Quitting drugs is a long and arduous process, and it can seem intimidating if you aren’t aware of the road ahead. Knowing what you’re getting into will help prepare you for the worst that is to come, and helps break down the practical steps towards a drug-free lifestyle.
Regardless of whether you are in the midst of recovery, or want more information on what the rehabilitation process is like, this infographic will give you a clearer idea of the road ahead.
The process of drug rehabilitation can be split into 3 main stages. Detoxification (detox), rehabilitation (rehab), and ongoing recovery (aftercare).
Stage 1: Detoxification
When you stop taking drugs and allow your body to detoxify and get rid of the remaining traces of drugs, you will start to experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms will come in two stages: Acute and Post-acute withdrawal symptoms.
Physical symptoms normally hit the hardest during the acute phase, depending on the drug type, your body type, and how long you’ve been addicted. Substances including alcohol and tranquillizers can cause dangerous physical withdrawal symptoms, including heart attacks or strokes. Be prepared for emotional symptoms, such as anxiety and insomnia during this period.
Due to the dangerous nature of withdrawal symptoms, we recommend that you go through the detox process under close monitoring by professionals. In Singapore, you can do that at the following:
After that, the post-acute phase occurs, as your brain chemistry undergoes changes to return to normal. During this period, most people go through common symptoms including mood swings, anxiety, irritability, concentration changes, tiredness, and disturbed sleep.
If you want to find out more, Addictions and Recovery provides an easy-to-read summary and some tips to cope with these withdrawal symptoms.
Stage 2: Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation is a personalised intensive therapy plan developed for your specific needs by a trained professional. The rehab programme is normally carried out during the post-acute phase.
Trained psychologists will work with you to find out the core issues that lead to your drug addiction, and develop a plan together with you to lead a drug-free lifestyle. These issues can be anything ranging from boredom, stress, to depression and anger management. You will learn how to cope with these core issues with healthier alternatives.
Stage 3: Ongoing Recovery (Aftercare)
For many individuals, recovery is an ongoing process that continues long after they have finished rehabilitation. In Singapore, multiple organisations exist that provide post-rehab aftercare services where a trained professional will follow up with you regularly.
There is also a compulsory scheduled drug testing to make sure that you stay accountable to your commitments to stay drug-free. Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association’s (SANA) Step-Up Centre also provides regular support groups if you need additional support, or simply want a listening ear.
Rehabilitation Services are readily available
Drug rehabilitation in Singapore has never been more well-rounded and extensive than it is now, and if you go in with a determination to change, there will definitely be support for you. If you’re still hesitant about quitting, talk to one of our para-counsellors before you make any decision.