Principles for Addiction Recovery – There isn’t a single person in the world that, with the proper treatment and support, cannot recover from addiction. Recovery begins with a longing for change and a belief that one can overcome this adversity. And, indeed, it is a lifelong process that requires improving one’s health and well-being in addition to living free and independent from substance abuse.
Of course, many people who suffer from addiction can achieve abstinence, but recovery is more complicated and involves changing one’s thoughts, behavior, and outlook on life. Simply put, a successful recovery must be motivated by the belief that it is both achievable and sustainable.
Principles of Addiction Recovery
Recovery is a bit different for everyone but tends to be a highly personal process that is affected by many factors. These include the individual’s unique characteristics, history, family life, as well as the type, intensity, and duration of the addiction. However, some principles characterize recovery for all kinds of addiction.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the guiding principles of recovery are the following:
1. Recovery emerges from hope, which “is the catalyst of the recovery process” and is characterized by the belief that people “can and do overcome challenges, barriers, and obstacles that confront them.”
2. Recovery is person-driven. “Self-determination and self-direction are the foundations for recovery as individuals [who] are empowered and provided the resources to make informed decisions, initiate recovery…and gain or regain control over their lives.”
3. Recovery occurs through many pathways. Recovery pathways may include professional treatment, pharmacotherapy, support from families, faith-based approaches, peer support, and more.
4. Recovery is non-linear, and is “characterized by continual growth and improved functioning that may involve setbacks.”
5. Recovery is holistic and will encompass an individual’s entire life and includes addressing the following:
- Self-care practices
- Services and supports
- Primary healthcare
- Dental care
- Complementary services
- Alternative services
- Faith and spirituality
- Social networks
- Community participation
6. Recovery is supported by peers and allies. Peers encourage and engage others and provide a “vital sense of belonging, supportive relationships, valued roles, and community.”
7. Recovery is supported by relationship and social networks. “Family members, peers, providers, faith groups, community members, and other allies form vital support networks.”
8. Recovery is culturally-based and influenced because a person’s “…cultural background in all of its diverse representations…are keys in determining a person’s journey and unique pathway to recovery.”
9. Recovery is supported by addressing trauma, which “…is often a precursor to or associated with alcohol and drug abuse, mental health problems, and related issues.”
10. Recovery involves individual, family, and community strengths and responsibility. Individuals are responsible for their own self-care and recovery, and families are responsible for supporting their loved ones in need. Finally, “communities have responsibilities to provide opportunities and resources to…foster social inclusion and recovery.”
11. Recovery is based on respect. “Community, systems, and societal acceptance and appreciation for people affected by mental health and substance use problems…are crucial in achieving recovery.”
Treatment Options for Addiction Recovery
Treatment is a little different for everyone. Individualized treatment plans address each person’s unique needs and are flexible to each person’s current life circumstances.
Inpatient treatment requires staying at a facility for one month or longer. Facilities that provide inpatient treatment include comprehensive rehab centers, hospitals, and some nonprofit community organizations. Most people considering inpatient treatment seek a safe, structured environment.
Partial-hospitalization programs (PHP) are an option for people who have either completed inpatient treatment or require an intensive outpatient setting. PHP offers intense, comprehensive treatment similar to a residential program, but takes place in a comfortable clinical environment during the day and includes the option of a safe, relaxing, supervised home-like residence in the evenings.
Outpatient care can provide the same treatment that an inpatient program does, including detox, counseling, and therapy. However, outpatient care allows patients much more freedom, as they attend daily meetings or multiple meetings per week, but still have flexible time to work or attend school.
Transitioning After Treatment
For many people, transitioning to a life outside of treatment without constant support is difficult. Fortunately, transitional living facilities can help people in recovery maintain sobriety while they regain their footing in the real world. Research has shown that sober living homes improve treatment outcomes for people in recovery from addiction.
Stays can vary from several weeks to a few months, and the cost is often comparable to renting an apartment. Critically, sober living homes place a strict ban on the use of drugs or alcohol. These homes help people avoid returning to high-risk living environments before their sobriety is established well enough for them to be able to handle stressors and triggers.
There are many ways people in recovery can avoid returning to drug or alcohol abuse, but one of the most well-known is the acronym HALT, which describes four conditions likely to contribute to relapse. These conditions include the following:
Hungry — An unhealthy diet can adversely impact emotional well-being.
Angry — Feelings of anger build up and can lead to relapse.
Lonely — Isolation and self-pity lead to loneliness, which makes recovery more difficult.
Tired — Lack of sleep or intense stress hinders motivation for recovery.
Between 40-60% of people recovering from addiction will relapse, but that doesn’t mean all improvement need be lost. Therapy teaches people how to handle a relapse constructively, and support can help decrease the severity of relapse if it occurs.
The following stress-relief strategies can help people find relief from stress and avoid relapse:
1. Initiate a change in environment and avoid high-risk situations.
2. Eliminate stressful and unhealthy relationships.
3. Strive for short-term goals and expect to make progress one day at a time.
4. Engage in regular exercise and eat a healthy diet to maintain optimal physical and mental health.
Attend Support Groups & Meetings
Building a reliable system of support is vital for recovery. Peer support groups exist for nearly any addiction, including 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Regularly attending support group meetings can allow people to identify and avoid thoughts and behaviors that may lead to relapse.
Harmony Treatment and Wellness
Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers partial-hospitalization and outpatient programs designed to give people the tools, resources, and support they need to recover from addictions to drugs or alcohol. Our caring, highly-trained staff includes addiction professionals who deliver therapeutic services to our clients with compassion and expertise.
Our comprehensive approach to treatment employs evidence-based services vital to recovery, such as psychotherapy, individual, group, and family counseling, health and wellness programs, aftercare planning, and more.
If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, please contact us today. Discover how we help people free themselves from the chains of addiction and learn the skills they need to prevent relapse and enjoy long-lasting wellness and sobriety!