Is Complete Recovery After Substance Abuse In PA Possible?

Over 22 million people in the U.S. suffer from active substance use disorders every year. Furthermore, 23 million people are actively trying to recover from their addiction. In total, 45 million people are directly impacted by addiction to one substance or another. It is no wonder, then, that some of those people wonder whether complete recovery after substance abuse in PA is possible. However, the answer to this question is not exactly simple to answer. While visiting a rehab center in Pennsylvania is the best option to manage substance abuse addiction, complete recovery is a subjective thing. To fully understand it, we need to look at what substance abuse is, its causes, and its symptoms.

What is substance abuse?

To put it simply, substance abuse is a medical term for certain negative patterns. It may be missing school or work due to using the substance, using the substance while driving, interpersonal problems, and similar. As a medical disorder, substance abuse refers to the overconsumption of (mostly) illegal substances. Illegal substances include methamphetamines, heroin, cocaine, and various designer drugs. Legal substances include nicotine, prescription medicines, and alcohol. Many people end up needing to visit one of the drug and alcohol treatment centers in Pennsylvania after they develop an addiction to a certain substance. But what exactly is substance addiction, and why is it so difficult to deal with?

glass of beer
Most people abuse alcohol.

Substance addiction

Many people develop an addiction to a substance after prolonged use. Having an addiction means that a person is dependent on the substance and that they cannot function normally without it. There are two types of addiction: Physical and psychological. Some of the most common signs of addiction include:

  • Withdrawing from recreational and social activities
  • Continuing to use the drug despite health and social issues
  • Spending a lot of time acquiring, using, and recovering from substances
  • Increased tolerance to the substance and the need to get increased amounts of it
  • Withdrawal symptoms after stopping to consume the substance

Some substances are less addictive than others. A prime example of this is Alcohol, which is also the most commonly-abused substance. Most people that end up in one of the alcohol rehab Pennsylvania programs have been abusing alcohol for decades before they developed an addiction. Other substances, such as heroin, get their users addicted much faster.

Most frequently abused substances

Although there are virtually thousands of substances that someone can get addicted to, some are more common than others. The most common substances that people abuse include:

  • Alcohol
  • Opioids
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription drugs
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
multicolored pills
There is no shortage of addictive substances.

Recovery from addiction to any of the above substances is possible but difficult. The recovery process includes acknowledging that you have a problem, seeking treatment, and hard work. Whether you are participating in a 12-step program, inpatient program, or outpatient program, recovering from addiction is always a challenge. While complete recovery after substance abuse in PA may be possible, it is anything but easy. To understand this process, we need to first take a look at the substances themselves and how they interact with our brains and bodies.

Alcohol

Being a legal drug, alcohol is (by far) the most commonly abused drug in the entire world. Many people do not consider alcohol to be a drug, however, which is part of the problem. The complete truth is that drinking alcohol in moderation (a single drink per day for women, two for men) is perfectly safe and will not create an addiction. But anything more than that has the potential for alcohol use disorder and addiction.

Knowing when you have developed an addiction to alcohol can be very tricky. Some of the most common signs include drinking more than you want to, having trouble cutting back on drinks, and slurred speech. Alcohol addiction can also produce blackouts or memory impairment, and relationship issues. Lastly, people who have an alcohol abuse disorder tend to neglect their responsibilities.

To recover from alcohol addiction, medical supervision is absolutely necessary. One of the best forms of alcohol addiction treatment is the 12 steps of recovery program. This program was specially designed to help alcoholics overcome their addiction by providing them with a support network and allowing them to stop abusing alcohol while remaining sober.

Opioids

If alcohol is the #1 most abused substance, opioids are #2. This is due to the fact that addiction to opioids can happen through the use of prescription medicines. The most common ingredients include oxycodone and morphine. Furthermore, there is a number of synthetic opioids that combine these ingredients with others to create powerful synthetic drugs, such as Fentanyl.

