The fight against drug abuse is often lengthy and tiresome. It takes a lot of strength and determination for one to get off drugs and keep him/herself clean. This cannot happen overnight and even after one has completed a rehabilitation program, a lot of support is required to stay clean. The fight is not won after completing treatment, and the danger of relapse still exists even after one goes back home. For this reason, there is a need for one to follow a program that is likely to succeed in his/her fight against drugs while at home.
Elements of a sober living program
People who are fighting an addiction to methamphetamine require a program that is specifically designed for them. This is because the effects of meth on their bodies and brains are not the same as other drugs, for any recovery program to succeed, it has to cater to the needs of the individual who is recovering. Not every program is successful for everyone or can be used on every person recovering from an addiction to meth. The reason for this is that individuals vary in terms of physical, emotional strength, and willpower to fight addiction. Their home environments are also different, and one should consider all these factors when designing a recovery program.
A sober living program for an individual fighting an addiction to meth should satisfy a minimum standard and must have certain elements. First, the program should have the capacity to cater to the wellbeing of the addict holistically. It should not be limited to tackling the addiction problem but should also touch on other aspects of the individual’s life to support his/her recovery. For example, if a recovering addict lacks emotional or spiritual support, he/she may experience the need to fill that void. The patient may in such a case be tempted to turn to meth for temporary relief and this would be a major setback in the recovery efforts. The program should be able to provide such kind of support to prevent a relapse.
I considered this element among others when designing this program. I realize that a person who is recovering from an addiction may be battling anxieties about going back home and continuing life among family members and friends. Anxieties about being accepted back in the family are taken care of through counseling of both family members and the recovering person. Counseling after leaving rehab is an essential element of this program to assist the family and the addict to accommodate changes. The counseling continues until the parties are satisfied that they can handle their roles in the recovery process successfully.
Individuals have different levels of emotional and physical strengths. Some people are weak and need constant support to achieve full recovery when they go home. The weaknesses may not be apparent when one is within the confines of a rehabilitation facility because of the support system that surrounds them. Every recovery program should be able to strengthen the patient both emotionally and physically, and also maintain the achieved strength levels.
The above is essential and may be achieved through routines that enrich one emotionally such as regular counseling and spiritual enrichment. As mentioned earlier, counseling features prominently in this program. The program also caters to the nutritional needs of the recovering individual. This is to ensure that he/she has sufficient energy to handle the transition, and also that adequate levels are maintained. It also strives to keep the person healthy, and proper nutrition is a part of it. The program provides a list of all the healthy foods that the recovering person is supposed to eat to keep him/her healthy and strong to go through with the program.
An excellent program should also be able to minimize distractions from recovery efforts. Such distractions can be in the form of negative peer pressure, accessibility to meth, and getting into situations that would encourage the consumption of the drug. It may not be easy to limit the movements and interactions of the recovering addict, but an effort should be made to prevent situations that may trigger the need to use meth. It is important to note that the individual has not recovered fully, and being in a familiar environment such as one’s home may bring back craving for the drug.
One of the strategies that this program recommends to minimize distractions is the provision of a supportive company by people around him/her. Family members and friends are encouraged to always provide company for the individual so that he/she does not feel isolated. Isolation is one way through which the person may be tempted to get back into addictive habits. The effects of meth last longer than other drugs, and this program requires the family to be committed to providing the required support for the individual for as long as the program lasts.
It is important to have close supervision of the addict and monitor his/her progress in recovery. It is easy to do this when the patient is in a rehabilitation facility, but once the individual gets home it becomes complicated. He/she may feel that constant monitoring is an invasion of his/her privacy, and this may complicate the recovery process further. However, a well-crafted program should be able to assist the patient without making him/her feel like it is an intrusion.
This program assigns the role of supervision to family and friends. These are the persons who are constantly in close contact with the addict and can easily monitor his movements and activities. They are required to be trustworthy, honest, and be persons who the addict respects. These requirements are essential because a person supervising the addict should have some control over him/her and for the addict to feel comfortable with it, it must be done by a person he/she holds in high regard. The addict must realize that he/she is being monitored for his/her benefit and to ensure that full recovery is achieved.
