Drug Rehabilitation Blog

How to Get Off of Drugs

To find true recovery from addiction, we must break down the barriers that keep people from seeking help in in their struggle.

Getting Past the Fear 

For many people that are having a problem with drugs or alcohol, overcoming that addiction can be the most difficult thing they will ever go through in their lifetime. First, there is the need to understand and admit that they have an addiction, and that they need help. Then, they must dig deep to uncover and address the underlying causes of that addiction. There is also learning how to resist the urges and avoiding any triggers of relapse in their continued long-term sobriety. Without a doubt, the path to recovery from addiction has many obstacles that must be overcome.

 One of the first, and biggest, obstacles to get past is fear. For some, it could be a fear of change, because they are used to the way things have been for so long and are unsure of how to go about living life without using drugs or drinking. Others, particularly those who are in the public eye or hold positions of responsibility, might be afraid of a stigma that could affect their image, even though recovery from addiction is nothing to be ashamed of. Yet, many more people deal with a different kind of fear when it comes to getting clean and sober – fear of withdrawal symptoms.

To be certain, withdrawal can be extremely frightening. When a person is so reliant on certain substances to be in their system at all times, to the point where they are physically dependent, withdrawal symptoms are almost always a major factor in continuing on the deadly path of addiction. These symptoms, depending on the substance and amount used and the length of addiction, can vary from mild discomfort and sleeplessness to severe pain and nausea. In the most extreme of cases, withdrawal can potentially be life threatening.

Seeking Help

“For me, I couldn’t handle withdrawals”, says Cary H., one of the patients here at Best Drug Rehabilitation. “If you are withdrawing, don’t try to do it alone. Come to a facility where they can help you out.” One of the most helpful things that we can offer our patients is our Medically Supervised Detox Clinic. This is where our nursing staff and certified withdrawal technicians can assist the patient through even the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. While the effects of withdrawal can never be avoided completely, the caring and compassionate staff in our Detox Clinic does everything that they can to help ease any discomfort.

Bianca is a Behavioral Interventionist at Best Drug Rehabilitation. She has seen many different patients through her work at our recovery center, each with their own struggles and their own concerns. “I know a lot of people will try on their own,” she observes. “There’s different aspects of recovery. There’s the mental aspect, the physical, and the spiritual aspect. If you take away one and you don’t nurture the others it’s not very successful. From my perspective, I think you have to have a healthy balance of all three. The best way to nurture those three aspects is to have the help of a facility with well trained staff.”

Finding a Program that Works for You

Another factor that can make many people who are struggling with addiction afraid to seek help is the fear of failure. A lot of the patients that we see at our treatment center have been through other recovery programs or facilities before coming to us. They often feel like nothing is ever going to help, and that they will always be stuck in the vicious cycle of addiction.

“Rehab centers that I’ve been to have all been 12-Step programs,” Cary says. “As far as BDR, they have different programs, like SMART Recovery and ACC.” In developing our recovery program, we found that there is more than one effective method to overcoming addiction. Every patient that we see is a unique individual, and each one will respond differently to any particular method of treatment.

Our program is designed to be adaptable to the needs of any individual who comes to us seeking help in overcoming addiction. “They don’t just offer a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach, where every client does the same exact thing,” Bianca explains. “They have AA/NA, they have Native American, they have ACC, which is Applied Communications Course, they have SMART Recovery. So there’s a variety.”

Additionally, we do not force our patients through their personalized program to conform to any 30-, 60-, or 90- day timeframe. They are able to work through the process at their own pace, taking as much time as they need to explore all of the options that we offer in order to find a treatment method that will work best for them.

“ACC has taught me how to be comfortable with myself,” Cary continues, “and confront situations that I’ve ran from my entire life. Instead of running from my problems, they’ve taught me how to confront them – deal with it instead of using drugs to cover it up.” With the ability to explore different avenues of rehabilitation, Cary was able to find a treatment method that will be most effective and beneficial for his situation and his needs.

At Best Drug Rehabilitation, we believe that we have found a better way to help people get clean and sober. More than that, we believe that we provide the most thorough and effective way for them to discover the tools that will work best for them in maintaining long-term sobriety after they graduate from our treatment center. They find a sense of hope and optimism for a brighter future in recovery.

