STAGES OF RECOVERY
The milestones in recovery from addiction are both similar to and different from the process of recovering from almost any chronic, life-threatening illness. Each individual has unique amounts of protective features, risk factors, and resilience for recovery. Treatment and aftercare ideally combine to improve outcome by changing a relapse-prone individual into a recovery-prone person.
The needs of every recovering physician change over time. Without appropriate problem-solving strategies, the willingness to reach out for help and respond appropriately to feedback, and the ability to successfully cope with stuck points and stressors, relapse is likely. A thorough recognition of the stages through which the recovering physician must pass and ways to overcome stuck points in the journey of recovery is essential.
Recovery is a process with clearly defined stages . It requires changes that are perceptible to those around the recovering physician. It is a long-term process that requires:
· Abstinence from mood-altering substances.
· A conscious decision to take those specific actions that increase the likelihood for success in recovery (including changes in values, perception and behaviors).
· Knowledge about the natural history of the illness (87) and its recovery.
· Knowledge of the skills to begin and continue.
· The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in their current recovery program.
· The willingness to accept feedback from others who are skilled at monitoring continued personal growth.
· The ability not to deny and evade problems, stresses, and behaviors (when unopposed) frequently lead to relapse.
Although the recovery time course is unique for each individual, Gorski (88) has defined the recovery stages as follows:
Ø Transition: Starts when the individual begins to believe they have a problem with alcohol or drugs. It ends when the individual becomes will to reach out for help.
Ø Stabilization: The patient completes the physical withdrawal and p' acute withdrawal. Both physical and emotional healing begins. The obsession from drug and/or alcohol use subsides. The physician-patient begins to feel hope and develop motivation for recovery.
Ø Early Recovery: A time of internal change when the recovering physician begins to let go of painful feelings about his or her disease (guilt shame, fear, resentment, etc.). The compulsion to use alcohol and drugs vanishes. The reliance on nonchemical coping skills to address problems and situations, which previously triggered chemical use, strengthens.
Ø Middle Recovery: Balance begins to be restored. The wreckage of the past is cleaned up. Relationships are developed that positively reinforce learned skills that ensure continued personal growth.
Ø Late Recovery: Resolution of painful events and issues related to growing up in a dysfunctional family must occur.
Ø Maintenance: The recovering physician begins to practice the principles of successful recovery in all daily activities.
For further details or queries, please feel free to contact our doctor.