Why does Social Recovery Work for Opiate Addiction?

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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opiate addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to break free from. Many people suffer from opiate addiction due to a medical condition or a condition that causes chronic physical or mental pain. This makes addiction recovery difficult for most because the condition necessitates some form of drug treatment. This is where social recovery theory might help.

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What is Social Recovery?

Social recovery theory is the idea that people become addicted to opiates and other drugs due to environmental and social factors. In the case of opiate addicts it is the chronic physical and emotional pain they experience that begins the addiction. Most people addicted to opiates are:

  • socially isolated
  • in physical or mental pain
  • under extreme stress
  • impoverished
  • self-medicating for an undiagnosed illness

In social recovery theory, if these conditions are not corrected, the addiction will never go away. You will always need a chemical crutch to help alleviate the symptoms. Basically social recovery is the theory that people who have an environmental or psychological reason to become addicted will be addicts.

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47,300* People Addicted
23,100* Getting Help
8,209* Deaths
*Statistic from 2015

What Makes Social Recovery Right for Opiate Addiction?

Social Recovery Work

In social recovery, the goal is to find the cause of the addiction and to try and correct it.

Social recovery works for opiate addiction because there is a foreseeable and often correctable cause. If the environmental, physical, and psychological factors are being treated then the drug addiction will stop surfacing. Most people who believe in social recovery believe in treating the whole person, not just the addiction. Although each person’s circumstances are different, finding and treating the cause of opiate addiction, stops the addiction.

For example: if someone is in chronic pain, treating that pain with another drug, surgery, or other corrective measures will stop the person from needing the opiates after the physical withdrawal is gone.

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How Does it Work?

Social recovery theory works by replacing the opiate with the things that a person is lacking. After withdrawal, counseling begins. This counseling is not necessarily on how to deal with triggers and other problems that addicts encounter, it is to discover the initial cause of the addiction.

If the cause of the addiction is chronic pain, the treatment course is relatively simple. Counselors and doctors work together to find the source of the pain and use methods aside from opiates to return the person to a more normal functional level without pain.

If there are multiple causes to the addiction, counselors and doctors find and correct each cause one by one until the addict no longer has a reason to take the opiates. This is sometimes a very lengthy and difficult process but one that isolates why someone is addicted rather than just dealing with the aftermath of the addiction.

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How to Find a Treatment Center that uses Social Recovery Theory

Although social recovery is not a new treatment method, many treatment centers use different names for it. You can find an addiction treatment center that uses the basics of social recovery theory by calling us at (800) 407-7195.

the Take-Away

Social recovery follows the idea that addiction develops due to one’s environment or social factors such as isolation. This form of treatment works to address all aspects of a person, not just their addiction.