Statistics show that about 20 million people are presently recovering from drug and alcohol addictions in the United States.
They face multiple problems every day, any one of which can drive them headlong into relapse. A lot of them, regrettably, will. To come to a realization of the magnitude of the problem, another 22 million require treatment for addiction on top of the people relapsing. What then can we do? Experts within the industry of recovery state that building and maintaining a solid support system is vital to the recovery.
A sizeable number of people equate recovery to abstinence.
Considering an addict in the recovery phase happens when you get them to stop using, drinking, or taking part in addictive behaviour.
Addiction wouldn't be the problem it is today if it was that simple to deal with.
The truth of the matter is that research on the field of recovery has just begun growing. Professionals within the industry and researchers presently have an opinion that there are a number of aspects of recovery along with numerous pathways that should be followed. There isn't just one solution that suits everybody.
While 12-step groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous, for instance, are the most common, there are also other ways to recover. Many recovering addicts can be in a maintenance program for their dependency and in recovery too. They may be on a maintenance program such as buprenorphine or methadone albeit being sober and in good health. This is a recent development since it was though that one could not be said to be in recovery if they were in a maintenance program.
Recovery is a process in which a person changes in order to achieve better health, overall well being and life standard, but the main reason is to achieve sobriety. Wellness-orientated and long-term is how it is more often being described. It can involve a continuous process of growth, self-discovery, self-change and reclaiming the self. Therefore, recovery can be considered as a shift from the crisis oriented, professionally directed, acute-care approach, which emphasises on isolated treatment episodes to a better recovery management approach which will provide long-term support and recognise the many pathways to wellness and health.
It's absolutely unrealistic and shortsighted to simply detoxify an individual and expect him or her to go on to live a life of continued sobriety.
The issues that led to the addiction in the first place will not be flushed out with the alcohol or drugs as they leave the body during detoxification.
The most effective approach for recovery has thus been widely established as the holistic person approach to healing.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that there are many different ways of getting to recovery.
For some, it's as simple as the statement "I've got my life back." Recovery means different things to every person. For most, recovery involves getting a second chance, being reborn or having a new opportunity to do things different in their lives. Others talk about self-improvement, living life without drugs, giving your life meaning, fulfilling your goals, having positive thoughts, improved living standards or finances, enhanced mental and physical health, better family relations, and having a support network and friends.
A systematic attitude is needed and the most recent model of recovery care incorporates that.
When using a chronic care pattern in order to maintain and manage continued recovery, regular and continued support services cannot be ignored. This model highlights post-treatment administering and support, peer-based recovery, long-term recovery -oriented (and stage appropriate) recovery education, linkage to communities of recovery, and re-invention when necessary. Peer networks, constant support, and additional services as a piece of the complete addiction treatment scheme is what this emerging model entails. The aim of these Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care or ROSCs is the recovery from addiction and treatment of disorders in the long-term. Free and independent choices are offered at the ROSCs across an array of treatment and recovery support options. There is a high degree of flexibility in the service packages provided to leave room for changes in the needs of the person in recovery and evolution of the treatment process.
The path to long term recovery is unique for every person and the ROSCs will provide the person in recovery with many different services that are aimed at providing the support they need. ROSCs also include formal and informal community-based support groups that are person centred and built on the resilience and strengths of individuals, families and communities in order to achieve abstinence, health, wellness and quality of lives.
When the stress factors that act as triggers and threaten to lead to relapse arise, individuals should have access to creative avenues. These can include having the information needed to call friends who can offer support and encouragement, developing a circle of friends who are non drinking and non-using and possibly having the right places to live.
In other words, new connections need to be developed by those in recovery. Those in recovery need to build friendships with sober friends who are able to help them reduce or avoid the temptations of relapsing and reverting to old habits. They may often need to change their location in order to get out of the environment where they were using substances are lived with other individuals who continue the usage. They need to commit to meditation, introspection or prayer as a means of realising their spiritual development.
One month programs are not enough to offer any hope that people who have been addicts for two decades or even longer are going to go through such programs and thereafter not fall back into the addiction. They are in need of a transitional phase, a place where they have continued support, education, counseling and other services to help them get to a point where they can join back the society and have a hopeful chance at recovery. Such a transition usually takes place in a sober-living home or a halfway house.
Things like how to fill out a job application, how to present yourself during a job interview, how to do a resume need to understood by many individuals. The halfway house or sober living home will help in promoting long-term stabilisation.
Every addict who is recovering has individual requirements. While they continue on their journey through recovery, the recovering addicts will all need a good support structure. Reconnecting with their friends and families, getting a job or finding a place to live may all be necessary.
Most addicts are not strangers to peer pressure. Peer pressure is a major factor in many addiction cases. Experts in recovery now admit to the important part that peer pressure plays in recovery as well. This is primarily the core of 12-step groups: positive peer pressure can help the individual to manage sustained recovery.
Behavioral therapy, individual and/ or group counselling is necessary for a recovering individual. Efficient recovery plan always includes these things as a crucial aspect of it.
Medications also play a vital role in the treatment of many individuals. Take your medications, if you have been prescribed by a doctor to treat depression or anxiety or to help decrease or get rid of your cravings, exactly as prescribed. Remember some time may be consumed by these medications to work (antidepressants and antianxiety medications), so keep taking them to so that you may allow them some time to begin to show progress in your symptoms.
Joining, attending and participating in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-Step groups is also important. These 12-step groups are not affiliated with any sect, denomination, politics, religion, Institute or organisation. Separate Groups for women are also there at many rehabs. During your rehab, but also after it, joining these groups has displayed many benefits. Therefore, you cannot assume that you will no longer have to participate with the 12-step group just because you have gone through the treatment. Your long-term sobriety might actually depend on whether you are able to feed on the support of your peers since they know what you are going through.
Having a condensed version of what to do have proved to be helpful for sometimes to help prevent relapse.
If you slip for any reasons you must not consider it as the end of the world. It should never be considered as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. It is not unusual, it happens. What do you do? You should return to the path to recovery. Get back into a supportive environment where you will have a better opportunity of preventing the relapse and getting back on track with your recovery.
It is of utmost importance that you have a conversation with those who have also found themselves to relapse and gotten back on the right path. They understand what you are feeling and can provide you with things you need most in these hard times - support, encouragement, advice and ability to listen without judging you. To make it harder for you to relapse again, they can also give you coping tools/methods that they and others successfully used. Lastly, they will also show you how you can keep yourself from relapsing in the future and help you to understand that relapses happen and they can be prevented.