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A Family's Guide to Understanding the Process of Drug or Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Christine O'Kelly
Feb 27, 2008
Addiction can steal away your loved ones before you even realize what has happened. What you as a loved one must remember is that when a person is an addict, they are experiencing a completely alternate sense of reality. The serious addict has completely lost control over every facet of his or her life.

Most addicts are in denial that they need help or think that they can quit alone. But kicking an addiction is more difficult than most addicts and their loved ones realize. A 30-90 day drug or alcohol rehab is the most effective way for an addict to first realize the magnitude of their addiction, make amends for the destruction they have caused, begin to unlearn these destructive behaviors, and develop a strategy of ongoing relapse prevention.

Coming to Terms With Addition

Most addicts haven't completely admitted to themselves that they are in fact addicted. Thought their addiction is so apparent to everyone around them, they themselves are often in a state of denial. This is the reason why it can be so difficult for a family member to convince an addict that he or she needs rehab! For drug and alcohol rehab to truly be effective, the addict must first understand that they have a problem in order to even follow through with checking into rehab. Once in a drug or alcohol program, one of the first things the addict will learn is to come to terms with the fact that they need help.

Making Amends

Guilt is one of the main ingredients that feed addiction. Drugs numb the pain and cloud the judgment of all addicts and many continue to use with zero regard for their lives because they are filled with feelings of tremendous guilt and usually they have no idea to repair the damage they have caused. In a drug and alcohol addiction program, the addict will take steps to make amends and repair the damage caused.

Unlearning Destructive Behaviors

Though addicts often puts up a tough front, they hate themselves for what they are doing which is part of the reason that they continue on with their deadly cycle of addiction. Addiction is an unbalanced attempt to fill emptiness or a void in ones soul. The behavior that feeds the addiction is so destructive but at the same time is also necessary for the addict to continue on with their fiasco.

These destructive behaviors become learned so well after a while, that the addict knows nothing other than destructive behavior. In order for the addict to truly live a life of sobriety, these learned behaviors must be unlearned.

The right drug and alcohol rehab program can help an addict to see themselves for who they are and turn the pain of the past in to a reason to heal. There is plenty of help available for any woman who is ready to admit that enough is enough.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is an author for The Open Door, a women's recovery center that offers a 28-day addiction drug and alcohol addiction program for women
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