Seclusion may be the worst situation for people who are suffering from drug addiction. Without help from other people, addicts remain only in their own environment, making it difficult to avoid temptation. In community based addiction recovery, people are able to work together to achieve the sobriety that they are searching for.
Community based recovery housing has been a very effective method of treating people who are homeless or have no one to reach out to for help. Research has shown that a social model recovery is more effective in the long-term treatment of addicts than a clinical model recovery.
It is not effective to treat someone while they are isolated from their social community, just to release them back to the same community that got them hooked on drugs in the first place.
Current Models of Addiction Treatment
Some current models of treatment for addiction incorporate therapeutic punishment, meaning that even though someone who is suffering from addiction has an illness, they are still morally responsible for their behavior and can be therefore be punished as seen fit. The number of people who are suffering from addictions continues to skyrocket, yet still, despite the fact that addiction is recognized as a chronic brain disease in the medical world, there is a large stigma when it comes to treatment.
Since people who are in isolation often thrive off of their addiction, the solution seems to be to expand social model recovery. This would integrate a multi-disciplinarian team of both behavioral and medical specialists which would offer less anonymity to those who are suffering from addictions and more put more emphasis on creating a proper support network for each patient.
Twelve Step Groups
The traditional twelve step group does offer its community the chance for like-minded people to find support and understanding, however, people in these groups tend to hang on to their anonymity which may inadvertently keep them from creating a true social bond with participants.
Further, getting people to quit their addictions through programs like a twelve step program is only one part of recovery. Recovery is an ongoing process that should not end when the twelve steps are over. People need to acquire new skills, education, and training, which can all be integrated into community based treatment.
Current treatments are lacking the integration that is needed for programs to succeed. While many drug rehab facilities are off on their own, patients are unable to incorporate a new, permanent daily routine into their treatment. Community based recovery is so effective because it focuses on the long-term treatment of the patient and how detoxing them from their drug of choice can be a life-long solution.
New Recovery Solutions
New solutions are beginning to arise for those who are not willing to do face-to-face treatment of any sort. Some recovery institutions are beginning to form online groups, which are led by a psychologist and billed to insurance companies.
Following the physical detox from a substance, patients can choose to get community support through an online option. Participation rates in an online group may be higher for people who are shy or introverted around larger groups of people.
Online groups still work to get people interested again in life and used to interacting with other people again. Once a patient is acclimated to a group online, they are encouraged to seek in-person groups and other support networks that are in their area.
Beginning the process of community support in the privacy of one’s own home can help ease them into feeling part of a group, rather than an individual stigma.
When recovering from a substance use disorder, people often require and benefit from behavioral therapy to help them reintegrate back into a normal working society. With only a medical model of treatment, the social benefits of creating connections are taken away.
It is important to not only make it available, but to also take advantage of any kind of help or community support that is offered. Because there is not only one path that leads to addiction, there also is not only one path leading out of addiction.
Studies done on addicts in underserved and minority communities have shown that in areas with very few or no addiction treatment programs, individuals suffering from addictions who used their community’s resources and got involved with non-drug using support systems were able to maintain their recovery.
Studies have also shown that a patients’ recovery greatly depends on their close family and friends who are there to support the patient throughout the treatment process.
The most effective form of treatment for someone suffering from an addiction involves their immediate community. This includes family, churches, friends, doctors, and others who are able to support the wellbeing of the patient.
A community based model of addiction recovery is able to produce outcomes that leave patients with a better quality of life following their addiction and a greater chance of continuing their sobriety.
It is most helpful to help those suffering from addiction to flourish in their lives, rather than just prevent them from using a drug.
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