Why Everyone Has a Unique Road to Recovery
Posted on 08/02/19: Uncategorized
Recovery is a process of immense change that is reliant on the individual. It is no surprise that we are all unique and possess different aspects than the person next to us. Successful recovery programs are those that are customized to meet each individual’s personal needs. This lifelong process can seem daunting at first, but taking a step towards recovery is a step in the right direction.
What is Addiction?
In order to understand recovery, we first need to understand what an addiction is. Medical experts agree and studies prove that addiction is a chronic brain disease. This is because when drugs enter the body, they directly disrupt how the brain functions. Normally when something good happens, our brain’s reward pathway shoots off dopamine. This tells us that this situation or action would be good to repeat. However, drugs affect this pathway by causing dopamine levels to skyrocket. This is what people refer to when they are experiencing a “high”. The brain unnaturally registers this action as something it needs to mimic.
Addiction can happen to anyone. Varying factors can affect someone’s risk for developing an addiction. Almost all of these factors depend on the individual. Genes, medical history, medications, underlying health issues, and environment can all heighten someone’s risk. There is no set timeline for when an addiction will occur after someone begins abusing drugs. However, addiction does not usually just happen overnight. It is formed over a period of time, which results in the drug being used more than once.
Treatment is required in order to heal from addiction. Just as you would get treatment for heart disease, treatment is required to begin the road to recovery. Untreated symptoms can lead to dangerous effects, some of which could prove to be life threatening. Leaving an addiction untreated can cause harm to the mind and body of the person suffering, as well as their friends and family.
What is Recovery?
Recovery is a lifelong process that someone suffering from addiction goes through in order to better all facets of their lives. It can be argued that recovery does not have one set definition, but is a combination of elements that may be unique to the individual. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Commission defines recovery as, “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives and strive to reach their full potential”.
There are several different “stages” of recovery, although several resources have different explanations of what the stages are. However, it can be recognized that there are two unique phases of recovery. These stages are abstinence or early recovery and maintaining recovery.
The first stage in recovery is often the most difficult for those suffering. It is the stage where the risk for relapse is at its highest. The most important thing you can do for yourself during this stage is to make sure you have a safe environment. Treatment centers provide healthcare services that evaluate your individual needs, create a plan, and oversee your detox to keep it safe and comfortable. Attempting to go through this stage at home, the initial detox stage, could prove to be life threatening. Relapsing alone in your home leads to a higher risk of overdose and even death.
There is no set timeline for when someone transitions into maintaining their recovery. Recovery is lifelong and that means the commitment to be dedicated to recovery needs to remain lifelong. This may mean joining a support group, becoming a mentor, regularly speaking to a healthcare professional, or enrolling in a sober living home. Those who are maintaining recovery can say to themselves that they can be honest with themselves and at least one other person, they take the time to restore their energy, and they can address problems without the use of drugs.
The Stigma Surrounding Addiction
There is a stigma that surrounds addiction and those who suffer from it. It is often assumed that those who are experiencing addiction are bad people, criminals, or enjoy engaging in dangerous behaviors. For most people, this could not be further from the truth. Addiction is a brain disease that does not discriminate, affecting millions across the United States.
Suffering from an addiction does not equate a bad person. You may feel stressed out, irritated, or even angry at your loved one. They may have lied to you, stole from you, or engaged in criminal activity. However, knowing how to approach them properly can help ease them into recovery. Lashing out and throwing judgement can cause them to further isolate themselves. When drugs affect the brain, they cause the reward pathway to become disrupted. This causes the brain to seek out more and more of the drug, hoping to mimic the same “high” feeling it achieved initially. Despite negative consequences, the brain will remain compulsive without treatment.
If you or a loved one is suffering, there are ways that you can help fight the stigma. Become educated on the topic of addiction. It may be helpful to speak to your primary doctor, as they can point you towards resources or refer you to someone else. Finding information online and at the library may also be useful, but keep in mind this information may be outdated. Never use a condescending or judgmental tone if you are speaking with someone who is suffering. Come from a place of understanding.
Progress is Not Linear
There will be stumbling blocks along the road to recovery. That is okay. Relapsing or falling off the path does not make someone a failure. It is how they respond and learn from those bumps in the road that matters. No two individuals will experience the same road, but they will both have the same end goal in mind.
Sober Living of Arizona recognizes that each path is unique and each treatment plan should be catered to the individual. Their healthcare professionals perform evaluations to help assess the physical and mental aspects of each person to develop customized treatment programs. Their team strives to help each person reach their goals, both with recovery and life in general. Call today to learn more about their dedicated professionals.
Content for Sober Living AZ created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and the food/restaurant industry. Advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
Content for Sober Living AZ and Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers created by Cohn Media, LLC. Passionate and creative writing and broadcasting, covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best. www.cohn.media
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If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact Sober Living of AZ now to get the help you need. Sober Living offers an acclaimed recovery environment that merges upscale and luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare. Call us now at 602-737-2458.