In the United States, approximately 20 million people are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
They face complicated issues every day, which can push them into a relapse. Sadly, far too many of them 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 can be done? Creating and maintaining a strong support system is vital according to recovery professionals.
A sizeable number of people equate recovery to abstinence.
Ensuring the addict stops drinking, using, or engaging in addictive behavior, so detoxing them, and they'll be in recovery.
We wouldn't have the problems we do today if it were only that simple.
The field of recovery examination is only starting to get bigger and that is a fact. Rehab experts and researchers now think that there are various paths to follow and that there are many sides to recovery. There is no 'One size fits all' solution.
For example, the 12-step groups like alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous and gamblers anonymous are the most common, but there are a number of ways to recover. Many recovering addicts are also in maintenance programs as well as recovery. They might be on a maintenance plan, like buprenorphine or methadone, but also be clean and have a great personal health. In the past, it was thought that recovery wasn't complete if a person was still in a maintenance program but nowadays it is recognised.
An individual can achieve abstinence by going through the recovery process of change as well as have better health, wellness and quality of life. It is increasingly being hinged on the long-term wellness of the individual. It includes a continuous process of evolution, redefining yourself, self-discovery and self-change. The modern approach to recovery understands that there is more than one road that leads to better health and recovery is seen as a way of managing the addiction by providing support that lasts well into the future and this is nothing like the previous approach that focused more on individual treatment sessions.
An individual who is detoxed will not find it helpful to lead a life of continued abstinence and expecting the same from him or her will be both unrealistic and shortsighted.
A lot of issues that have caused a person to turn to substance abuse in the beginning will still be present even after her or his body is cleansed of the toxic substances.
This is the reason why the whole person approach to healing presently is recognised widely as it is one of the most effective methods of helping addicts to reach recovery.
Researchers have found that multiple paths exist when studying the paths to recovery.
To some patients, recovery means being able to say they have their life back. Every individual within the recovery has his or her personal interpretation of what recovery means. For most, recovery involves getting a second chance, being reborn or having a new opportunity to do things different in their lives. Numerous people refer to being drug-free, having direction, self-improvement, achieving goals, a better attitude, improved finances/living conditions, improved physical/mental health, improved family lives and having the friends and the support needed.
The emerging pattern of recovery incorporates the importance of having systems in place.
When using a chronic care pattern in order to maintain and manage continued recovery, regular and continued support services cannot be ignored. This model emphasises on post treatment monitoring and support, long-term recovery oriented recovery education [stage appropriate], peer-based recovery coaching, linkage to communities of recovery and re-intervention wherever necessary. Support after treatment, peer networks and additional services are some of the things being included in this new model for treating addiction. The Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSCs) are created to aid individuals to recovery from addiction problems and disorders for their entire lives. Free and independent choices are offered at the ROSCs across an array of treatment and recovery support options. The services packages are flexible and unbundled, and will evolve over a period of time to be comfortable for the ongoing and changing needs to the individual within the recovery.
ROSCs provide the individual who is going through recovery with a number of options which are then properly coordinated in order to provide the continued support needed by the individual in their unique path to sustained recovery. The point of ROSCs is to achieve a high quality of life as well as health, wellness and abstinence and this is achieved through both formal and informal support that is based on community and thus founded on the strength of individuals and their ability to get back up
When the stress factors that act as triggers and threaten to lead to relapse arise, individuals should have access to creative avenues. These include looking into living in places that offer a conducive environment in addition to having friends and family who do not drink or use addictive substances that one can call when things get tough.
In simple terms people in recovery need to develop fresh connections. 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. A change in environment is also important especially if you still live in the area where there are other people that use or where you're close to people with whom you used to use. They should take on prayer or meditation or soul-searching so they can focus on their spiritual evolution.
Hard-core chronic addicts who have been drinking for over 20 to 30 years simply cannot manage to achieve the sobriety which is desired by going through a program which just lasts for 28 to 30 days. Before such people can rejoin society and hopefully stay sober for the rest of their lives, they'll need to first go through a transitional time during which they can be counselled, educated and supported amongst other services. Using a halfway house or a sober living facility will prove helpful for such individuals in this transitional step.
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. Many people learn how they can be stable in life with the aid of sober-living homes and halfway houses.
Every recovering addict has different needs. They all require a solid support system when they begin building on their strengths during recovery. They may need to find a job, a new place to live or to get back their relationships with family and friends.
Many addicts understand well how peer pressure works. During the time they were addicted, the fact of peer pressure could have played a role in their addiction. The benefit of peer pressure in recovery is also apparent to the recovery experts. 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. These are considered as critical for an effective recovery program.
Medications are an important part of the overall treatment program for many persons in recovery. 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.
Become a member and attend 12-step programs like Alcoholic Anonymous. These 12-step groups are not affiliated with any denomination, religion, sect, politics, institution or organization. Separate Groups for women are also there at many rehabs. It has been proven effective to participate within these groups during and following the treatment. So attendance of the twelve step group meetings should not come to a halt when treatment has finished. 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.
It doesn't have to be such a big deal if you slip. You must not consider it as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. It happens. What then should you opt to do? You should return to the path to recovery. Go back to the environment from where you draw support and strength of withstanding temptations to relapse and renewed motivation to stay on course.
Discussing this with peers that have had a relapse before and managed to overcome it is also very significant. They know you're going through and can offer support, encouragement, recommendations and a non-judgemental ear - something you're exactly need during this painful time. They can help you with coping tools that you desperately need, including the things that have worked for them and for others during similar periods of time, so that you will be able to stand against the temptations to relapse even after. 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.