About Addiction Recovery

All About Recovery from Addiction

Recovery from drug addiction means a person is in some stage of actively abstaining from drug use. Most would agree recovery is a lifelong process. It generally starts with rehab and detox, if necessary and then joining a 12 step or non 12 step support group where you actively participate in growth, development and self discovery.

Successful recovery from drug addiction is happening to millions of American, every day. They live normal, happy lives. Still, most addicts never get a chance to recover, or are unsuccessful in keeping the disease of addiction in abstinence and remission.

Defining Recovery from Addiction

Recovery starts with a person's willingness to admit they have a problem. Most drug addicts live in a state known as "denial". Meaning they are denying to themselves and others the degree to which they are abusing drugs. Without the addict's cooperation and commitment to the process of recovery, no real lasting recovery can occur.

Recovery is a process, not a destination. It starts with admitting they have a problem and then moves in the direction of learning about addiction and practicing the principles required.

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Addiction and Recovery is a Disease

Addiction is a disease and it is fatal. Thanks to a few medical pioneers some 75 years ago, drug addiction was reclassified, and people are now allowed to be treated medically rather than just psychologically.

There is no known "cure" for addiction. Putting it and keeping it in remission is the only known way to overcome it. Addiction is a disease that cannot be cured. Some people can stay off drugs without actively participating in a program of recovery, but they are at high risk of relapsing.

Recovery from Addiction is a Process

Recovery from addiction can be defined as the process whereby a self proclaimed addict is actively participating in a program to help insure they abstain from using any mood-altering substances. The process of recovery from drug addiction is rarely simple or easy. Much has been written and debated on this vital, life-saving phenomenon. It is a process because there is much to learn. Also, many things in the addicted person's life should be closely examined and changed to insure a drug-free lifestyle is obtained and maintained.

The Role of the 12 Steps in Addiction Recovery

There are lots of different ways to obtain and sustain abstinence from drug abuse. There are alternatives to the 12-step path as it does not necessarily work for everyone. We encourage people from looking at all the options available and choosing the one they feel is right for them.

Steps to Successful Recovery from Drug Addiction

The alcohol and drug rehabilitation industry's general format for successful addiction recovery: Here are the general steps which most people have taken to become and stay drug-free, in recovery.

  1. honestly admit there is a problem
  2. become willing to take action
  3. detox - medically monitored withdrawal from all the substances
  4. some form of assessment and evaluation
  5. determine what level of rehabilitation needed
  6. enroll in the right, best drug rehab available
  7. attend and fully participate in initial rehab program
  8. plan, enroll and participate in a continuing plan of rehabilitation
  9. Find NA or other 12-step meetings and do a meeting every day for 90 straight days
  10. Work the 12-steps or some other support group's program and make staying clean the #1 priority

#1 in theory, the first step is the addict should admit they have a problem and become willing to take action to address the problem.

#2 a certain amount of willingness is a very important element to addiction recovery. Unless or until the addict is willing to put in the effort and make a significant amount of changes, their chances for success are limited.

#3 get safely and medically detoxed off all the drugs in the body. As long as there are chemical substances in the person's body they are not really mentally or physically prepared to participate.

#4 & #5 an evaluation and assessment will help determines what level of rehab is recommended and identify some of the issues which should be addressed there.

#6 finding the right best rehab program requires verification of the individual's health insurance. It will decide where they can go and for how long. Without insurance the person is faced with either paying out of pocket or enlisting the aid of some form of state or charity funded facility.

#7 participation goes along with #2, willingness. If the person is in a full-time residential program, they will need to put their live on hold while they are there. The standard 28 day program is like going to school, with both therapeutic and educational components.

#8 once the initial stage of rehab is completed, the process has just begun. Addiction recovery is a life-long commitment to a new lifestyle. A continuing planning of the next stages may include living in a sober or half-way house arrangement for up to a year. Most plans are for a lower level of rehab, such as an outpatient program.

#9 although most rehabs initiate their clients to the 12-steps, the addict needs to become a member of either AA or NA or both. The 12-steps have proven themselves to be the most effective and successful path to long term recovery. Alternative support groups have recently sprouted up, including SMART Recovery and Rational Recovery. There are non 12 step alternatives that do not use the 12 steps.

#10 staying clean for a lifetime is not simple or easy. Many addicts have managed to stay clean for some period of time and then relapse (use). It is not uncommon for this to happen. The final leg of successful addiction recovery requires a firm commitment to attending 12-step meetings or some other support group and working a solid program to the best of the person's ability.

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