Having communication skills is a major, important strength that any recovering addict needs to keep in his or her recovery tool box. These communication skills are the ultimate of the ultimate when it comes to how a recovering addict will be able to address his or her trouble and problem issues that will undoubtedly come up again in the future.
Inpatient rehab centers are more and more likely to utilize communication skills now that it has become so clear that recovering addicts are relapsing because they simply do not know how to express themselves in modern day life and livingness. Day to day abilities to interact with others, get out of unhealthy situations, confront tense situations, and expertly handle upsetting situations are skills that recovering addicts need to have if they want to stay sober and abstinent for the rest of their lives.
Drug and Alcohol Addiction at its Worst Ever
Sadly, drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse in general are at a level now that is far worse than it ever has been before. These issues and these problems have necessitated the creation of more beneficial and more professional methods of addiction addressment. Inpatient rehab centers are now more than ever constructed and adjusted to be the most professional and most well thought out programs possible. True enough, these issues and these problems absolutely need to be looked at and addressed now more than ever and they will be too. The nation may be struggling with the highest-ever addiction problem it has ever experienced, but it is also currently experiencing the strongest push to get successful and beneficial rehab centers into the nation and get them up and running so the roaring need for rehab can be met.
A lot of research and study has been done lately on these issues to get to the bottom of this crisis and problem. To provide context, some of the findings of these research projects have been listed below as pertains to opiate pain reliever abuse (the number one most concerning drug abuse problem in the nation right now):
- Opioid pain relievers are sometimes diverted for the very, very non-medical use of them by patients or their friends, or sold in the street, or dealt out by crooked doctors. In the year of 2012 for example, more than five percent of the U.S. population of the age of 12 years or older used opioid pain relievers non-medically, a statistic that was not even extant in 1999. Recovered opiate abusers need communication skills so they can talk to doctors in the future and not be put on more opiate drugs.
- Prescription opioid abuse is not only costly in economic terms (it has been estimated that the non-medical use of opioid pain relievers costs insurance companies up to $72.5 billion annually in health-care costs) but may also be partly responsible for the steady upward trend in poisoning mortality in the nation. This is currently the most concerning issue in terms of substance abuse in the nation.
- The use and abuse of pain relievers and the incidence rate that comes from that was almost 2 times higher among those who reported prior heroin use than who did not (2.8 vs. 1.6 percent). Four out of five recent heroin initiates (79.5 percent in fact) previously used pain relievers non-medically, whereas only 1.0 percent of recent pain drug initiates had prior use of heroin. Basically pill use and abuse is a gateway drug of its own for heroin abuse. If addicts had better communication skills though, they would never fall into this trap again.
- A lot of people who use and abuse pills end up going on to abuse heroin. More than four percent of pill abuse initiates had initiated heroin use within the 5-year period following first pill use. The study contributes important new data to improve understanding of the role of prior pill use in initiation of heroin use in the U.S. general population. Basically the two keep going back and forth in tandem and by creating major problems for each other. This is called dual addiction, and communication skills can be the make it or break it point for any recovering addict in beating these addictions once and for all.
- In the year of 2010, there were 13,652 unintentional deaths from opioid pain relievers (82.8 percent of the 16,490 unintentional deaths from all prescription drugs) and there was a five-fold increase in treatment admissions for prescription pain relievers between the years of 2001 and 2011 (from 35,648 to 180,708, respectively actually). In the same decade in fact, there was a tripling of the prevalence of positive opioid tests among drivers who died within one hour of a crash too. Surveys show that recovering opiate addicts who learned communication skills while in rehab are less likely to relapse than those who didn’t learn such skills.
- In terms of abuse and mortality of such drugs, opioids account for the greatest proportion of the prescription drug abuse problem by far and by large. Deaths related to prescription opioids began rising in the early part of the 21st century and have been causing untold damage since then. By 2002 in fact, death certificates listed opioid analgesic poisoning as a cause of death more commonly than heroin or cocaine. Now, death certificates listed opioid analgesic poisoning as a cause of death more commonly than all drugs combined.
The Results of Communication Skills in Addiction Rehab
Going over communication in a rehab setting is a wise choice amongst wise choices. The rehabs that apply these techniques are thought to be the better ones, and their success rates certainly do go to show that they are getting something very, very right. Listed below are just thirty-two examples of the skills and the successes that can be found from going over communication skills in rehab:
- Increasing perception
- Developing coping skills
- Improving verbal expression
- Enhancing the listening ability
- Interacting with friends, family, and coworkers
- Handling social situations, especially when drugs and alcohol will be present
- Learning how to create drug and alcohol refusal
- Listening skills
- Developing empathy skills
- Understanding body language
- Creating positive assertiveness
- Helping create positive phrases for declining drugs and alcohol
- Putting together strategies for side-stepping peer pressure
- Finding out how to ask family and friends for support
- Performing a Client Goal Assessment
- Listing behaviors to combat peer pressure
- Modeling behavior for a client to replicate
- Providing feedback after role-playing
- Conveying unpleasant feelings
- Handling stressful situations
- Expressing anger in constructive ways
- Disagreeing without arguing
- Responding to unhelpful advice
- Maintaining composure
- Alternatives to drugs and alcohol for feeling good
- Refusal skills
- Listening as a part of two-way communication
- Following instructions
- Responding to criticism
- Establishing and maintaining boundaries
- Compromise and negotiation
It has never been clearer than it is now that communication skills really do need to be worked on in rehab. Addicts simply do not possess the necessary communication skills to make it and to make it well in life after rehab, so with that in mind it is now commonplace to utilize communication skills as an educational segment to most inpatient rehab programs. The sad truth is that addicts often relapse after rehab is completed, and a resounding, common denominator for why this occurs is that such individuals simply did not have the necessary tools to make it in life after rehab was completed, and basic communication skill was one of the ones missing by and large. With such skills being worked on now more and more, recovering addicts will be able to have a better chance at achieving and holding on to workable and practical recovery now and forever afterwards.