Addiction recovery begins with treatment. It doesn’t end there. Professional inpatient or outpatient care is a great first step. Long-term health and sobriety come when you take steps to further your recovery.
Why Does Addiction Recovery Take So Long?
Addiction doesn’t end when treatment ends. Addiction is a chronic disease. Chronic diseases are long-lasting and do not have medical cures. However they can be treated and managed. Management involves making a commitment to furthering your recovery now and in the future. Treatment gets you started. It gives you a solid foundation for your recovery and teaches you the skills you need to continue a healthy, sober life. It does not provide all the answers. Recovery takes a long time because you have a lifetime in which to practice it.
Further Your Recovery to Avoid Relapse
Because addiction is long-lasting, ongoing and chronic, relapse can and does happen. The American Society of Addiction Medicine shares, “Persistent risk and/or recurrence of relapse, after periods of abstinence, is [a] fundamental feature of addiction. This can be triggered by exposure to rewarding substances and behaviors, by exposure to environmental cues to use, and by exposure to emotional stressors that trigger heightened activity in brain stress circuits.” Furthering your recovery means being aware of these risks of relapse. It means taking steps to strengthen your sobriety and learning skills to manage drug use cues and trigger. It involves being prepared to respond to a relapse if one should occur. Slips in recovery are not the end of sobriety efforts. They can even function to further your recovery by showing you skills you may still need to develop or areas you can strengthen with information and support.
Further Your Recovery to Enrich Your Life
Life after addiction treatment is more than focusing on relapse prevention and recovery. It is not all work and effort. Furthering your recovery often involves little more than simply living your new, rewarding sober life.
Recovery allows you to build and rebuild meaningful relationships. You may find closer connections with family members or new friendships through treatment and support groups. Relationships are a reward and result of a sober life. They also further your recovery in turn. Psychiatry explains, “Positive social support of high quality can enhance resilience to stress, help protect against developing trauma-related psychopathology, decrease the functional consequences of trauma-induced disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and reduce medical morbidity and mortality.” Recovery brings you friends. Friends bring you health and happiness. “Functional consequences” of addiction include isolation, depression and more. Stress contributes to addiction development and can trigger relapse. Friends further your recovery directly, through support and encouragement, and indirectly, simply by enriching life and making it more fun and engaging.
Recovery offers the opportunity to participate in old hobbies or develop new passions. Drug use replaces activities you once loved. It keeps you from learning about new opportunities for learning, fun and more. LSD may promise creativity, but it keeps you from participating in real life more than it ever contributes to actually creating art, music or writing. Through recovery you can learn to express yourself. Treatment often offers art or music therapy. You further your recovery by continuing to participate in the therapeutic or simply fun hobbies you develop in treatment. Simply living a life in recovery, a life that includes rewarding hobbies and meaningful relationships, strengthens your mental and physical health. It reduces stress and reminds you how rewarding, creative and engaging life without drugs can be.
Remembering the benefits of a sober life can help when stress or cravings challenge sobriety. The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs explains, “Identifying important life domains and assessing the deleterious effects of substance use in these areas may hasten or strengthen the decision to become abstinent.” Consider what addiction has taken from your life. Think about where it limits you. If you are in recovery, remind yourself where you were, where you are and where you can be if you stay sober. Further your recovery by experiencing and remembering the rewards of life without LSD.
Begin and Continue Your Recovery
No matter where you are on your path to recovery, give us a call. We can help you get back on track after relapse. We can help you take the first steps toward initial treatment. Feel free to ask any question or express any concern you have about your own or a loved one’s recovery. We are here 24 hours a day. All conversations are free, confidential and completely without pressure or judgment. We want to help; call now.
 http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction. “Definition of Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 19 Apr 2011. Web. 7 Sep 2016.
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311/. “Social Support and Resilience to Stress.” Psychiatry. May 2007. Web. 7 Sep 2016.
 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1852519/. “Pathways to Long-Term Recovery: A Preliminary Investigation.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 2002. Web. 7 Sep 2016.