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. 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. How to deal with the issue? Experts within the industry of recovery state that building and maintaining a solid support system is vital to the recovery.
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.
Addiction wouldn't be the problem it is today if it was that simple to deal with.
It is a fact that the industry of recovery research is presently just beginning to expand. Treatment professional and researchers now believe that there are numerous pathways to follow and there are many aspects of recovery. There isn't just one solution that suits everybody.
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 can be in recovery and be in a maintenance program for their dependence. They might be on a maintenance plan, like buprenorphine or methadone, but also be clean and have a great personal health. Earlier, it was believed that an individual could not be on a maintenance program and considered to be in recovery, so this is a recent recognition.
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 extensively being described as long-term and wellness-centered. An ongoing process of growth, self-change, self-discovery, and reclaiming the self is involved in it. 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.
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.
There are many ways of attaining recovery as has been noted by many researchers.
For many people, it is as simple as making the statement "I have got my life back." Recovery has different meanings for people who are in recovery. To a lot of people in recovery, receiving a second chance and a chance to start a new life, the feeling of being born again is crucial and it is in many cases quoted to be exactly that. 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.
Coordinated support methods are required using a chronic care prototype of prolonged recovery directing. 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. 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 prepared to help individuals recover from substance use disorders and problems across the lifespan. There are many treatment options to choose from under the ROSCs and there are also various support choices available for the recovery process. Services are provided in flexible and unbundled packages that develop over time to match the ongoing and changing requirements of the individual in recovery.
The path to long term recovery is unique for every person and the ROSCs will provide the person in recovery with many different services that are aimed at providing the support they need. ROSCs also include formal and informal community-based support groups that are person centred and built on the resilience and strengths of individuals, families and communities in order to achieve abstinence, health, wellness and quality of lives.
When people face stressful challenges that might lead to relapse, they need access to creative things that they can make use of. These include developing a circle of non-drinking, non-using friends, having friends to call that can offer support and encouragement, and possibly having the right kinds of places to live.
In other words, new connections need to be developed by those in recovery. 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.
Addicts that have been drinking for a long time, like 20 or more years, can't just complete a one-month program and have a chance of staying sober and clean because they are chronic, severe cases. 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. A halfway house or sober-living might be a good transitional move for people like this.
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. 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. Reconnecting with their friends and families, getting a job or finding a place to live may all be necessary.
Addicts are familiar with peer pressure. Peer pressure is a major factor in many addiction cases. Today, recovery professionals understand the advantages that peer pressure has when used in recovery. Positive peer pressure is the basis of 12-step programs that help people achieve prolonged recovery.
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. If you are prescribed any medications to reduce your cravings or eliminate them, help you with depression or anxiety you must ensure that the medications are taken precisely as prescribed by the doctor. 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.
Join and participate in 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. There are no requirements to join the 12 step groups with regard to religion, politics, race etc. A lot of them have special groups for women. During treatment and even after, it has proven to be important to attend and be a part of these groups. 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. One's ability to lean on and draw on the support provided by others who have been through or are going through the same thing is important in recovery and maintaining sobriety.
There are a few things that you can do that may be able to keep you from relapsing.
If you slip for any reasons you must not consider it as the end of the world. You must not consider it as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. Such things can happen. What do you do? 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.
Discussing this with peers that have had a relapse before and managed to overcome it is also very significant. 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 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. Most importantly they will help you to understand that relapse is not something unusual because it is preventable and will give you an opportunity to develop your ability to prevent it in the future.