14 Comments

  • Walter

    I think that this is a very important thing to really pick apart and look at how it is possible to get off of drugs that you are addicted to. It can be difficult to do this, especially if you are addicted to the more hard core drugs, but also to the less hard core ones like nicotine or alcohol as these are things that you can find almost anywhere that you go. Another thing that this article really points out that is different is the fact that not everyone is the same and there is more than one way to skin a cat in terms of getting people off of the substances that they are addicted to. This is a key point to look at when you are looking at a rehab facility. I remember when I was going through withdrawals off of medical grade pain killers and it had to be one of the hardest things that I had to handle at that point in my life. I did not even realize that I was addicted until I was coming off of them and I realized that my body was totally freaking out. I did not have to go to a drug rehab facility, but it was a similar situation where my parents stepped in and helped me. Later on I chose to do a detox program like the one here at BDR and it really was a game changer and I wish that I would have known about it when I was going through that coming off of the drugs. I also like the fact that each program is its own thing and no two people will go through it the same. I feel that this is a big downside to people who go to a more conventional type of program as they are running into a situation where they are going to be put into a cookie-cutter type of program that is not really going to handle the situation that they are running into.

    • Margaux Machat

      Getting off drugs should always be considered idiosyncratically and not collectively, as not two humans are exactly the same when you look at the fact that are brains are mapped out by our life experiences and the decisions we make. BDR considers this when they set up treatment and they make sure that everyone has a unique experience and that the program is tailored to them.

  • Felicia

    It is really hard to come off of drugs. I have had many friends who were addicted to drugs and it was really a struggle to see them coming off of them. I think the hardest part of it is to see them not able to shake the feeling that they need to use in order to be normal. I have seen first hand the damage done by people who are addicted to drugs and it is something that is not fun to watch.
    I like the way this program looks in terms of making it an individual approach, which is something that I think people do not think about when it comes to getting people off of drugs. It can be difficult to face and intervene into the life of a person that you know who is using, but it is very important as if not, then they may never have a chance to get off. This article is correct that there is a lot of fear that plays into the decision of someone to come off of drugs, or with someone who is worried about losing their loved one or them turning their back on you because you want to step in, but at the end of the day I would rather have someone who is mad at me instead of them not being around to even be mad at me. The other really important thing to remember is although they may seem very mad about you stepping in to make them make a change, in the long run they will usually look back and spot that as the point where you saved their life. This is something that I have also seen time and time again. It is something else to see that you can have such a problem with something like this, but making it an individual program and focusing on the process of coming off of the drugs is an important step that can really save someones life. Withdrawal is a very important part of the process of getting clean and if it is not done correctly, then it can cause a real problem when it comes down to the person staying clean and not relapsing back to using drugs. This is something that I think the 12 step program misses, although there is validity to the 12 step program. You have to make sure that there is a complete package in order to truly help the person. There is also a lot of help that addressing the spiritual healing side of things and/or religious aspect for someone, and a program that has all of that is really different when it comes to really helping people to recover from the dangers of drugs. I think that this is another aspect that bears a lot of mention and that is finding a complete program that will really work with the person and help them to get over all of the demons that they are carrying around with the drug addiction.

    • Margaux Machat

      Well thank god, you have made the decision to get sober. Did you know that between the ages of 30 until death your brain actually begins to shrink? The shrinkage is most prominent in the areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory. The hypothalamus, cerebellum, thalamus, and cerebral cortex are the parts of brain involved in learning and memory; Exercise can actually stop brain shrinkage or rapidly reduce its affects. In the liver enzymes are present to detoxify the body from drugs. Our body is made up of 70 percent water and water moves from a higher to lower concentration gradient so when you take drugs, you make the cell the area with the greater proportion of water instead of the blood, and the water diffuses out of the cell as we sweat and pee it out. If not for our liver enzymes this process would kill us, but the liver enzymes stabilize us homeostatically. Once the drug is brought into your body the enzymes in the liver increase to process the drugs, and prevent hypertonic situations such as what I described from happening, This is where physiological tolerance develops as the body is exposed to the drug iit starts being conditioned to produce the enzyme. The body can now tolerate larger amounts of the drug.

