In the U.S. alone, around 20 million people are in recovery for alcohol or drug dependence.
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. How to deal with the issue? Establishing a support system that is strong and reliable is important according to many professionals.
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.
The problems we have today are a testament that it is not that simple.
The field of recovery examination is only starting to get bigger and that is a fact. 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 is no 'One size fits all' solution.
There are many ways to achieve recovery even if the ones that most people are familiar with are 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Some people are in two programs at once for their addiction, one for recovery and another for maintenance. 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.
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. The process involves changing and rediscovering one's self through growth. 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'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.
Many problems that may have contributed to the addiction in the first place cannot be controlled by just clearing the toxic substances from a person's body.
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 some it is a very simple thing as getting your life back on track. Everyone in recovery has their own explanation of what recovery means. 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 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.
The emerging model of recovery understands that a systems approach is essential.
There is need for a model of care that integrates a greater degree of coordination between the support services. 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. 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. 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. 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 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 people face stressful challenges that might lead to relapse, they need access to creative things that they can make use of. 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.
The point is for those in recovery to develop new 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. Through prayer, meditation or by looking inside, there is also need to foster spiritual growth.
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. For some of these people the solution would be to live in a halfway house or in a sober-living facility.
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. A sober-living facility or halfway home helps to set up the individual on a long-term stable path.
Recovering addicts each have different needs. A solid support system is necessary for all the people while they build upon their strengths in recovery. They might need to repair their relations with loved ones, to find work, a new place to live.
Most addicts are not strangers to peer pressure. Peer pressure is a major factor in many addiction cases. Today, recovery professionals understand the advantages that peer pressure has when used in recovery. Positive peer pressure is the basis of 12-step programs that help people achieve prolonged recovery.
Avail yourself of counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies if you are in recovery. An effective recovery program definitely has these aspects as they are critical to the process.
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. For those who may be wary, these groups are not politically, denominationally or even sect affiliated. Women will have separate groups for themselves. It has been proven effective to participate within these groups during and following the 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.
Sometimes, preventing relapse can be easier if you have a concentrated version of things you need to do.
If you do slip, it's not the end of the world. You shouldn't consider it to be a failure, or lack of bravery or determination. It is not unusual, it happens. What do you do? The best option is to saddle up and get back on the recovery wagon. Go back into an encouraging environment where you will be able to continue your recovery and have bigger chances of avoiding full-blown relapse.
It is also extremely important that you have a discussion with others who may have been through a relapse and come back from it. 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. To make it harder for you to relapse again, they can also give you coping tools/methods that they and others successfully used. Most importantly they will help you to understand that relapse is not something unusual because it is preventable and will give you an opportunity to develop your ability to prevent it in the future.