What Does It Mean to Be in Recovery?

What Does It Mean to Be in Recovery?

Recovery is a lifelong process of growing and healing that is facilitated through continued treatment

Addiction recovery is an exciting, life-changing experience, but it can easily overwhelm users at the start. Many people feel anxious about addiction recovery, especially if they are unsure what recovery means: it is a vague term with a great deal of meaning behind it. It involves not only abstinence from drugs or alcohol, but also continued growth and healing throughout life.

Abstinence from Drug or Alcohol Use

Many people know the foundation of addiction recovery is abstinence from drug or alcohol abuse. Because this is a challenging task, many people seek support from inpatient or outpatient rehab to do so. With focused support, many people achieve the first goal of recovery, which is to get clean from drug or alcohol abuse (to motivate themselves further, many people track how many days, months or years they remain abstinent from drugs). Between the focused support and the early stages of motivation, many addicts feel complete in their recovery experience.

However, avoiding relapse is a difficult task, and it is a significant part of the recovery experience. Many recovering addicts relapse at least once, and each person has her own triggers that contribute to reignite addiction. For some people, triggers may be emotionally painful anniversaries, while others may feel triggered by sights or scents. Fortunately, relapse does not mean recovery has failed: recovery means you can overcome problems, and relapse is a problem. You must plan to jump back into recovery after you use drugs again, and this plan might involve more rehab, attending therapy more frequently or seeking encouragement from your support group.

Continued Growing and Healing

Although the foundation of addiction recovery is abstaining from drug and alcohol abuse, there is much more to the process. Recovery is a lifelong process of growing and healing that is facilitated through continued treatment.

For instance, individual therapy is an important part of recovery that may continue throughout your life. Even after a stint in rehab ends, recovering addicts should maintain regular appointments with a therapist to address both new and preexisting concerns. Weekly therapy sessions should be held in the initial stages of recovery, but less frequent meetings are possible as time progresses. Years into recovery, many addicts continue meeting with their therapists once every month or two.

Support groups and 12-step programs may also foster continued growth and healing in addiction recovery. Programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous provide a place for recovering addicts to connect with other recovering addicts. Attending meetings regularly keeps members focused on recovery through sharing experiences and encouraging each other to keep going.

Get Help for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

By choosing recovery, you are taking the first step toward happiness and self-fulfillment. If you or a loved one has become addicted to drugs or alcohol, then please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.