Addiction treatment and recovery are widely considered to be one and the same. Whereas recovery is a state of having overcome an addiction and treatment is the means of achieving that feat, this is not an unnatural assumption. However, there is actually a distinction to be made between treatment and recovery.
The following will explain why entering an addiction treatment program doesn’t necessarily mean that one is in recovery and how recovery may not even begin until after completion of a treatment program.
Addiction Treatment: Attaining Sobriety After Long-Term Addiction
As mentioned, an individual who develops an addiction also experiences a radical transformation or deterioration of their overall lifestyle. Unfortunately, addiction is widely believed to be a disease of the brain and causes individuals to compulsively pursue potentially harmful behaviors, even despite the consequences they may experience.
In other words, the pleasure and enjoyment that one experiences during moments of being under the influence and intoxicated seem worth all the pain and suffering that addicts endure, which make life more difficult at best and can result in legal consequences, injury, or even death at worst. However, the fact that addiction can override an individual’s self-preservation and harm-reduction reflexes illustrates just how involved and even difficult the addiction recovery process typically is.
An addict enrolls in an addiction recovery program in order to overcome the disease that has made life dangerous, difficult, and unmanageable. Having lived in a state of active addiction for years or potentially even decades, an addict beginning the recovery process much essentially learn how to be sober all over again. In essence, an addict in treatment is learning or acquiring various tools and strategies that will allow him or her to become sober and live a substance abuse-free life. Treatment is much like receiving an education in sobriety and is comprised of several important components.
While in treatment, these individuals participate in extensive counseling and psychotherapy in order to learn more about why they became addicted and overcome some of those underlying and contributing factors. Other important aspects of treatment include learning how to cope with stress and daily hardships, acquiring the life skills necessary to be an independent adult, and support for dual-diagnosis when necessary. Again, the purpose of treatment is to learn to be sober.
The Difference Between Attaining and Sustaining Sobriety
Where treatment and recovery differ is in the role that individuals take as they are overcoming the disease of addiction. In treatment, individuals are receptive, whether it’s to treatment or to addiction education. The reason that an individual is receptive during treatment is because they are being helped by physicians, doctors, and counselors to attain an initial sobriety.
This early sobriety is very delicate and initially depends upon the safe, drug-free environment and monitored care of treatment in order for individuals to maintain their newfound sobriety. However, after completing treatment the individual becomes mostly responsible for sustaining their sobriety. While most individuals who complete an initial treatment program continue receiving forms of treatment as part of an aftercare regimen, they still become mostly responsible for continuing to be sober for the long-term.
Applying the Recovery Tools and Strategies Learned in Treatment
Additionally, the success of long-term sobriety depends on having acquired an adequate skill set and knowledge base from a treatment program in order to remain abstinent and prevent relapse. After completing a treatment program, individuals can transition into outpatient treatment, transitional living arrangements or addiction halfway houses, or simply return home while continuing counseling, recovery support group meetings, and other tools for sustaining recovery.
One of the primary differences between treatment and post-treatment maintenance or sustained recovery is that the individual must put constant effort and have the strength of conviction that’s required to not only utilize the recovery tools acquired in treatment but to also want to sustain this newfound sobriety. The treatment itself is not an easy task, but due to the decrease in monitored care and support individuals have after treatment, the real work involved in recovery is widely considered to begin after completing a treatment program.
Find Your Way to a Healthy, Sober Life with Drug Treatment Center Finder
The journey and process of recovering from alcohol or drug addiction might not be an easy task. It takes proactive effort, strength of conviction, and a strong support network in place for an individual to remain sober for the long-term. Although addiction treatment arms individuals with the tools and strategies required to sustain lasting sobriety, the real work—and freedom—begins after treatment.
If you or someone you love is suffering from chemical dependency and would like to learn more about the recovery process, Drug Treatment Center Finder can help. Call today at (855) 619-8070 to speak with one of our recovery specialists who can help individuals find the programming and treatments that can lead them to a life of health, sobriety, and happiness.