Drug addiction has both physical and social effects. While a person has an active addiction, they may feel like they need the drug to survive. Withdrawal may be more painful than the addict can handle on their own and even though the drug doesn’t have the effect it did when they started using, they continue to use to ward off the effects of withdrawal. Depending on the drug a person is addicted to, suddenly stopping without medical supervision could be life threatening.
Whether it is dangerous to stop using or not, it’s important for an addict who truly wants to get clean to seek professional assistance. It’s simply too hard to get and stay clean alone. When an addict seeks help with drug addiction, they should choose a facility that employees professionals from different specializations. For example, there may be medical doctors and nurses on staff to help with the physical symptoms and after the patient has made it through physical withdrawal, counselors, and therapists there to help them deal with the emotional aspects of quitting.
Some of the most effective treatment programs also use peer counseling. This involves people who have been addicted to drugs and successfully overcame their dependency talking to people who are still on the journey toward recovery. Peer counseling can be very effective for some addicts because people who have been through the same problems can help an addict in recovery learn strategies that actually work in the real world. While professionals help patients mostly with theory, former addicts help with real life experiences.
Recovering from drug addiction isn’t easy and a substantial amount of people who go through treatment relapse before they are able to stay clean for the rest of their lives. It’s important for the addict and their family to understand this so can choose the treatment program that is most likely to meet their long-term needs. A supportive aftercare program is an essential element of any drug treatment program so addicts have someone to talk to when they get back to their natural environment, where drugs are readily available and they have to test the strategies they learned in treatment.