The Benefits of Addiction Treatment in Southern California
When it comes to discussing the need for drug or alcohol addiction treatment, it’s common for a lot of people to have no real idea of the process. Yet there are plenty of professional addiction treatment facilities in Southern California providing information and education about how treatments work to improve recovery outcomes.
Despite the readily availability of professional treatment options in Southern California, it’s common for some people to avoid entering drug rehab. The reasons people avoid seeking treatment are different for each individual.
Some believe they have their drug or alcohol use under control and that they could quit whenever they wanted. Others may be worried about what will happen in rehab. Still others may be concerned about the financial aspect of paying for addiction treatment.
Regardless of the barriers, seeking addiction treatment is the first conscious step each person takes on their own individual paths to recovery.
Why Is Treatment Necessary?
It’s too common for people to believe that someone struggling in a cycle of addiction simply needs to use willpower and just quit. They seem to think that the conscious decision to stop taking drugs or drinking alcohol will result in a couple of rough days during detox, and then they’ll somehow be miraculously cured.
Detoxing Alone is Difficult
What those people don’t understand is that detox is only the first step on the journey to recovery. There is also risk of potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, some of which may require emergency medical assistance.
When a person tries to detox at home, there is also a dramatically increased risk of relapse. After being abstinent for a few days, it’s common for a person’s tolerance levels to drop. If that person does relapse and start abusing drugs or alcohol again, the risk of accidental overdose is increased significantly.
Detox Does Not Address Triggers
Detox only clears the effects of the substance from the body. On its own detox does nothing to address the underlying psychological triggers behind addictive behaviors.
Research published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reveals that there are certain principles of effective treatment for drug or alcohol addiction1.
Professional rehab treatment programs use a specific combination of traditional treatments, medical monitoring and alternative therapies designed to increase likely outcomes for recovering people. Treatment programs in Southern California work to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
12 Benefits of Addiction Treatment
Aside from being a much safer way to begin the recovery process, there are lots of benefits to entering rehab addiction treatment. Here are some of the primary benefits to consider:
1. Ease physical withdrawal symptoms
When a person has been abusing drugs or alcohol over a period of time, it can be common for a range of withdrawal symptoms to emerge. Some of those symptoms may be annoying, while others can become excruciatingly painful.
Going through the detox process in a residential inpatient rehab center means the person in recovery has around-the-clock monitoring and medical supervision. Addiction treatment specialists are also able to provide certain medications that can help ease the worst of any withdrawal symptoms that emerge.
2. Medical care
In severe cases, some withdrawal symptoms could become life threatening and require emergency medical assistance. Going through the detox process under medical supervision makes the process much safer and provides the care needed should life threatening withdrawal symptoms occur.
If the person in recovery has other medical conditions or mental health issues, proper treatment and medication can be administered to help ensure symptoms are treated. Regardless of the potential problem, beginning the recovery process under the medical supervision of professionals is much safer than the alternative.
3. Proper diagnosis
Having access to medical monitoring also makes it easier to uncover any undiagnosed or poorly treated mental health issues that may exist, such as anxiety or depression. Attempting to recover from a substance abuse disorder without also addressing other co-existing disorders makes the process far more challenging.
In the event that any co-existing disorders are discovered, treatments and medications can be customized to suit each person’s individual needs. When both disorders are treated simultaneously, it becomes easier to improve recovery outcomes.
4. A safe environment
Entering an addiction rehab treatment center provides people in recovery with a safe environment to begin the recovery process. Moving temporarily into an inpatient treatment facility means they are removed from people, places and situations associated with substance use.
The result is that the person is free to focus on the recovery process without constant reminders that act as triggers for drug or alcohol use.
If the person in recovery is concerned about returning to a place or to people who were conducive to their previous substance abuse habits, it might be possible to step down from inpatient treatment into a sober living community or halfway house. Sober living homes are designed to allow people in recovery to continue to strengthen newly learned patterns of behaviors without the temptation of previous triggers, which increases the likelihood of long-term success.
5. Specialized therapy
When the detox process is complete, addiction specialists will begin to tailor a combination of therapies for each person’s unique needs. Just as the triggers behind each person’s addictive use are individual to them, the treatments needed also must be customized.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a specialized form of therapy that works to help identify underlying reasons for wanting to change self-destructive behaviors. Throughout therapy, the person in recovery learns to recognize their individual addiction triggers and find more positive and fulfilling solutions.
People in recovery are also encouraged to attend individual one-on-one counseling sessions to work through any other problems that may be linked to addictive substance use. Counseling and therapy sessions are always customized to suit each person’s needs and issues.
6. Peer support
Perhaps one of the most underestimated benefits of addiction treatment in Southern California is the advantage of peer support. Far too many people caught in a cycle of addiction end up isolating themselves from people they love.
After entry into addiction treatment, those in recovery are encouraged to participate in group support therapy meetings. Throughout those group meetings, people in recovery can meet others facing the same challenges. Meetings can form new friendships and result in peer support, which helps increase the likelihood of long-term recovery.
