The Way We Think About Recovery Is Wrong

The Way We Think About Recovery Is Wrong

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Addiction treatment has evolved through the decades and one of the major shifts that facilitated this positive pivot into a direction that focusing on healing rather than punitive punishment was the removal of moralizing this disease. Once we discovered that those who are afflicted with Substance Use Disorder are not morally compromised, weak, or lazy, we were able to course correct and transform treatment into an orientation whereby recovery, personal growth and responsibility, and healing took precedence over the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. As this paradigm shifted out of necessity, we ought to be looking at how the current software could be updated to rise to the demands of individual sufferers in contemporary culture.

Possibly a reflection of our current political and ideological climate, it seems that there is a severe lack of nuance when it comes to the conversation around the level of personal responsibility that one ought to take within the context of recovery. The key here is to place our beliefs about what we think is right on the backburner momentarily, so we have the chance to engage in an open discussion about this not-so-obvious topic. The camps are represented, ostensibly, by either an approach whereby most, if not all, responsibility is laid at the feet of the addict and they are essentially left to “figure it out”. Conversely, the other approach would be to keep addicts in early recovery under a “lockdown” whereby they are generally disallowed from obtaining employment, attending school, and where strict restrictions are put on the freedom to act as they wish. The case for the former approach is justified by the assumption that the addict is ultimately the one to exert agency over their dismal situation, that they created the “problem” in the first place, and that they should be the ones to find whatever solution they see fit. The latter approach is justified by the idea that, left to their own devices, addicts in early recovery will inevitably engage in maladaptive behaviors that will often lead to relapse. There is validity and truth to both of these approaches, but most issues with polarized solutions, we need to extrapolate the nuances of both and create a more integrative manner by which we approach addiction recovery. In other words, just as no one is running Windows 95 in 2019, we need a software update to meet the needs of the current recovery landscape.

When determining how, practically, a mutually supportive “team” might be most effective in addiction recovery, we can first address at the components that make up a successful recovery program. First and foremost, there is the individual who is suffering the addiction. It’s safe to say that those who are in early sobriety are hardly capable of autonomously “solving” their problem of addiction. In fact, we know this as the Big Book references those whose “self will (has) run riot” and the fate that lies ahead. Clearly, the addicts best thinking lead us to a path that was self-destructive and harmful to most that get intertwined in this disastrous dance. That being said, we can identify 3 sources of support that are necessary and crucial to facilitate growth and sobriety. First is the family support system. While it is markedly effective to have the support from family members during this process, there is often residual dynamics at play within family structures that severely limit the capacity in which they can be an effective. Support, compassion, and intermittent nudging when the addict becomes complacent seems to be the limits of the scope for families. There is also the social support network that will need to be fostered so that the addict can feel accepted and backed by individuals who are suffering from the same disease. This is a crucial component that is typically achieved through the attendance and engagement of 12-step meetings. Equally, if not more so powerful than familial support, is the social support network to the recovering addict. It appears as though those who establish a healthy support network within the recovery community give themselves the best chance of long-term sobriety as it helps create an environment in which the individual can thrive while feeling supported and understood by a like-minded community. The final component is one that is invaluable; that is the incorporation of addiction professionals into the process of recovery. Addiction is an extremely complicated disease that requires nuanced approaches to yield the most effective and long-lasting results. No family should have to take on all the weight of this alone as it’s insidiousness has ripped apart many a family who have tried.

The myriad of services that are offered by Hired Power attend to the specific needs of the recovering addict but this is not the best part. The most advantageous aspect of what Hired Power offers is a solution to the problem posed at the beginning of this article. How do we find a middle ground between the “lockdown-babysitting” approach and the “laissez-faire” approach? Hired Power has answered this call with the implementation of Personal Recovery Assistants, Care Management services, Safe Passage, and Sober Monitoring programs. These services are crucial as a means of empowering the newly-sober addict to accomplish the things they need to accomplish autonomously, while concurrently providing the precise level of support to not only meet the needs of the individual, but to do so in a way where the addict is feels supported but also is encouraged to do as much independently as is healthy and advantageous to their recovery. During a time where cookie-cutter treatment centers are the standard, Hired Power offers programs that will instill confidence, promote personal responsibility, teach skills, address external concerns (legal, medical, and even transportation), and provide continued support throughout all stages of recovery.

Hired Power has the experience, expertise and supportive environment to help you achieve lasting recovery. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Call us today: (714) 559-3919.