Having an Addiction Recovery Plan
Addiction recovery is often described as a road, or sometimes as a path. It is, unquestionably, a journey, one that leads to a lifestyle with reduced stress factors and improved overall health. This may represent a return to a previously enjoyed lifestyle, or an entirely new phase in a person’s life. Individuals who successfully complete their addiction treatment cycles experience greater professional and personal success, in every aspect of their lives, than what they experienced while confronting the challenges of substance abuse disorder.
In literal terms, the depth and complexity involved in treating an addiction makes for a complicated process. It involves a detailed analysis of a unique individual’s emotional and psychological needs, as well as the development of new mechanisms for stress management and coping. More often than not, that step requires the determination of needs that most people might not associate with addiction treatment, such as optimized individual learning and study habits. In order for it to be successful, addiction recovery requires that an individual process a lot of information—in a relatively short period of time—while faced with challenges that aren’t a factor in most learning environments.
The best way to approach addiction recovery therapy is through the development of a well-thought-out and all-encompassing plan, one that is extremely well-tailored to the needs of the individual for whom it is designed. Frequently referred to as either “addiction recovery plans” or “transition and recovery plans,” these plans rely upon an initial period of observation and counseling. The information gathered during this period is then used to put together a personalized regimen from available forms of treatment.
How an Addiction Recovery Plan is Designed
The development of a plan for one’s addiction recovery is not a solo exercise, nor is it entirely unassisted. Experienced recovery professionals provide detailed guidance on the various steps involved, and are available to assist an individual who requires help identifying one or more aspects of the challenges that they are facing. These might include triggers for an addictive behavior, or underlying causes which have previously frustrated their attempts at recovery.
Many individuals who struggle with addiction are not entirely aware of what drove them to begin using in the first place, and that lack of awareness makes the recovery process more difficult. An early part of drawing up a plan for addiction recovery involves identifying whether addiction is the sole problem needing to be dealt with; in many cases, there are underlying contributing factors, such as behavioral disorders, traumatic memories, depression, anxiety, or any number of a range of other mental health concerns. Dual diagnosis treatments, which include therapy to address such underlying challenges in the process of recovering from addiction, are now widely available at many treatment centers.
A plan must recognize the fact that there is a certain level of commitment involved; the recovery process can take time, and some phases are hard to measure in advance. One of the most helpful steps, at this point, is for the individual going through recovery to recall the many challenges and difficult situations which they have already overcome over the course of our lives. We have a tendency, rooted in limiting beliefs, to discredit our own accomplishments, but nobody who reaches the point of becoming addicted has done so while being completely unaffected by loss and hardship.
The Benefits of Having a Transition and Recovery Plan
By letting go of the idea of a one-size-fits-all treatment program, professional counselors and addiction specialists encourage a sympathetic approach to addiction recovery—one that focuses on a patient’s needs. This helps to combat social stigma against otherwise treatable psychiatric illness, and greatly improves the odds of successful rehabilitation for an individual who is working hard towards their own recovery.
Imagine a person with a physical illness, who presents at a doctor’s office with symptoms of a known infection. Their illness is one for which several forms of treatment exist—including one drug which nearly always works. Unfortunately, the patient is allergic to that drug. The more it is administered, the more their own allergy mimics the symptoms of the illness itself, leading to confusion, misdiagnosis, and a much more severe problem than the one which they started with.
If the doctor in the example above had taken the time to take their patient’s relevant background and associated needs into consideration, they would have known to treat the illness with a different therapy, which would have resulted in a much greater chance of a positive outcome. Today, we generally take the fact that medical doctors account for individual needs for granted; it has long been recognized as a vital part of medical practice.
A Person Deserves the Chance to Recover
Like our bodies, our personal identities—our thoughts, our feelings, and our sense of self-awareness—are all comprised of the same basic building blocks that everybody has. They are housed within an organ which, generally speaking, consists of the same setup of individual parts from one person to the next. However, much like our bodies, no two minds are exactly alike: in addition to minute physical differences, no two people grow up in the exact same environment, or experience the same events over the course of their lives.
These differences add up to make each person who they are, with the same concept that applies to our individual physiology holding just as true for our psychological identity. No two people are exactly alike; to ignore that, when confronted with the symptoms of a treatable mental illness, is to condemn a complex individual to further suffering. Taking personal needs into account results in not only the increased likelihood of success, but also a dramatic reduction in the chances of relapse—even in the event of new, stressful experiences occurring years after the conclusion of the recovery process.