If someone you love is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, you may wonder if they’ll ever be completely cured of the disease. While addiction can be effectively managed with treatment, it’s a chronic condition, and recovery is a lifelong process. Understanding the chronic nature of addiction can help you support your loved one’s ongoing recovery efforts.
The Impact of Addiction on the Brain
Addiction has a physical effect on the brain. Many drugs mimic the “messenger” system within the brain, and they send artificial messages to the brain and the body’s other systems. These drugs also overstimulate certain centers of the brain, which can lead to increased tolerance and the development of a physical dependence on the drug. With continued drug use, physical changes occur within the brain to adapt to the effect of the drugs, and the user is left with a crippling addiction.
Because addiction creates significant changes in the brain, it can be very difficult for addicted individuals to quit using alcohol or drugs. The detox and counseling offered at an addiction treatment center, such as The Discovery House, are essential parts of the recovery process, but it’s equally important for a recovering individual to avoid the substance of abuse in the future.
Even a single lapse in sobriety can cause the brain to regress to its older patterns, which can cause recovering addicts to slide back into addictive behavior. Relapse isn’t uncommon for people who have overcome a substance addiction, and it’s important not to treat a relapse as a failure. If your loved one suffers a lapse in their recovery, it’s better to view the incident as a learning experience and a chance for them to re-commit to long-term sobriety.
A Commitment to Recovery
An individual’s commitment to change has a big influence on the success of their recovery efforts. The person has to believe that they can change in order to overcome their addiction and begin a sober lifestyle. A stay at an addiction rehab center can make long-lasting changes in a person’s behavior. At rehab, clients explore the underlying issues that may have fueled their addictive behavior, and they learn the skills they’ll need to avoid the temptation to use again. The lessons learned in rehab empower recovering individuals and help them heal from the destruction of addiction.
In addition to completing a course of addiction treatment at a rehab center, it’s important for a recovering addict to follow through on the lifestyle changes needed to maintain their sobriety. They may need to distance themselves from friends they previously used with, and they may need to learn new ways of managing stress that don’t include alcohol or drugs.
Leaving rehab doesn’t mark the end of the recovery process, but rather the first steps of a lifelong journey. The support of family members and close friends can be invaluable during the early weeks and months of recovery.
Is Long-Term Sobriety Possible?
It’s clear that addiction is a powerful disease, but long-term sobriety is possible with the right treatment and a strong commitment to recovery. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, the Discovery House can help. We can answer your questions and address your concerns about addiction and recovery. Recovery is a process that requires continuous effort, but the rewards of a sober lifestyle are well worth it.
The Discovery House, a fully licensed, Joint Commission-accredited facility located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, utilizes a variety of treatment programs that allow each client to receive the individualized care they deserve. The pet friendly Southern California rehab center offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient drug treatment programs to help drug addicts and alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety.
Each client at The Discovery House receives customized care to end their dependence on prescription drugs, heroin and other opiates and/or alcohol in order to live a clean and sober life. To learn more about The Discovery House, visit http://www.TheDiscoveryHouse.com or call (855) 203-7930.
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