Social Model Recovery

Social Model Recovery

Social model recovery is a program used in addiction drug rehabilitation that is aimed at enabling the addict to relearn responses to stress, challenges, and anxieties by watching positive role models and experiencing and responding to stress differently.

The success of these model over the years, especially in extreme cases of addiction, has made it popular. It has helped a lot of addicts build formidable coping behaviour, skills, and new social support structure that enable them to deal with situations or experiences that would usually drive them to drugs in a positive manner.

Why Social Model Recovery is Important

Recovering from addiction is a personal choice that requires commitment and courage. However, social model recovery program helps the individual to achieve a long-term successful outcome.  Generally, people suffering from addiction or who are trying to recover and stay clean are alone in their journey. The lack of social support makes the journey harder and triggers negative emotions borne of loneliness that makes them relapse.

The goal of the social model recovery program in both alcohol and drug addiction is to provide this basic social structure. It emphasizes the need for the participants to develop a relationship with the environment, which includes other participants and staff in the program. An effort is also made to ensure that a caring and positive environment is carefully nurtured.

The ideal social model is not an individual. It’s an integrated team of staff and participants that creates the model. The healing and relearning of experiences come from the collective skills, experience, knowledge and support of everyone in the program, and it is the reason why the program has achieved significant success. That is not to say that individual help from staff or even participant does not help, but that the focus is on the collective.

Birth of the Model

In the early days of this model, the support and recovery homes were provided by other members in a support group (e,g. members of Alcoholic Anonymous) who may admit those trying to get clean and were homeless into their home- serving as role model to guide them on their path to recovery. As the success of such method became widespread, the government started to fund such group and rehabilitation programs- now making it a key component of their addiction recovery program.

Recovery homes such as this are usually structured as a community-based living centre where accommodation, food, recovery services, and guidance are provided to participants. Other services such as healthcare, community referrals, addiction education, recreational activities, and more may be provided by the facility. What each recovery home offers, varies. However, the overall goal and objective remain the same. They also sometimes go to outreach within and beyond their community to educate the public about addiction and drug use and let those struggling with staying clean know that they can help.

Further, there are community-based social model recovery homes that cater for outpatients.  They provide the same sober and positive environment to help addicts to recognize and cope positively with situations that triggered their drug or alcohol addiction.

Social model recovery program has worked over the years and continues to offer long-term assistance in helping addicts relearn how to deal with challenges positively and stay clean for a long-time.


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