Drug addiction recovery will look different for each person because all people are unique. Some people may need a stronger emphasis on certain parts of the recovery, and some people may struggle more with other parts. While drug addiction recovery is unique for each person, there are a few key factors that can benefit all people undergoing drug addiction recovery.
First off, typically the longer a treatment program is, the more successful it will be. This especially applies to those addicts who are deep in their addiction. Addiction occurs because neuro pathways in the brain have changed to make the addict need a drug. Every time the addict uses his or her substance of choice, those pathways are reinforced and become even harder to change. Therefore, a person who has been suffering from addiction for many years may benefit from a more extended treatment program than someone who is a new user. Some research has found that programs over 90 days offer the best chance for success.
It is also important for the person undergoing recovery treatment to have a strong network of people who understand their struggle. While healthy family and friend relationships are key to help an addict’s recovery last, it is equally as important for an addict to feel they have a network of people who understand what they have been through. Treatment programs that encompass a full lifestyle change versus solely focusing on no longer using typically have the best results.
While outside influences and support groups are important, at the end of the day, the addict is the most important part of drug addiction recovery. Patients need to be willing to put themselves first, to show up to all meetings, get a sponsor, go to family and individual therapy, re-learn how to manage money and be a productive member of society, and ultimately forgive themselves. Many patients end up relapsing because the guilt and shame they feel are just too much to bear. A key part of drug addiction recovery success is rooted in forgiveness. Forgiveness allows the addict to put themselves first and take the necessary steps to maintain their recovery and avoiding relapse.
There is no shortcut to a successful drug recovery. Patients and families must be willing to put in the work, both in the short term and the long term, to ensure the person suffering from addiction can stay sober. The most important thing is for an addict to undergo recovery for themselves. They need to remember it is ok to prioritize their recovery process, whether that means meetings every day, or therapy, or getting a whole new group of friends. Following the recovery process without taking any shortcuts is key to remaining sober.
Drug addiction recovery is not a one size fits all. Some people may stay in a treatment program for a few months, while others may remain for a year. Each person’s circumstance and needs are different. It is key to find a recovery program that focuses on creating a customized treatment plan. For this reason, it is also important for addicts not to compare themselves to others and to never lose hope. While recovery will not be the same for everyone, having a strong support system, sticking to the program, and forgiving oneself are all necessary keys for an addict to have a successful recovery.