Alcohol and drug addiction are some of the most prevalent social problems in New Hampshire. In a recent survey, 12.15 percent of New Hampshire residents reported using illicit drugs in the past month, which was higher than the national average of 8.82 percent. The various types of drug and alcohol withdrawal syndromes may involve different combinations of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms—some of which can prove dangerous if left unmanaged. The path to recovery begins with a voluntary act of seeking help.
A study done by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS) in 2020 reveals that at least 10.2% of Americans from the age of 12 onwards had an alcohol use disorder. This figure is further highlighted by the fact that each day at least 385 Americans die from excessive alcohol consumption, and this alone should be enough to have people with alcohol abuse issues become interested in looking at the alcohol recovery timeline more closely.
Live Free Recovery Services has been at the forefront of helping patients recover from chronic and alcohol addictions in New Hampshire for decades now. At Live Free Recovery Services, our highly skilled team of professionals provides around-the-clock multi-level care designed to help every patient experience a safe, long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
Four Stages of Alcohol and Drug Rehab Recovery in NH
Your addiction treatment starts when you reach out for help and register for professional alcohol and drug rehab programs like those offered by Live Free Recovery Services. During the early hours and days of your treatment option, you will most likely encounter ambivalent feelings regarding whether to give up the drug of your choice permanently. You may also try to convince yourself that your substance use disorder is not as bad as other addictive substances. Be wary of this attitude as ambivalence and denial are the worst enemies in the early days of your recovery, but also be assured that this is all part of the addiction recovery and withdrawal timeline.
This kind of mentality is the typical denial mindset prevalent in people with heavy dependency issues, and not just to drugs or alcohol. A combination of an unwillingness to admit that there is a problem and an underlying shame about how the problem will be perceived by society is primarily responsible for this denial. This is where an intervention could prove to be quite helpful, provided that it is seen for what it is: a much-needed helping hand from people who truly care and are concerned for the health of the person with the substance abuse issue.
Regardless if treatment initiation is brought about by intervention or by a willing person with a substance abuse disorder, the important thing is that it begins as soon as possible. This is to mitigate the damage done to the body by the substance abuse, ensure that an overdose is no longer a possibility, and to begin the process of recovery.
At Live Free, we understand the struggles and dilemmas you are going through at this point. Our goal is to help you actively participate in the treatment and become motivated to recover. During this stage, our professionals will take your alcohol and drug use history before introducing an ideal treatment program. You can receive medical support during detox/detoxification in either an inpatient or an outpatient setting. We understand no two patients are the same, and our experienced team will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that meets your specific needs.
Duration: This stage takes a few days or weeks
After committing to continue your treatment, you are entered into the second stage of rehab, commonly referred to as early abstinence. Early abstinence can be a challenging stage to cope with due to several factors, including continued withdrawal symptoms, physical cravings, psychological dependencies, and triggers that can tempt you to relapse. During the early abstinence stage, our trained addiction counselors will equip you with coping skills to help you sustain your sobriety for a longer period. Our treatments are uniquely designed to ease your anxiety and minimize the symptoms of withdrawals as you take the first step to recovery. Some of the strategies that can help you maintain your abstinence for long includes:
- Participating in healthy activities
- Participating in self-help groups that provide support and understanding
- Developing healthier alternative behaviors other than drug and alcohol use
- Recognizing environmental triggers, including things, places, and people that could tempt you to relapse
Duration: This stage takes 90 days
This stage is where therapy needs to take root, so that the person will be equipped against the biggest challenge to the rehabilitation process: doubt. Doubt could be fueled by intense cravings, hardship and stress brought on by withdrawal, and an inability to see beyond the current difficulty being experienced. It is this doubt that therapists work to remove so that working towards a lasting recovery is not hindered, and the person in rehab remains dedicated and motivated enough to endure the challenges they face while in rehab.
Once you complete 90 days of continuous abstinence, you will move from the early abstinence stage to maintaining abstinence. The main goal of this stage is to sustain abstinence to avoid a relapse. During this stage, you will learn how to identify triggers and the habits that can send you back to relapse. You will also learn how to put into practice the skills you learned in early abstinence so that you continue leading a genuinely sober life. Some of the new coping skills and tools that you learn in this stage include:
- Building healthy relationships
- Managing anger
- Developing drug-free lifestyle
- Utilizing exercise and nutrition
Duration: The maintaining abstinence stage starts at about three months into your rehabilitation and lasts until you reach five years of living a clean and sober life.
This stage is where the person in rehab learns all about control. Giving in to urges to use substances, allowing triggers to take control, and not seeking a better way of looking at circumstances all point to not being able to take control of the situation. Control necessarily needs willpower to execute, as well as a healthy mindset where the person sees other ways to respond to stressors and triggers. This form of control is learned through the various therapy approaches done in this stage, so that the ability to maintain abstinence remains.
Once you complete five years of abstinence, you will move to the fourth and final stage of rehab, commonly referred to as advanced rehab. During this stage, you take all the skills and tools you have learned in the preceding stages and put them to use. The goal of this stage is to continue leading a satisfying and fulfilling life free of alcohol and drug use. Some of the strategies that can be helpful at this stage include:
- Creating long term goals
- Developing a consistent daily schedule
- Participating in recreational activities
- Forming healthy social relationships
This stage is the reintroduction to a normal life for people who suffered a setback due to substance abuse. This is where all the coping skills and strength of will learned during rehab comes into play, as the person transitions more into dealing with everyday life on their own, but equipped with the knowledge and training to resist the urge to take substances once more.
This is not to say that a relapse is impossible, but this is the stage where all the work done towards recovery will pay off. At this point, there should be a different outlook to the problems and issues that may come, and this outlook should completely exclude using drugs or alcohol illicitly, whether dealing with a dilemma or not.
An important aspect of this stage is that the person learns to rely on his or her own strength to deal with issues, and if that fails, learn to look for support from peers, family, friends, and professionals in dealing with whatever it is they are facing.
Start Your Road to Recovery Today
Substance abuse treatment is a lifelong process that needs commitment. Remember, it takes time and effort to sustain any change, build momentum and lead a truly sober life. The stages of change may seem intimidating during early recovery. However, knowing a friendly and highly skilled counselor from Live Free will be at hand to help your recovery journey can ease the anxiety. If you or a loved one is struggling with life-threatening substance abuse, addiction, or mental health conditions in New Hampshire, don’t hesitate to contact Live Free Recovery Services today.