Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong process. It takes both personal commitment as well as the support of peers, professionals, friends and family.
Before leaving any kind of substance abuse treatment program, patients work with counselors and case managers. The individuals provide recovery resources, develop aftercare plans for how they’ll transition into a healthy, sustainable sober lifestyle and prevent relapse.
Sometimes that plan includes staying in a sober living home with other recovering addicts. It may also include follow-up group counseling in an Intensive Outpatient Program, individual counseling with professionals who can address co-occurring issues, and monitoring programs. Many recovering alcoholics and drug addicts also find mutual aid groups, like alcoholics anonymous, to be an important part of their ongoing recovery. For younger people, college recovery communities can be a powerful source of strength and support.
- Hazelden Mobile Apps
- 12 Steps AA Companion (iTunes)
- 12 Steps AA Companion (Android)
- Recovery Box
- Steps Away (Android)
- Steps Away (iTunes)
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Unstuck: Live Better Every Day
College Recovery Communities
College, where alcohol and drugs are often the focal point of social events, is a high-risk situation for young adults in recovery, many of whom may have delayed or taken time off from their education to treat their addiction.
More and more colleges and universities in the US today have on-campus recovery communities, which make it possible for college-age students to continue to pursue their education while getting the support and accountability they need to avoid relapse. These programs may include dedicated sober dorms or houses, meetings and support groups, substance-free social events, crisis management support and academic services.
For more information, including directories of college recovery communities, try the following links.
Mutual Aid Groups
Mutual aid groups, sometimes called self-help groups or support groups, are community-based groups where people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction meet together and support each other. They may share their stories, talk about their challenges, or share their victories. Mutual aid groups can serve to help people achieve sobriety, but most often they exist to help them maintain it over the long run. Most mutual aid groups meet face to face, but there are web-based groups as well.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which use the twelve-step approach to recovery, are the best-known mutual aid groups, with members around the world. But there are also mutual aid groups that don’t adhere to the twelve-step method, including faith-based groups and groups such as SMART Recovery, SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety/Save Our Selves), and Women for Sobriety.
Mutual Aid Groups:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Cocaine Anonymous
- Marijuana Anonymous
- Pills Anonymous
- Celebrate Recovery
- Smart Recovery
- Life Ring
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety
- Women for Sobriety
Preventing relapse is a critical part of addiction recovery. Quickly and successfully recovering from lapses (a one-time “slip” where drugs or alcohol are used) and relapse (a return to an addictive lifestyle) when they happen is just as important. Fortunately, there are techniques and daily life skills recovering addicts can learn in order to make relapse prevention easier.
One of those skills, according to Terence Gorski, a leading addiction and mental health professional and academic, is learning to identify and manage the warning signs of possible relapse.1 These might include an uptick in arguments at work or at home, feeling lonely or isolated, or being unable to cope with stress. By recognizing the signs, the recovering addict can work on strategies for coping with each one: making more time to relax and rest, sharing feelings with others, spending more (or less) time with friends and family, etc.
Another relapse prevention tool that has developed in recent years is recovery coaching. A recovery coach works with people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction to help them avoid and recover from relapse, find the support and recovery resources they need in their community, and work on achieving their personal goals.
Recovery Coaching Resources:
- Faces and Voices of Recovery
- Join Together
- William White
- School of Coaching Mastery
- Coaching Tools Newsletter
- Recovery Coaches International
Drug Courts were created in response to community needs to combat recidivism and criminal behavior that involved drugs and alcohol. The courts can mandate jail time, and/or addiction treatment, supervision and provide recovery resources. The success rates associated with drug courts have been positive, helping both communities and addicts alike.
If you are getting into legal trouble because of alcohol and drugs addiction, Recovery Connection can help. Our trained coordinators understand the insanity of addiction, many are recovering addicts. Call 866-812-8231 now and get the help you so desperately need. Our helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days week. All calls are free and confidential.
According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Justice, “drug courts can be defined as ‘special court calendars or dockets designed to achieve a reduction in recidivism and substance abuse among nonviolent, substance abusing offenders…Drug Court participants undergo long-term treatment and counseling, sanctions, incentives, and frequent court appearances…” (source: http://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/drug_courts/summary.html)
The legal ramifications of addiction on a community can be seen in the number of crimes committed by people under the influence of drugs and alcohol as well as the number of violent incidents committed by people under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
- Motor vehicle crashes: Every day 32 people die in the U.S. in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver
- According to the Alcohol-Related Disease Impact (ARDI) tool, from 2001–2005, there were approximately 79,000 deaths annually attributable to excessive alcohol use. In fact, excessive alcohol use is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for people in the United States each year. (source: www.cdc.gov/alcohol/)
Excessive alcohol use costs the U.S. $185 billion each year in health care and criminal justice expenses (source: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/pdf/2011/Alcohol_AAG_Web_508.pdf)
In 1989, the Dade County Circuit Court developed an intensive, community-based, addiction treatment, rehabilitation, and supervision program for felony drug defendants to address rapidly increasing recidivism rates. Less than twenty years later, there are more than 2,140 drug courts in operation with another 284 being planned or developed. Drug court diverts non-violent, substance abusing offenders from prison and jail into drug treatment. By increasing direct supervision of offenders, coordinating public resources, and expediting case processing, drug court can help break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and incarceration. A decade of research indicates that drug court reduces crime by lowering rearrests and conviction rates, improving substance abuse treatment outcomes, and reuniting families, and also produces measurable cost benefits.
In another press release, the department stated:
The success stories of drug court graduates illustrate the positive results of coordination among public health and public safety professionals. Drug courts bring the judicial, law enforcement, and treatment communities, and other social and public services together through rigorous case management to address a participant’s overall needs, including education, housing, job training, and/or mental health referral.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes (also known as sober houses or halfway houses) are designed to help recovering alcoholics and drug addicts bridge the gap between inpatient treatment and a return to independent living. Every sober home is different, but most require residents to attend recovery meetings, take random drug and alcohol tests, and be involved in work, school, or an outpatient treatment program. Sober homes have varying levels of supervision, too, from actively supervised by clinical professionals to peer-run.
Usually insurance doesn’t cover the costs of staying in a sober living home, so residents pay their own way. Sober homes are not licensed by state or federal agencies, but there is a growing emphasis on certification by state associations and coalitions of sober homes, to ensure better and more consistent standards of care and safety.
NARR (National Alliance for Recovery Residences)
Looking For Treatment?
If you or someone you love one needs addiction treatment, call Recovery Connection. We can help find a quality substance abuse treatment program that fits your needs. Call now at 866-812-8231.
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