Across the USA there are around 20 million people in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions at the moment.
They face multiple problems every day, any one of which can drive them headlong into relapse. The unfortunate part is that numerous people will. The magnitude of the problem becomes more significant if you add to these numbers the estimated 22 million people who need treatment for addiction. What then can we do? Establishing a support system that is strong and reliable is important according to many professionals.
Thinking that all it takes to recover is to abstain is a mistake that many people make.
Getting the addict to stop drinking, using substances or engaging in addictive behaviour, so a detox, and they can only consider themselves as being in recovery.
If things were really as simple as believed we would not have the problems that we are encountering today.
The truth is that the field of recovery research is just beginning to extend. Professionals in the area of treatment now believe that recovery comprises of many aspects and that there are many ways that one can follow in recovery. There is not one solution that is effective for all.
The most common ways to recover are the 12-step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous, although they are not the only ways. Many recovering addicts are also in maintenance programs as well as recovery. Such people may be living happy healthy lives and at the same time attending maintenance programs that utilise buprenorphine or methadone. 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.
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. The emphasis of recovery nowadays is on staying clean and healthy in the long-term. An ongoing process of growth, self-change, self-discovery, and reclaiming the self is involved in it. Being this way, recovery is moving from a crisis-centered, professionally-managed, acute-care attitude with stressing isolated rehab episodes, to more of a recovery directed approach that offers long-term encouragement and seeks various paths to wellbeing and health.
It is unrealistic and myopic to expect that an individual will continue to live a sober and healthy life on account of a detoxification process alone.
There are many problems that could have led to the substance abuse, and clearing the toxic substances through detox does not address these.
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.
Studying paths to recovery, researchers have discovered that multiple paths exist.
For many people, it is as simple as making the statement "I have got my life back." Recovery means different things to every person. A sense of being born again, getting another chance and an opportunity to begin new lives is important for many individuals within the recovery and is spoken about as this. Others cite being drug-free, having direction, self-improvement, improved finances/living conditions, achieving goals, improved physical/mental health, achieving goals, more positive attitude, improved family life, and having friends/support network.
The emerging model of recovery care understands that a system approach is needed.
Coordinated support methods are required using a chronic care prototype of prolonged recovery directing. 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. Peer networks, constant support, and additional services as a piece of the complete addiction treatment scheme is what this emerging model entails. The ROSCs (Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care) are made in such a way as to help those who are going through addiction recovery to recover, not just over a short period of time, but over their lifespan. ROSCs provide the addict with an array of independent and free options and choices across a wide range of treatment plans and support during recovery. Services are made available in different packages that provide room for adjustment over the course of time in order to suit the changing and evolving needs of the individual who is undergoing recovery.
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. 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
Relapse tends to arise due to certain stresses which means that the person in recovery needs to be able to make use of certain systems when these stresses come about. Having a group of friends who don't drink, living in a place that's conducive to recovery and having people that you can call for support are some of these systems.
In other words, new connections need to be developed by those in recovery. To decrease the risk of going back to addiction, they must find new buddies that are not using drugs or drinking alcohol. 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 need to commit to meditation, introspection or prayer as a means of realising their spiritual development.
Addicts that have been drinking for a long time, like 20 or more years, can't just complete a one-month program and have a chance of staying sober and clean because they are chronic, severe cases. They require a place where they will get constant support, advising, education and other services, they require a gradual transition to help them become able to join society again and have a solid chance of recovery. A sober-living home or a halfway house may be this transitional step for these individuals.
Numerous individuals will need to educate themselves about preparing a resume and how they should present themselves during an interview or how to complete a job application. The halfway house or sober living home will help in promoting long-term stabilisation.
Recovering addicts each have different needs. A solid support system is necessary for all the people while they build upon their strengths in recovery. 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. For most recovering addicts, peer pressure plays a role during their period of using. 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.
Behavioural therapies and counselling should be part of any addict's treatment process. 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. If you are prescribed any medications to reduce your cravings or eliminate them, help you with depression or anxiety you must ensure that the medications are taken precisely as prescribed by the doctor. You need to continue to take them so you can give them some time to start displaying benefits in your symptoms since these medications might need some time to take effect (anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants).
Join and participate in 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. There are no requirements to join the 12 step groups with regard to religion, politics, race etc. Most of these groups also have separate groups for women. It's been proven helpful to take part in such groups during and following treatment. 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. In fact, your ability to draw upon the support of others who understand your situation may be the necessity for your sustained recovery.
There are a few things that you can do that may be able to keep you from relapsing.
It doesn't have to be such a big deal if you slip. It should not be viewed as a failure or a lack of courage or willpower at that. It happens. What do you do? You should be getting back on the path to recovery. You always have a better chance of preventing the relapse and getting back on track with your recovery at t eh supportive environment, therefore, it's effective to get back to a supportive environment.
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 offer you coping mechanism that they used and many others before them, so relapse never happens to you again. Most important of all, they will help you to come to terms with the fact that relapse is not unusual and that not only can it be prevented, but that one can actually develop the ability to prevent it happening in the future.