Different Ways People Recover from Addiction
Addiction is a hot topic that has been gripping the nation quite a bit. With the recent rise of opioid abuse in the United States, addiction is getting attention in the media and from people of all walks of life. There are many ways that people become addicted to drugs, and just as many ways that people find recovery from addiction. From holistic addiction treatment centers to twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, there are many methods of building a healthy recovery. You may work with a personal coach to cultivate mindfulness, or a recovery coach to focus on your recovery.
Support groups are one of the most common methods of recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. There have been support groups for many years, with groups like the Oxford Group starting way back in the early 1920’s. Today, there are many different support groups for those recovering from addiction. Some are based in specific religions, some are secular, and some are more agnostic.
Twelve step recovery programs are by far the most popular type of support group out there. There are hundreds of different twelve-step groups stemming off of the original twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. With meetings all over the world, twelve-step programs are based on a set of steps that point individuals toward recovery. Centered on finding a Higher Power and learning to turn our lives over, twelve-step is often considered an agnostic program. However, it was founded by Christians and has a strong Christian overtone in its texts.
Refuge Recovery is a newer support group, starting in the last decade in Los Angeles. Refuge Recovery offers a Buddhist inspired path to recovery and does not require a belief in a power greater than ourselves. Refuge Recovery uses many of the same principles and format of twelve-step groups, rewording and restructuring the program to fit through a Buddhist lens. There are meetings across the world with new meetings starting regularly, and Refuge Recovery offers a community of people using mindfulness and compassion to recover from addictions and mental health disorders.
SMART Recovery is a little over twenty years old and was founded as a program which offers more evidence-based support for those struggling with addiction. SMART stands for “Self Management and Recovery Training,” and offers a different path to recovery than twelve-step and Refuge. SMART advocates for abstinence as a goal, but also utilizes some principles of harm reduction. Members of SMART who are not completely sober are welcome to attend and participate. SMART adapts as our scientific understanding of addiction grows, and offers a more science-based recovery path than twelve-step.
More Support Groups
There are a ton of additional support groups out there. Secular Organizations for Sobriety offers secular recovery meetings, Celebrate offers a strongly Christian-based recovery group, and there are many more options. As people get sober, it’s helpful to investigate different paths and see what works for us. Although twelve-step is the most popular form of recovery support groups, there are many ways to quit an addiction and move forward. Try to find what works for you!
Addiction treatment programs are facilities that offer professional care for those trying to get sober. Many support groups are peer-led, while addiction treatment programs are run by trained professionals. Often including psychologists, doctors, psychiatrists, and counselors, addiction treatment centers offer a great way for people to receive the help they need. Again, there are many different kinds of programs out there.
Twelve-Step Based Programs
There are many treatment centers out there that based their programs off the twelve steps originally used by Alcoholics Anonymous. At twelve-step based treatment centers, individuals are treated with individual and group therapy, encouragement to engage with a 12 step fellowship, and stepwork. The treatment center provides a safe space in which you can live, the professional support of doctors and therapists, and a time to focus on yourself completely.
There are also many non 12 step treatment centers and more holistic options. Some treatment centers are beginning to incorporate practices like yoga, meditation, equine therapy, nutritional counseling, exercise therapy, and more. The belief is that we need to treat the suffering individual as a whole. If we just address the addiction, the person may relapse or suffer due to untreated aspects of their being. Many of these methods of treatment have been studied and proven effective at reducing the risk of relapse. Pscyhoeducation and teaching people about the dangers of drug abuse is also often incorporated. Whether a person is learning about the health risks of marijuana or how opioids impact brain function, this is a helpful method of addiction treatment.
Inpatient, Outpatient, and Sober Living
There are different types of treatment programs in their structures. Inpatient treatment facilities are programs in which the clients live and receive treatment at one location. Usually lasting 30-60 days, these residential treatment programs offer the most structure, safety, and treatment.
Outpatient treatment centers are programs in which individuals don’t live at the treatment center but attend treatment there. Often in more of an office setting, IOP and PHP treatment consists of 3-6 hours of treatment a day. The advantage of outpatient programs is that individuals can resume work, go back to school, or begin to engage with their daily lives. However, it can be hard to stay sober with the freedom offered by outpatient treatment, and it usually is the phase after residential programs.
While attending outpatient treatment or after, an individual may live in a sober living home. Sober livings offer a safe place for people to live while they are learning to build a new life sober. There are varying degrees of structure in sober homes. Some are simply a roof over your head, while others offer much more support, structure, and rules. A sober living environment offers a way for people to stay connected and supported while beginning to build a new life.