What to Expect in Addiction Recovery

group therapy for addiction recovery

Substance Addiction Recovery

Recovering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs is a challenging time with highs and lows. While no recovery journey is exactly like another, there are often similarities. When you know what to expect, you may be able to cope better with the challenges that often accompany recovery journeys. Hope Canyon Recovery features holistic treatment programs and a caring staff who can help you through the intensive phases of recovery. We’ll work with you to develop strategies for coping with triggers so you can ward off relapse for the long term.

Addiction Recovery: What to Expect During Detox

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The initial stage of recovery often begins with detox. Many people are well aware that there are going to be some physical challenges associated with this stage of recovery. During detox, the body is carefully weaned from the addictive substance in order to break the physical dependency. Withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur and can range from mild to severe. There’s a decided benefit to undergoing detox at a medical facility, however, because caregivers can monitor your health and provide treatments to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Certain withdrawal symptoms often arise with particular drugs. For instance, delirium tremens are an extreme set of symptoms that are associated with alcohol withdrawal. These can involve hallucinations, fever, and even seizures. People who are detoxing from opioids like prescription painkillers or heroin might experience flu-like symptoms like vomiting and chills. Your body chemistry and the length of time you’ve been addicted to a substance can impact the length of time you experience withdrawal symptoms. Some common type of withdrawal symptoms that people experience during detox include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety or depression

Most people will also experience intense cravings for the substance they’ve abused. These symptoms can persist well into the recovery journey. There are medications that can help reduce these cravings. Depending on your needs, the medical caregivers at Hope Canyon Recovery can recommend a course of treatment that’s ideal for you.

What to Expect after Medical Detox

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After you complete detox, you’ll transition to treatments and therapies that target the mental and behavioral aspects of your addiction. You may still feel lingering physical effects such as cravings and insomnia, for instance, but these symptoms should dwindle in time. During the post-detox phase of recovery, you’ll likely encounter some traditional therapies like individual and group counseling, but there may also be some alternative treatments such as life skills training that also support your long-term well-being.

During this portion of rehab, you can expect to:

  • Learn how alcohol and drugs affect both the body and brain
  • Identify the triggers that led you to abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Learn about the three stages of relapse–and how to prevent them
  • Identify high-risk situations and how to avoid them
  • Learn strategies for coping with negative emotions and triggers


As you work through this part of your recovery journey, you may experience ups and downs. As many as one-third of people addicted to alcohol or drugs also suffer from a mood or mental health condition like depression; you may experience some mood disturbances. With treatment for your symptoms and therapy, you are likely to improve with time. By continuing to fully participate in the healing process and sharing your feelings with therapists, you can get the support you need to get well.

What to Expect in the First Year of Addiction Recovery

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After you leave detox, you’ll be transitioning back to your everyday life. During this first year after rehab, you’ll be putting the strategies you learned in treatment to use. This is a pivotal time for people who are recovering. We recommend that people attend aftercare programming during this initial recovery year. Aftercare programs like 12-step programs and ongoing counseling are less intensive than inpatient rehab, but it provides a level of support that many people find helpful as they work to maintain their sobriety.

When you leave rehab, you will be different from when you first walked in. But when you walk back out to the world, you may find that the triggers that led you to abuse are unchanged. These triggers might include:

  • High-stress job
  • Toxic relationships
  • Unhealthy social situations
  • Negative emotions (fear, anger, sadness)

These triggers coupled with lingering cravings for the substance you were addicted to can pave the way to relapse. With aftercare, you’ll have additional support to help you keep relapse at bay. The more you practice your new, healthy coping strategies, the more likely they will become habitual.

Your personal addiction recovery journey away from substance addiction is a process. When you’re experiencing a crisis or having a bad day or bad week, it’s important to rely on the strategies you learned for coping with triggers and to reach out for help when you need it. The challenges that occur with recovery are part of the transition from an old way of life to your new one.

We’re here to help you successfully overcome the challenges and achieve long-term recovery. Call Hope Canyon Recovery at (619) 343-2395 so we can enroll you in our holistic treatment program.

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