How Would You Define “In Recovery”?
In November 2016, a 400-page report was compiled with the assistance of government, health and education experts in the USA, on addiction and recovery. As part of this research, 9,000 urban residents intent on overcoming past addiction were asked how they would describe their current situation and what they understood recovery to consist of. Nearly all of them (98%) fit the medical criteria for addiction, and three out of four defined themselves as being “in recovery.” Their understanding of what being “in recovery” means shows how well they understood the rewards a sober life can bring them.
Many people feel that abstinence should be part of recovery. This is sensible, if you are unable to abstain from the drug or alcohol that you were addicted to or that caused you so much trouble, you would wonder how recovered a person really was.
Being Honest with Yourself
Many people feel that to be recovered they need to “handle negative feelings without drugs” and “enjoy life without alcohol or drugs.” Most people feel that personal growth and development is an essential component of recovery.
Service to Others
It’s not surprising that this characteristic would come to mind for most people in recovery. After all, anyone who has suffered through a period of addiction knows the harm he (or she) has done to his family, friends and community. A natural response is wanting to give back to others who are still suffering or the community at large.
In my experience, under an addicted exterior is most often a good person who simply feels trapped by addiction. Fortunately, recovery is possible.
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