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Important Things to Know About Addiction

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

April 15, 2024

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For individuals seeking help for addiction, understanding the nature of addiction and the journey toward recovery can be both empowering and comforting.

Understanding some key information about addiction and substance abuse can put you and your loved one in a better position for long-term success and sobriety.

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What to Know About Addiction

Here are some important things to know about addiction as you or a loved one prepares to embark on the path to recovery:

1. Addiction is a Medical Condition

First and foremost, it’s crucial to recognize that addiction is a medical condition, not a moral failing or a lack of willpower. It is considered a disease “defined as a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences” It involves complex interactions between brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. Addiction affects the brain’s reward, motivation, and memory functions. Recognizing addiction as a medical condition can reduce stigma, help you understand you or your loved one’s situation more accurately, and encourage individuals to seek the help they need.

2. Treatment is Diverse and Personalized

There is no silver bullet approach to addiction treatment. Everybody is different and effective treatment programs are tailored to the individual needs of each person. Treatment options may include medical detoxification, inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and support groups. Each person’s treatment plan should take into consideration their specific addiction patterns, mental health issues, and social environment. At a quality treatment program, like Renaissance Recovery, this will be done during the intake assessment so clinicians and case managers can develop a personalized care program.

3. Comprehensive Care and Dual Diagnosis Treatment is Crucial

Addiction often co-occurs with other mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Addressing these co-occurring disorders simultaneously with addiction treatment is vital for effective recovery as they are often the underlying causes for substance abuse in the first place. It is vital to find a treatment program that offers comprehensive care and dual diagnosis treatment.

4. Support Systems Play a Key Role

Recovery can be significantly impacted by the presence of a robust support system. Support can come from family, friends, recovery groups, or community resources. Encouragement and understanding from others provide motivation and accountability, which are critical during difficult times in the recovery journey. Along with friends and family, alumni programs can also help hold people accountable and keep past clients on the straight and narrow.

5. Relapse is Part of the Process

It is easy to see relapse as a failure, but it is actually a fairly normal part of the recovery journey and process. It is common and can occur anytime during recovery as individuals learn to live without substances, however it is most common early on in recovery. Relapse provides an opportunity to reassess and adjust treatment plans, understanding triggers, and strengthening coping strategies.

It is important to develop a relapse prevention plan so you have a path forward if you or a loved one has this setback.

6. Recovery is a Lifelong Journey

Some people think that by going to rehab they will be cured, however there is no cure for addiction. Recovery from addiction is an ongoing, lifelong process. It extends beyond the physical cessation of substance use and involves rebuilding and developing ways to sustain this newfound sober lifestyle. Lifelong commitment to personal health and wellness is crucial, and many find ongoing participation in support groups or therapy helpful in keeping them held accountable.

7. Legal and Social Resources are Available

There are various legal and social resources that can support individuals in recovery, such as protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), access to reasonable accommodations at work, and social services that include housing and employment assistance.

More over things like the Family Medical Leave Act has information on how people can use FMLA for rehab and addiction treatment.

Get Help Today at Renaissance Recovery

For those seeking help for addiction, it’s important to approach recovery with an open mind and a readiness to explore various treatment options. Recovery is a personal journey that requires time, patience, and persistence. By understanding the essential aspects of addiction and the recovery process, individuals can navigate the path to recovery with greater confidence and support.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact Renaissance Recovery today and get on the path to recovery.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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