Across the USA there are around 20 million people in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions at the moment.
In this situation, relapsing is quite easy thanks to the many challenges that they have to face on a daily basis. A lot of them, regrettably, 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? Recovery experts say that it is crucial to build and maintain a solid support system.
Many people mistakenly consider the recovery as a matter of abstinence.
Ensuring the addict stops drinking, using, or engaging in addictive behavior, so detoxing them, and they'll be in recovery.
We wouldn't have the problems we do today if it were only that simple.
The truth of the matter is that research on the field of recovery has just begun growing. Professionals within the industry and researchers presently have an opinion that there are a number of aspects of recovery along with numerous pathways that should be followed. There isn't just one solution that suits everybody.
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 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. 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. The emphasis of recovery nowadays is on staying clean and healthy in the long-term. The process involves changing and rediscovering one's self through growth. 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's not practical to put a person through detox and thereafter expect them to carry on with their lives without them using as it is short-sighted and unrealistic.
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 people, it is the knowledge that they have their lives back under their control. Everyone in recovery has their own explanation of what recovery means. For most, recovery involves getting a second chance, being reborn or having a new opportunity to do things different in their lives. 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.
When using a chronic care pattern in order to maintain and manage continued recovery, regular and continued support services cannot be ignored. This model emphasises on post treatment monitoring and support, long-term recovery oriented recovery education [stage appropriate], peer-based recovery coaching, linkage to communities of recovery and re-intervention wherever necessary. Ongoing support, auxiliary services, and peer networks are included in the emerging model as part of the overall addiction treatment plan. The aim of these Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care or ROSCs is the recovery from addiction and treatment of disorders in the long-term. 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.
ROSCs provide the individual who is going through recovery with a number of options which are then properly coordinated in order to provide the continued support needed by the individual in their unique path to sustained recovery. Formal and informal community-based supports are included in the ROSCs that are person-centered and build upon the flexibility and strength of individuals, families, and communities to achieve sobriety, health, wellness and quality of life.
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.
The emphasis is on connecting with new people when recovering. To decrease the risk of going back to addiction, they must find new buddies that are not using drugs or drinking alcohol. 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.
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. Before such people can rejoin society and hopefully stay sober for the rest of their lives, they'll need to first go through a transitional time during which they can be counselled, educated and supported amongst other services. Using a halfway house or a sober living facility will prove helpful for such individuals in this transitional step.
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.
Every recovering addict has different 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 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 familiar with 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. Positive peer pressure is the basis of 12-step programs that help people achieve prolonged recovery.
Make sure that you take up counseling, whether group or individual, and other behavioral therapies if you are in recovery. These are considered as critical for an effective recovery program.
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. Do not expect the medications to begin working immediately because they can take some time to display the effects [antidepressants and anti anxiety indications] and therefore, you should continue taking them in order to allow them the time needed to begin showing improvements in your symptoms.
Joining and participating in twelve-step groups like alcoholics anonymous will also prove beneficial. For those who may be wary, these groups are not politically, denominationally or even sect affiliated. Some of these groups have the men and women in different groups. 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. 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.
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. Such things can happen. What do you do? You move back on the road 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.
It is also extremely important that you have a discussion with others who may have been through a relapse and come back from 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 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. 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.