In the U.S. alone, around 20 million people are in recovery for alcohol or drug dependence.
In this situation, relapsing is quite easy thanks to the many challenges that they have to face on a daily basis. Many of these people will in fact relapse. 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 we do? Experts at the recovery process say that starting a recovery system that is reliable and maintaining it is paramount.
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.
We wouldn't be facing issues we have nowadays if it was only that simple.
The truth of the matter is that research on the field of recovery has just begun growing. Treatment professional and researchers now believe that there are numerous pathways to follow and there are many aspects of recovery. 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. 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.
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. It is increasingly being hinged on the long-term wellness of the individual. It is a continuous process and involves growth, discovering oneself, reclaiming and changing oneself. 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.
Many problems that may have contributed to the addiction in the first place cannot be controlled by just clearing the toxic substances from a person's body.
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 discovered many pathways while they were analyzing roads to recovery.
For many people, it is as simple as making the statement "I have got my life back." Recovery means different things to every person. One of the most common views of recovery is that it is a second chance, a new start and this view of recovery is cherished by many people in recovery. 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.
There is need for a model of care that integrates a greater degree of coordination between the support services. This model highlights post-treatment administering and support, peer-based recovery, long-term recovery -oriented (and stage appropriate) recovery education, linkage to communities of recovery, and re-invention when necessary. 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 can provide free of cost and independent choices across an array of treatment, and recovery support options. 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 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.
Access to creative structures is necessary for individuals that they can use when stresses arise that may result in a relapse. 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. To make it harder to relapse, it is important to find friends who are themselves not drug/alcohol users. They may often need to change their location in order to get out of the environment where they were using substances are lived with other individuals who continue the usage. They should take on prayer or meditation or soul-searching so they can focus on their spiritual evolution.
Hard-core chronic addicts who have been drinking for over 20 to 30 years simply cannot manage to achieve the sobriety which is desired by going through a program which just lasts for 28 to 30 days. 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. Such a transition usually takes place in a sober-living home or a halfway house.
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. A sober-living facility or halfway home helps to set up the individual on a long-term stable path.
Every individual in recovery has specific needs. A strong support system is what they all need in order to build upon their assets in 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. During the time they were addicted, the fact of peer pressure could have played a role in their addiction. Recovery experts to sustain recovery recognise the benefit of peer pressure also during the recovery. 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. An effective recovery program definitely has these aspects as they are critical to the process.
A number of people within the recovery will find medications are also an important part of the overall treatment program. 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. It is also important to understand that some of the medication may not kick in immediately and may take some time to work such as antidepressants and medication prescribed for anxiety, so keep taking the medication as prescribed in order for them to work as designed so that you can see an improvement in your symptoms with time.
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 sect, denomination, politics, religion, Institute or organisation. Separate Groups for women are also there at many rehabs. During your rehab, but also after it, joining these groups has displayed many benefits. That means that even if you have completed your treatment you shouldn't give up attending 12-step group meetings. Your long-term sobriety might actually depend on whether you are able to feed on the support of your peers since they know what you are going through.
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. Don't be hard on yourself or see yourself as lacking the necessary willpower. Such things can happen. What then should you opt to do? You should be getting back on the path to recovery. You always have a better chance of preventing the relapse and getting back on track with your recovery at t eh supportive environment, therefore, it's effective to get back to a supportive environment.
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. To make it harder for you to relapse again, they can also give you coping tools/methods that they and others successfully used. 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.