Common signs of opioid addiction include:

  • Spending more money (or time) on opioids
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not taking enough of the substance
  • Not being able to take less even if you want to
  • Lack of control when using the opioid
  • The increasing need for more opioids to get the same relief as before
person counting money for drugs, thinking whether complete recovery after substance abuse in PA is possible
Opioid addiction gets expensive real fast.

Aside from being highly addictive, opiates can also cause a toxic overload in the body and frequently do so. That is why the first thing that one needs to do when trying to cure their addiction is to enroll in one of the opiate detox PA programs. After cleansing your body from toxins, the best next step is to seek professional treatment for opioid addiction. Most people choose an inpatient program where they can get 24/7 help and support, but outpatient programs are available as well.

Cocaine

Cocaine might not be the most common drug of abuse but it is definitely one of the most famous, if not the most famous one. Consuming small amounts of cocaine leads to a certain euphoria but abusing it leads to addiction. An addiction to cocaine can create long-lasting consequences, seriously impact your blood pressure, and will almost always lead to severe nasal cavity issues.

Some of the most common signs of cocaine addiction include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Financial problems (cocaine is very expensive)
  • Mood swings
  • Overexcitement/Overconfidence
  • Runny nose
  • Missing work
  • Depression or irritability

Recovering from cocaine addiction is a very lengthy process, one that can take months, even years in some cases. Needless to say, enrollment in one of the cocaine rehab Pennsylvania programs is highly recommended. This is due to the fact that there will be extreme psychological difficulties throughout the entire recovery process, in addition to possible physical withdrawal symptoms.

Prescription drugs

Addictive prescription drugs include many more than simple opioids. Some of the most commonly abused drugs include Xanax, Seconal, and Adderall, alongside the opioid OxyContin. The addiction to prescription drugs usually follows a simple pattern. It always starts with unintended use (different from what the doctor prescribed), and follows by misuse and abuse, culminating with addiction.

person purchasing prescription drugs
Prescription drugs are easy to acquire and abuse.

The most common symptoms of addiction to prescription drugs include poor decision-making, secretive behavior, and financial problems. Prescription drug addicts usually take far more than the prescribed amount, quite frequently have a prior history of addiction, and continue to use the drugs when they are no longer medically necessary.

Complete recovery after substance abuse in PA, where prescription drugs are concerned, is quite possible but very difficult. As with any other addiction, the best thing to do is to seek professional prescription drug addiction treatment. Depending on the drug and the severity of the addiction, it may be possible to enroll in an outpatient program where you will need to attend the treatment for only a few hours each day.

Benzodiazepines

While benzodiazepines are, indeed, prescription drugs, they deserve a category of their own. This is due to the fact that these drugs are far more common than other prescription drugs, as they are used with depression, insomnia, panic disorders, and anxiety. The way benzodiazepines work is by relaxing the individual by slowing down their central nervous system. After prolonged use, however, the system starts depending on benzodiazepines to function and addiction may form. Most of the time, however, an addiction forms due to the abuse of these drugs.

The most common signs that you may be addicted to benzodiazepines include drowsiness, financial issues, slurred speech, difficulty concentrating, and disrupted coordination. Furthermore, most benzo addicts withdraw from their family members and friends and do not bother grooming their appearance. They simply do not care.

The best way to deal with addiction to benzodiazepines is to seek professional help. Benzo addiction treatment offers a safe way to manage both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Most rehab centers also customize the treatment plan to each patient’s needs, allowing for a quicker transition to normal functioning.

Heroin

Heroin is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. An addiction to heroin can form after a single “shot”, but it usually requires frequent use. The problem with heroin addiction is the fact that obtaining and using the drug becomes the highest priority. Many people have sold all their earthly possessions to finance their heroin addiction. But financial issues are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg that is heroin addiction. The drug has the potential to cause a multitude of serious issues. Due to the way heroin is administered, the possibility of infectious diseases is very high. Furthermore, prolonged use usually results in organ damage.

person preparing heroin without thought to complete recovery after substance abuse in PA
Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs of today.

