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The concept of recovery...

Discussion in 'Other Recovery Support Groups' started by SurfLifeinFla, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. SurfLifeinFla

    SurfLifeinFla Member

    Is it appropriate for everyone with a substance abuse problem?

    As someone who has been though a rehab program and gone to AA meetings I have heard a lot about being in recovery and so on. While I think many our helped by the concept of recovery I do not think it is a good approach for everyone.

    My biggest gripe with the 12 step and Rehabilitation based on that program is the patients are told they will be in recovery for the rest of their lives. I feel like is not the best approach and can lead to long term psychological problems for those who are told they have an incurable disease(addiction) and have to spend the rest of their lives in recovery and this can possibly prevent a person from reaching their full potential.

    I feel like having the idea of having the addiction disease and being in recovery can lead to relapses, as it creates an excuse for someone to use drugs again. The reality is most who go through rehab program do relapse and maybe it is time to look at alternative ways to classify addiction that is not so demoralizing.
  2. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    Hey SurfLifeinFla - first - awesome pic of the fish. I'm a bass guy but catfish time is on the fall horizon! I was wondering about your post. I used to smoke and don't think I could ever smoke a cigarette again. I know that's not the same as being addicted to heroin or meth. I gave up smoke when my child was born over twenty years ago. Now the smell of a cigarette kills me. I gave a ride to a co-worker who smoked and I could smell it in my car for days. But that's smoking.

    I can see the finality of never smoking again in my situation but I don't know if that would be the same for one of my best friends whom I'm trying to find suggestions for on how I can get them to slow down on their drinking...and DUI's, and bar fights, and tripping over things and getting stitches.

    I've never dealt with AA before and have suggested that option to him. And you're right - I think he was demoralized as much as he was embarrassed. We've had this discussion several times and he changes his ways for a month or so, maybe more, before it starts over again.
  3. camsdad

    camsdad Member

    If someone told me I was going to be in recovery for the rest of my life it would definitely bum me out. I would probably give up on the idea of recovery right then and there, because that is a lot for a person to take in and can easily overwhelm some one. I decided not to go with outside sources and removed myself from situations that would usually lead to trouble, mainly because I didn't want people to be the reason recovery happened or didn't.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I think what you achieve in the long-term hinges entirely on what you decide to do. If someone gave up an addiction and made a firm resolution not to go back again, that person would not be enticed [by anything] to get back to doing drugs. However for those people who seek an excuse for going back I can see why being told that addiction is a life-long disease would want to slip back into old habits and blame it on addiction being incurable. Excuse the use of this cliché but fact is, "where there is a will, there is a way."

    Beating an addiction depends entirely upon the person especially after they successfully kick the habit after a treatment/recovery program.
  5. camsdad

    camsdad Member

    I agree that it depends on the person, but I know plenty of people that have gone into treatment programs, have been clean for a while and then have to go right back. Could it be that this person might not want help but has no where else to go and will simply agree to the terms of others. I could be wrong but could the failure also be due t the fact that, some people only have the will to appear better to other people but don't have the will to better themselves?
  6. SurfLifeinFla

    SurfLifeinFla Member

    No doubt many addicts need a recovery period, a time to get clean aka detox.

    Another problem with AA and other recovery programs is 'relying on a higher power'. This is an instant turn off to someone who maybe an atheist or agnostic. I feel like a lot of recovery programs are just religion repackaged to a different target audience.

    Addiction affects everyone differently and those programs do help many. It it those who can not get with the 12 step program that need other options and hope for their problem.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I don't think that 'relying on a higher power' is a way of pushing religion onto others. You needn't be religious to find the 12 step program helpful. Atheists for example can substitute the higher power with something else. They have some of their own secular programs I've heard:
    http://www.sossobriety.org/12steps.htm
    Not bad, eh?
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
  8. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    Nice response Rainman! Well worth thinking about - and I agree that religion or even being faith based is a reason to discount a program. But, comfort level comes into play with every decision we make. And what works for one person may not work for someone else.
  9. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    My personal view is that recovery is a process, but that it is entirely possible for someone to overcome an addiction and be recovered. Yes, many people will from time to time perhaps for the rest of their life have to continue to say no to that substance and choose to stay clean, but that does not mean they have not overcome it, the ability to know with confidence that you can say no and you will say no means that you have overcome it.

