Statistics show that about 20 million people are presently recovering from drug and alcohol addictions in the United States.
They face complicated issues every day, which can push them into a relapse. Many of them unfortunately will. Addiction gains significant proportions when the estimated 22 million people were already receiving treatment for addiction are also added to the numbers provided above. How can such an issue be dealt with? Experts at the recovery process say that starting a recovery system that is reliable and maintaining it is paramount.
A lot of people think that recovery is just a simple abstinence, and they are wrong.
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.
The problems we have today are a testament that it is not 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. A single solution is unsuitable for everyone.
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 can be in recovery and be in a maintenance program for their dependence. These people could be sober and have good personal health but could have been advised to continue with the maintenance program using medications like methadone and 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.
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. The emphasis of recovery nowadays is on staying clean and healthy in the long-term. An ongoing process of growth, self-change, self-discovery, and reclaiming the self is involved in it. 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.
There are many problems that could have led to the substance abuse, and clearing the toxic substances through detox does not address these.
This is the reason why the whole person approach to healing presently is recognised widely as it is one of the most effective methods of helping addicts to reach recovery.
Studying paths to recovery, researchers have discovered that multiple paths exist.
To some patients, recovery means being able to say they have their life back. Recovery has different meanings for people who are in recovery. 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.
There is need for a model of care that integrates a greater degree of coordination between the support services. 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. The emerging model also includes ongoing treatment, peer support, and auxiliary services as part of the overall treatment plan for their addiction. The aim of these Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care or ROSCs is the recovery from addiction and treatment of disorders in the long-term. There are many treatment options to choose from under the ROSCs and there are also various support choices available for the recovery process. 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.
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. 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.
When people face stressful challenges that might lead to relapse, they need access to creative things that they can make use of. 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. In order to reduce the temptation for them to fall back into their old habits, they need to find new friends that are clean and sober. In many cases, they need to change the surroundings and place where they live, or they have lived with other people that are still living lives of addicts. They need to commit to meditation, introspection or prayer as a means of realising their spiritual development.
Addicts that have been drinking for a long time, like 20 or more years, can't just complete a one-month program and have a chance of staying sober and clean because they are chronic, severe cases. 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. A sober-living home or a halfway house may be this transitional step for these individuals.
Things like how to fill out a job application, how to present yourself during a job interview, how to do a resume need to understood by many individuals. A sober-living facility or halfway home helps to set up the individual on a long-term stable path.
Every recovering addict has different needs. A strong support system is what they all need in order to build upon their assets in recovery. Reconnecting with their friends and families, getting a job or finding a place to live may all be necessary.
Most addicts are not strangers to peer pressure. 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.
If you are undergoing recovery you can avail of counselling services [individual or group] and other behavioural therapies. These are considered as critical for an effective recovery program.
For many, but not all, people, medication is a crucial and important part of their recovery. 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. 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. There are no requirements to join the 12 step groups with regard to religion, politics, race etc. A lot of them have special groups for women. During treatment and even after, it has proven to be important to attend and be a part of these groups. So, just going through the treatment doesn't mean that you quit going to 12-step support groups. 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. It should never be considered as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. It happens. How do you proceed from there? You should return to the path to recovery. Go back into an encouraging environment where you will be able to continue your recovery and have bigger chances of avoiding full-blown relapse.
Talk to others who've had the same experience before so they can show you how they handled 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 you with coping tools that you desperately need, including the things that have worked for them and for others during similar periods of time, so that you will be able to stand against the temptations to relapse even after. 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.