The first thing to understand about recovery is that it’s an ongoing process that requires a lifetime commitment. Overcoming substance use takes time and dedication, but it can be a powerful journey of growth, which ultimately leads to great personal satisfaction and well-being.
Individualized Plans for Effective Recovery Management
Because addiction is a chronic condition, just like diabetes or hypertension, it is best treated like other chronic illnesses, using a disease management model, which includes a plan for managing the illness throughout the patient’s life. Long-term recovery is more likely when this kind of structured recovery management program is put into place. The program must include a support system and consistent follow-up to make sure patients don’t fall through the cracks.
Successful recovery management begins with a thorough, all-encompassing assessment to determine the patient’s needs.
There is no one size fits all approach to recovery. Because every person fighting substance use or addiction is unique, his or her treatment plan must be individualized to be effective. Successful recovery management begins with a thorough, all-encompassing assessment to determine the patient’s needs.
Young People Have Unique Recovery Needs
Young people also require a developmentally-appropriate recovery plan that not only addresses their substance use but also the delays in maturation that may have been caused by their substance use. Alcohol and drugs can waylay a young person’s brain chemistry, delaying normal emotional, psychological and mental growth. For example, a 19-year-old who began using at age 14 remains emotionally and intellectually stalled at that age. Treatment must target each child’s true developmental level in order to be effective.
It’s not enough to target the substance use itself. Rather than simply focusing on young peoples’ substance-related problems, their recovery should establish goals including improved health, happiness and self-sufficiency through education, employment, and a strong social network. By developing new interests, skill sets, and friends, young people improve their likelihood of embarking on a happy, independent life without substances.
Changing any behavior is extremely difficult, particularly for teenagers, and the reality is that relapses do occur. Patients must be supported, no matter what happens during their recovery process. To learn more about the services ARMS has available to help with assessment and treatment of substance-related problems, please call us at TK.