  • Johnny Machat

    Getting off drugs is step one to finding yourself homeostatically functioning and to choose to get clean is to make a choice for your future. Get off drugs is a decision you make every minute and it takes faith. As soon as you make the decision communicate it to a loved one or someone whose opinion matters to you. There is the instant needs to unload the shame, it feels good to come clean. Once you divulge your plans to get clean then the chances are that you will most likely make choices that are in tandem with this pronouncement, as all beings have a characteristic yearning to have their genuineness acknowledged. If you have belonged to the subculture of addiction there is undoubtedly a large part of your persona that is an underhand.
    Throughout the majority of my life there was a disparity in the person I actually was and the way people observed me. The first time I snorted cocaine was in college and it was the first time that I felt comfortable in my own skin. I did not fit in growing up, which was a good thing as I was truly born and raised in Compton, CA. My wife is from the realm of society, and I remember some of the things that came out of her mouth on our first date and I cringed. One of the comments was about Forever 21, and I was wearing a shirt from there. I met my wife, Margaux at Los Angeles City College she was my Biology TA. When we met I had a long-term girlfriend and was cheating on her with five other women. Sex was my drug of choice; I once slept with three women in one day. LACC introduced me to a whole new social group, as there was a huge international student population. I dated Rosella from Italy and Helen from Korean who were both from nice families and beautiful. My long-term girlfriend was heavy and poor and Mexican, when we met in high school I was the unattractive one and she was thin and light skinned. She was really antisocial and we were very codependent.
    Margaux was the exact opposite. She had an amazing personality. I met her when she was having really serious health problems and I thought she was homeless because of how she dressed. I found out later her baggy sweatshirts cost thousands of dollars, that her dad was a famous attorney Steven Machat and that Margaux was kind of famous. She dated famous people and everyone idealized her, even the biology professor, Mr. Garcia loved her. In the beginning Margaux thought I was wealthy and one of her crowd If I did not have Adderall I do not know if I would have had the confidence to approach her. I brought her to my house and let her into my world of shame and she accepted me and admired me and confided in me.
    My mother is mentally ill, a thief and I recently found out a heroine addict. She has Diogenes Syndrome, which is a reaction to trauma that causes a person to intentionally live in filth and squalor. She hoards trash and will literally fight you for it. She got together with my dad when she was 14 and pregnant with half sister Karina. Karina is the one that truly raised me and I felt true sadness when I found out that she left for Vegas because my father had molested her. Our mother abused us really badly before my dad’s other kids came over and I will always remember the screams of my two middle sisters. My parents stopped physically abusing us when the two younger kids were born and my brother had serious health problems and autism. I was malnourished with a weight problem from an over indulgence in fast food and know where to exercise. When we moved to South Gate, which is a working class to lower class Mexican community, whose claim to fame is BReal was born and raised there the guy who sang the song; Insane in the membrane and Hello My Name is Dr. Green Thumb. Ironically my wife and B-Real both worked together and were friends. Margaux opened me up to a whole new world. In my neighborhood drug addicts, were bad, stigmatized people, that went to prison. I dealt with my issues with my eating disorder and through having sex, well I guess you can say didn’t deal with my issues. Practically all of my wife’s friends had substance abuse problems and I met very interesting and cool people that had the same issues as that and me I finally fit in with. My brother in law, Barron Machat, who passed away April 8th, was such a talented and cool guy. The day that the world found out that he was dead, he was on the front page of every music magazine from Rolling Stone to Fader. Barron managed Sad Boys and Goth Money and owned Hippos in Tanks. After he died our worlds changed and life was altered I watched Margaux go through a lot of pain. She always referenced her old self and that she would have been the dead one if not for BDR and Per Wickstrom. I am not a graduate of BDR but when the center saved my wife, they gave me the greatest woman in the world and I owe them a lot. I am shy but Per is a really charismatic person and I look forward to developing our relationship there is such genuine authenticity within Per Wickstrom that it is hard not to smile in his company.