    As a Christian, I believe in God's power and healing. God works in different people in different ways. For some, they are delivered from their addictions quickly, for others, they go through a long struggle. In both cases it is still God's working that enables them to be free of their addiction. Personally, I would never tell someone they will be in recovery for the rest of their lives because that is like saying that God can not heal you. Once God has healed you, you are delivered, free from it, and it is a thing of your past.
  10. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I think everyone interprets this in ways that make sense to them. I choose not to focus on the "never ever again, you'll never be cured!" by taking things a day at a time. It's important for me to understand addiction is a progressive disease, though. By progressive I mean I can't hit a tolerance re-start button if I decided to use heroin again. I've tried. It doesn't work. :)
  11. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    I guess what most of those who commented before me are saying is that if you're motivated enough to stop your addiction, then you will definitely recover. However, if you have second thoughts and are not comfortable with the program, it may hinder your progress toward recovery. Of course the program isn't perfect and I'm sure they need to restructure it every now and then to accommodate new cases and unique situations. Perhaps you just need to be more open-minded and embrace recovery without misgivings.
  12. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    I think it would be nice to be able to draw a complete line under a specific condition or ailment. Unfortunately, I always see it as like being in cancer remission.

    You still have a higher predilection for it to happen again, though you can manage this risk by making specific lifestyle choices.

    Being "recovered" sounds like being "fixed", and I'm just not sure whether the potential for abusive behavior has entirely gone away.
  13. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I suppose "recovery" doesn't have to be forever, but that's only if the addict truly WANTS to be off the substance AND makes an effort to stay away from anything that may trigger the addiction. I think the need for these two criteria, however, is lifelong.
  14. KC Sunshine

    KC Sunshine Member

    Many years and many lives have gone into the AA 12-step recovery process and all of the derivatives that follow (NA, SA, etc.). The experience of founders and participants is that if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, if you cannot control your use and are powerless to exercise your will when it comes to drinking or using drugs, if the substances come to dominate you, then you will always be at risk. The philosophy is sound. The addiction dominates you. If you want to escape its grasp, you have to take it seriously and doing so means leaving yourself no "out." For example, some like to think, 'once I've been sober for six months or a year I will have proven that I can control my drinking." Only to find that that first drink after six months or a year spirals them right back into to unmanageable behavior. Your body and psyche will not change. Experience tells us that "recovery" is the best way to describe the condition of sobriety for an alcoholic because, yes, if you drink again you will revert right back to the alcoholic behavior. It a process that never ends. These are harsh realities to accept, but experience has shown that not accepting them simply means a return to using. So if you want to stay sober, try the process that works and stick to it. the 12 steps are for spiritual awakening -- not religious, but consciousness.
  15. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I understand where you're coming from when you write about certain people saying that one is going to be in recovery for the rest of their life, and how that bum one out. It almost makes things feel like you are labeled a certain way for the rest of your life, and can't shake it. That doesn't feel like freedom to some people. It feels like a label has an invisible shackle on you, "You will never be free."

    I think a person just has to take things one day at a time and find out what works for them. For some people I know, reminding themselves everyday that they are an addict (even though they haven't used in 10 years), keeps them on their toes to the dangers of the drug in order to never feel they've conquered it.
    For others, they want to forget all about their addiction and pretend it didn't happen to them, it happened to someone else, it was in "another life."
  16. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    Maybe its not for everyone. There are many out there with the will power to stop and change for the better. There are those out there that need help. These programs our out there for a reason. Some need reinforcement and the support of others. I feel for anyone with substance abuse problems, it can't hurt to get help.