Long-term recovery from an addiction is a life-long process. It is essential to sobriety that recovering addicts continue to grow and adapt. A very high percentage of recovering addicts end up relapsing within a year after they are released from treatment. That high rate means that aftercare treatment is essential to long-term sobriety. It is paramount that recovering addicts continue to work on themselves by participating in various aftercare treatment programs. Recovering addicts must take their lives one day at a time and focus on long-term recovery. Clinically tested aftercare treatment programs are the best-documented ways to continue to grow after inpatient treatment. Recovering addicts should concentrate on the chronic disease management and support group services. These two factors are pivotal in sustaining long-term sobriety.
Chronic Disease Management
A significant portion of the professional field has changed the way we view addiction today. In the past, addiction was seen to be a problem of choice, lack of control, or poor moral values. Today we understand those assumptions to be completely false. Medical and technical advances have been able to show the changes that occur in the body as a result of drug and alcohol abuse. We understand that these changes affect the way the body functions, reacts and behaves. This new age of addiction enlightenment can better prepare society to handle the problems of addiction. Addiction is now understood to be a chronic relapsing brain disorder and is commonly compared to issues like diabetes or hypertension. In that sense, addiction is a matter that requires a healthy lifestyle and proactive self-care.
Continued Treatment for Long-Term Recovery
Dual diagnosis treatment is a drug recovery program that treats substance abuse and co-occurring mental disorders. Addiction can be caused by or the result of issues of stress, anxiety, depression, or mood disorders. It is essential to treatment that these problems be addressed in treatment. Therefore, it is imperative that these issues continue to be addressed after treatment. Individuals suffering from mood or mental disorders can quickly fall back into their addictive lifestyles if they are not treated for those issues. In some cases, continued medically assisted treatment is necessary to reduce the likelihood of relapse. Research has shown that continued dual diagnosis treatment is lacking. Those suffering from co-occurring disorders should receive more intensive and psychological treatment.
An excellent way to stay on the ‘straight and narrow’ is to continue therapy sessions. Life is always throwing curve balls, which can be especially dangerous for those recovering from addiction. Building resilience to triggers, learning new strategies, and enhancing learned skills to thwart temptation are vital in maintaining long-term sobriety. Ongoing sessions with professionals can help recovering addicts get the help they need to stay sober. The best programs in the country require former patients to continue to check in with the rehab clinic. These programs can connect recovering addicts with resources for their continued growth and continued long-term recovery.
Support groups can be the most powerful source of strength when continuing treatment. Support groups help to recover addicts build upon what was learned in treatment to continue long-term recovery. It is also very beneficial to help others in treatment. Helping others in recovering can reinforce the techniques, strategies, and strength that were gained in treatment. Studies have proven that individuals who enter twelve step support groups after a treatment program are twice as likely to stay sober. These types of support groups are excellent tools that recovering addicts can use to maintain long-term sobriety. Support groups available to recovering addicts include therapy communities, sober living houses, and physician health programs.