Sola is one of the world’s leading experts in medically-based ibogaine treatment; he has more clinical experience with safe and effective ibogaine administration than any other M.D. in the world today.