Many people struggling with alcohol or drug addictions assume that all addiction recovery programs are exactly the same. However, addiction recovery programs vary greatly so that they can accommodate all people suffering from drug or alcohol addictions and their different needs.
Recovery programs are sets of treatments and therapies that are organized and grouped together in a structured and sequenced format to help a person with a drug or alcohol addiction to effectively manage and treat their condition. These programs are also designed to help give recovering addicts the tools and resources they need to remain sober and relapse-free in the future. These recovery programs are also developed based on models of treatment that give the programs a philosophical basis and structure to go off of.
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The 12 steps are the most well-known and recognized addiction recovery model. As such, many programs of recovery are designed with that treatment model in mind. While they may not explicitly state that they are 12 step programs, they will use the sequencing of admitting to having a problem, admitting that their addiction is beyond their control, and so on to create a sequence for therapy sessions and treatments.
In addition to the 12 steps, there are a variety of other recovery programs that may be used to design programs of recovery. These include:
The cognitive/behavioral model of addiction recovery focuses on a person's thoughts and emotions which are known psychologically as cognitions, and that person's actions and patterns of action which are, of course, behaviors. This focus helps to determine a person's triggers for substance abuse as well as the actions and thoughts that led them to develop an addiction in the first place. This helps a person to be self-aware, as well as to learn how to develop alternative patterns of thought and behavior that will help to prevent relapse in the future.
The motivational incentives model of addiction recovery is a form of addiction treatment that focuses on intention and motivation for the recovering addict. Many times a person's mind becomes so ingrained in substance abuse that they only associate pleasure and reward with drug abuse. However, in order to be successful in recovery, they need to have motivation to overcome their addiction, and feel as if being substance abuse-free is a rewarding state of being.
As such, this model of recovery emphasizes that motivational connection by offering recovering addicts tangible rewards or incentives to encourage them to participate in their recovery and treatments. These rewards can be small such as food or a minimal monetary prize. The point is that any prize or reward attained will trigger the reward centers in the brain, releasing endorphins and even increasing energy. This helps the recovering addict to associate recovery with positive feeling and emotions and helps them to realize that they can experience happiness and pleasure without abusing drugs or alcohol.
Within recovery programs, there are several different treatments that are used to achieve the end goal of overcoming an addiction and maintaining sobriety. Some of these include:
Art therapy is a treatment option that allows recovering addicts to build emotional awareness through the creation and discussion of art. By creating art and then looking at it with a therapist and others in therapy, a person can see a physical manifestation of emotions they may not even realize they were feeling. This helps them to become more cognizant and conscious of their emotions and will help to prevent those emotions from taking over and causing them to relapse in the future. Art is also an excellent coping strategy for taking negative emotions and channeling them into a productive activity.
Individual and group therapies are core treatments in most programs of recovery. In individual therapy, a recovering addict works on-on-one with a therapist to uncover their individual reasons for substance abuse and the triggers in their lives. In group therapy they are able to share their experiences and fears with others going through the same struggles and develop coping strategies as well as to understand that they are not alone in their addiction struggles.