Addiction is an affliction many suffer worldwide, but even after getting clean, recovery never stops. Adjusting to a new sober way of living is daunting, and most go back to their old ways, either continuing to suffer or even dying.
There is life after addiction. People often find themselves with new hobbies, friends, careers, and opportunities. Numerous people, including addicts, look at the grim statistics, losing hope and faith. The road to recovery is often paved with failure and several attempts at getting clean, but this should not discourage the suffering addict from trying. According to addiction experts, here is why.
Relapse After Recovery
Life after addiction is tough, they teach you people, places, and things, but there is more to recovery than that. Those thoughts, feelings, and impulses are all still there, incessantly pestering your mind and heart. The tragedy is something many addicts face. That’s why most have used it in the first place, to cover the pain, thoughts, and feelings and become numb, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
For some, each day becomes easier, others harder, and for the rest, it’s up and down. Every day you are alive; it’s a victory, but those victories are often short-lived. An astounding 85% of recovering addicts relapse after rehab within 1-year, and 2/3rds relapse within the first week of treatment, according to Ashley Treatment.org, a site dedicated to all things recovery that also tracks statistics. Men are at a higher risk 75% of men will return to drugs, while only 49% of women relapse. The most common reasons for relapse are stress, negative mood and anxiety, drug-related cues, temptations, boredom, and a lack of a positive environment.
Beating The Odds
With addiction on the rise and record overdose deaths, it is no wonder that most addicts and people who know addicts, whether family, friends, or acquaintances, feel there is no hope. Not all is lost, as those that do recover not only succeed at beating their addiction but succeed in life and often pass their experiences on to others who are struggling in hopes of helping them turn their life around. Sometimes all it takes is one story, meeting, or a word, that resonates with a fellow addict in need that changes their life hugely and unexpectedly.
For a long time concerning addiction, there has been a stigma, that stigma being that if you are using, you are hopeless statistics are disheartening as the truth is most addicts won’t make it out of their ways or make it out alive, according to State News. While these statistics carry weight, they are not the end-all-be-all that some may have you believe. Just as with any other habit, it takes multiple attempts. One example is quitting smoking. Many try to quit smoking, often having many attempts before success. The more attempts to get clean, the more successful these addicts become.
Those roughly 75% of those that seek recovery from a substance can break the chains that bind them. It takes roughly 5-attempts on average to succeed in breaking their addictions. Although the median number is only two, meaning that only those deep in their addiction, with serious habits, and issues, usually those who are dual-diagnosis, which is when someone has not only a drug problem but mental health issues as well. Those with serious issues inflate the numbers skewing the reality of success in addiction, even though they are only outliers.
In a study by the NLM, they discovered that 22.3 million Americans had overcome a drug or alcohol problem that 9% of United States (US) adult citizens that did the survey. Nearly 1 in 10 US adults overcoming substance abuse, with recovery more possible than previously thought by experts. Though this data is from 2015, another study, also in 2015, by the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) revealed 20.8 million in active addiction, which means more addicts recovered that year than those currently using. This evidence proves that recovery is possible and that not all is lost and hopeless.
Addicts That Succeed Go On To Do Good Deeds
According to the NLM, at least one impactful achievement involved self-improvement, family engagement, getting a new job, completing a college degree, or volunteering. Their quality of life and well-being has also increased during and after this time. Addicts who had many years in recovery tend to achieve more than those with less.
According to NLM, the younger the addict in recovery, the higher the chance for success, achievements, and improved quality of life. Stigma often prevents addicts from getting the help they need. Instead of asking for help, many keep to themselves as they become demonized for their disease.
Whether it’s you or someone you know facing addiction or yourself, it is factual that addicts can recover, succeed, and become their best selves. All it takes is the willingness to get clean and keep trying.