Across the USA there are around 20 million people in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions at the moment.
They face complicated issues every day, which can push them into a 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.
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 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 isn't just one solution that suits everybody.
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 may be on a maintenance program such as buprenorphine or methadone albeit being sober and in good health. Earlier, it was believed that an individual could not be on a maintenance program and considered to be in recovery, so this is a recent recognition.
Abstaining, improving one's health and wellbeing as well their quality of life are all seen to be part of the wider transitional process that is referred to as recovery. It is extensively being described as long-term and wellness-centered. It includes a continuous process of evolution, redefining yourself, self-discovery and self-change. 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.
This is why the most effective treatment methods have been seen to be those that focus on treating all aspects of the addiction i.e. the whole-person approach.
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." Everyone gives their own meaning of what recovery is to them. To a lot of people in recovery, receiving a second chance and a chance to start a new life, the feeling of being born again is crucial and it is in many cases quoted to be exactly that. 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 places an emphasis on follow up after treatment, setting up the individual in a peer-based coaching for recovery, intervention when it is needed, linking the individual to recovery communities as well as long-term education on recovery in the appropriate stages. Ongoing support, auxiliary services, and peer networks are included in the emerging model as part of the overall addiction treatment plan. 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 individual selections from a big variety of choices of rehab and recovery support alternatives is what ROSCs can offer. 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.
A comprehensive array of services is provided to the individuals in recovery at ROSCs which are coordinated to provide support throughout the individual's unique journey to sustained recovery. ROSCs main aim is to help the individual abstain, improve in health, wellbeing and quality of life and this is why they include both informal and formal community-centred systems of support such as families and the strength of the individual.
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. 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 pay attention to their spiritual progress, possibly through meditation or introspection or prayer.
It is hard for some chronic, hard-core addicts, who have been drinking for 20 to 30 years, to go through a 28 - 30-day program and come out with any likelihood of remaining clean and sober. 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.
Skills such as filling of job applications, putting together a resume and how to act in a job interview will need to be taught at this stage. The sober-living home or halfway house helps develop long-term stabilization.
Every individual in recovery has specific needs. They all require a solid support system when they begin building on their strengths during recovery. They might need to repair their relations with loved ones, to find work, a new place to live.
Peer pressure is a matter that addicts are familiar with. During the time they were addicted, the fact of peer pressure could have played a role in their addiction. Peer pressure can also have a positive effect during the recovery process. Positive peer pressure is the basis of 12-step programs that help people achieve prolonged recovery.
Behavioral therapy, individual and/ or group counselling is necessary for a recovering individual. These are considered censorious elements of an effective recovery program.
A number of people within the recovery will find medications are also an important part of the overall treatment program. 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. Do not expect the medications to begin working immediately because they can take some time to display the effects [antidepressants and anti anxiety indications] and therefore, you should continue taking them in order to allow them the time needed to begin showing improvements in your symptoms.
Be part of Alcoholics Anonymous and other relevant support groups and be part of the discussions too. These 12-step groups are not affiliated with any sect, denomination, politics, religion, Institute or organisation. Some of these groups have the men and women in different groups. It's been proven helpful to take part in such groups during and following treatment. So, just going through the treatment doesn't mean that you quit going to 12-step support groups. On the contrary, your sustained recovery could depend on your ability to benefit from the support of others who have an understanding of your situation.
Having a condensed version of what to do have proved to be helpful for sometimes to help prevent relapse.
If you do relapse, please remember that your life is not over. You shouldn't consider it to be a failure, or lack of bravery or determination. Such things can happen. What should you do? The best option is to saddle up and get back on the recovery wagon. 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.
Talk to others who've had the same experience before so they can show you how they handled it. The people will be aware about what you are going through and can offer you the encouragement, support, recommendations and a non-judgmental ear which will definitely be required by you during this painful phase. They can offer you coping mechanism that they used and many others before them, so relapse never happens to you again. 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.