People can become addicted to a wide range of substances, and this includes alcohol, prescription medications and illegal substances alike. Many who develop an addiction will seek treatment through in-patient or out-patient services. These treatment programs are designed to help individuals stop using the substances they are addicted to, and the process may include steps like detoxification, counseling, therapy, education, support groups and more.
After the treatment process is completed, individuals are then considered to be recovering addicts, and on-going addiction recovery treatment and support is needed. The possibility of a relapse is always present for a recovering addict, but they can minimize this risk by staying in a recovery program. This is because recovery offers several important benefits.
Learning Better Habits
There are many reasons why addicts turn to drugs or alcohol. Some may use these substances for recreation or for social purposes before developing an addiction. Others may use them to unwind after a long day or to deal with other stress-inducing factors in their lives. Often, using these substances becomes a habit, and there is a need to re-train your brain to develop better habits. While treatment may help you to overcome the physical cravings for the substance, your brain may still be used to using the substance as a habit. Developing and maintaining better habits takes time and effort, and recovery support groups and counseling can help you to learn how to develop and maintain healthy habits.
Each addict may have different triggers that lead to cravings. Avoiding triggers is a key step to avoiding a potential relapse. You may have identified your triggers in in-patient or out-patient treatment. However, when you are out of treatment and are immersed in your regular life, you likely will be exposed to these triggers once again. Triggers may include certain friends or co-workers, stress at work, problems in your home life and more. A key benefit that you will receive through addiction recovery is assistance with developing techniques and strategies to avoid the triggers that lead to your use of addictive substances.
Many recovering addicts who actively avoid triggers and who make an effort to learn and develop healthier habits will inevitably suffer from cravings from time to time. Some will not feel a physical craving for substances, but others will have cravings weeks, months or even years after stopping the use of the substance. Resisting cravings is easier said than done, and recovery provides you with the support that you need when you are craving a substance.
It is common for some who are in recovery to believe that they no longer need to attend support group meetings, counseling sessions and other recovery treatment options available. Through recovery, you will receive the education, support and guidance that is necessary to help you to remain on a healthy path that is free of substance abuse and addiction. While some will stop recovery after a period of time, there are clear benefits associated with remaining in recovery.