The first thing that comes into an addict’s mind when they think recovery is normally how to be in total sobriety for life aka never having another drink for as long as they live!
When my brother decided to go to rehab after more than 25 years of abusing alcohol and drugs, the first question my sister asked was whether this was going to be forever. It was not easy to fathom total abstinence recovery for him.
As much as the question is in the addict’s mind, its sure is in our minds too. It’s a legitimate question as it implies disbelief that its possible as it demands a sudden change and demands commitment for life to never drink again.
Alternative to abstinence in addiction.
From my lay mind, I think this has a big contribution to the high relapse rates and rehab treatment failure after 5 years. (The statics show that less than a quarter of those who seek treatment in a rehab will relapse after 5 years).
In all this cases, abstinence might not work for everyone one and there should be alternatives for each person to chose from.
The main routes for recovery includes: Abstinence, Moderation and SMART and many other alternative options coming up.
Total abstinence recovery for addiction
Abstaining is the most traditional treatment method used for drug and alcohol abuse. This method calls for total avoidance of substance use and abuse. When abstinence is achieved, its very effective in ending addiction but attaining abstinence has been a challenge making it a life long battle full of relapses.
The statistics are not very encouraging in the long term and this obviously scares many people from seeking treatment in the first place, partly for fear of failure and also waste of money.
The individual need to assess if total avoidance of the substance is the right choice and if using the substance is possible or it will lead to a relapse to addiction.
Most people think that the only way to reach the ability to stay away from the substance is only achievable through professional treatment. This may not be the case. There are many ways that you can use at the privacy of your home that can help you achieve this.
The Moderation Management is much newer than the abstinence model. It started in 1994. This of course was received with some resistant as in itself is controversial. However, most people who still wanted to still engage in taking their substances without abusing them embraced the model and some were successful in turning around their lives.
When the program started in 1994, only 25% of the addiction counselors supported it. In 2012, 50% of the counselors supports the option.
The Program subtly requires and encourages the users to pay attention to their abuse patterns. When the use and why. The answers to these questions exposes the underlying issues that need to fixed and also areas that lacks coping skills that need to be developed.
Like the traditional method, accountability is critical for success. This is achievable with on line interactions that works like the self-help meetings like the AA and calendars or in person where the user reports use incidents keeping them on track with the substance of use and holds them responsible for it. The program offers flexibility and accessibility when needed at any time.
Other addiction treatment options
SMARTwhich stands for self management training is based on four key points
- Motivation: Creating and sustaining motivation
- Triggers control: Managing urges to use
- Self control: Controlling emotions, actions and thoughts
- Full life: Living a well-rounded life
There are more alternatives both online and in person alternatives for support in reducing or stopping alcohol intake.
What is success in recovery from addiction
Alcoholics can learn to drink in moderation. This is based on the stages of addiction, whether they are dependent on alcohol or just routine drinkers. There are alternatives and different routes to recovery from addiction for a healthy life.
There is split on whether recovery from addiction is total abstinence or drinking in moderation. For some people, an attempt for moderation is probably a less drastic step towards recovery.
The success of course depends on the right diagnoses where in some cases total abstinence is required.
If you have any question or comment, please leave it below.