Within the United States approximately 20 million people are presently in recovery for addiction to alcohol and drugs.
In this situation, relapsing is quite easy thanks to the many challenges that they have to face on a daily basis. Sadly, far too many of them 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. How to deal with the issue? Recovery experts say that it is crucial to build and maintain a solid support system.
Thinking that all it takes to recover is to abstain is a mistake that many people make.
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. Rehab experts and researchers now think that there are various paths to follow and that there are many sides to recovery. There is not one solution that is effective for all.
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. Some people may be involved in recovery along with being involved in a maintenance program for their addiction. 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.
An individual can achieve abstinence by going through the recovery process of change as well as have better health, wellness and quality of life. Wellness-orientated and long-term is how it is more often being described. It includes a continuous process of evolution, redefining yourself, self-discovery and self-change. 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.
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.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that there are many different ways of getting to recovery.
For many people, it is as simple as making the statement "I have got my life back." Recovery means different things to every person. One of the most common views of recovery is that it is a second chance, a new start and this view of recovery is cherished by many people in recovery. Others define recovery as having a family and friend support network, being free of drugs and other addictive substances, achieving goals, having a positive attitude, having improved living conditions, improved finances and having better physical and psychological well being.
A systematic attitude is needed and the most recent model of recovery care incorporates that.
Coordinated support services are important using a chronic care model of sustained recovery management. Recovery oriented education, peer-based recovery coaching, support and monitoring after treatment and re-intervening if needed are some of the things that are emphasized in this new model. 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. There are many treatment options to choose from under the ROSCs and there are also various support choices available for the recovery process. They provide services in installations that grow with time to address the constant and changing requirements of the person in recovery and that are unbundled and adjustable.
ROSCs offer clients in recovery access to a complete selection of services that are coordinated to give support throughout their specific road to maintained recovery. Formal and informal community-based supports are included in the ROSCs that are person-centered and build upon the flexibility and strength of individuals, families, and communities to achieve sobriety, health, wellness and quality of life.
When people face stressful challenges that might lead to relapse, they need access to creative things that they can make use of. These include developing a circle of non-drinking, non-using friends, having friends to call that can offer support and encouragement, and possibly having the right kinds of places to live.
In simple terms people in recovery need to develop fresh connections. To make it harder to relapse, it is important to find friends who are themselves not drug/alcohol users. They often also need to move or change their habitat in order to get away from the familiar places that they associate with using the addictive substances. They need to commit to meditation, introspection or prayer as a means of realising their spiritual development.
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. They need a phase that marks their transition from a life of using or taking alcohol to sobriety where they have support, education, counselling and other support services that shape them and help them reinvent themselves, making them fit to re-enter society with high chances of sticking to recovery. A sober-living home or a halfway house may be this transitional step for these individuals.
Learning how to complete a job application, how to write a CV, how to showcase themselves in a job interview is what a lot of people require. The sober-living home or halfway house helps develop long-term stabilization.
Every addict who is recovering has individual requirements. A solid support system is necessary for all the people while they build upon their strengths in recovery. They may also need to get back some lost relationships with friends and family in addition to finding jobs or even a new place to call home.
Many addicts understand well how peer pressure works. Peer pressure may have been a factor in their addiction when they were using. Today, recovery professionals understand the advantages that peer pressure has when used in recovery. The approach of 12 step groups: encouraging peer pressure will ensure a long term recovery.
Behavioural therapies and counselling should be part of any addict's treatment process. These are considered censorious elements of an effective recovery program.
Medications are, for many people in recovery, a very significant component of their complete treatment plan. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor if you are a prescribed medication - perhaps to help eliminate or reduce cravings, help with anxiety or depression. You should keep taking the medication (anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications) as prescribed even if at first you don't notice any change since some of the medications take time before results are seen.
Joining and participating in twelve-step groups like alcoholics anonymous will also prove beneficial. These 12-step groups are not affiliated with any sect, denomination, politics, religion, Institute or organisation. Women will have separate groups for themselves. It's been proven helpful to take part in such groups during and following treatment. That means that even if you have completed your treatment you shouldn't give up attending 12-step group meetings. In fact, your ability to draw upon the support of others who understand your situation may be the necessity for your sustained recovery.
Pointers that will help to prevent relapses are often useful when they are presented in a condensed version.
If you do relapse, please remember that your life is not over. It should not be viewed as a failure or a lack of courage or willpower at that. Such things can happen. What do you do? The best option is to saddle up and get back on the recovery wagon. Go back to the environment from where you draw support and strength of withstanding temptations to relapse and renewed motivation to stay on course.
It is also extremely important that you have a discussion with others who may have been through a relapse and come back from it. You will need a person to encourage you and provide support and advice without judging you and they will be able to do this because they've been where you are. They can provide you with the tools to cope and also give you information about the things that worked for them and countless others, and therefore, you will be able to prevent relapse from occurring again. Most of all, you'll be able to recognize that relapse is not unusual, it is preventable, and you can develop your ability to prevent it in the future with the help of these tips.