Addiction Recovery is a Parallel Process for Family

Recovery from addiction is not only possible, it is the rule, rather than the exception. S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 75 percent of people addicted to alcohol or drugs recover—their condition improves and substance use no longer dominates their life. It is often a long and bumpy path, and relapse is nearly inevitable—but that doesn’t spell the end of recovery. There are coping strategies to be learned and skills to outwit cravings, and sober house practicing them not only tames the impulse to resume substance use but also gives people pride and a positive new identity that hastens recovery. Developing an addiction to drugs isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal.

process of recovery from addiction

Addictions are often used as a means to escape reality, serving as a conduit to not be present for one’s life. Therefore, recovery from addiction naturally means that one should be facing reality more often, however, other forms of escapism may persist (binge watching Netflix, social media, etc.). Nonetheless, mindfulness practices that are often taught by addiction specialists in addiction treatment programs and in addiction therapy enforce the importance of being present for one’s life. Mindfulness has become a critical therapeutic technique, often incorporated into Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Positive Psychology, among others. Once an individual understands why he or she abused drugs or alcohol, the odds or maintaining long-term recovery improve.

The 12 Steps Of Alcoholics Anonymous

Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. Self-esteem can be defined as one’s attitude towards themselves. More specifically, do they have a positive or negative view of themselves. Self-esteem is an extremely important component of mental wellbeing. Abraham Maslow included esteem in his Hierarchy of Needs as being fundamental to an individual’s psychological needs (although his view of esteem was a more external sense of esteem, but nonetheless connected to self-esteem). When they can identify the signs of a potential relapse and get help before that happens, this could help prevent a relapse.

What are the 3 principles of recovery?

Holistic: Recovery focuses on people's entire lives, including mind, body, spirit and community. Nonlinear: Recovery isn't a step-by-step process but one based on continual growth, occasional setbacks and learning from experience. Strengths-based: Recovery builds on people's strengths.

Despite these changes, relapse is always possible during this stage. If relapse occurs, it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the road – there is still hope for a successful recovery. This step might be the hardest one; opening up to your loved ones about addiction and asking for help takes a tremendous amount of courage. But strength isn’t found in ignoring struggles; it’s found in admitting our weaknesses and seeking help when you need it most.

The first step to overcoming drug abuse and addiction

In addition, self-care is a vital foundation for a healthy new identity. At the very least, self-care should include sleep hygiene, good nutrition, and physical activity. Sleep is essential for shoring up impulse control and fostering good decision-making.

If someone has been in recovery for six months or more, they enter the maintenance stage. They have learned relapse prevention strategies and ways to cope with triggers and cravings. They are using those tools and strategies to deal with difficult situations and maintain their sobriety. The preparation stage, or determination stage, is when someone with addiction becomes ready to take action. It could start with looking for information online or making changes to quit at home and self-manage withdrawal symptoms. A person may not even realize they have an addiction or that it’s problematic.


Complacency or a sense that the work is done once you reach maintenance is often a one-way ticket to recovery relapse. Someone might remain in this stage due to a lack of information about addictive behaviors. Another reason we regularly see people get stuck in the precontemplation stage is disappointment with multiple failed attempts at recovery and treatment options. Most individuals in precontemplation feel that recovery simply isn’t possible for them. Addiction is a complicated and difficult disorder, and getting to the point of accepting help and treatment can be a long road.

Over time, reward circuits regain sensitivity to respond to normal pleasures and to motivate pursuit of everyday activities. Areas of executive function regain capacity for impulse control, self-regulation, and decision-making. • Developing a detailed relapse prevention plan and keeping it in a convenient place for quick access when cravings hit, which helps guard against relapse in the future. A good relapse prevention plan specifies a person’s triggers for drug use, lists several coping skills to deploy, and lists people to call on for immediate support, along with their contact information.

You can talk to your doctor, therapist, support group, peer group, and many others. It can feel more difficult than it’s worth, but the truth is, recovery is worth every single trial you’ll face. Build up a community of support around yourself to help on the worst days, relish in the victories and keep your goal always in mind.

You’ll notice sunny days; you’ll finally find the energy to clean the house, take a walk or enjoy a movie; you’ll find it easier to speak to friends and family members with kindness; you’ll opt for healthy choices more easily. Resilience refers to an individual’s ability to cope with change and adversity. Resilience develops over time and gives an individual the capacity not only to cope with life’s challenges but also to be better prepared for the next stressful situation. Psychological resilience, the ability to cope with adversity and to adapt to stressful life events, varies widely from person to person and depends on environmental as well as personal factors.

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