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Life Change and Substance Abuse

Life Change and Substance AbuseSubstance abuse and addiction are more than just bad habits. Once a Des Moines resident becomes physiologically and psychologically dependent on drugs or alcohol the disease impacts all areas of life. Relationships, careers, finances, and even spirituality are impacted. Thus long-term recovery from addiction requires more than just treatment, medical care, or counseling; it requires a complete life change for the better.

Comprehensive Recovery from Addiction

Addicts are often the last to realize that they have a problem. Even when a Des Moines resident comes to understand that he has a physical and/or psychological addiction he will tend to minimize the severity of his problem. Many Des Moines addicts attempt to correct their addictions with minimal impact to their overall lifestyles. This type of limited approach is rarely effective since addiction affects so many aspects of an addict’s life.

Contrary to popular beliefs, the most powerful aspect of addiction is the psychological influence it has over the thoughts and actions of the addict. While physical aspects of withdrawal, such as flu-like symptoms, pain, tremors, and chills, can be severe or even life-threatening, the most challenging symptoms to overcome are the following emotional or psychological ones:

  • Panic attacks
  • Obsession
  • Sleeplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Dishonesty with others in order to get more drugs
  • Defensiveness
  • Blame-shifting
  • Overconfidence
  • Personality changes
  • Mental cravings

Drugs and alcohol have a significant impact on the emotional core of the brain. This is the same part of the brain that drives the formation of habits, impulse control, memories, and emotional health. The psychological aspects of addiction are often much more influential over behavior than rational thought or will-power. Lasting freedom from addition requires a comprehensive approach to all of the physiological and psychological aspects of the disease.

While the physical symptoms of withdrawal tend to pass in a matter of days, the psychological symptoms can linger for months or even years. Many recovering addicts in Des Moines require ongoing support for years or even for the rest of their lives. For them sobriety isn’t just a short-term process; it is a long-term practice that involves all of the following aspects of life:

  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Developing increased awareness of one’s own emotions and impulses
  • Improving conflict resolution, communication, and need-meeting skills
  • Dealing with the highs and lows of romantic relationships
  • Establishing healthy financial habits and accountability
  • Developing improved self-esteem and self-respect
  • Maintaining relational connectivity with other recovering addicts
  • Cultivating accountability with friends, loved ones, sponsors, or medical professionals

These skills develop over time and often become effective habits for the rest of the recovering addict’s life.

Long-Term Recovery Support

While the first step toward long-term freedom from addiction is usually a comprehensive, residential treatment program staffed by experts in the physical and psychological aspects of the disease, ongoing recovery support programs are critical as well. Millions of recovering addicts have recognized their need for ongoing support in the form of the following services:

  • 12-step meetings
  • One-on-one counseling sessions
  • Support group meetings
  • Classes
  • Spiritual support
  • Service projects
  • Meditation, yoga, or other “new-age” relaxation techniques

One of the most important aspects of recovery is the process of planning for ongoing counseling and support before you leave the program.

24 Hour Addiction Helpline

If you would like more information about addiction recovery and life change please call our toll-free helpline right now.  Confidential, 24-hour, support is available any time of day or night for any Des Moines resident in need of help.