The most common symptoms of heroin addiction include:

  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Lack of self-control
  • Vomiting
  • Aggressiveness
  • Complete social withdrawal

Recovering from heroin addiction is probably one of the most difficult things you can do in life. Therefore, most people all but require professional medical assistance to help them manage their addiction. You can get such attention at any of the heroin rehab centers in PA, where you will also get answers to all of your questions. Even with professional help, know that the road to healing will be long and challenging. But it is more than possible, and many former addicts now live complete and fulfilling lives.

Marijuana

Marijuana, by itself, is not overly addictive in a physical sense. Most marijuana addicts develop a psychological addiction instead. This is evidenced by the increased legalization around the world. Even though marijuana might be less addictive than alcohol, its abuse can be very dangerous.

Some of the most common health risks associated with marijuana use include:

  • Immune system damage
  • Fertility problems
  • Chest illness
  • Increased risk of lung infections
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Damage to the central nervous system
doctor pointing to an image of a brain
Marijuana slowly destroys brain cells.

Do note that there is a world of difference between organic marijuana and synthetic marijuana. Synthetic versions of the drug are hundreds of times stronger, form an addiction faster, and have even nastier symptoms. Recovering from an addiction to marijuana (synthetic or otherwise) is best handled by undergoing a marijuana rehab Pennsylvania program. In most cases, you will be perfectly fine attending an outpatient program, as marijuana withdrawal is much milder than the withdrawal that other addictive drugs produce. For most people, complete recovery after substance abuse in PA (if the substance is marijuana), is definitely possible.

What causes people to turn to substance abuse?

To understand why people abuse drugs, we need to take a look at several factors. First, there are cultural and societal factors. These factors determine the acceptable form of substance use. An example of this is found in low-income countries where some substances are considered to be a coping mechanism. The second factor that influences substance abuse is the legal factor. Each country has its own set of public laws that regulate substance use. Other factors include environmental stressors, social pressure, genetic vulnerability, and mental issues.

However, at the end of the day, choosing to abuse any substance is highly individual. It may so happen that there are no evident factors that brought about substance abuse in some people.

How do you diagnose a substance addiction?

Sometimes, figuring out that someone has a substance addiction can be quite challenging. Diagnosing the addiction, on the other hand, requires the involvement of a medical professional. Doctors, psychiatrists, or other qualified mental health professionals are the only people that can diagnose a substance addiction. The criteria for diagnosis differ from one substance to another, however. Medical professionals usually utilize the guidelines from DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Some of the common symptoms of a substance addiction include:

  • Sleep problems, anxiety, or depression
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Red eyes
  • Abnormalities in lab results
  • Constant fatigue
  • Heart rate or blood pressure issues
  • Little to no concern for personal hygiene
person thinking about complete recovery after substance abuse in PA
The eyes are usually a good indicator of substance addiction.

The primary reason why diagnosis is important is the fact that you can’t get insurance coverage without one. Depending on the type of addiction, recovery can be quite costly, after all, and you may need your insurance to pay for it.

Symptoms of substance abuse

As far as symptoms are concerned, no two addictions are exactly the same. Every person suffering from substance abuse will experience slightly different symptoms. Family awareness is key in spotting the symptoms in time before they can turn into a substance addiction. However, some symptoms are far more common than others.

For example, most people with a substance use disorder will be using increasing amounts of the substance as their addiction progresses. Most people also want to cut down or control their substance use but are simply unable to. Spending a lot of time getting the substance, using it, or recovering from its effects is also quite common. Other common symptoms of substance abuse include:

  • Having a strong craving or desire to use the substance
  • Giving up their normal activities in lieu of substance use
  • Taking heavy risks
  • Developing a tolerance for the substance
  • Presence of withdrawal symptoms when not using the substance

At times, some of the symptoms of substance abuse may resemble other issues, mental or otherwise. It is always better to consult a doctor and get a diagnosis than it is to “jump the gun” and think that you or someone else is addicted to a certain substance.

Is complete recovery after substance abuse in PA possible?

To be completely honest, this question is rather difficult to answer. While complete recovery from substance abuse is definitely possible, you are never “truly” cured of addiction, you can only manage it. That being said, many recovering addicts live happy and fulfilled lives, proving every day that a complete recovery is quite possible. However, each person that is looking to cure themselves from their substance use disorder will need to go through the five stages of change.

