Avisa Recovery


Steps to Beating Addiction & Substance Abuse


Addiction to drugs can take over your life, and only recently has science begun to understand it better. In the past, people thought drug and alcohol problems were mainly due to making bad choices and lacking self-control. While these factors can play a role, addiction is much more complicated.

A mix of different things leads you to a point where you prioritize getting high over your safety and the well-being of your loved ones. It’s okay to ask professionals for help with a substance use problem. The great news is that you can take charge of this manageable condition and prevent it from controlling you. Keep reading to find our complete guide to overcoming addiction.

How to Overcome Addiction & Substance Abuse

The way addiction affects the brain can be puzzling. Some people can control their alcohol or drug use, while others can’t. This is because everyone’s genes, upbringing, and life experiences are unique.

There isn’t just one gene or bad experience that causes drug or alcohol addiction. It’s a mix of many things that build up and make someone more likely to have a problem. Not everyone with this likelihood will actually become addicted. Often, different things trigger substance abuse, and additional factors work together to make the addiction stronger.

Feeling Good and Rewarded

When drugs or alcohol are used, they flood the brain with chemicals that make you feel different. This can be overwhelming, especially if used too much. But for someone prone to addiction, it’s really enjoyable. Even people struggling with mental health issues might find relief in this.

If someone likes how it feels, their brain remembers and tells them to do it again. The brain doesn’t tell the difference between something good or something harmful. Addiction happens when someone keeps using too much to chase that good feeling.

Over time, they need more and more to get the same effect, and their life becomes mostly about using and recovering. When addiction is serious, a person’s focus narrows down to only thinking about drugs or alcohol. This is because the brain is so fixed on getting the reward from these substances that it forgets about other things that could make them happy.

Drug addiction is a long-lasting condition, so it doesn’t have a definite cure. But don’t lose hope, because you can effectively manage your symptoms. Similar to conditions like heart disease or type 2 diabetes, you’ll require medical help, immediate care, and continuous effort to stay on the path to recovery.

Some people mistakenly believe that completing a rehab program means they’re completely cured. However, if you finish treatment for drug addiction and then stop using the strategies you learned, the chances of going back to addiction become much higher. That’s why we always suggest that those who have faced addiction should regularly attend support groups or therapy sessions.

Instead of ranking substances by addictiveness, it’s important to understand that the drug someone prefers can cause personal problems. Still, alcohol, opiate painkillers, and heroin are especially concerning due to their strong physical dependence. Quitting these drugs alone during withdrawal and detox can be extremely difficult.

Nevertheless, any psychoactive drug can lead to serious substance use problems. The strong mental effects can easily ensnare individuals in the cycle of addiction.

If you’re dealing with addiction but still have important things to do at home, there’s a solution that fits your life. While some people need to stay at a rehab center, outpatient care is a more convenient and budget-friendly choice. It lets you keep up with your regular routine while also learning how to beat cravings and develop healthy ways to handle tough situations. Let’s learn more about this.


Before you begin your treatment at an outpatient rehab, you’ll have a thorough checkup with a medical expert. At Avisa Recovery, we consider this step very important. We’ll help figure out how serious your drug issue is and suggest the right treatment for you. Our outpatient rehab center in New Jersey even has places for you to live if needed. If we think inpatient treatment would be better for you, we’ll help you find the right place.

In intensive outpatient rehab, you’ll be at the clinic for three hours a day, three times a week. This kind of care is great for people with mild, moderate, or serious substance use issues. If it’s really serious, you might need to stay in the hospital. You’ll have time for school, work, and family, while spending about 10 hours each week getting better.

Active Therapy

During your treatment, you’ll do lots of different kinds of therapy. Different therapies work for different people, so it’s important to find what’s best for you. Usually, it’s a mix of talking in a group, learning new ways of thinking, understanding your feelings, trying new things, learning about your mind, and working with your family. This helps you know yourself better and feel confident about not using drugs.

Why Family Therapy Matters

When people have problems with drugs, their families can be hurt too. That’s why it’s important to include your family in your treatment. How you talk and act with your family affects how you see yourself and your life.

In therapy, you learn to trust each other, set healthy limits, and talk nicely. These are things you can also use in the world outside therapy. You’ll feel better talking to people and making good friends.


Sometimes, before you start your main treatment, you might need detox. This clears out all the bad stuff from your body and brain, so you’re ready for the main treatment.

But remember, detox isn’t enough to stop addiction forever. It helps with the body part, but you need more help and take care of yourself to stop the real reasons behind addiction. You’ll also learn how to set goals and handle problems for the future.