  • Felicia Holmes

    It is really difficult for people to get off of drugs. It is definitely great that there are places like BDR to help people face these addictions and to get off of them. There are many different types of programs. I had a sister that was addicted to drugs and she went to a program like this one and it was really the thing that saved her life, and she is thankful to this day that she got the help that she needed in order to get off of the drugs. I think that the best part about programs like this is that they really care and really take the time to see what it is that the person needs in order to get off of the drugs and change their life. It can be an intimidating thing to look at coming off of drugs and in fact it is often times not safe for a person to come off of drugs without professional help from people who are experienced at working with addicts to come off of the drugs. This is a thing that really needs to be looked at when you are faced with the problem of a loved one that is addicted to substances. I like the fact that within the program at BDR from what I have read, they have so many different treatment options. It is so important to see that not every single person is the same as every other person, and the fact that they take this into account is a huge plus in my opinion. It is neat that they have all of the different tools available, as well as the medical staff to properly supervise someone coming off of drugs. I have heard horror stories of people coming off of drugs and it is really a testament to this program that if you prefer a religious aspect you can have that, but if you are not religious you can choose the other support groups. I know how hard it is to face the fact of coming off of something that you have been dependant on and it is a great plus that you can choose the route and courses that you need in order to get the help that you need. I really think that more people should be sharing the great tools that they have and more people should look at getting loved ones that they know to get the help that they need from a professional rehab facility.

  • Lorraine Briggs

    BDR helped me realize that it was no longer cute and no longer fun to be doing the dame thing over and over again. Being an addict means that you have to continually start over. You start a life and that life is paused and you have to start all over again. After BDR I realized that I could confront my demons and that I could live a drug free life that did not involve having to continually start from ground zero. I realized I used drugs and alcohol to escape my emotions and because I lived in fear. I was afraid of being successful. I was afraid that I would not be able to support myself and I was afraid that I would not be able to manage my chronic pain. BDR taught me to confront, and control my fears. I learned that I did not have to depend on my parents and that I could help myself. I left BDR and returned to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor. I got straight A’ s in all my classes and I was able to start a career that allowed me to give back what was given to me at BDR. I continually pay my chance at sobriety forward.

  • Margaux Machat

    The best way to ‘get off drugs’ and stay off drugs is to keep a journal. A journal is the best defense that we as humans have against the ‘hind sight bias’. The hind sigh bias is a psychological term that explains one of the most fundamental misjudgments of all. The hind sight bias ties directly into drug use and abuse because we are all told that drugs are bad at that we should not sue them but nearly all of us try them at some point in our lives. The hind sight bias is one of the reasons that explanations drug use and abuse since it makes us believe that we are better predictors about our futures then we actually are, which triggers us to be arrogant about our awareness and take to much risk. Unfortunately overcoming these psychological phenomena is extremely difficult unless we are forced to see the difference between what we wanted to happen and thought would happen and what actually did happen. A journal forces one to confront reality. When you journal honestly your less likely to fall victim to induction. Inductive thinking is the psychological method that incorrectly causes someone to draw universal certainties from individual observations. In the beginning a person might have started using drugs because they thought it was glamorous, seductive or fun. My preoccupation with drugs came from the move Gia, which starered Angelina Jolie as the super model Gia. Gia was the first super model to die from aids. For some strange reason I found her plight into addiction to be extremely seductive, I watched the move over and over again. It was a serious error in thinking for me to assume that because some people survive drug use, that I would survive drug use. I was staring into the abyss from a very young age, waiting for the abyss to take me. If I had been asked to keep a journal I would have discovered that my life was out of control and that unmanageable. Interestingly enough we always recall more bad behavior then good behavior when it comes to others except when it comes to ourselves. So keeping a journal is the first step to getting someone conscious that they need to change and getting them to recognize they have a problem. This is only the first part after that it is all about the treatment centers.

  • Rachel

    BDR looks at all their clients and potential clients as individuals. BDR is a large center so there has to be general rules or chaos would run the agenda. BDR recognizes that each client comes in with a different set of life circumstances and a different set of needs. Characteristically AA, CA, and AA treat everyone the same; they are powerless addicts over their substance of choice. At BDR you are not powerless you are an individual that has erred and become addicted to drugs and or alcohol. There are two ways that humans perceive being wrong, which is the process of making an erroneous mistake such as becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol. The first is the pessimistic model and it fundamentally states that being wrong is unpleasant and disagreeable. The second perspective is optimistic and, and it states that to make a mistake can be surprising, fascinating and delightful. Mistakes are generally regarded as something to be ashamed of. Not at BDR, the motto here is what is done is done; lets move on and fix things. BDR has Smart Recovery and ACC (Applied Communication Course) teaches them to control, confront, and handle situations. I was a chronic relapse before BDR and I started journaling a lot in art therapy. I realized my true running buddy was my mother. She was the one with me getting drinks with her after homework when o got back from BDR, I told my mom that I would not be drinking with her anymore. She asked me if that included her margaritas and I said yes it did. It has been close to 5 years and I still haven’t relapsed. Thank you BDR!