The five stages of change

Here are the stages that we all need to go through when fighting substance abuse or addiction:

  1. Precontemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
person going through a period of change
Change can be quite hectic.

Precontemplation stage

The first stage in curing substance abuse is not to enroll in a treatment program straight away. When in precontemplation stage, the person will usually be quite defensive about their substance use disorder and will try to justify their behavior endlessly. At this stage, people suffering from substance abuse simply do not have enough insight into the negative impact of their choices. Instead, they focus on the positive effects of the substance.

The time it takes to move from this stage to the next varies from individual to individual. Some people might be permanently “stuck” in the precontemplation stage after failed treatment attempts and may feel that they simply cannot recover. Or they might simply lack the necessary information about addictive behavior and the negative consequences. Either way, the truth of the matter is that everyone can go through this stage and recovery is always possible. Some people have found that yoga for addiction recovery does wonders for them, for example. Everyone has something unique to them that will greatly help them get rid of their substance use disorder, after all.

Contemplation stage

Once the person realizes that change is necessary and is willing to accept it, they have arrived at the contemplation stage. The contemplation stage is the most important step to complete recovery after substance abuse in PA. This does not mean that they are ready to get rid of their substance addiction altogether, just that they are contemplating recovery. The contemplation stage is critical to recovery, as this is the stage where the person is most receptive to reason. Since the person is aware of the pros of becoming drug-free, it is the ideal time to visit a rehab center and get as much information as possible. This information will be extremely important in the next stage.

Preparation stage

After spending some time in the contemplation stage, a person usually experiences a certain sense of urgency regarding their desire for recovery. This is when the preparation stage begins. At this stage, the person usually makes a few steps toward taking action, such as trying to stop using the substance, talking to a medical professional, or trying to exercise more.

paper with "make it happen" written on it
The preparation stage is when things start to happen in earnest.

Unlike the previous two stages, however, a person can go back to either the contemplation or precontemplation stage if difficulties arise. This is usually brought about by difficult emotions or withdrawal symptoms, as the person will most likely be trying to limit their substance abuse.

Action stage

The action stage happens when the person is fully committed to change. This is the stage where they will make significant changes in their lives. For many people, this is the point when they feel confident in enrolling in one of the substance abuse treatment programs. They know how difficult it is to manage their addiction and are fully aware that the best thing to do is accept professional medical assistance.

The action stage also features a prolonged period of abstinence, as well as increased self-care and self-understanding. It is critical that the person gets as much support as possible at this stage, as the action stage is the most important stage of recovery.

Maintenance stage

Now we come to the true answer for the “Is complete recovery after substance abuse in PA possible?” question. The maintenance stage is all about preventing relapse. For some people, this stage can last for the entirety of their lives. They will need to keep up with the changes they’ve made to their lifestyle, pay attention to their sleep hygiene, and continue to attend support groups. This stage can be initially difficult but the difficulty decreases over time.

What makes complete recovery after substance abuse possible is the person’s belief in their ability to abstain from the substance in the long term. This makes all the difference. For most people, “complete recovery” means abstaining from the substance for at least two to five years. Some people can manage to get back to their normal lives after six months, even. However, in both cases, people who have had a history of substance abuse will always have to be aware that they can easily relapse. Even though they may have been cured completely, there is always the danger of going back to their old ways.

Best treatment programs for complete recovery after substance abuse in PA

Most people that have a substance abuse problem will need to enroll in one of the different treatment programs. Here are the options that are on the proverbial table:

  • Medical detox
  • Inpatient/Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Intensive outpatient treatment
  • Family therapy
person undergoing treatment
Professional treatment offers all the care and support that you may need.

Through these programs, patients will receive all the care and support they need for the recovery process. Some of these programs include aftercare as well, which is an extremely important part of the treatment process.

