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What Does Recovery from Addiction Look Like?


For people struggling with the issue of addiction, the feelings of isolation and hopelessness can be overwhelming. Many feel as though they are trapped at the bottom of a dark pit, with no escape. However, there are options for those looking to leave addiction behind. Sobriety, and more so recovery, is something that anyone can achieve.

Recovery from addiction is a personal journey out of a person's past. One does not simply wake up and become sober. Instead, recovery is a process that will last a lifetime. One day at a time, minute by minute - this is how recovery must be viewed. 

There are many steps to take in order to remain successful in recovery. First and foremost, an addict generally chooses to become sober once they have reached their personal bottom. A personal choice must be made to no longer succumb to drugs or alcohol. A willingness to admit powerless over addiction is also necessary. It does not mean that a person is admitting defeat or weakness; instead, they are proclaiming they the sickness of addiction have overwhelmed them and they are ready to fight.

There are many different ways a person in recovery can receive support in their journey. A solid foundation is key in order to begin to heal. Many addicts begin with detox, in order for their substances of choice to leave their bodies safely. Medical staff ensure that a detox patient is comfortable during their stay, since it is possible that a sudden cessation of substance use could make a person feel ill. When they are ready, the patient is then discharged to enter the next phase of recovery.

Treatment is generally the next step taken by those looking to overcome addiction. In treatment, a person learns why they started to use drugs or alcohol. They also learn positive coping skills and methods to deal with stress. While treatment is not always easy emotionally, it is key in fully understanding the power of addiction. 

Early in recovery, it is also encouraged to find a sponsor. A sponsor is a person that has experience in recovery and can help act as a mentor and guide. Typically part of twelve step programs, sponsors will support their sponsees in whatever way they can to make sure they are successful. The sponsor will work through the twelve steps along side their sponsee, and make sure they fully grasp the material.

In addition to a sponsor, support meetings are also encouraged. While most meetings are affiliated with the twelve step program, there are also meetings that may lean towards different views. Some may be based in a person's religious tradition. It is important for those new in recovery to attend many meetings. They can find ones that fit their personalities and goals. Luckily, there is a large network of substance abuse support meetings all over the world.

Recovery is not something that a person eventually achieves. Instead, it is an ongoing process that will last a lifetime. There are those in this world who have been in recovery for decades. People may have relapses or other deterrents, but the journey continues. As long as the person struggling with addiction can find their path, even if they had mis-steps along the way, they can overcome.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of rui barros

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