  • Amanda McCormick

    Coming off of drugs is a big decision that is a rough thing to confront. There are a lot of things to look at when one is making that decision. Obviously it is a great health decision to come off of the drugs. But there are the factors that this article brings to light. It can be difficult to face the mountain that coming off of drugs is. You have the withdrawal, the cravings, and the overall need to use the drugs, and that is some of the reasons why a lot of people cannot fully go through with coming off of the drugs. Those pressures are too much to bear for a lot of people that have experienced failed attempts at rehab. This is why it is important to look at the program that BDR has. I have seen people go through programs like this and I think that they are very effective. The first part that I really like is the purification of the body that they do by sweating out all of the impurities that are there in the body. This coupled with vitamins and a complete handling of the persons environment really go a long way in terms of helping the client to get off of the drugs. I have seen other people go through programs, not at BDR, but at another rehab that uses a similar approach and the results were short of miraculous. The biggest factor that I think is simply the willingness of the person to want to come off of the drugs. I think that this is a big area where people tend to miss the mark in terms of helping their loved ones to come off of drugs, that and they are not set up to handle the crazy that comes out when the person starts to crave and not have the drugs in their system. But it is a critical factor to gain their determinism to want to get off of the drugs. I know that I watched my sister struggle with this and coming off of meth. It was difficult to see her go through this and she went through rehab probably 4 times, but it was not until she checked herself into rehab that 4th time that it stuck. I am just happy that there are facilities that are out there to help people and get them off of these awful drugs that are out in the society today. This is an area that absorbs a lot of time and money for society, so the fact that these people at BDR are there helping is a big relief. I think that if you know someone who is struggling with drugs, get them to look at where they are at and really try to work at getting their want to make it clean and get out of the trap that using drugs gives you. This will go a long way I feel.

    • Johnny Machat

      I agree with you Amanda, getting sober is a huge deal. Trying to get an addict to see the reality of their situation can be tough but if your persist and just keep insisting you should be able to overcome their denial systems.

    • Margaux Machat

      Basically Amanda i agree with you a hundred percent, the reason that in patient is necessary is once you come off drugs you have to learn to relieve life. In a book I was recently reading called the Beliving Brain which analyzes the belief system, the author discusses an experiment where a psychologist sent seven people to various mental institutions that were sane and had them report the same thing that they were hearing the word thud boom and spoon and each one of them was admitted into the hospital. After being admitted they were supposed to act completely normal and since they were research psychologists they take notes and this was looked at as abnormal behavior in the context of the institution. So it is possible that certain situations create different belief systems and behaviors and that sane cane appear insane and insane can appear sane. The last thing the psychologist did was promise he would send another experimenter in the next three months to each of the hospitals and the staff picked out approximently 83 potential patients that could have been sane, no one was ever sent. Humans form beliefs first and then explain those beliefs. Reality exsists independent of our subjective beliefs but our understanding of it is dependent on our beliefs and those are going to drastically change as you go through sobriety and develop your own morals and ethics.

  • Michael S

    Kant is the philosopher who stated that all knowledge begins with a priori. He also made the sensational discovery that our experience of reality does not match up to reality. Kant is also the father of self-help and the twelve steps, as he had the ideas of universalizing behavior. Impulses of electricity are what convey messages to our brain. Our brains run on Na+ ions (sodium), cl- (chlorine ions), and Ca2+(calcium ions). Our nervous system ionizes water and changes it between hydroxide ions and hydronium ions, (OH-) AND (H3O+). Cortical patterns of electrode that monitor patterns of voltage give the sophisticated thinking and gives rise to consciousness. So when you think of getting off drugs think of the marvelous organ that has evolved for centuries to work as it does, your brain.

  • carcol

    It’s so true, the hardest thing to do is to get someone to admit they have a problem and that they need help to overcome it. This is where you have to be very strategic in your approach to the person. You have to really get them to see how their addiction is hurting then and those around them and get them to come around to seeing it themselves that they need to get help. Once you’ve gotten their agreement that they need help, then you have to make sure you find a good rehab center to send them to. Work with them to make sure you know what it is they want to achieve and how they want to do it so you can make sure the facility you choose offers those things. Getting them going as soon as possible is also key so they don’t have a chance to change their mind.

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