Medical detox

Usually, the first step in recovering from substance abuse is to help your body get rid of all the accumulated toxins. The detox process is not something you should try at home, as it usually involves dealing with withdrawal symptoms. The process may require the administration of certain medications, something that needs to be carefully monitored. That is why visiting a detox center Pennsylvania is highly recommended before starting the treatment in earnest. The fact of the matter is that it is possible to get addicted to withdrawal medications, and the presence and support from the professional staff all but eliminates the chance of it from happening.

Inpatient/Residential Treatment

Inpatient treatment, also referred to as residential treatment is best suited for people that have a severe addiction to any substance. Inpatient programs will require the patients to live within the rehab facilities for a period of time. During the program, patients will receive constant care and support, while being able to interact with other patients. When attending one of the residential program rehab Pennsylvania has to offer, you will be required to attend the treatment for up to eight hours a day, 5-7 days a week to achieve complete recovery after substance abuse in PA.

Another thing worth noting is that the best results come from choosing a rehab center that specializes in your demographic. For example, Little Creek Recovery center specializes in inpatient rehab Pennsylvania programs for male patients. This specialization allows us to develop treatment plans that are best suited for quick and easy recovery.

Outpatient treatment

If your substance abuse issue is not as severe, you might want to consider attending an outpatient treatment program. This program is usually best suited for people that have a mild prescription drug abuse problem and it only requires attendance for a few hours a day, once or twice a week. Little Creek’s outpatient detox rehab PA program is the best option for mild substance abuse issues, as it is the least intense form of outpatient rehab. It is entirely possible to achieve a complete recovery after substance abuse in PA with outpatient treatment alone.

home
Outpatient treatment allows you to stay home for most of your time.

Intensive outpatient treatment

Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), is the more intensive version of outpatient programs. It involves attending the treatment for several days a week, a couple of hours at a time. The main difference (aside from time spent) is the fact that IOP Pennsylvania patients are required to participate in group and individual therapy sessions. Needless to say, IOP is best suited for patients with less severe substance abuse disorders. The program allows the patients to have ample time for other activities aside from their therapy sessions.

Therapy options

Throughout these programs, the professionals at Little Creek Recovery center will tailor the therapy according to the patient’s needs. There are several therapy options to choose from, including:

DBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is all about teaching patients how to recognize and accept their thoughts and emotions. It trains the patients to recognize their negative thoughts and change focus from them to positive actions. In a nutshell, DBT is all about stopping negativity from influencing your life in a bad way. DBT includes skills training, phone coaching, and individual therapy.

person displaying many emotions
DBT teaches patients to recognize and accept their emotions.

CBT

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps patients change their behaviors and self-destructive thought patterns. The therapy works through changing behavioral patterns, through a variety of “strategies”. Some of the strategies include:

  • Facing fears instead of avoiding them
  • Learning how to relax the body and calm the mind
  • Role-playing interactions

CBT is also a highly individual form of therapy. The therapist and the patient will work together to understand the problem and create the best treatment strategy. The ultimate goal of the therapy is for the patient to “be their own therapist”. Meaning that they fully understand exactly what is going on in their lives and are capable of making the necessary changes.

Recreational therapy

Recreational therapy utilizes various activities to help people overcome their substance abuse issues. The basic premise of the therapy is that a person can have fun without abusing any substance. However, the greatest benefit of recreational therapy is that it allows the patient to acquire competency in select activities, allowing them to enjoy them even more.

Music therapy

While music therapy is a supplemental form of therapy that allows patients to express themselves through producing music, dancing, or singing. It can be an integral part of a complete recovery after substance abuse in PA but it is not suitable as a stand-alone form of treatment.

With so many treatment options available, complete recovery after substance abuse in PA is not only possible but it may be a lot easier than you might think. Of course, recovering from substance abuse is always hard but by choosing to seek professional help you are taking a huge leap forward. And not only that, you will be building the support mechanism for the years to come. After all, the skills you acquire and the friendships you build throughout the treatment process are yours to keep forever! So, don’t worry about the future, take the next step today! If you need any additional help or advice, feel free to contact Little Creek Recovery Center at your leisure. We are here to help you take the proverbial reins back into your own hands!

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