Why It’s Important to Get Addiction Treatment HelpNo one starts out using drugs or alcohol with the intention of getting addicted. For many people, what starts out as casual recreational use turns into an everyday indulgence that takes on a life of its own. Addiction happens without you even knowing it and by the time you see the problem, it’s spinning out of control. When used on a regular basis, addictive substances, such as prescription opioids, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol have the ability to change how the brain works. They do this by interfering with brain chemical processes. In turn, the brain responds by altering its normal processes to accommodate the drug’s effects. With repeated substance abuse, the brain will continue to re-adjust its chemical makeup.Before long, the brain can no longer function normally without the drug’s effects. In the process, changes in the brain’s chemical pathways and physical structures give rise to new, destructive ways of thinking and feeling. It’s at this point where getting and using drugs and alcohol takes on top priority in a person’s life. In order to overcome an addiction problem, you have to undo the damage caused by substance abuse. More often than not, this requires medical and behavioral treatment supports that are designed to help the brain and the mind recover from addiction’s effects. Free addiction treatment resources in Kentucky make it possible for anyone struggling with addiction to get the help they need to live a healthy, normal life.
Types of Free Addiction Treatment Resources in KentuckyIn today’s economy, the cost can easily become the determining factor when it comes to getting needed treatment help. Being able to access addiction treatment when you need it makes recovery possible. Fortunately, treatment resources in Kentucky cover a wide range of services, including support groups for you, your family, and friends along with transitional living options. Here are a few free addiction recovery resources in Kentucky to consider:
Alcoholics AnonymousWhile stopping drug and alcohol use is essential to addiction recovery, it doesn’t solve the problem. Once addiction develops, it warps your thinking and emotions to the point where new belief systems form. Addictive substances interact with the brain’s reward center, changing your values and priorities. Once a full-blown addiction develops, the brain believes it needs drugs (or alcohol) to cope with everyday life just as much as it believes the body needs food and water.For these reasons, a big part of addiction recovery centers on replacing these belief systems with ones that can support a drug-free lifestyle. Alcoholics Anonymous support groups follow the 12-Step program, which follows a road map for developing healthy thinking and healthy behaviors. The 12-Step approach also emphasizes the importance of social support and working through challenges in recovery with people who share the same struggles. These meetings take place throughout the week in several locations across the state, making Alcoholics Anonymous one of the more popular treatment resources in Kentucky.
12-Step Support Groups for Family & FriendsWhen addiction enters the picture, relationships tend to change in destructive ways. Family and friends often feel the brunt of addiction and they can influence your progress in recovery, for the good or for the bad. Twelve-Step support groups for family and friends use a modified 12-Step plan that’s designed to help loved ones better understand the effects of addiction. These groups also help their members learn to communicate in ways that allowthe recovering addict to be accountable for his or her actions and choices. The two most popular groups are An-Anon, which helps spouses and friends and Adult Children of Alcoholics for adults who grew up in alcoholic (or any form of substance) households or anyone who’s dealing with the effects of addiction in their life.
SMART Recovery MeetingsAs far as free addiction recovery resources in Kentucky go, SMART is a fairly new resource that first launched in 1994. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training, a nonprofit community of support groups. People recovering from addiction as well as their friends and family members are welcome to attend. Compared to the 12-Step model, SMART Recovery takes a markedly different approach to addiction recovery. With the 12-Step model, belief in a Higher Power plays a central support role in helping a person live a drug-free lifestyle. SMART Recovery takes a more secular slant that’s science-based. The overall approach entails using cognitive behavioral techniques, which emphasize the importance of replacing unhealthy thinking and behaviors with belief systems that promote drug-free living.
Sober Living HomesFor many in recovery, returning back to normal life after rehab can be overwhelming. Daily stressors, relationship conflicts, and being around friends and family who still drink or use drugs can quickly drive you back to using again if you’re not grounded in recovery. Sober living homes act as a bridge between rehab and normal life.While this option is not a free addiction treatment resource in Kentucky, sober living homes are a low-cost option that provides treatment support within an independent living environment. Residents must hold down jobs, do household chores, and pay rent. Most homes also require residents to have sponsors and attend 12-Step support group meetings on a regular basis. Sober houses provide you with a built-in community of people working towards the same goal.Overall, free addiction recovery resources in Kentucky can help you manage the challenges you’ll face in recovery. Social support and ongoing exposure to the principles of recovery can prove invaluable when things seem overwhelming, helping you stay focused on what’s most important. So if you’re concerned about not being able to afford ongoing treatment support, free resources are there to pick up where rehab leaves off.
Self-Help for Sobriety Without Relapse
One of the biggest challenges of getting sober is staying that way. The wrong environment and a lack of support can easily lead to relapse.
That’s where an organization like Oxford House aims to help. It exists for one simple reason: to give recovering addicts a place to live.
It started in 1975, when founder Paul Molloy and a dozen recovering addicts learned the Maryland halfway house they lived in was about to be shuttered. They teamed together to rent and run it themselves. United, they had one common goal: to stay sober.
They made a few changes from the halfway house’s rules too. No one would have to leave after a six-month stay. They realized that for some people, six months was too soon. Many, once they left the safety of the halfway house, tended to relapse within 30 days.
Today, Oxford House has grown to a nationwide network, with more than 2,700 Oxford Houses providing safe and sober places for their 40,000-plus residents.
Oxford Houses are single-family homes. Residents are either all men, all women, or women with their children. No couples are allowed.
The houses are democratically self-run, with rotating leadership. Residents can stay as long as they need. Some stay a few weeks; others live there for years. The rules are simple. There’s no mandatory move-out date so long as they:
- Pay their weekly rent.
- Obey the house rules.
- Abstain from drugs and alcohol.
There is no doctor or counselor on site, which drives down cost. (The average rent is about $100 a week.) Residents also do chores around the house to maintain it.
The Oxford House formula has a better-than-average track record because the residents are working toward the same goal: maintaining sobriety. It’s easier for that to happen when a recovering addict surrounds him or herself with other sober people, instead of falling back in with a crowd that may lead them to relapse.
If someone begins abusing substances again, that’s their eviction notice.
Any recovering addict can apply for a spot at any Oxford House, whether they’ve lived in one before or not. They’ll be interviewed by current residents.
If there is an opening at an Oxford House, 80% of the house members approve a person’s application, then allow the person to move into the house. If they’re rejected, they may apply at other Oxford Houses. A person need not be sober for a certain amount of time, they simply need to be abstinent.
If there is no Oxford House in the area, groups of recovering individuals are invited to start their own chapter. They simply need to find a place to rent that can house at least six residents and apply for a charter from Oxford House.
For the first six months, the house will be under a probationary period. Once they show they can abide by the rules, they’ll be granted permanent status.