Changing Self Perceptions During Addiction Recovery

It isn’t supposed to get easier, but your control over your urges can increase and become simpler to manage. On March 1, 2022, President Biden announced his administration’s strategy to address our nation’s mental health crisis as outlined in the 2022 Presidential Unity Agenda. To meet this goal, SAMHSA collaborated with federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local partners including peer specialists to develop the National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification. Since most people do relapse at least once, moving away from the idea that only continuous abstinence matters—not quality of life, not the ability to maintain relationships and contribute to society—would likely be healthier for everyone. CRA’s approach is called harm reduction, and it defines recovery as making “any positive change.” This means that anything from starting to use clean needles to becoming completely abstinent counts.

The best way to handle a relapse is to take quick action to seek help, whether it’s intensifying support from family, friends, and peers or entering a treatment program. One advantage of mutual support groups is that there is likely someone to call on in such an emergency who has experienced a relapse and knows exactly how to help. In addition, immediately attending or resuming group meetings and discussing the relapse can yield much advice on how to continue recovery without succumbing to the counterproductive feeling of shame or self-pity.

The Four Major Dimensions of Recovery

Until we recognize this and celebrate the variety of recovery experiences, September’s National Recovery Month and similar efforts to promote healing will fail to reach millions of people who could benefit. During an overdose crisis that killed more than 90,000 people in 2020 alone, a better understanding of how people really do overcome addiction is essential. However, if they hung in there, exercising patience while continuing to be present-centered and emotionally available, the issues would clarify and they would find their way back to being in sync with the therapeutic process. Life takes its toll on all of us, and everyone, whether or not they struggle with addiction, chronic pain, or any other serious condition, sustains a certain degree of damage along the way. Recovery provides a pathway to heal from that damage and become stronger, just as broken bones can become stronger after they heal than they were before.

  • It doesn’t use the terms abuse and dependence to categorize the severity of an addiction.
  • Learning new coping skills for dealing with unpleasant feelings is another pillar of recovery.
  • “We all have one thing in common, and that’s being sober,” Ben said.
  • For instance, this might refer to an inpatient rehab program, which offers 24-hour care, or an outpatient treatment program, which is less intensive.
  • Oftentimes, a physical dependency can escalate to an addiction.

SAMHSA’s working definition of recovery 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. Recovery signals a dramatic shift in the expectation for positive outcomes for individuals who experience mental and substance use conditions or the co-occurring of the two. For some people, committing to complete abstinence is not desirable or is too daunting a prospect before beginning treatment. Many people desire only to moderate use and bring it under control. In fact, there is growing support for what is called harm reduction, which values any moves toward reducing the destructive consequences of substance abuse.

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