Addiction is a condition that can impact not only the person suffering from it but also those around them. However, by educating yourself on the important aspects of addiction, and addiction recovery, you can maximize your chances of healing, as well as help others in your life struggling with this disease.

Read on to find out more about the most vital things everyone needs to know about addiction and recovery. 

1. Addiction is not a moral failing 

No one talks about other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, or epilepsy as weakness or a moral failure and the same approach should be applied to addiction.

This is because addiction is a disease that requires treatment and management. Indeed, even if the people in your life can struggle to take this perspective, applying it to yourself can be very helpful and provide you with the grace you need to forgive yourself, seek active treatment, and begin the process of addiction recovery.

Remember addiction is a disease and not the fault of the addict. 

2. There are two stages to sobriety 

Another thing that most people need to understand about addiction is that there are two main stages to sobriety.

The first is getting clean of substances which often includes finding a rehabilitation center where you can detox and receive support during the initial stages of coming off the substance or habit you have been using.

To find such a center it’s a good idea to search for terms like ‘drug detoxification near me’ online as this will bring up the centers that are in your local area.

Attending a local addiction recovery center can be helpful for many people because it allows them to get help without traveling huge distances.

Local drug rehabilitation centers also make it easier for people to stay connected to their regular lives which is particularly important for people with family responsibilities that they do not want to abandon. 

The second stage of sobriety is living soberly. This is different from getting sober in that the individual has demonstrated some time away from the substances or habits to which they are addicted. This means that the physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms may be less.

This stage also differs from the detox one because people will go back to their regular lives, although making changes to how they live such as finding sober friends to hang out with and skipping events that may trigger them will be essential for recovery. 

READ:  Supporting a Loved One in Crisis: How Mental Health Services Can Help

3. Grief can be part of getting sober 

While it can be hard to go through, grief is a natural reaction to anything we lose in life, even the things that have become problematic and are no longer serving us like toxic relationships, and addictions.

To that end, when you choose to go into addiction recovery you can expect a certain amount of grief for your old life and habits to arise. Often the best way to cope with this grief is to work with a qualified therapist or counselor as they can help you process it compassionately. 

4. Action is crucial when it comes to recovery 

Wanting to get clean is important for recovery, but what makes the difference and leads to success is the actions the individual takes. Sometimes these will be big actions such as going to drug rehabilitation.

While at other times even small actions like attending an online therapy session, or reaching out to someone in your support systems instead of using can make all the difference. 

5. You may need to change who you hang out with 

Those suffering from addiction recovery often find that once they get sober, they need to find new groups of friends with which to hang out. This is because their old friendships can often revolve around substance use or harmful behaviors and maintaining these relationships can lead to a high risk of relapse. 

One way to find new friendship groups is to become active in your community. Look for a cause that interests you and join a team or group that is focused on that cause.

For example, if your values lean towards sustainability and environmentalism why not join a litter-picking group? You may also wish to consider joining a sports team, attending a meditation or yoga group, or finding a hobby like painting you can share with others. 

6. Take things one step at a time

Transforming from a life of addiction to one of sobriety can feel almost overwhelming to the individual who is experiencing it. After all, there is so much to do and change. That is why the best thing an individual can do is make small consistent changes and take things one step at a time. 

If you are supporting a friend or loved one with addiction recovery, it can help to remind them of this and be supportive not of huge changes that are unsustainable, but small ones that they do consistently, building better coping habits for life. 

READ:  10 Ways to Release Feeling Irritable and Intolerant of Others Regularly

7. Don’t only have friends who are in recovery 

Don’t get us wrong, your recovery friends will be an invaluable resource to you, during your time detoxing and after. This is because it can be very supportive and healing to be surrounded by people who know exactly how hard the struggle to be clean is and can have empathy with your battle. 

However, only associating with people who are in recovery can be a major mistake. This is because some of your recovery friends may relapse, and if they are the only people you associate with, this can put you at greater risk of regressing too.

Similarly only being friends with people in recovery can limit your perspective on life as well as your support network.

Instead, during addiction recovery, it’s a much better idea to be friends with a mix of stable and kind people, both in recovery, and that have not had addiction problems. 

8. Educate yourself on all possible relapse triggers 

Many people are on alert for relapse triggers when things are going badly in their lives, but forget that for many people being happy and doing well can also trigger feelings of undeservedness and lead them to use again. With that in mind educating yourself on and looking out a full range of triggers is the best approach to staying in recovery. 

9. Being grateful can help the recovery process 

Being in recovery can be challenging and when challenges occur the last thing that we can feel is gratitude. However, whether you are someone battling addiction, or someone helping a loved one in this situation, taking some time to consider what you are grateful for about this process can be very helpful. 

For example, if you are someone who struggles with addiction recovery you may be grateful that your health has improved, and you will be around for your kids. If you are someone supporting a loved one you may be grateful for the improved relationship you have with that person and that they can be more present in your life. 

10. Learning to give and receive forgiveness can help the recovery process 

Forgiveness can be a hard concept to grasp, especially where addiction is involved. Indeed, those with addiction can often be very unforgiving to themselves for things they have done and ways that have behaved while under the influence.

READ:  Managing Stress as a Mom: Safe and Responsible Ways to Unwind

Similarly, people in the lives of those struggling with addiction can find it hard to forgive their loved ones for putting them through so much pain and worry. 

However, when it comes to addiction recovery, forgiveness can be a very important skill. This is because it can help keep all parties focused on the now, rather than encouraging them to dwell on the past.

It can be helpful in such a situation to approach forgiveness as an action rather than a feeling. That means you decide what things forgiveness means and commit to those rather than waiting to feel as if forgiveness has come.

For example, forgiveness could look like not bridging up certain incidents anymore, even when in an argument, or it could be going to a therapist together to talk your issues through with an objective person. 

11. A person in recovery’s idea of what is fun will change 

One of the biggest fears that those struggling with addiction recovery can have is that once they give up the substance or habit they are using, the rest of their life will be boring. The good news is that this is not the case, and there are plenty of ways to find fun and excitement when in recovery.

Although what you count as fun may be quite different from what you used to. This is all part of a successful recovery process though, as you will begin to be able to tell the difference between things that were harmful to you, and things that are fun in a healthy way. 

Addiction Recovery is a lifelong journey

Recovery is not like a switch you can flip and suddenly be addiction-free. Instead, it’s more of a journey where you need to recommit yourself every day to your health and well-being. What this means is that some days will be easier than others, and you will face challenges along the way.

For some people, this may mean relapse, and it’s quite common for people struggling with addiction issues to relapse several times.

The important thing to remember here is that even if you relapse you can still get back on the path and live a recovered life.