Many people struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction are under the false impression that everything in their lives will be “perfect” when they quit drinking or using. Unfortunately, this is NEVER the case, and when they sober up and are still facing many of the same problems they were before, they are tempted to relapse in frustration.
But here’s the thing—true recovery is MORE than just abstaining from alcohol and drugs.
Yes, physical sobriety is the most-important first action. You can’t move forward while you are still burdened by intoxicating, addictive substances. But because the disease of addiction is caused by—and causes—several other problems, these also must be addressed.
It’s the only way to get better.
What Recovery REALLY Involves
“Alcoholism is a strange condition. If you survive the drinking stage, and many don’t, it has relatively little to do with alcohol, which is merely the drug with which the alcoholic treats herself. It is, rather, a way of thinking, and continues long after you have stopped drinking. It is a voice in the head: a malevolent voice that wants you to die.”
~ Tanya Gold, in an article for The Guardian
Although the above quote references alcoholism, it is appropriate for ANY Substance Use Disorder. In addition to abstinence, recovery also means changing the way you think, behave, react, and even feel about to the situations you face in life.
Recovery means taking an unflinching look at yourself and frankly admitting that your old way of doing things hasn’t worked. You got drunk and got high to deal with problems like stress, relationship issues, painful memories, or uncomfortable emotions, but when you sobered up, the problems were still there.
And in most cases, your substance use had made them even worse.
Top rehab programs spend a great deal of time addressing those SUD issues that go beyond drinking and drugging:
- Stress reduction
- Coping skills
- Trauma processing
- Trigger avoidance
- Dual diagnosis
- Improving communication
- Couples/Family counseling
The takeaway is this— abstinence is NECESSARY for recovery, but it does not COMPLETE recovery.
If you want to truly get your life back after struggling with addiction, contact Lasting Recovery outpatient alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego. The clinical staff at Lasting Recovery focuses on your wellness as a WHOLE person, not just on your disease.
Lasting Recovery – “Where Wellness Begins…”