Another essential element of a recovery program designed for a person who has left rehab is the ability to provide a new behavior pattern. Continuation with the old habits and routine may be a setback to the recovery efforts. The program should be able to break this routine and assist the individual to adopt a changed life. Adoption of new routines and behavior patterns is essential in reducing the person’s dependency on drugs. The program should also have a mechanism for maintaining the changed behavior.
Drug use is a learned behavior that can be unlearned through training. Successful adoption and learning of new behavior can be achieved through counseling and constant encouragement. Being at home provides a chance for family members to be involved in the individual’s recovery. This program defines the role of the family such as ensuring that the individual sticks to the adopted habits and does not get distracted. The family should also be actively involved in the person’s daily activities to keep him/her focused. Professional counselors also have a part to play in this regard. Counseling on successful behavior change is a vital aspect of this program as counselors will help the patient to maintain changed behavior and avoid distractions.
This program recognizes that it is not easy to change one’s life at the drop of a hat. It is a difficult task that the individual can accomplish through strict adherence to the behavior changes that are prescribed in the program. Some of the tactics that the program suggests include; keeping away from friends who are likely to influence the person back into the old life, throwing away items that were used to administer meth such as injections, developing new hobbies and interests, and creating new friendships with people who will assist in the recovery process among others. This program strongly recommends close association with spiritual and religious persons for encouragement.
The effects of meth do not wear off easily and the withdrawal symptoms are strong. Getting off meth is not something that can be accomplished overnight. Therefore, a successful program should run for an adequate length of time. The longer the process takes, the more successful it is likely to be. Short stints of the program are likely to be unsuccessful and the addict may need to be returned to a rehabilitation facility several times before full recovery is achieved.
This program is designed to last for approximately six months. This period, in my opinion, is adequate to assist the individual remain clean from the drug. He/she has already been through rehabilitation and should not be put under too much pressure after coming home. Six months of continued counseling, engagement in new habits, and observance of all the other aspects of this program are sufficient to fully recover from the addiction.
This program integrates the roles of various stakeholders to assist the addict to kick his addictive and destructive habit. In addition to the above, sober coaching at home is an essential part of this program. Once he/she has returned home, the addict needs assistance in dealing with different aspects of his/her life. The adoption of a new lifestyle may be strange and hard for someone who has always lived a certain way. It may be equally hard to continue with the new life and the temptation to get back into the old life may always exist. This is where the sober living home coaches come in.
These are professionals whose role is to assist the recovering addict with the new lifestyle. They help him/her to settle down after leaving rehab, reintegrate into social circles and they also assist him/her with career or professional matters. Their role of assisting this person is not restricted to the abovementioned facets of life alone, but they offer guidance and support in every way that may be needed so that the addict remains sober. Sober coaching at home is an aspect of this program that I think plays one of the essential parts in the recovery efforts of the addict. It complements the roles of family members and friends, and also other professionals such as counselors.
For the very weak patients, family and friends’ support may not be sufficient to achieve successful recovery for the addict. For this reason, the input of the sober coaches is invaluable. They are professionals and may be in a position to understand the addict more clearly. Family members lose faith in the addict if they do not see any positive results, but sober coaches can persevere and assist the person without judging him/her. This is why this program places such immense weight on their contribution.
One of the biggest issues that cause recovering addicts immense worry is the issue of cost. Rehabilitation is costly and this makes people abandon it midway. It also makes people get treatment for inadequate periods thereby reducing their chances of successful recovery. This is especially true if that particular kind of addiction requires treatment administered for long periods.
Treatment for meth addiction should be for a prolonged time, especially if the addict has been abusing the drug for a long time. It is, therefore, likely to be a very costly process. This program suggests ways of reducing the financial burden on the addict for successful completion of the program. The addict should get insurance cover for this treatment so that the insurance company can assist with the costs. The insurance may not be able to cover 100% of the cost but it may take care of a huge chunk of it. The addict should meet the costs that are not covered by insurance and if he/she cannot do it, then family members should step in and assist.
It is difficult to produce a recovery program that can assist every addict. Therefore, it is important to identify the needs of the addict in question and determine his/her ability to complete the program and benefit from it. The above program was designed with this in mind, and after considering the important characteristics of a good recovery program for an addict recovering while at home.