The recovery process is often misunderstood, and addiction itself is not always very clearly defined in the minds of many people trying to help their loved one. Addiction is a chronic illness, in the sense that it is recurring and can have a high chance of relapse within the first few years of recovery. Continued long-term sobriety lessens the chance of relapse over time, but addiction is never really “cured”. It takes a continuous commitment to thoroughly place it in the past and keep it there.
That is why the recovery process is not a matter of weeks or months, but a journey that will span a recovering addict’s entire lifetime. The first few phases of recovery often involve recovery programs because these help recovering addicts organize themselves and prepare themselves for the changes they have to make in the wake of their addiction. Being sober is easy for most people, but after an addiction, staying continuously sober is very difficult. Recovering addicts struggle with pent-up emotions left hidden for years, cravings that come and go, temptations and sudden urges triggered by smells, sounds, and memories, as well as a rollercoaster of emotions, as the brain continues to struggle to right itself, with a host of accompanying and highly uncomfortable withdrawal issues.
For most addictions, there is no pharmacological cure to speed up this entire process. Addiction recovery is still a branch of medicine centered mostly around helping patients abstain from drug use and helping them psychologically and physically cope with the transition into a sober life. It’s not always a successful process, and it can take several tries before the changes really begin to stick. Being aware of all this can be the difference between losing hope in your loved one and knowing that it’s all just part of the process.
Content courtesy of https://transcendrecoverycommunity.com/understanding-needs-in-recovery/.