In the U.S. alone, around 20 million people are in recovery for alcohol or drug dependence.
They face many challenges and problems and any of these can cause them to have a relapse. Sadly, far too many of them 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. What can be done? Establishing a support system that is strong and reliable is important according to many 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.
It is a fact that the industry of recovery research is presently just beginning to expand. 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.
The most common ways to recover are the 12-step groups such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous or Gamblers Anonymous, although they are not the only ways. Some people may be involved in recovery along with being involved in a maintenance program for their addiction. 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.
An individual achieves the sobriety, as well as improved health, wellness and quality of life with the help of recovery that is a process of change. Wellness-orientated and long-term is how it is more often being described. It is a continuous process and involves growth, discovering oneself, reclaiming and changing oneself. 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.
An individual who is detoxed will not find it helpful to lead a life of continued abstinence and expecting the same from him or her will be both unrealistic and shortsighted.
There are many problems that could have led to the substance abuse, and clearing the toxic substances through detox does not address these.
The most effective approach for recovery has thus been widely established as the holistic person approach to healing.
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." Recovery has different meanings for people who are in recovery. For many individuals in recovery, it is vital to have a sense of being reborn, getting an opportunity and a second chance, and is often cited almost verbatim as such. Others cite being drug-free, having direction, self-improvement, improved finances/living conditions, achieving goals, improved physical/mental health, achieving goals, more positive attitude, improved family life, and having friends/support network.
The emerging model of recovery understands that a systems approach is essential.
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. This developing model comprises of peer networks and other support structures as well as auxiliary services as a part of the general treatment plan. 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. Services are made available in different packages that provide room for adjustment over the course of time in order to suit the changing and evolving needs of the individual who is undergoing recovery.
A comprehensive array of services is provided to the individuals in recovery at ROSCs which are coordinated to provide support throughout the individual's unique journey to sustained recovery. ROSCs main aim is to help the individual abstain, improve in health, wellbeing and quality of life and this is why they include both informal and formal community-centred systems of support such as families and the strength of the individual.
Individuals should have access to creative structures, which can be utilised when stresses arise and may lead them to relapse. 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 decrease the risk of going back to addiction, they must find new buddies that are not using drugs or drinking alcohol. 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. 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. Using a halfway house or a sober living facility will prove helpful for such individuals in this transitional step.
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. Assistance in achieving long-term consolidation is what sober-living or halfway home can provide.
Every individual in recovery has specific needs. All of them, however, are in need of a reliable support system where they can beef up on their strengths during the period of recovery. They may need to find employment, a new place to live, or to renew their relationships with family and friends.
Many addicts understand well how peer pressure works. Peer pressure is a major factor in many addiction cases. Today, recovery professionals understand the advantages that peer pressure has when used in recovery. This is primarily the core of 12-step groups: positive peer pressure can help the individual to manage sustained 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. 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.
Become a member and attend 12-step programs like Alcoholic Anonymous. These 12-step programs are not connected with any religion, sect, politics, denomination, organization or institution. Women will have separate groups for themselves. It's been proven helpful to take part in such groups during and following treatment. So attendance of the twelve step group meetings should not come to a halt when treatment has finished. 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.
Having a condensed version of what to do have proved to be helpful for sometimes to help prevent relapse.
If you do relapse, please remember that your life is not over. It should never be considered as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. It happens. What do you do? You should return to 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. 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 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. 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.