Most people might be familiar with traditional group therapies, such as 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, many people are completely unaware that there are also alternative group programs available that don’t focus as much on the spiritual side of recovery.
Some examples of alternative programs include SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, SOS Sobriety, and LifeRing Secular Recovery. In some cases, the connections forged during group recovery sessions continue for years after treatment has ended.
7. Alternative therapies
When many people hear about alternative therapies being integrated into more traditional treatment models, they’re often skeptical at first. However, alternative therapies teach people in recovery to explore natural ways to cope with stress and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Some common types of alternative therapies that may be integrated into treatment include meditation, yoga, exercise programs, equine therapy, biofeedback and acupuncture.
After leaving rehab treatments, many continue to engage in the alternative therapies they personally found most helpful for their own recovery journey.
8. Family therapy
Family has typically gone through just as much turmoil as the person in recovery. Most comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs incorporate family therapy sessions into treatment.
The objective of family therapy is not just to educate family members about their role in the addiction recovery process. Family therapy also helps begin to heal and repair damaged relationships and make it easier for the person in recovery to feel as though they still have the support and love of family members.
9. Education about addiction
Many people don’t understand how or why others become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some assume the person has no willpower or that they’re weak. What they don’t understand is that addiction is a complex disease of the brain.
According to the NIDA, abusing mind-altering substances causes significant changes the brain’s chemistry2. Even if the person wants to stop or recognizes the problems drugs or alcohol cause in their life, they still might not be able to quit.
Throughout treatment and therapy sessions, the person in recovery has the advantage of learning more about the true nature of addiction.
10. Relapse prevention planning
Relapse prevention planning is an effective tool that helps with recognizing early warning signs of a potential relapse. A person trying to recover from drug or alcohol addiction without professional help is more likely to fall back into previous patterns of behavior soon after returning to independent living, simply because they struggle to grasp how they can prevent it from happening.
Understanding your own individual addiction triggers and temptations is the first step to avoiding relapse. Learning strong new skills that help avoid returning to previous patterns of behavior and maintaining abstinence is a big part of the recovery process.
Throughout an addiction treatment program, each person in recovery learns to identify their own individual addiction triggers and then develops healthy ways to stay on track without giving in to temptation.
11. Recovery tools and skills
Throughout a comprehensive addiction treatment program, participants are taught a range of strong recovery tools and skills. It might sound vague at first, but recovery tools are specific strategies that can be applied into the future after leaving rehab.
The point of learning a variety of different recovery skills is to reduce the risk of relapsing back into self-destructive patterns of behavior after leaving treatment. During rehab treatments, people in recovery learn to participate in therapy sessions and explore various alternative therapies.
After leaving rehab, the recovery skills learned can be taken back to regular life with them. The tools and skills that work for each person will differ slightly, based on the methods that worked best for them.
12. Aftercare programs
Just because treatment has ended doesn’t mean that support should end too. When a person leaves rehab treatment, they should be armed with an array of strong relapse prevention strategies and recovery skills.
Many people also require ongoing therapy, support, medication and treatment even after they leave rehab. A good addiction rehab treatment program should offer access to a range of aftercare programs designed to provide long-term support into the future.
The types of aftercare programs recommended for each person might vary, as everyone’s needs are different. Some people may need to step down from an inpatient treatment program to an intensive outpatient program to continue therapy sessions.
Others may need ongoing therapy sessions to continue working through issues. Still others may need to step down into sober living homes temporarily instead of returning to independent living to give them the opportunity to put newly learned recovery skills into practice.
In all these cases, access to ongoing therapy and treatment is always made available. For those who found benefits in participating in alternative therapies, continuing practicing the disciplines learned during rehab treatment is encouraged.
If you or someone you know is struggling to break free from a cycle of drug or alcohol addiction, take the time to reach out and ask for help. There are so many different treatment options available each designed to help people discover healthy, productive ways to live a sober lifestyle long after leaving rehab treatments.
Why Recover in Southern California?
The majority of addiction rehab treatment programs across America use a combination of the therapies and treatments mentioned above. However, when you choose to begin your journey to recovery in Southern California, you can take advantage of some additional benefits.
The warmer weather in Southern California makes it much easier to spend more time outdoors. During rehab treatments, most people learn the benefits of engaging in physical activity. If you’re recovering in Southern California you have plenty of opportunities to enjoy some healthy outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, biking, or even taking a leisurely stroll in the park or along the beach.
Proximity to water:
No matter where you are in Southern California, there’s water nearby. Being near water can promote relaxation, which is an important element of the recovery process. You can head to the Pacific Ocean and enjoy some quiet time relaxing on the beach or explore Fairmount Park and hike along the Santa Ana River or head to Whitewater Preserve to cool off in the pond
Getting outdoors and into the sunshine can help boost your vitamin D levels. Studies show3 that many people in recovery from addiction suffer symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, which can cause symptoms including anxiety, depression, mood swings and muscle pain.
According to a study published by the Harvard Medical School4, a simple 30-minute trip to the beach can provide your body with all the vitamin D it needs for the day. Spending time in Southern California during recovery increases the opportunity to enjoy more sunshine.