In rare instances, addiction can be so severe that hospitalization is necessary for initial treatment. If our assessment indicates the need for this level of care, we will ensure you receive the necessary treatment, even if it means referring you to another facility.

During residential rehabilitation, you reside within the treatment center around the clock, providing you with access to 24/7 care. While the core treatment methods remain similar in both inpatient and outpatient rehab, it’s important to acknowledge that both options require a significant commitment of both time and financial resources.

Addiction often affects individuals from challenging backgrounds who may not have a conducive environment for long-term recovery. Stress and troubled relationships are common triggers for addiction onset and relapse. In a sober living setting, you share accommodations with fellow members of the recovery community under the supervision of addiction experts.

Household members agree to strict rules to ensure respect for boundaries and equitable contributions to the household. This experience can be particularly transformative for those who have not previously lived in a healthy environment. After completing your treatment, you’ll be better prepared to live independently or in a shared housing situation.

At Avisa Recovery, our extensive research and decades of combined experience have shown that men and women experience addiction differently and respond uniquely to treatment. However, unisex rehabilitation centers often lack the resources to provide separate treatment sessions for each gender.

We believe that gender-specific treatment facilities, designed exclusively for men, offer the most effective approach to overcoming substance use disorders. When surrounded by like-minded individuals, it becomes easier to open up, share experiences, and learn from others.

Aftercare and Relapse Prevention

Detox is not a cure for addiction, and neither is rehabilitation alone. Completing a treatment program and assuming the work is finished can lead to a high risk of relapse. What you learn in rehab is just the beginning of your recovery journey. You must actively focus on your goals each day and train your mind to rely on new coping mechanisms rather than falling back into old habits.

Quality rehab centers develop individualized aftercare plans that provide ongoing support, typically involving therapy to address underlying mental health issues and regular participation in group sessions.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

Many individuals find that supplementing their self-help efforts with a 12-step program is highly effective. Alcoholics Anonymous, with nearly a century of history, is a well-established method for helping people overcome addiction.

One of its strengths is its emphasis on encouraging individuals to share their experiences. Negative emotions hold less power when they are openly discussed, allowing for a sense of perspective and gratitude that often arises from meaningful human connections.

As you progress in your recovery, you transition from being a newcomer to a respected member of the community, which can be a source of great inspiration and fulfillment.

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Understanding Relapse Through the Six Stages of Change Model

Sometimes, people who successfully complete a substance abuse treatment go on to experience a relapse. Even if they were fully engaged with the program and intended to maintain recovery, they can slip back into old habits. It’s crucial to understand this is not something to be ashamed of. Too many people experience one or two relapses and feel like they’re not cut out for recovery.

On the contrary, in most cases, there’s an undiagnosed co-occurring mental health condition. Alternatively, stress, triggers or even complacency can lead to relapse. The most important thing to do is speak to someone about what’s happened and seek help. You’ll be tempted to hide away in shame, but this is how addiction can take over again. We think it’s helpful to understand relapse using the six stages of change model.



During pre-contemplation, you are unaware of the full extent of the harm you’re causing to yourself and others. Deception is common with substance use disorders because they help to reinforce behavior that your body and mind want to continue.



At this point, the person realizes there is perhaps a problem with their behavior, but they struggle to generate any motivation for change. While the seeds of change are planted here, this isn’t a decision to heal — it’s just letting a crack of light in that there might be hope. People might start conducting research about the recovery process and how addiction works, which is excellent — knowledge is power when it comes to making changes!



During therapy, someone in the contemplation stage is encouraged to conduct a risk analysis based on staying in their current predicament and making change. If they comprehend the serious risks at hand, they move into the preparation stage. It can happen without counseling, but getting someone from contemplation to preparation can be a challenge.



The action phase is underpinned by you putting your plans into action. This usually involves telling your loved ones your intentions and getting excited about future possibilities. Sometimes people jump back and forth between preparation and action before moving into the next phases.



As previously mentioned, relapsing is an expected part of the addiction recovery process. That doesn’t mean everyone will relapse or individuals should use its prevalence as an excuse to not engage in treatment. Bear in mind that the person who misses out most if you don’t engage with treatment is yourself, so there’s no point in pretending for the sake of other people. Getting from pre-contemplation to maintenance is a huge challenge, but we’ve helped thousands of people to get there.



Maintenance occurs when you’ve succeeded in a treatment program and implemented what you’ve learned in your daily life. Relapse is still possible at this stage, but the more you focus on your future goals and enjoy a healthy lifestyle, the less likely that chance becomes.

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Most Private Health Insurance Will Help Pay for Treatment.

Avisa Recovery does not accept Medicare or Medicaid as payment for substance abuse treatment.

Let us handle the details so you can focus on the help you need.