In the United States, approximately 20 million people are in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.
They face many challenges and problems and any of these can cause them to have a relapse. Sadly, far too many of them will. The magnitude of the problem becomes more significant if you add to these numbers the estimated 22 million people who need treatment for addiction. What can we do? Creating and maintaining a strong support system is vital according to recovery professionals.
Thinking that all it takes to recover is to abstain is a mistake that many people make.
Considering an addict in the recovery phase happens when you get them to stop using, drinking, or taking part in addictive behaviour.
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. 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. There is not one solution that is effective for all.
For example, the 12-step groups like alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous and gamblers anonymous are the most common, but there are a number of ways to recover. Many recovering addicts are also in maintenance programs as well as recovery. 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. This is a recent development since it was though that one could not be said to be in recovery if they were in a maintenance program.
Recovery is a process in which a person changes in order to achieve better health, overall well being and life standard, but the main reason is to achieve sobriety. Wellness-orientated and long-term is how it is more often being described. An ongoing process of growth, self-change, self-discovery, and reclaiming the self is involved in it. Therefore, recovery can be considered as a shift from the crisis oriented, professionally directed, acute-care approach, which emphasises on isolated treatment episodes to a better recovery management approach which will provide long-term support and recognise the many pathways to wellness and health.
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.
A lot of issues that have caused a person to turn to substance abuse in the beginning will still be present even after her or his body is cleansed of the toxic substances.
The most effective approach for recovery has thus been widely established as the holistic person approach to healing.
Studying paths to recovery, researchers have discovered that multiple paths exist.
For some people, it is the knowledge that they have their lives back under their control. Recovery means different things to every person. 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. 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.
A systematic attitude is needed and the most recent model of recovery care incorporates that.
When using a chronic care pattern in order to maintain and manage continued recovery, regular and continued support services cannot be ignored. 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 Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSCs) are prepared to help individuals recover from substance use disorders and problems across the lifespan. Free and individual selections from a big variety of choices of rehab and recovery support alternatives is what ROSCs can offer. 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.
ROSCs will provide the individual within the recovery with access to a comprehensive range of services that have been coordinated to provide support throughout the journey of the individual to achieve 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.
Access to creative structures is necessary for individuals that they can use when stresses arise that may result in a 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.
The point is for those in recovery to develop new connections. Those in recovery need to build friendships with sober friends who are able to help them reduce or avoid the temptations of relapsing and reverting to old habits. 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 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 require a place where they will get constant support, advising, education and other services, they require a gradual transition to help them become able to join society again and have a solid chance of recovery. Such a transition usually takes place in a sober-living home or a halfway house.
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. The halfway house or sober living home will help in promoting long-term stabilisation.
Every addict who is recovering has individual requirements. 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 also need to get back some lost relationships with friends and family in addition to finding jobs or even a new place to call home.
Addicts are most familiar with is peer pressure. For most recovering addicts, peer pressure plays a role during their period of using. The benefit of peer pressure in recovery is also apparent to the recovery experts. In order to maintain continued recovery, peer pressure is necessary and this is incorporated in different things such as the 12-step groups.
Behavioural therapies and counselling should be part of any addict's treatment process. These factors are always present in many treatment programs that are largely successful.
Medications are, for many people in recovery, a very significant component of their complete treatment plan. 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. 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. Women will have separate groups for themselves. 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. In fact, your ability to draw upon the support of others who understand your situation may be the necessity for your sustained recovery.
Pointers that will help to prevent relapses are often useful when they are presented in a condensed version.
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. How do you proceed from there? You should return to the path to recovery. So you are more likely to stay on the path to recovery, get yourself to an environment where you'll get the support you need.
Talk to others who've had the same experience before so they can show you how they handled it. They understand what you are feeling and can provide you with things you need most in these hard times - support, encouragement, advice and ability to listen without judging you. They can offer you coping mechanism that they used and many others before them, so relapse never happens to you again. Most important of all, they will help you to come to terms with the fact that relapse is not unusual and that not only can it be prevented, but that one can actually develop the ability to prevent it happening in the future.