The question seems like it has an obvious answer: Recovery means you no longer manifest addictive behavior. On closer inspection, though, the answer is not so obvious, and in fact, there are probably many valid answers. Everyone is different, with a different history, a different pattern of substance use, and different goals for recovery. If you want to recover from addiction, it helps to know what you mean by recovery. Here are some factors to consider when creating your vision for your own addiction recovery.
Harm reduction is perhaps the least ambition goal for recovery, but depending on your situation, it might be a good place to start. Harm reduction might mean getting yourself tested regularly for infectious diseases, making use of needle exchange programs to reduce the risk of infections, or making sure you don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. Harm reduction may not be what most people think of as recovery, but it’s certainly an improvement. It can also be a first step toward a more comprehensive treatment plan.
Abstinence will be at least part of the recovery picture for many–or even most–people trying to recover from addiction. According to some people, especially people involved with 12-step programs, you’re not actually in recovery unless you are abstinent. This may be overly strict in some cases, but many people who have struggled with addiction find that abstinence is absolutely necessary for them.
Even abstinence isn’t enough for a strong recovery. Recovery is not only about stopping addictive behavior, but also addressing the problems behind it. Addiction is often a symptom of other problems, often of trauma, a mental health issue, or dysfunctional relationships. Addressing these problems takes your recovery to a deeper level. You don’t have to spend so much time “white knuckling” your sobriety. Recovery is also about making positive changes. Living a healthier life, making supportive friends, and finding positive direction mean that you aren’t only stopping a destructive behavior, but starting many positive ones. In this way, recovery isn’t so much about getting back the life you had before addiction as it is about creating a better life.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental illness, we can help. Recovery Ways is a premier drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We have the resources to effectively treat a dual diagnosis. Our mission is to provide the most cost-effective, accessible substance abuse treatment to as many people as possible. Request information online or call us today at 1-888-986-7848.