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. The unfortunate part is that numerous people 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. How to deal with the issue? 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.
Get addicts to quit with their drinking, using drugs or engaging in addictive behavior - give them a detox - and that's 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. 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 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. 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.
The process through which an individual achieves abstinence, proper personal health, overall wellness and a good quality of life requires change and is referred to as recovery. It is increasingly being hinged on the long-term wellness of the individual. The process involves changing and rediscovering one's self through growth. 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.
It's absolutely unrealistic and shortsighted to simply detoxify an individual and expect him or her to go on to live a life of continued sobriety.
The issues that led to the addiction in the first place will not be flushed out with the alcohol or drugs as they leave the body during detoxification.
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 many people, it is as simple as making the statement "I have got my life back." Every individual within the recovery has his or her personal interpretation of what recovery means. 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. Other commonly cited views include finally being free from drugs, having a better attitude, improved financial well being, better physical and psychological health, better relations with friends and family, being able to attain one's goals and finally having a direction.
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. 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. Ongoing support, auxiliary services, and peer networks are included in the emerging model as part of the overall addiction 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. Free and individual selections from a big variety of choices of rehab and recovery support alternatives is what ROSCs can offer. There is a high degree of flexibility in the service packages provided to leave room for changes in the needs of the person in recovery and evolution of the treatment process.
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. ROSCs incorporate formal and informal public-based supports that are person-oriented and crafted on the adaptability and power of people, families, and society to achieve sobriety, health, wellbeing and high standard 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. 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 make it harder to relapse, it is important to find friends who are themselves not drug/alcohol users. 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. They need to pay attention to their spiritual progress, possibly through meditation or introspection or prayer.
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 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. Using a halfway house or a sober living facility will prove helpful for such individuals in this transitional step.
Numerous individuals will need to educate themselves about preparing a resume and how they should present themselves during an interview or how to complete a job application. The halfway house or sober living home will help in promoting long-term stabilisation.
Every individual in recovery has specific needs. A solid support system is necessary for all the people while they build upon their strengths in recovery. They may need to find employment, a new place to live, or to renew their relationships with family and friends.
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. In order to maintain continued recovery, peer pressure is necessary and this is incorporated in different things such as the 12-step groups.
Behavioral therapy, individual and/ or group counselling is necessary for a recovering individual. These are considered as critical for an effective recovery program.
Medications also play a vital role in the treatment of many individuals. It is important for anyone in recovery to take the medication as prescribed by the doctor for issues such as reducing cravings or eliminating them altogether, alleviating or helping with anxiety and depression among others. 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. A lot of them have special groups for women. Participating in these groups has been seen to make the treatment much more effective. That means that even if you have completed your treatment you shouldn't give up attending 12-step group meetings. 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.
You will sometimes find it useful to have a condensed version of what should be done to get help in the prevention.
If you do slip, it's not the end of the world. You shouldn't consider it to be a failure, or lack of bravery or determination. Such things can happen. What should you do? You move back on the road 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. They know you're going through and can offer support, encouragement, recommendations and a non-judgemental ear - something you're exactly need during this painful time. To make it harder for you to relapse again, they can also give you coping tools/methods that they and others successfully used. 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.