Things You Should Know About People In Recovery
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Things You Should Know About People In Recovery
Substance use disorders and addiction are illnesses that have the power to invade every facet of your life. This is often what happened to many people who are now in recovery. It’s not just a dependence on drugs or alcohol to feel good. It acts as a parasite that festers and eats away at mental health, relationships, work, and even your will to live. People in recovery work hard not only to abstain from using but also to understand what led them down that path of destruction and how they can keep it from ever happening again.
Sadly, many misconceptions about addiction and recovery lead to a looming stigma around the subject, and many people are left with the struggles of guilt and shame. People in recovery struggle to express what they’re going through and often refrain from talking to their peers about it out of fear of judgment or abandonment. My family thought I only had a drinking problem until a couple of years into my recovery. I struggled to open up about anything more because I felt I would lose the support system I had just managed to rebuild.
The hard truth of this is that in recovery, we often realize that one of the things we need most is connection, and it’s something that we were likely lacking in our addictive lives. Even after treatment, overcoming addiction alone can be challenging. It is crucial for people to understand the difficulty of addiction and recovery. So, as we navigate our recovery, the best thing our friends and family can actually do for us is make it clear that they stand with us and support us as we make progress. By coming together, family, friends, and partners can encourage us and help us persevere.
Some Things About Recovering Addicts You Need to Understand
Addiction is a disease that affects people all over the world, and it can be a challenging and complex issue to overcome. Addiction is not a choice or a weakness but rather a chronic disease that requires ongoing management and support. Those who are in addiction recovery need understanding, compassion, and support from their loved ones as they navigate the journey toward recovery. Here are some critical things you need to understand about people in recovery and their struggle with addiction.
Addiction Is a Disease
Addiction is a debilitating mental illness that affects the brain’s reward system, making it difficult for those who are addicted to stop alcohol or drug abuse. People who struggle with addiction may experience intense cravings for drugs or alcohol, withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using, and difficulty controlling their substance use. We also often feel ashamed or guilty about our substance use.
Addiction can be caused by several factors, including genetics, environmental factors, and a person’s mental health. It’s important to approach addiction with compassion and empathy. Addiction is a disease that requires medical treatment, just like any other chronic illness.
Addiction Is Not a Choice
Developing an addiction is not always a matter of bad personal choices or character flaws. Some people become addicted by taking prescription drugs to manage a medical condition. Continued use of these drugs alters the brain’s function, and the person might rely on them to feel normal and function normally. Eventually, addiction sets in, and they may crave higher doses of the prescribed substance.
But not all addictions develop gradually. Trying a substance even once can trigger addiction. Methamphetamine and Heroin are two examples of commonly used drugs that can cause instant addiction. A single dose of these drugs can initiate a harmful cycle of substance misuse and abuse.
Anyone Can Succumb to Addiction at Any Time
Media has often portrayed individuals with substance use disorder in a negative light. However, the reality is that drug or alcohol addiction can affect anyone, regardless of their age, background, or financial situation. Studies have indicated that certain factors increase the likelihood of someone becoming an addict. These include starting to use drugs or alcohol at a young age, which can make them more vulnerable to addiction in the future. Additionally, having a family member who struggles with substance abuse also raises the risk of addiction.
Substance Abuse Is Usually Caused by Underlying Issues
Drug or alcohol addiction often has multiple underlying causes. It can stem from attempting to cope with stress or anxiety. These feelings may originate from ongoing family problems or a mental health condition. Individuals seeking treatment for addiction may also be diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as depression, bipolar, BPD, or PTSD.
Fortunately, modern rehabilitation centers are capable of assisting individuals in addressing all underlying causes of their substance abuse. Instead of solely addressing the addiction, these facilities utilize personalized and comprehensive treatment programs that target the individual as a whole. This approach maximizes the chances of achieving a complete recovery.
Recovery Is an Ongoing Process
Recovery from addiction is a journey, it is not a one-time event, and it often involves relapse and starting over multiple times. It is a process that requires ongoing effort and commitment. Those who are in addiction recovery need to learn how to manage their addiction and build a new life for themselves. Recovery is not a quick fix, and it requires a lot of patience and hard work.
Recovery Involves More Than Just Stopping Substance Use
Addiction recovery involves learning how to manage emotional symptoms, cravings, and triggers, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and rebuilding relationships. Recovery is also about finding meaning and purpose in life and creating a new identity that is not centered around substance use. It’s so much more than just abstinence.
Don’t Hold The Past Against Us While We Rebuild a Future
Deciding to enter rehab is a challenging decision that requires a great deal of courage and self-awareness, especially for individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. It’s not helpful for us to constantly think about past mistakes. This can be especially hard for us because we are in such a vulnerable state. It’s better to provide support as we build a new and healthy life. Encouragement is key during this process.
We Never Meant to Hurt or Disappoint You
People who start using drugs or alcohol may not realize the broad range of negative consequences that can come from their substance use. They may have started using these substances to feel better or change their mental state without intending to harm those close to them.
It is unfortunate that addiction can not only have a negative impact on us as addicts but also on our family, friends, and partners. Those close to someone struggling with substance abuse may have to deal with their sudden outbursts, unpredictable actions, and other repercussions of their addiction. To repair and reinforce relationships that have been affected by addiction, many rehabilitation centers and support organizations have family therapy as an integral part of the individual’s recovery process.
We Are Still Human Underneath The Addiction
Addiction is a disease that causes physical and mental suffering. It alters the brain’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires, making the pursuit and use of drugs or alcohol a primary goal, and once enjoyable activities become secondary to addiction. But it’s important to remember we are still the same person, despite the addiction. We’re in a vulnerable state and require your support to heal. With treatment, people in recovery can regain their true selves and flourish again.
Your Support is Essential
Support is essential for those who are in addiction recovery. We need people who understand what we are going through and who can offer support and encouragement. It is important to understand that addiction recovery is not something that can be done alone. We need to have a strong recovery support system that includes family members, friends, and healthcare professionals.
Support Systems Can Take Many Forms
Support can take many forms, including emotional support, practical support, and professional support. Emotional support can include listening without judgment, offering words of encouragement, and providing a safe and supportive environment. Practical support can include helping with daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, or providing transportation to appointments. Professional support can include therapy, support groups, medication-assisted treatment, and other medical interventions.
People who are in addiction recovery may experience setbacks and relapses, and it is important to approach these situations with compassion and understanding. With your love, encouragement, and support, your loved one can find more success on their lifelong recovery journey.
Help Us Break The Stigma Around Addiction
Every year, millions of people who require addiction treatment do not receive it, indicating a widespread issue that tends to be disregarded. One of the biggest challenges that we face is the stigma that surrounds addiction. Many people still view addiction as a moral failing or a lack of willpower rather than a chronic disease. This stigma can prevent people from seeking help and can make it more difficult for those in recovery to rebuild their lives.
People who struggle with addiction are not weak or flawed, and we deserve support and understanding as we work toward recovery. It is important for our loved ones to educate themselves and challenge the stigmas that surround addiction. With your help, we can create a more supportive and compassionate environment for those in recovery.
The journey of recovery can be challenging, and it is not something that can be done alone. We need a strong support system that includes family, friends, and healthcare professionals who approach our struggle with empathy and understanding.