There is much debate about the use of the word recovery. Is an addict considered recovered after detox? After leaving a rehab program? When would recovery be considered?

In truth, recovery from substance abuse is also personal. Some people will recover fully quicker than others. Recovery is about stopping the craving and use of a substance completely and for life. Since life is a relative term, a lot of abusers are in a state of constant recovery, where they need to constantly challenge their desires with the tools they have been given during rehab. For a luxurious retreat you can visit luxury drug rehabs.

Post Rehab
After an addict has successfully completed a rehab program and is ready to leave the facility, his/her addiction is not fully over. What the rehab process has done is detoxify the body and mind from the substance. It has also helped the individual understand the source of the addiction and give them tools to integrate with society as well as control their urges by identifying environmental and psychological triggers.

Before leaving the facility, the patient will meet with an appointed counselor who will discuss and outline the post-rehab plans for aftercare. These plans can include in some cases revisiting the clinic over weekends as well as maintaining constant and continuous contact with the counselor and sponsor if appointed. If the individual comes from a substance-free environment or home, they can gain support from their family and friends as they re-integrate into society as well as into employment.

Most individuals maintain regular therapy sessions and some addicts are asked to perform regular drug testing for proof of sobriety. Group therapy is an acceptable and proven method for maintaining support, and that is why there are many approved and effective support societies available.

These include:
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Overeaters Anonymous (OA).
Pills Anonymous (PA).
Emotions Anonymous (EA).
Gamblers Anonymous (GA).
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA).
Cocaine Anonymous (CA).
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA).

One of the more famous post-rehab methods is the 12-step method developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and is used as a general framework for other substance abuse maintenance methods.

The AA twelve steps are:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I will discuss the 12 step and other counselling methods in detail in the next article.

Can addiction be cured?
Not always, however, addictions can be managed successfully through constant vigil and maintenance. Some addictions, such as smoking tobacco can be cured, and alcoholics can revert to either full abstinence or partial (social) drinking. Since recovery is individual, some addicts can be cured while others cannot.

Does relapse mean treatment has failed?
No. Relapse is one of the accepted pitfalls of an addict, where social, psychological, and environmental pressures can trigger a relapse. The only time we call it a failure is when the addict loses hope of recovery. Hope is the core of success and is the psychological mainstay of defining recovery. So long as the addict retains hope recognizes their relapse and seeks help, then the treatment has not failed.