Issues in Recovery

Essay by livininriUniversity, Master'sA, April 2009

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Grand Canyon UniversityPCN529 Co-Occurring DisordersJanuary 22, 2009IntroductionThe decision to change addictive and potentially damaging behaviour can ultimately result in a number of positive changes for the individual. While a sudden behavioral change may be a relatively easy task, it is the promotion and maintenance of this behavioral change in the long-term that can prove extremely difficult for both the individual and his or her family and support system. Furthermore, it is typical for those individuals recovering from an addiction to be diagnosed with what is referred to as a co-occurring disorder, which is a condition affecting the individual while he or she is in the recovery stage. As part of the process, many patients recovering from an addiction initially suffer physiological problems, conflicts with their families as they attempt to renegotiate the conventional conception of everyday life.

Recovery from a substance abuse disorder is typically defined as the process of abstaining from the temptation of alcohol or other drug use while simultaneously making intrapersonal and interpersonal changes to maintain this behavioral change.

Specific changes occur in the patient's physical and psychological health, and their spiritual, social and family relationships. When the patient is in a state of recovery, the reality of that process is one of actual biological withdrawal from the specific drug upon which the patient has become dependent through habitual use. In order to prevent a relapse, the patient must be kept within the confines of a supportive environment in order to reduce stress and the corresponding desire to indulge in a former addiction. While the patient's physical reaction to withdrawal symptoms is typically the most apparent and seemingly the most significant, the psychological repercussions of a forced behavioural change can be the key to sustained disconnection from the individual's addictive tendencies. That is to say, while the...