Finding a Recovery Program that works.
It may be argued that addiction treatment and recovery programs have a strong hold in America. Since man first crushed grapes and discovered that he could get drunk, there have been alcoholics seeking treatment or a recovery program in one form or another. According to Anjali Talcherkar (2018), from year 1750 to the early 1800’s “Native Americans used native healing practices to treat alcoholism.” In the present, there are an abundance of treatment methods for alcoholism and substance abuse. Practices including medicated assisted treatment (MAT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), 12-step fellowships, inpatient treatment, individual therapy, in addition to many others, are implemented in various settings to treat the individual suffering and ultimately attain total abstinence and live a contented life. There are a lot of positive things about working in a recovery program in my personal experience.
Beginning with medicated assisted treatment, I have attempted multiple medications to treat my substance dependence. Two specific medications I implemented were methadone and suboxone. Methadone and suboxone both served a purpose. They did what they were meant to do—harm reduction, what I was told is the goal of methadone maintenance. No longer was buying and abusing opiates a necessity. No longer was I contributing to organized crime. No longer was I stealing, cheating, and manipulating to obtain my next “fix”. I had gained a small amount of relief. However, that freedom kept me going to the methadone clinic for over two years to get my daily dose. It took me 2 years to get off that medication; and it was terrifying.
Inpatient treatment essentially arrests one’s alcohol or substance abuse as the result of a short term (14 days) to long term (60 days) residency in a 24-hour care facility. Personally, my addiction required arresting to clear my head before attempting to recover. I was offered medicated detox, counseling, groups, and assisted in developing a recovery program to help meet my needs upon discharge. In theory, I would be “set-up for success.” Of course, I would be required to take more action in my recovery to stay sober; I never took that action and consistently failed.
“After multiple attempts with conventional methods, once I finally got off methadone I attempted a recovery program that worked.”
The predominant method of addiction treatment which I can confidently say has saved and permitted me the life I now have was attending and working 12-step fellowship. This form of treatment extends back to the 1930’s and is based upon simple concepts which are proven to be effective. Unlike the other methods of recovery programs in this article, through continued work in the 12-steps I have obtained serenity and a purposeful life. No longer am I bonded to my self-will, my selfish thoughts and motives, or my struggle to control every aspect of my being. Conclusively, 12-step recovery programs have proven to be one of the most efficacious methods I have attempted. I am grateful for the stabilization MAT gave me but I learned how to live with guidance from men in recovery and the help of the 12-step recovery program.
Today I have over 3 years of complete abstinance, I am in school full time for counseling psychology, am a NJ Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, have been able to obtain and maintain stable housing. I have held the same job for over 2 years, which is a full time job. I have rebuilt relationships with my family and continue to help others in that 12-step program. I highly suggest any person struggling with alcoholism or substance abuse to utilize this method in conjunction with any and all other options to increase your chances of success. I have found freedom and hope you can as well.
Talcherkar, A. (2018, January 22). Timeline: History of Addiction Treatment. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://www.recovery.org/topics/history-of-addiction-treatment/