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. Many of them unfortunately will. The problem is significantly growing, as there are already 22 million people needing treatment for addiction at the moment added to the above numbers. How to deal with the issue? Experts within the industry of recovery state that building and maintaining a solid support system is vital to the recovery.
Thinking that all it takes to recover is to abstain is a mistake that many people make.
Ensuring the addict stops drinking, using, or engaging in addictive behavior, so detoxing them, and they'll be in recovery.
We wouldn't be facing issues we have nowadays if it was only that simple.
The field of research into recovery is only now starting to grow. Treatment professional and researchers now believe that there are numerous pathways to follow and there are many aspects of recovery. There is no 'One size fits all' solution.
Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous and other 12-step programs are the most usual ways to recover, but there are many others. Some people are in two programs at once for their addiction, one for recovery and another for maintenance. These individuals could be healthy, sober, and already on a maintenance program that incorporates Methadone or Buprenorphine. Until recently it was thought that individuals can't be on a maintenance program and in recovery as well, so it is a new recognition.
An individual can achieve abstinence by going through the recovery process of change as well as have better health, wellness and quality of life. The changes are increasingly being defined as long-term and wellness centred. An ongoing process of growth, self-change, self-discovery, and reclaiming the self is involved in it. 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.
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.
The most effective approach for recovery has thus been widely established as the holistic person approach to healing.
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." Everyone gives their own meaning of what recovery is to them. For most, recovery involves getting a second chance, being reborn or having a new opportunity to do things different in their lives. 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 methods are required using a chronic care prototype of prolonged recovery directing. Post-rehab observing and support, recovery training based on peers, long-term recovery-directed (and phase appropriate) recovery education, connection to recovery communities and re-definition when needed is what this model is focusing on. The emerging model also includes ongoing treatment, peer support, and auxiliary services as part of the overall treatment plan for their addiction. The Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSCs) are created to aid individuals to recovery from addiction problems and disorders for their entire lives. 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. There is a high degree of flexibility in the service packages provided to leave room for changes in the needs of the person in recovery and evolution of the treatment process.
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.
People in recovery, generally speaking, have to develop new relationships. To make it harder to relapse, it is important to find friends who are themselves not drug/alcohol users. They may often need to change their location in order to get out of the environment where they were using substances are lived with other individuals who continue the usage. They are required to pay attention to their spiritual development with the help of meditation, prayer or introspection.
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. For some of these people the solution would be to live in a halfway house or in a sober-living facility.
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.
The needs of recovering addicts are not all the same. A strong support system is what they all need in order to build upon their assets in recovery. They may need to find employment, a new place to live, or to renew their relationships with family and friends.
Most addicts are not strangers to peer pressure. Peer pressure might have been a big factor in their substance abuse when they were addicted. Peer pressure can also have a positive effect during the recovery process. This is the core of the 12-step groups: The individual remains in the sustained recovery with the help of positive peer pressure.
Behavioral therapy, individual and/ or group counselling is necessary for a recovering individual. These factors are always present in many treatment programs that are largely successful.
For many, but not all, people, medication is a crucial and important part of their recovery. 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. It is also important to understand that some of the medication may not kick in immediately and may take some time to work such as antidepressants and medication prescribed for anxiety, so keep taking the medication as prescribed in order for them to work as designed so that you can see an improvement in your symptoms with time.
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. A lot of them have special groups for women. It has been proven effective to participate within these groups during and following the 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. These groups are an important source of support for people in recovery and regularly attending the meetings may make the difference in the long term.
Pointers that will help to prevent relapses are often useful when they are presented in a condensed version.
If you slip for any reasons you must not consider it as 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. How do you proceed from there? You should be getting back on the path to recovery. 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.
Talking with others is also vitally important those who have also gone 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 help provide you with coping tools - things that worked for them and have worked for numerous other - so that you'll be able to stop relapse from happening again. They will help you realize, and that is crucial, that relapse is actually normal, it can be stopped and you can develop your own methods for avoiding it in the future.