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 can such an issue be dealt with? Establishing a support system that is strong and reliable is important according to many professionals.
Thinking that all it takes to recover is to abstain is a mistake that many people make.
Getting the addict to stop drinking, using substances or engaging in addictive behaviour, so a detox, and they can only consider themselves as being in recovery.
The problems we have today are a testament that it is not that simple.
It is a fact that the industry of recovery research is presently just beginning to expand. Recovery is complex and has many faces and paths that lead to it according to many experts in the field of addiction treatment. 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. Many recovering addicts are also in maintenance programs as well as recovery. Such people may be living happy healthy lives and at the same time attending maintenance programs that utilise buprenorphine or methadone. 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.
An individual can achieve abstinence by going through the recovery process of change as well as have better health, wellness and quality of life. It is extensively being described as long-term and wellness-centered. 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 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.
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.
Therefore, the whole-person approach to healing is greatly known as the most effective means of helping addicts to reach recovery.
Researchers have come to the conclusion that there are many different ways of getting to recovery.
For some people, it is the knowledge that they have their lives back under their control. 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. 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.
A systematic attitude is needed and the most recent model of recovery care incorporates that.
Coordinated support services are needed when utilising a chronic care model of sustained recovery management. 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. 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 prepared to help individuals recover from substance use disorders and problems across the lifespan. ROSCs can provide free of cost and independent choices across an array of treatment, and recovery support options. 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.
A comprehensive array of services is provided to the individuals in recovery at ROSCs which are coordinated to provide support throughout the individual's unique journey to 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. 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. In order to reduce the temptation for them to fall back into their old habits, they need to find new friends that are clean and sober. A change in environment is also important especially if you still live in the area where there are other people that use or where you're close to people with whom you used to use. 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. Using a halfway house or a sober living facility will prove helpful for such individuals in this transitional step.
Skills such as filling of job applications, putting together a resume and how to act in a job interview will need to be taught at this stage. The sober-living home or halfway house helps develop long-term stabilization.
Every individual in recovery has specific needs. They all require a solid support system when they begin building on their strengths during 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 might have been a big factor in their substance abuse when they were addicted. The benefit of peer pressure in recovery is also apparent to the recovery experts. Positive peer pressure is the basis of 12-step programs that help people achieve prolonged recovery.
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. Take your medications, if you have been prescribed by a doctor to treat depression or anxiety or to help decrease or get rid of your cravings, exactly as prescribed. Remember some time may be consumed by these medications to work (antidepressants and antianxiety medications), so keep taking them to so that you may allow them some time to begin to show progress in your symptoms.
Join and participate in 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. 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. Participating in these groups has been seen to make the treatment much more effective. 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.
There are a few things that you can do that may be able to keep you from relapsing.
It doesn't have to be such a big deal if you slip. You shouldn't consider it to be a failure, or lack of bravery or determination. Such things can happen. What do you do? The best option is to saddle up and get back on the recovery wagon. 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.
It is also extremely important that you have a discussion with others who may have been through a relapse and come back from it. The people will be aware about what you are going through and can offer you the encouragement, support, recommendations and a non-judgmental ear which will definitely be required by you during this painful phase. 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. 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.