We must always keep in mind that the journey from substance use, abuse, and addiction through recovery is a long one and every individual’s fight to overcome the grips of a substance use disorder is unique and very personal.
Substance Abuse Recovery Management
Addiction is a chronic disease that requires ongoing treatment. Substance abuse recovery management provides support to people suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. It is an essential part of recovery, especially immediately following an intensive treatment program.
As soon as people complete a treatment program at an addiction recovery center, they are faced with the “real world.” They are expected to use the knowledge and skills they learned in the program to continue their recovery. This can be a frightening and challenging time for most people. This causes many people to relapse, or go back to their addiction.
Relapse rates are high for substance abuse disorders. Between 40 to 60% of people who complete a rehab program will relapse. Recovery management is an essential piece of recovery after rehab that those people never take advantage of simply because they don’t know about it.
Before explaining how recovery management works, it’s important understand the recovery process.
The Recovery Process
The recovery process is made up of stages. Many people complete the first couple of stages and then believe they no longer have to manage their recovery. They believe they are cured. Unfortunately, this is untrue.
The beginning stage is one in which people are the most fragile mentally and emotionally. They do not want to stop their addiction, so they resist treatment. This is when interventions are used to encourage those people to seek treatment.
The first stage can continue into the addiction treatment center. Detox will eliminate the physical dependency people have developed. Once people have completed the detox stage, they often start thinking more clearly and are more open to receiving the treatment provided to them.
The middle stage is one in which people become more active in their treatment. They are now sober and have received information about how to move forward. This stage incorporates individual and group counseling to reveal the causes of the addiction. This often leads people to realize their unhealthy coping strategies. As this is realized, individual and group therapy sessions seek to instate healthier coping mechanisms. This helps people turn to other ways to deal with difficult situations rather than using substances.
The last stage has to do with personal development and improvement is what is referred to as recovery management. It involves working one-on-one with someone and/or a group. This allows people to learn more about themselves and identify what they would like to change about their life. They devise plans, implement them, and report progress. Accountability in their recovery and progress in achieving their personal life goals is what make this stage successful.
Each stage must be successfully completed before progressing to the next stage, except for the last one. The last stage should be part of people’s lives forever to help them abstain from alcohol and/or drugs.
As mentioned previously, most people will relapse after treatment unless they become active in their recovery. Those who complete an addiction recovery treatment program must have a plan for when they leave the facility. This plan is what will increase their chances of success.
The recovery plan includes the following:
- What the person plans to do when unexpected challenges arise.
- Information on how to live a healthy, well-balanced life, including food options and types of exercises the person may perform.
- Support options available that will help the person commit to sobriety.
The plan is only effective if it is followed. Unfortunately, most people do not follow their recovery plan because they face temptations and fall into the bad habits they had before treatment.
Even though they witnessed the success the treatment program had for them, the environment they return to is much different. The only way to combat this is to bring some of the structure at the treatment center to their everyday life.
This is what recovery management does for people.
Studies have shown recovery management reduces relapse for substance addictions, including alcohol. Researchers report it may have a lot to do with the connection made among sober peers, as well as the ability to lead a more stable life. By incorporating the work that is involved in recovery management, people build a different life from the one they left when they went into treatment. This new life often includes an improvement in economic status and housing stability.
What to Expect with Recovery Management
Recovery management ensures people who are recovering from alcohol and drug abuse are implementing all of the help they need to stay clean and sober. With the help of recovery management, people recovering from addiction have structure in their new life. Structure is something the rehab had, and bringing that over to the “real world” increases the chances of success. Those participating in recovery management will work with someone closely to identify help they may need in their recovery, and then that help will be provided or arranged.
This may include group work just like in the treatment center. Participants discuss successes and troubling times in their journey. In most cases, the group becomes close with one another. They learn from each other and build each other up.
Recovery management is available on an outpatient basis. Those receiving this service must agree to participate in all the plan that is created for them. It can be much like following the rehab program. The only difference is that they live at home instead of a room like they did when they were in rehab.
The Role of Behavioral Therapy or Counseling
People in recovery management work with a therapist. The therapist performs cognitive behavior therapy or another type of behavioral counseling.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is different from other forms of therapy. It seeks to help people in the here and now, rather than solving issues that may have roots in the past. A CBT therapist views the client as a partner and together they work to improve the person’s cognition and behaviors related to them.
