In the U.S. alone, around 20 million people are in recovery for alcohol or drug dependence.
Any of the many different problems they have to deal with on a daily basis can make them experience a relapse. Many of these people will in fact relapse. Addiction gains significant proportions when the estimated 22 million people were already receiving treatment for addiction are also added to the numbers provided above. How to deal with the issue? 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.
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.
We wouldn't be facing issues we have nowadays if it was only that simple.
It is a fact that the industry of recovery research is presently just beginning to expand. Rehab experts and researchers now think that there are various paths to follow and that there are many sides to recovery. There isn't just one solution that suits everybody.
There are many ways to achieve recovery even if the ones that most people are familiar with are 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Some people may be involved in recovery along with being involved in a maintenance program for their addiction. They may be on a maintenance program such as buprenorphine or methadone albeit being sober and in good health. Until recently it was thought that individuals can't be on a maintenance program and in recovery as well, so it is a new recognition.
An individual achieves the sobriety, as well as improved health, wellness and quality of life with the help of recovery that is a process of change. It is extensively being described as long-term and wellness-centered. It includes a continuous process of evolution, redefining yourself, self-discovery and self-change. 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 both unrealistic and narrow-minded to expect a person to simply go on living a life of sustained sobriety after just detoxifying him or her.
There are many problems that could have led to the substance abuse, and clearing the toxic substances through detox does not address these.
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 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. Recovery has different meanings for people who are in recovery. For most, recovery involves getting a second chance, being reborn or having a new opportunity to do things different in their lives. Others talk about self-improvement, living life without drugs, giving your life meaning, fulfilling your goals, having positive thoughts, improved living standards or finances, enhanced mental and physical health, better family relations, and having a support network and friends.
As far as care of people in recovery is concerned, a systemic approach is needed.
Coordinated support services are important using a chronic care model of sustained recovery management. This model places an emphasis on follow up after treatment, setting up the individual in a peer-based coaching for recovery, intervention when it is needed, linking the individual to recovery communities as well as long-term education on recovery in the appropriate stages. Ongoing support, auxiliary services, and peer networks are included in the emerging model as part of the overall addiction treatment plan. The ROSCs (Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care) are made in such a way as to help those who are going through addiction recovery to recover, not just over a short period of time, but over their lifespan. ROSCs can provide free of cost and independent choices across an array of treatment, and recovery support options. 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.
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. 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. 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.
The point is for those in recovery to develop new connections. They need to develop new friendships with people who are clean and sober if they intend to stay away from the temptation of falling back into their previous 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 need to commit to meditation, introspection or prayer as a means of realising their spiritual development.
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. 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. A sober-living home or a halfway house may be this transitional step for these individuals.
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.
Recovering addicts each have different needs. A solid support system is necessary for all the people while they build upon their strengths in recovery. They might need to repair their relations with loved ones, to find work, a new place to live.
Peer pressure is a matter that addicts are familiar with. Peer pressure is a major factor in many addiction cases. Experts in recovery now admit to the important part that peer pressure plays in recovery as well. The approach of 12 step groups: encouraging peer pressure will ensure a long term recovery.
Make sure that you take up counseling, whether group or individual, and other behavioral therapies if you are in recovery. These factors are always present in many treatment programs that are largely successful.
Medications are an important part of the overall treatment program for many persons in recovery. Use medication as per the doctor's prescription exactly, whether they're supposed to reduce cravings or to treat psychological problems. 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.
Joining and participating in twelve-step groups like alcoholics anonymous will also prove beneficial. These 12-step groups are not affiliated with any sect, denomination, politics, religion, Institute or organisation. A lot of them have special groups for women. Participating in these groups has been seen to make the treatment much more effective. So, just going through the treatment doesn't mean that you quit going to 12-step support groups. In fact, your ability to draw upon the support of others who understand your situation may be the necessity for your sustained recovery.
Pointers that will help to prevent relapses are often useful when they are presented in a condensed version.
If you do slip, it's not the end of the world. You must not consider it as a failure, lack of willpower or courage. It happens. What should you do? You get yourself back on the journey to recovery. Go back to the environment from where you draw support and strength of withstanding temptations to relapse and renewed motivation to stay on course.
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 know what you are going through and can help you, as they know what you need during this trying time including support, encouragement and recommendations instead of a judgmental response. They can provide you with the tools to cope and also give you information about the things that worked for them and countless others, and therefore, you will be able to prevent relapse from occurring 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.