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Staying Sober

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This is about staying sober and the many programs that are available to help people become sober. Staying sober is a choice and takes will power to maintain sobriety. The many stresses of life are the reason that most people drink on a daily basis. Some behaviors that people have that drink or use drugs are a compulsive behavior. Many programs to becoming sober are costly, in the end if sobriety can be maintained it is worth it in the end. The hardest thing about staying sober is getting sober. Going through detox can be the worst. Most counties in the State of Indiana have a drug and Alcohol program. In Jennings County however the program has been ended. The rise of parole and probation violations has risen with the program coming to an end due to budget cut backs.

Some alcoholics replace on drug with another, there are great risk replacing on drug with another drug. There is no scientific evidence for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) there are just the principles of the program. It is a self help program and for it to be successful individuals have to be will to work the steps that are provided by the program. AA and other programs are sometimes court ordered. Some individuals get tired of the way of life that they have encountered by using alcohol and other drugs that they either go to a detox center or AA voluntarily. The steps that are provided by AA are used in many treatments and detox centers. In the end with the will power and the motivations of the individual self help programs will work.

Staying Sober 3 Discussion

Addiction is a common affliction. It is a complex disease affecting both the brain and body. (NIDA Guide Drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug craving, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences.) One big challenge is becoming sober, but the biggest obstacle is often the choice that being sober and living a clean life is more important than the feeling associated with the drug. There are multiple approaches to becoming sober. The common are the intensive in-patient rehabilitation, pharmacological treatments and self-guided programs. Locally there are several hospitals including Community Hospital North and Valle Vista that offer in-patient sobriety programs. Another program that people have found that helps is called Celebrate Recovery. It is based on the same twelve steps as AA. Nationally there are treatment centers that offer recovery methods including holistic, and faith based methods in addition to the self help and medical/psychological counseling methods. The most well known self directed program is the twelve step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous.

An in-patient program is a two aspect medical process. The first aspect the person is detained until such a time as the affects of the chemical of addiction is passed through the system. Concurrently and also afterward for a short time the person is afforded psychological counseling concerning the underlying reason for the addiction. In some programs the person is still required or recommended to allow the person to continue Staying Sober 4 coping with the situation which motivated him/her to use drugs. The drawbacks to a medical program include: the cost of the hospital stay, the medical affect on the person, and the brevity of the in hospital program. There is also no standardized time table associated with an affective program, but there are limitations on what most health insurance companies will cover for in-patient care stays where the admittance is voluntary.

Where the program is court ordered the whole cost of the program is often borne by the person and his/her family. Thus even though the program if allowed the proper length of time can be affective, the cost may prohibit the person from remaining there long enough to see the full benefit of the care. Few criminal justice programs see the cost benefit of financial assistance for the addicted person versus the relapse and recidivism rate. Jennings County Indiana recently ended a highly affective counseling and prevention program for drug addiction, due to the lack of funds and the rate of violation of parole for drug related offenses have jumped significantly.

Often related to in-patient treatment but not always is the use of other medications to assist the addict in the cessation of use of the drug of choice. Both in residential and medical treatment of the addiction can be either voluntary or court ordered. There is evidence of effectiveness for both compulsory and voluntary programs (NIDA Guide). Pharmacotherapy is the easiest method of recovery to measure and analyze. Drug effectiveness on a body and the length and severity of withdrawal from the addictive substance can be monitored during the time of administration of the anti-addictive medication. Thus from a scientific stand point it may seem that using one drug to counter Staying Sober 5 act the effects of another may be the most affective. However there is also the fact that there is a risk of simply replacing one addiction with another.

Self guided programs are those that depend on the choice of the individual to become clean and sober. There are multiple approaches to self help in the area of addiction, the best known of the self help groups are the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups and their sister groups for other particular drugs of choice. One aspect of the AA program is the principle of total abstinence is the only method of recovery. Another is the insistence that a “Higher Power” is present to allow the addict to relieve themselves of responsibility of some aspects of life. (Teenagers, as a group, are particularly vulnerable to drug and alcohol addiction.) One of the greatest advantages to the AA is the ubiquity of groups. Most every town or city has at least one and often several groups available, morning and evening, and in most localities group meetings convene every night of the week. Although the resources distributed by AA for member assistance are not based directly on scientific or direct research, but the principles of the program (a multiple step program) have been tested by independent research and is used in multiple residential and court ordered programs as well. The basic tenant of a self help program is that the person trying to get control of their addiction must be self motivated to be clean and sober.

They also have a preference not to be within a residential or medical setting during this process. Furthermore the self process continues for those who were in the other programs and are beyond the initial steps and are maintaining sobriety. NIDA notes that the effectiveness of a recovery program is directly related to the length of the active treatment; however there is no set length of time for Staying Sober 6 active treatment that is an assurance of ongoing sobriety. The guide also notes the need for re-admittance for those who relapse into active use. AA on the other hand attempts to provide active non-professional group counseling on an ongoing basis to allow alcoholics (and others) to not have the program length be too short for effectiveness.

AA is more than counseling though. It is a program were many recovering alcoholics join together to share their experience strength and hope to the alcoholic that thinks there is no hope. Or to other recovering alcoholics that might be able to benefit from what is said. Sometimes there are conflicts working with an individual that wants to be sober and clean, but the individual just does not want to listen to what is said. The behavior of an individual when they are sober and when the individual is still using is compulsive. The individual does things that are stupid and out of control. (The basic tenant being a program that is ongoing and voluntary is never too short.)

Staying Sober 8 Conclusion

Although there is no single guaranteed method of sustained recovery, there are factors that are common in all methods used to achieve initial recovery. The length of the recovery program is not set, and depends on both the individual and the drug of choice involved. The length of recovery also depends on the will power of individuals that are trying to stay sober. There are financial and logistical limitations on some recovery programs that limit length of treatment and may also have a negative effect on long term sobriety. The many different programs work for different individuals and the different programs do not all work the same for everybody. In the end self help programs and the motivation of the individual to remain clean and sober is the most useful and sustainable method of long term recovery.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (2009) Retrieved from
Drug Rehab, Alcohol Treatment, Detox and Addiction Resources (2009) Retrieved from www.soberrecovery.com/drug-rehabilitation-alcohol-treatment

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