In the United States, approximately 20 million people are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
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 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? Creating and maintaining a strong support system is vital according to recovery professionals.
Many people mistakenly consider the recovery as a matter of abstinence.
If you get the addict to abstain or stay away from whatever substance they are addicted to, whether alcohol or particular behavior - detox process and voila, they are 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. Recovery is complex and has many faces and paths that lead to it according to many experts in the field of addiction treatment. 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 can be in recovery and be in a maintenance program for their dependence. These individuals could be healthy, sober, and already on a maintenance program that incorporates Methadone or Buprenorphine. 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.
The process through which an individual achieves abstinence, proper personal health, overall wellness and a good quality of life requires change and is referred to as recovery. It is extensively being described as long-term and wellness-centered. It can involve a continuous process of growth, self-discovery, self-change and reclaiming the self. Therefore, recovery is a shift to a long-term support system that recognizes the fact that there are different ways that one can achieve overall wellness and health from the previous professionally-maintained, minimal are approach that was primarily crisis management hinged on isolated treatment of episodes.
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.
It is essential to understand that simply by clearing the toxic substances from the body of an individual will not help in getting at the issues that may have contributed to the addiction initially.
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 found that multiple paths exist when studying the paths to recovery.
For some, it's as simple as the statement "I've 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. Numerous people refer to being drug-free, having direction, self-improvement, achieving goals, a better attitude, improved finances/living conditions, improved physical/mental health, improved family lives and having the friends and the support needed.
The emerging model of recovery understands that a systems approach is essential.
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. Support after treatment, peer networks and additional services are some of the things being included in this new model for treating addiction. 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. Free and individual selections from a big variety of choices of rehab and recovery support alternatives is what ROSCs can offer. Services are provided in flexible and unbundled packages that develop over time to match the ongoing and changing requirements of the individual in recovery.
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. ROSCs also include formal and informal community-based support groups that are person centred and built on the resilience and strengths of individuals, families and communities in order to achieve abstinence, health, wellness and quality of lives.
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. 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.
People in recovery, generally speaking, have to develop new relationships. They need to develop new friendships with people who are clean and sober if they intend to stay away from the temptation of falling back into their previous habits. 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 are required to pay attention to their spiritual development with the help of meditation, prayer or introspection.
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 will need a transitional phase along with a place where they can receive continued support, counselling, education and any other services, which can help them to reach a stage from where they can regain entry within the society and have a positive chance at recovery. A sober-living home or a halfway house may be this transitional step for these individuals.
Most of these people need to find out how to present their resumes and CVs, how to present oneself at a job interview and even how to fill and follow up on job applications. Many people learn how they can be stable in life with the aid of sober-living homes and halfway houses.
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 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 may have been a factor in their addiction when they were using. Experts in recovery now admit to the important part that peer pressure plays in recovery as well. This is primarily the core of 12-step groups: positive peer pressure can help the individual to manage sustained 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. Use medication as per the doctor's prescription exactly, whether they're supposed to reduce cravings or to treat psychological problems. 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.
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 denomination, religion, sect, politics, institution or organization. Separate Groups for women are also there at many rehabs. 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. One's ability to lean on and draw on the support provided by others who have been through or are going through the same thing is important in recovery and maintaining sobriety.
There are a few things that you can do that may be able to keep you from relapsing.
It's not a complete disaster for you to slip. You must not consider it as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. It happens. What should you do? You should return to the path to recovery. Go back to the environment from where you draw support and strength of withstanding temptations to relapse and renewed motivation to stay on course.
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 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. 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.