The goal of CBT is to be able to turn unhealthy thoughts that can lead to unhealthy or risky behaviors into healthy ones. A therapist may ask the client to discuss a recent situation in which the person felt like a failure. After examining the thoughts that made the person feel that way, the therapist may challenge the person to turn their thoughts into positive ones. By changing the negative thoughts to positive ones, it’s hoped the person will behave positively.
The knowledge and skills learned in CBT can be used forever. Many people report they have greatly improved their life just by following the guidance their therapist provided. This is even when they hadn’t met with their therapist about certain situations. The act of changing their thoughts became easier, which then made choosing healthier behaviors easier.
In addition to CBT and support services, support groups are also important in recovery. Recovery management encourages people to participate in support groups. A number of groups are usually available in communities. The following are some of the most popular ones that are specifically for people recovering from drugs and/or alcohol addiction.
This group is specifically for people recovering from alcohol addiction. You will meet once a week with others who are in recovery. It is an open discussion and everyone supports one another to continue. It can be highly inspirational and encouraging. This organization believes success depends on 12 steps. As people move through the steps, they feel much stronger and powerful over their addiction. This a faith-based support group, but you do not have to be a Christian to join.
This group is similar to alcoholics anonymous, but people suffering from drug addiction. You will feel welcomed, supported and encouraged in this weekly group. All you need to attend these groups is your willingness to stay clean.
NA follows the same 12 steps that AA does in their meetings. The only difference is that you’re with people who are addicted to drugs versus alcohol.
SMART recovery meetings were developed to help people suffering from addiction. They follow a 4-point program to help members success. The 4-point program focuses on:
- Building and maintaining motivation
- Coping with urges
- Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
- Living a balanced life
As you move through each point, you will receive help from other members who understand the challenges that can arise.
If you’re interested in an online version, visit SMART Recovery Online. This is a web-based community that supports people who are looking for help with their recovery. The site includes message boards, chat, and daily meetings that take place online.
This group is a bit different in that it is exclusively for women who are recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. The groups focus on women’s self-value and empowerment. Many women find that this can help them make great strides in remaining sober.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) was started by a man who had a serious drinking problem, but didn’t find AA helpful. He wanted a program that focused on looking at alcohol abuse and dealing with it as separate situations. His approach is different, but effective. There are 1000 meetings all over the United States.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christian support group for people suffering from addictive behaviors. Their groups focus on eight recovery principles. These principles are based on biblical beatitudes. Anyone who wants to use the power of God to help them in their recovery should seek Celebrate Recovery for support.
This is an online discussion forum for people who are interested in the 12-step program. You can start discussions or join in existing ones. This forum is private and secure and you only have to share as much information as you feel comfortable divulging.
This online forum helps people recovering from opiate addiction. Many of the discussions are based on treatment, relapse, and the consequences of it.
Make Recovery a Success
You’ve come a long way. You’ve been through the worst of times and hit rock bottom. Treatment helped you get rid of the drugs and alcohol in your system, and now you just need to stay clean and sober.
You can do this, but you have to be active to be successful.
Don’t sit at home thinking that as long as you don’t use, you’re succeeding. You must seek recovery management as soon as you return back to your life after your treatment program. It’s the most important time to lock in everything you’ve learned and done in rehab. Recovery management does that for you. It reinforces everything from rehab, so you can build a new life with those new coping mechanisms and healthy lifestyle changes.
Therapy and support groups will give you the insight you need to hold on to the WHY you need to stay clean and sober. You should be reminded every single day WHY you have decided to recovery from your addiction, so you can take that reason with you as you go through your day. Whenever you face a difficulty, you know you either have your recovery management team, therapist or support group to turn to for help.
You are never alone when you have people around you who understand what it’s like to recovery from addiction.
This is your second chance in life. Don’t think about the past and everything that happened. That is over. It is done. You’re starting again, and you can do anything you want to do. You just need to do it.
Put the recovery management in place. Set up your therapy appointments. Join a support group in your community and/or online. Fill your day with support, and it will be much easier to get through each day.
Just know it will not be EASY, but it can be EASIER. All you have to do is open yourself up to the thousands of people who want you to succeed in recovery. Go ahead and take the first step. You will be glad you did.