An estimated 23 million Americans suffer from addiction today which makes it one of the most alarming conditions in health crises in United States history. About 10% of these numbers are able to get the needed treatment which is why this makes sobering statistics look bleak. If you or someone you know is seeking treatment for addiction, good job for doing so. Detoxing is the most important step for recovering from addiction; whether you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, recovering alone can be ineffective and dangerous if done solo.
The term “solo recovery” is nothing new as there are plenty of people who practice this. It is used to describe the person or people who have received help during their initial recovery but decided to later do it alone. One of the best examples of this is when recovering addicts attend rehab then later decide that they don’t need any help. Overall, solo recovery refers to individuals who were able to stop their addiction without any help involved. But is solo recovery the best option to take? Does it really work 100% all the time?
The Dangers of Recovering Solo
While recovering on your own sounds a bit “independent”, it is not always ideal to do this on your own. In fact, there are plenty of dangers involved in recovering alone. Here’s what you need to know:
Symptoms of withdrawal can be severe
The withdrawal symptoms of a person may vary depending on the substance they have been addicted to. Some can begin a few hours and can become very uncomfortable or worse, deadly. Generally, withdrawal symptoms of drugs or substances include restlessness, anxiety, muscle aches as well as insomnia and fatigue. In some cases, individuals may experience gastrointestinal issues like abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and even diarrhea. An increase in blood pressure, as well as increased heart palpitations, can also be experienced by the person. In some cases, dilated pupils and blurring of vision may cause alarm and must be attended by a physician right away.
If the person is withdrawing from alcohol addiction, withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. These complications can include seizures, delirium tremens and acute withdrawal syndrome that could kill an individual if they are not treated immediately. Erratic psychiatric behaviors may also be exhibited by the person suffering from withdrawal symptoms. These can last for hours to a few days or weeks depending on the degree of the abuse and the substance they have taken. This is also the reason why recovering addicts must to go through rehabilitation facilities and have proper medical detox programs supervised by trained professionals to help them (or you) manage the process of withdrawal in a safe way.
Recovering solo does not offer emotional support and counseling
Recovery is an emotional journey for many addicts. As you recover, you will experience all kinds of emotions from anger, self-pity, self-doubt and the likes. With these emotional roller coasters, the help of the professional and support of loved ones are very important. This is even more important for individuals who have used alcohol or drugs to numb their emotional pains or those who have been self-medicating to mask their mental health problems. That being said, counseling and group therapies are included in many treatment plans as the patient goes through recovery. This is not present in recovering alone. In fact, not all of those who recover alone truly recover from their addiction because they lack the support group and care that they need the most during the most crucial stage of their lives.
Relapse is likely to happen among individuals who plan on recovering alone
According to statistics, relapses fall between 40-60% but for individuals who are recovering alone, the percentage could be higher. Relapse can happen due to many reasons and among these include the discomfort of the withdrawal symptoms. Some people break away from their recovery due to the emotional torture that comes with mood swings associated with detoxing or in some cases, simply because no one is there to help and support them during this stage. That being said, it is important that you have professional help and support when you are in recovery otherwise all your efforts will be in vain.
In some cases, there are individuals who have been successful with solo recovery. However, this solo recovery DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL. In very rare situations, there are individuals who prefer doing it alone as there are plenty of things that could help increase their chances of success.
- It is recommended that people get help in the early months of their recovery as this is the best time for them to relapse. That is why group support and therapy can be very beneficial.
- It is also important to know the exact motives for choosing to recover solo. If you are there to avoid people and other things then this is not the best way to deal with recovering from addiction.
- Some recovering addicts do attend rehab to learn the skills they need in order to recover solo. It can be helpful for their first year of recovery and can reinforce their learning and boost motivation to get better.
- People who do it alone may seek help in case they feel that their sobriety is at stake. Solo recovery does not necessarily mean that they have to close doors to any help when needed.
There is help available for those who want to recover from their addiction. Recovery from drugs or alcohol can be a hard task but if you focus on getting your life back together then there are people who are willing to help you out. Going through the best rehabilitation facility is the best way to get started with the process.
Staying sober is a tough challenge that any former addict goes through. But if you have the right people to help you, have the family and friends who love and support you, then you don’t have to do this alone. Addiction can be defeated, as long as you have the right mindset and the will, you can do anything that needs to be done.
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