The Reality of Addiction Recovery
Substance use disorders are a ruthless disease, they wreck the lives of those afflicted with them and are devastating for families and friends to witness. Nearly 22 million Americans struggle with addiction annually, yet there continues to be a lot of stigma surrounding substance use disorder and recovery. The best way to support a loved one with addiction is to be empathetic to their experiences and understand how addiction can impact anyone’s life.
Seven Things to Understand About Addiction and Recovery
While you may not have personally dealt with recovery from alcohol or drugs, it is important to educate yourself on the addiction treatment so you can best support your friends and family in a positive way. Here are seven things to know to do just that.
1. Addiction Can Happen to Anyone
Addiction is a disease and like any other disease, anyone can suffer from the debilitating effects of substance abuse. With the continued stigma surrounding addiction and the media portrayal of addiction makes it seem as though only uneducated, low-income, or bad people struggle with substance abuse, nothing could be further from the truth. People of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds struggle with substance use.
2. No One Chooses to Be an Addict
Having the mindset that someone chooses to become addicted to drugs or alcohol is like thinking someone chooses to have Hypertension, Cancer, or any other disease. It’s simply not the case and is an unhelpful approach to addiction recovery.
3. There Are Multiple Reasons a Person Starts Abusing Drugs or Alcohol
Many factors contribute to the development of drugs and alcohol addiction. Often people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with trauma, co-occurring mental health conditions, or a stressful home environment. When self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, it can be easy to slip into addiction due to the way trauma and untreated mental health conditions change the way our brains respond to signals.
Seven Things People in Recovery Want You to Knowhttps://t.co/E6nFI6TqnM
— The Source Treatment Center (@SourceTreatment) March 14, 2022
4. Don’t Dwell on the Past While They’re Focused on Rebuilding Their Future
Accepting you have an issue with substance use and choosing to go to addiction treatment is an incredibly difficult and painful decision to make. It takes a great deal of courage and determination to tackle addiction and this should be celebrated! Try not to harbor resentment and show them grace for any indiscretions that may have happened when your loved one was in active addiction. Instead, focus on their successes in their recovery journey and the improvements they have made in their lives.
5. Even During Active Addiction, They’re Still the Same Person
It can be helpful to think about their addiction as almost a separate personality, one whose values, beliefs, and actions differ greatly from those of the person you love. Addiction changes the chemical makeup of the brain and as a result, drugs and alcohol often become a top priority. However, under all the emotional distress of addiction, your loved one is still the same person who is worthy of love, respect, and understanding.
6. They Never Meant to Hurt You
Their addiction is not about you, and certainly was not an elaborate ploy to hurt you in any way. What may have started as a way to cope with painful feelings or experiences, quickly spiraled into more than they could handle. Arguably, the person most hurt in all of this is your loved one. Be gracious in your interactions with them and remember that they are trying to make amends.
7. They Need Your Support
Millions of people struggle annually with drugs and alcohol addiction, while less than 10% of those receive addiction treatment. The fact that your loved one is in a recovery program shows they are resilient and forward thinking. You can show support by being understanding and encouraging, while not enabling.
Supporting Your Loved One in Recovery at The Source
The Source Addiction Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL is an award winning addiction recovery program and offers several levels of recovery programs including residential treatment, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient, and medication assisted treatment to help your loved one on their recovery journey. They utilize evidence based treatments and individualized treatment plans to help those afflicted with addiction learn the tools they need to be successful in recovery. The Source values input from families and friends to help develop medically managed, comprehensive addiction recovery care. For more information on how you can support a loved one in recovery, or to learn more about their treatment programs please call (800)204-0418 or visit them online at www.thesourceaddictioncenter.com.