It is estimated that 23 million alcoholic/addicts are in some stage of recovery.
Even the definition of recovery is slippery. Some experts, and the alcoholic/addict is included in this group as an expert, say it is when the person no longer uses any mood altering substances. Others think mood altering substance is a phrase that is hard to define and in fact, many people include sugar and a great variety of other substances.
For the purposes of this discussion, we are limiting substances to alcohol and drugs. Even with the distinction some will argue that since the addiction affects the brain as well as the physical body that behavioral therapy of some sort and/or a group like Alcoholics Anonymous is necessary to straighten out the thinking of the alcoholic/addict. In fact, this is the prevailing wisdom in recovery circles. In order to recover, one must get clean from alcohol and drugs and to stay clean, one must modify their thinking.
That’s a tall order and that is why the program of AA has been so successful. Attending meetings is essentially free and through sharing and listening, attitudes do change.
There are millions of people “in recovery” from the chronic disease of addiction and there are thousands of ways that recovery looks.
A major path to finding life in alcohol addiction recovery is to attend treatment in a facility that specializes in the addicts specific history. After treatment, which can be from weeks to a year or more depending on the circumstances, most addicts are encouraged to attend aftercare on an outpatient basis. They are also encouraged to go, and the more successful ones do, to AA meetings, get a sponsor and work the program. Many will stay with a therapist or go back to therapy as needed.
The main idea of recovery is to get well and become a functioning member of society. That means working a program of recovery but also becoming integrated into things the addict enjoys, making contributions to the community and in short, being a worthwhile member of a society of one’s choosing.
At first, in recovery addicts find friends within their support groups.
These may be passing friends or they may last a lifetime but the important thing is this: with life in alcohol addiction recovery, addicts stop isolating and learn to relate to their chosen community. Through practice, relationships form and the old days of lonely isolation become a thing of the past. They may reconnect with family members that they have been estranged from or they may chose and build a new family within their support group but in recovery, most addicts learn a lot about relating to other people and life becomes fuller and more satisfying.
Another strong feature of recovery is getting into action. It takes a lot of action to change one’s beliefs about how to live life and it takes action to reach out for help when it is needed. When in the throes of the disease, the alcoholic/addict, at least in the acute phases of the disease, becomes a passive creature living to get and use the drug of choice. This is a far cry for the recovered addict who actively participates in his/her community and life.
Do you or someone you love need addiction help? Contact us at (888) 989-9690. Our experienced and trained professionals can help you find life in alcohol addiction recovery!
Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. (2016, July). Retrieved November, 2016.