Recovering from an addiction is difficult — it is also a lifelong process. Understand that sobriety is not the result of treatment; it is just the beginning. However, for men, the rates of misuse and relapse are often too high. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse ,each year, approximately five million American men report past misuse of drugs or alcohol and are more likely to develop addiction and substance abuse problems than women. These addictions can lead to more severe disorders in developing co-occurring diseases.
While there are many treatments men can seek for help, research has shown that men do not have lasting results with short-term treatment, unlike women. Thirty-two percent of men relapse after short-term care. The theory behind this is that men require aftercare, not just immediate care, to sustain long-term recovery. If you are a male and feel as though you have exhausted all opportunities to get sober — have you tried long-form addiction treatment? The benefits of such treatment might be the answer you need.
Removal of Negative Influences
While short-term care has its benefits, sometimes, it is not enough. Outpatient treatment, or quitting “cold turkey” might work temporarily, but often lacks the necessary physical and psychological support essential for recovery. Such therapies can leave you feeling isolated, depressed, anxious, and angry. You may also find yourself in triggering situations that you are not yet ready to handle — while willpower is an excellent trait to have, it could lead to a severe relapse, if it wanes.
Long-term treatment helps to build you from the ground up, meaning it will meet you where you’re at and start to rebuild a foundation from there. Initially, you will be in an environment that separates you from friends, family, and surroundings that enable you to use substances. These measures are taken to bring you to a stable, sober state and equip you with the tools needed to handle triggering environments upon your return.
Since you are rebuilding yourself, you are re-working the structure in you; behaviorally, physically, and emotionally. This not only offers short-term relief, but also helps to bring back structure and meaning to your day through participating in activities designed to help you engage in healthy and therapeutic ways. These newfound or re-discovered outlets can return you the joys to be had without needing alcohol or drugs. This new energy and confidence can teach you how to abstain and defend against cravings and even release your cravings for alcohol or drugs altogether.
One of the hardest parts of recovery is finding and maintaining support. When you try to go it alone, you limit yourself options for reaching out for help when times become challenging. When you enter a long-term facility, you will not only initially have 24/7 support, but you can build bonds and trust in the peers around you. This helps support meaningful and lasting relationships that often carry on well beyond your time spent in the facility. These systems have proved successful in helping those in recovery feel motivated and accountable toward continuing. You will also have the support of doctors and staff to guide you through the obstacles faced in both initial and long-term recovery. Like your peers, the relationships you have with your doctors and the staff are lasting, providing you with more connections that can be called on for help, when needed.
Sometimes you might feel great about yourself — that is, when things are going well. However, you might become hard on yourself and exhibit irrational thoughts and negative behavior when life becomes challenging. This is because you have not spent time with yourself to understand and build your character, which can enable you to better expect and face challenges as they come. In long-term recovery, you can have the appropriate time and surroundings to do such. You will not be distracted by the tasks and stress of everyday life. However, you will work to achieve personal growth in a way where you can take time for yourself in any setting. Knowing yourself, sitting with your feelings, and understanding your emotions through the practice of meditation, mindfulness, or writing is essential for long-term recovery.
Nutrition and Exercise
Many fail to connect the relationship between nutrition, exercise, and recovery, but these are primary contributing factors. These refined diets and regimens will help you at the onset when experiencing withdrawal symptoms. It is not just about having good nutrition overall; certain foods like leafy greens and chia seeds can also promote positive well-being and energy. Additionally, specific exercises like running or biking allow time to experience more profound thoughts — nurturing each facet further strengthens the bond of discipline within you, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Tools for the Real World
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, long-term recovery care aims to give you the tools you need for real-world situations. This is more than a process of helping you abstain from substance abuse; it seeks to provide you the skills, discipline, and perspective needed to get what you deserve from sober living. Implementing dietary or meditative practices and having a strong support system are all foundations you can continue to build on to overcome triggers and negative thoughts. Following treatment, you should be able to circumvent relapse triggers in the real world. Studies also show lower relapse rates in men who seek long-term care instead of short-term care.
There is no fast or easy way to combat addiction. Understand that the goal is maintaining recovery — and the philosophy is to put your recovery first. Your aim should be to view this experience from the perspective of building a better you. It can be challenging for a man to reach out for help. Part of this is because sometimes addiction takes longer to take hold of a man’s life. After all, men metabolize alcohol and drugs differently than women, causing them to build higher tolerance. Furthermore, many men do not want to ask for help. There are options and successful treatments for you. At Choice House, we are determined to provide you with the care you deserve. We achieve this through connection, trust, and empowerment. We understand that it is sometimes hard for men to seek help, which is why we offer a safe and comfortable environment to do so. Don’t wait to get help — despite your treatment experiences thus far. To learn more, call us today at (720) 577-4422.